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Hidizs S3 Pro Review (Headphone Adapter)

Saidera

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Jul 18, 2020
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Does anyone know why the SINAD for one channel could be lower? Though I know it is of no significance due to the equivalent power output.
 

Budgeter

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Kinda unrelated to the topic, but is it possible to have a high resolution of the bar chart when it becomes too small to zoom in. Personally I prefer that way since the review index is not up-to-date in real time.
 

moench3992

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I have got one of these coming in the mail and wanted to ask if anyone might know where to get the differently tuned firmwares?
I looked at their download center and it seems to have neither driver nor firmware for the S3 Pro.
 

Jabinho

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New Firmware has been released:
 

Jabinho

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Hidizs S3 Pro portable USB-C DAC and headphone amplifier. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $55.

It comes in silver and black. I have the latter:

View attachment 148173

I must say, it is so cute with that round shape! Nice to see some innovation as far as form factor in these products especially if you are going to pay a premium over $9 dongles form phone companies.

There is a nice three color LED indicator showing the sample rate. In use it ran cool to the touch during my testing.

Hidizs S3 Pro Measurements
Here is our usual dashboard of 1 kHz tone at 1 kHz sampling rate:
View attachment 148174

One channel has very low distortion for a dongle at SINAD of 105 dB. For some reason the other though is much lower at 97 dB. Averaging the two the S3 Pro lands in competent design category for all DACs tested:

View attachment 148175

The output voltage is key though as that determines the maximum power you can get into high impedance headphones. I like to see minimum of 2 volts and we are short of that at 1.4 volts. Throw-away dongles are around 1 volt so you are getting more just not as much as I like to see. Alas, this is not much larger than a throw away dongle so probably not any room to build a decent dc to dc converter in there.

Dynamic range was surprisingly good:

View attachment 148177

That's on the left. On the right, for the first time I tried to adjust the volume to 50 millivolt using Windows volume control (there is no other). Not sure I trust the numbers I see there but there you have them.

Jitter test cleaner output than many dongles that are at total mess:
View attachment 148178

Most important tests here are power output. Let's start with 300 ohm:
View attachment 148179

As expected, total power is not anything to write home about:

View attachment 148180

Surprisingly though, the S3 Pro steps up when it comes to low impedance 32 ohm test:

View attachment 148181
View attachment 148182

S3 Pro Listening Tests
I started testing with my Sennheiser HD-650. On tracks with full amplitude there was plenty of volume which surprised me. The burst power capability must be higher than continuous power I test. On tracks with lower amplitude, there was just sufficient volume in a quiet room.

I expected the unit to fall apart with Drop Ether CX headphone but it did not! It got up to average volume with zero distortion. If you look at the power vs distortion curves above, neither clips which means any volume you get is essentially transparent to your source. That is what I experienced.

Net, net, subjective results were better than what objective data suggested at first blush.

Conclusions
The S3 Pro provides good objective performance. I wish it could produce more power but fortunately in subjectively testing, it seems to be there. Combined with that you get a cute package at average price for premium dongles. So while I hope for more when testing this class of device, at the end it won me over.

I am going to recommend the Hidizs S3 Pro as long as you don't have more demanding headphones than what I tested.

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

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Hi Amirm Have you tested the new firmware ? Could you please put this review into Review Index?
 
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