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HIDIZS S8 USB-C Headphone Adapter Review

Bernd

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Hi. Do you have any thoughts on the HIDIZS S9 PRO. Sales on amazon seem to indicate build quality is poor, actual sound quality is good.
I have been using the S9 Pro for about a year now and I confirm: a. that the sound is excellent, b. the built quality is not up to standards (but still way better than the Audioquest Dongle Dacs) + c. it has a lot of power especially if you use the balanced output (it drives the HD6XX effortlessly) + d. it drains the power out of your smartphone likes there's no tomorrow.
 

john11

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What about all of the random noises, crackles etc that this unit produces.
Can it damage the speakers, or is it more annoying than anything else. That's the only thing that's putting me off from buying the s8 or s9.
Or do you think forget the noise issue and it may be better purchasing one of the older models like
Hidizs HD1000, Sonata HD, Hidizs Sonata II
Finally will this work with asio4all or is there a drivers software to be installed with this.
Thanks!,
 
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ZolaIII

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What about all of the random noises, crackles etc that this unit produces.
Can it damage the speakers, or is it more annoying than anything else.
That's the only thing that's putting me off from buying the s8 or s9.
Or do you think forget the noise issue and it may be better purchasing one of the older models like
Hidizs HD1000, Sonata HD, Hidizs Sonata II
Thanks!
I wouldn't go for older and more expensive models like Hidizs Sonata DH1000 (iDSD Plus) nor I think you can find S8 (Sonata HD Pro) anymore. You have a humble discount (7~12%) in EU on S9 now. In my experience that ("crackle") only happens rarely. With Hidizs/TempoTec you at least get functional easy to use drivers (in case you need that).
Best regards.
 

john11

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I wouldn't go for older and more expensive models like Hidizs Sonata DH1000 (iDSD Plus) nor I think you can find S8 (Sonata HD Pro) anymore. You have a humble discount (7~12%) in EU on S9 now. In my experience that ("crackle") only happens rarely. With Hidizs/TempoTec you at least get functional easy to use drivers (in case you need that).
Best regards.

Thanks! Does the s9 require specalist drivers, or can i simply plug it into my phone and get started2. How does it work? Thanks.
 

ZolaIII

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Thanks! Does the s9 require specalist drivers, or can i simply plug it into my phone and get started2. How does it work? Thanks.
You either have embedded drivers in OS (Linux, Windows, Android, iOS...), drivers for specific OS by manufacturers or costume driver's embedded in audio players. Question is how you want to use it and with which OS/player? For basic use it will work like plug and play on most of them but anyway it's usually not a best solution.
 

ot974

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What about all of the random noises, crackles etc that this unit produces.
Can it damage the speakers, or is it more annoying than anything else. That's the only thing that's putting me off from buying the s8 or s9.
Or do you think forget the noise issue and it may be better purchasing one of the older models like
Hidizs HD1000, Sonata HD, Hidizs Sonata II
Finally will this work with asio4all or is there a drivers software to be installed with this.
Thanks!,
I have never encountered any noise or crakle, using my S8 in W11, Ubuntu, Android. In Windows it works as is. There is an asio driver that can be selected in apps like Qobuz.
 

john11

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Have you tried the sonata hd 5. Not sure if it has been reported on yet. There is something on head-fi:

" TEMPOTEC SONATA HD PRO dongle, which I praise obsessively at the time as the very best dongle sound value available on the market. At 40$, it use a cirrus CS43131 which was quite exotic 4 years ago and deliver reference grade crisp neutral clean sound with decent amping power of 60mw (high gain unlock).
after 1 months of intense use, I just can’t get enough about the HD V and how it’s the perfect upgrade to my beloved HD PRO. With it’s dual 32bit/384khz MQA compatible ES9219 DAC with a signal-to-noise (SNR) of 123db and THD+N of 105db, even if not class leading, the HD V is far from being bad specs wise, but how do it translate in real sound. An interesting measurement to have would have been the crosstalk, which translate in imaging capacity to some extend but it’s not available. While SNR is higher than HD III, it’s lower than HD PRO which is 128db, indeed, HD PRO is more transparent and crisp in resolution, but not as hefty in dynamic.
 

ZolaIII

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@john11 to sumerised you CS43131 has a better amplifier section (class H) and EMI rejection rate (more importantly) then ESS 32 K2M's which then again come close to it only trough DSD output line (which in their case is separate and better authended). MQA is a gimmick (lossy, property and bad). Old Sonata DH/iDSD lines (ES9018K2M + SABRE9601 amp) all do not mesured great had a unique future worth more than the any decent DAC difference the USB A port which you could use with regular USB cable on Android (and iOS I think but never tried) with enabled USB debugging and only trough HiBy player but nevertheless exotic OTG cables remain the main weakness of portable DAC's for their portable use of course.
Please don't do a bubble gum subjective quots hire.
 

pytor

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Got a S8 to try for myself, I realize the Sonata HD Pro is the same DAC design for cheaper, but I like the look of the S8 better and it includes with an OTG Micro-Lightning cable for my iPhone, which can cost 15-20 dollars on its own, so $75 next day shipped from Amazon didn't seem like a bad deal. Included lightning cable is of a different build/make and noticeably better quality than the other stock cables, not sure if they ran out and sourced a different cable in short notice, or if it's an upgraded cable following complaints of the stock lightning cable failing (seems like they'd replace all of the cables and not just lightning if this was the case), but it's very supple, the sheathing is a translucent smokey soft plastic and you can see the bright copper wiring through it, very similar build to the Campfire/ALO smokey litz cable, but with thicker wire. We'll see how long it lasts, I'm expecting the worst, but it does seem pretty solid and with care, should last a while. Plugs and plays perfect on my iPhone, and the sound is very great and top notch. With my Campfire Ara, it noticeably thickens the bass and increases slam/impact, so it does seem to have a very low output impedance. The hardware volume control is very useful for extremely sensitive IEMs like Ara, because even though the steps aren't the largest, the independent control of the DAC and software volume can better fine tune the sound to something that's totally noise/hiss free while still giving plenty of dynamic range, can't overstate it enough how much a pleasure it is to have a zero noise, black background yet still have a highly dynamic sound on the Ara, which like most CFA's IEMs pick up noise like the devil. Layering and separation are top notch, don't feel the S8 has any issue rendering busy passages while still being able to pick out all individual voices/instruments, low level details are picked up effortlessly and contributes to its engaging and realistic "live" sound. The overall tonal balance to my ears is neutral to slightly warm, very organic and natural, doesn't sound "digital", sibilance and other loud HF peaks are nicely rounded out so they still have impact but are not overly sharp or grating. Overall stage is slightly less spherical and enveloping than something like the Helm Bolt, think it has a higher OI which makes Ara a little more airy and thinner and contributes to that, but it is still impressively wide with good depth and height, projecting sounds just outside my head/ears with highly accurate imaging/placement. All in all, great sound and even better noise performance, never had a DAC/dongle with such a black background with <10ohm IEMs while retaining high dynamic range and smooth fidelity. Definitely a keeper! Got it for the high marks, keeping it for the great sound. If the lightning cable ends up holding out and working for a while, this is absolutely a home run for me in terms of a perfect dongle, considering its non existent hiss/noise, high dynamic range, and overall fidelity and smoothness.
 

john11

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I am using a hidizs s8 at the moment which i purchased because of this review, how would the topping dm7 , which has also been reviewed on this site, compare would it be any better, i mean in terms of sheer sound quality these are different dacs for different markets
 

charleski

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I am using a hidizs s8 at the moment which i purchased because of this review, how would the topping dm7 , which has also been reviewed on this site, compare would it be any better, i mean in terms of sheer sound quality these are different dacs for different markets
You won’t hear any difference in sound quality. But there are other factors to consider. I used to use a Sonata HDPro (same as the S8) and switched to a different DAC as the adaptive USB interface used on the S8 was causing intermittent dropouts in the audio (about once an hour). These don’t occur with my new DAC, but they sound identical otherwise.
 

john11

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What do you think the lifetime of the hidizs 8 is going to be? i'm thinking of buying another one in case this one breaks down. It is a cheap chinese dac, wonder how good the construction and how long the longevity is
 

ZolaIII

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What do you think the lifetime of the hidizs 8 is going to be? i'm thinking of buying another one in case this one breaks down. It is a cheap chinese dac, wonder how good the construction and how long the longevity is
Well it's relatively old now and rarely anyone complained how it stopped working if that helps you put it in a perspective. Still see if you can find Tempotec Sonata HD Pro for less money instead.
 

Jimster480

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What do you think the lifetime of the hidizs 8 is going to be? i'm thinking of buying another one in case this one breaks down. It is a cheap chinese dac, wonder how good the construction and how long the longevity is
I mean to give you an Idea; I have a FiiO K1 that is like 7 years old now (from when I first ever got into the audio scene) and it still works perfectly...
 

john11

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Well it's relatively old now and rarely anyone complained how it stopped working if that helps you put it in a perspective. Still see if you can find Tempotec Sonata HD Pro for less money instead.

Thanks! What do you mean by "how it stopped working" Are there any failure rate reports?
 

staticV3

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What do you think the lifetime of the hidizs 8 is going to be?
Something between a few hours and a few decades, depending on a bunch of factors including the quality of the power supply, how you use the DAC, how carefully you handle it, the temperature and humidity of the environment, the silicon quality, etc.
 

Jimster480

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Something between a few hours and a few decades, depending on a bunch of factors including the quality of the power supply, how you use the DAC, how carefully you handle it, the temperature and humidity of the environment, the silicon quality, etc.
Exactly, its likely to become obsolete before it breaks if it is taken care of unless somehow you get a lemon...
 

L5730

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@john11

If something doesn't do what was expected or it fails premature to realistic expectation you'll sure read about it online.
Thus the # of sales vs. # complaints is stacked very much in favour of the devices being perfectly fine.
QC is something that doesn't seem to be particularly thorough nowadays on any product in any category, probably too labour intensive. There are exceptions of course, but they tend to be spendy.
Is the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro / HIDIZS S8 a lemon product prone to failure? Nope. Do some fail? Like with everything, yep.
Ease of return/replacement and additional costs if something does go wrong prematurely are something to factor in when making your purchase decision. If the concern is too great, then buy locally or from a retailer with easy returns, but be prepared for a more limited selection of offerings and potentially higher prices.

I thought I read something that said the silver Tempotec SHDPro was different to the black one. Was tempted to punt for another, but will probably use those funds to put into something else with a bit more power.
 
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