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Enermax DreamBass Genie Dac & Amp Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and quick measurements of the Enermax DreamBass Genie DAC and Headphone Amplifier. It was kindly sent to me by a member and costs only $10 including Prime shipping from Amazon!

To borrow a line from the great movie, Fargo, the Enermax is a "funny looking" little DAC & Amp:

Enermax Dreambass Genie DAC and Headphone Amp Audio review.jpg


There is an old fashion mini-USB connection underneath the tube looking device. It lights up a blue LED which is a missed opportunity: should have been orange.

There is a microphone and headphone jack on the side.

Needless to say, it is way too light to stay put as it weighs next to nothing.

Expectations are low for measurements being good but let's get into them:

DAC Headphone Measurements
As usual we start with our dashboard:

Enermax Dreambass Genie DAC and Headphone Amp Audio Measurements.png


Note that I had to lower the level in Windows sound control panel. That limited the output to just 1 volt where I usually like to see 2 volts. That aside, the ranking is very poor:
Best cheap dac and headphone amp.png


No point in measuring much more other than dipping our toe into the power capability:

Enermax Dreambass Genie DAC and Headphone Amp Power into 300 Ohm Audio Measurements.png


There are phone dongles that do better for similar amount of money.

Conclusions
Do you really need me to spell it for you? :)

No, I don't recommend the Enermax Genie.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Was watching the VP presidential debate and thought I quickly test this unit while doing that. It has been sitting on my desk for months! So no, you don't have to donate for little reviews like this. If you want to anyway, look all the way up and there is a donate tab.
 
Last edited:

dfuller

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#8
Enermax is certainly not a brand I associate with audio in any capacity... rather, I associate them with thoroughly mediocre PC power supplies and water coolers.
 
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#11
Aside from performance, this looks pretty strange, one "bad move" and...
View attachment 86730

Looks like it is phased out by Enermax already . Features this VIA chip.
The specs list DAC SNR performance as 95dB. If that's reliable, Enermax made no attempt at having it perform at that level. At this point it's just an AVR emulator.

Edit: Probably a good option to buy this with an SMSL SU-9. Whenever you think, "Yeah it sounds good, but can I really hear a difference with a worst DAC?", then you plug this catastrophe in and your purchase will make all the sense in the world.
 

bennetng

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#12
Wonder how old that VIA chip is. Do they even make audio chipsets anymore?

Edit: Chip came out in 2010.

https://www.viatech.com/en/silicon/legacy/audio/vt1620a/

Seems like what you might find on a cheap motherboard southbridge from that era.
Their Envy24 PCI audio controller was widely used on many well-measured soundcards in early 2000, including ESI and M-Audio.
Measurements from @restorer-john :
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...u-m4-loopback-measurements.10890/#post-305179
m-audio-delta-audiophile-24-96-422.jpg


[email protected] review:
https://www.ixbt.com/multimedia/[email protected]
envy.jpg
 
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#15
Edit: Probably a good option to buy this with an SMSL SU-9. Whenever you think, "Yeah it sounds good, but can I really hear a difference with a worst DAC?", then you plug this catastrophe in and your purchase will make all the sense in the world.
Exactly - whenever I think "maybe all that hifi stuff is just placebo" I just connect my headphones to the headphone jack build into my PC monitor and get brought back to reality by what really bad audio sounds like.
 
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#17
Enermax is certainly not a brand I associate with audio in any capacity... rather, I associate them with thoroughly mediocre PC power supplies and water coolers.
Failing water coolers at that. They're the brand that uses cooling liquid that reacts with their copper plate resulting in gunk precipitating out of the solution. Their air coolers aren't much better, mine ended up with a bad bearing causing the fan to fail after just a year.
 
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#18
The specs list DAC SNR performance as 95dB. If that's reliable, Enermax made no attempt at having it perform at that level. At this point it's just an AVR emulator.

Edit: Probably a good option to buy this with an SMSL SU-9. Whenever you think, "Yeah it sounds good, but can I really hear a difference with a worst DAC?", then you plug this catastrophe in and your purchase will make all the sense in the world.
Can you expound or explain that comment please?
 

Timbo2

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#19
There is an old fashion mini-USB connection underneath the tube looking device. It lights up a blue LED which is a missed opportunity: should have been orange.
Kids won't buy anything today unless it uses a high output blue LED that can be seen from the moon. I can't tell you how many LEDs I have covered or mostly obscured with electrical tape or the like.
 
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