afaik, every kind of volume control that's happening outside the source device is classified as hardware volume. The S8/Tempotec HD Pro uses digital hardware volume, so no channel imbalance, but digital signal degradation.Regarding the lack of hardware volume buttons on S9, is that something significant ?
The ones on S8 are (I suppose) a "software" volume control (inside the chip ?) doing anyway the loss of bits (dynamic range) if attenuate a lot (<--this is a question)
I like the idea of heat-shrink tubing, especially as the Apple cable is so thin. That removes the main objection to the Apple adapter IMO (assuming it has enough power). Which size did you find works best?
The Hidizs S9 has a hard current limit at about 60 mA RMS. Here's what kind of power you need to drive the ÆON RT Closed:I don't know if mine is broken but my S9 cannot drive Aeon RT closed, it has horrible bass clicking at high volume, distortion is through the roof. On 250ohm dt770 I dont get this problem. Maybe it is the headphones.
Mine also has intereference sounds when I plug it in. It is like you leave your phone next to a speaker, sometimes when you get an incoming call there is this buzzing sound. But I am not getting any call.
But I only tried unbalanced. Will order balanced cables to try.
Also on Windows it will not let you get to the distortion level, it will be fine but Aeon will not be loud enough for some songs.
Using apple USB adapter it will also not let you get to distortion level, it will just say "this accesory is beind disabled because it uses too much power"
But if you are on android or use the hidizs lightning cable it will get louder but distort in bass, at least on my Aeon. But my other headphones are okay.
But then again high sensibility 32ohm headphones dont need this power, I can just use apple dongle.
Not really enough power for DT990 600ohm.
Also I would like to recommend this calculator to make sense for these numbersThe Hidizs S9 has a hard current limit at about 60 mA RMS. Here's what kind of power you need to drive the ÆON RT Closed:
I see that Audiophonics is selling this and quoting your review. <https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/mobi...3eq-balanced-32bit-768khz-dsd512-p-14840.html>This is a review and detailed measurements of the Hidizs S9 USB-C DAC and headphone amplifier. It was kindly purchased new by a member and drop shipped to me. The S9 costs US $112 on Amazon including Prime shipping. There is a 5% discount there as of this writing.
The S9 comes a in stout thumbnail sizes package:
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There are no controls on it unlike S8. A multicolor LED indicates the sample rate of the music being played. It is quite bright.
The predecessor to S9, the S8 had up down volume control which I miss here.
You now have a choice of balanced and unbalanced outputs:
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No USB-C cable came with it which was surprising as they almost always include such.
In use, the S9 got a bit warm indicating it is rather power hungry.
Hidizs S9 Measurements
Let's start with our usual dashboard of 1 kHz tone, testing both outputs (2.5mm balanced and 3.5mm unbalanced):
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Hidizs delivers once again with desktop class performance. Distortion is well below threshold of audibility and we have 4 volts output which should produce lots of power for high impedance headphones.
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Signal to noise ratio is excellent for a dongle and even desktop class:
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Not so much at 50 millivolt though so you may get some hiss with very sensitive IEMs.
Jitter shows the typical interference we see in these types of devices but levels are quite low:
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Multitone performance is desktop class:
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Due to the way these DACs announce themselves to Windows, I can't use my analyzer to run sweeps properly. So no IMD vs level test. I will show power sweeps but note that the noise floor shown (sloping down part of the curve) is wrong and artificially elevated. Just look at the graphs for maximum power and distortion:
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This is a powerful dongle:
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Power is everything in this class product and the S9 delivers so strongly.
Hidizs S9 Listening Tests
I started testing with my Sennheiser HD-650 high impedance headphone using unbalanced output. There was enough power to generate good volume. Everything was right with the sound with great fidelity, detail, and overall performance.
I then switched to my tough to drive, Ether CX 25 ohm using balanced connection and the S9 drove it as it it was a desktop class amplifier! I had to actually turned down the volume for comfortable listening. The sound was a delight with excellent bass, detail, etc. It was so good I did not want to stop and take pictures of S9 to publish this review!
The Hidizs S8 was a ground breaking adapter delivering stunning good performance. The S9 takes that performance and adds balanced output to deliver even more power at the same cost as the S8. The result is a tiny device that delivers desktop class performance. You pay more than $9 that throw-away dongles cost but in exchange you get a serious player which delivers great fidelity in wide range of headphones.
It is my pleasure to highly recommend the Hidizs S9.
Edit: video review available now:
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.
Appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
I see that Audiophonics is selling this and quoting your review. <https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/mobi...3eq-balanced-32bit-768khz-dsd512-p-14840.html>
I remember that was a bad idea with the E1DA 9038S since a simple cable adapter provides no ground return path when you use it with an external amp. I think it's meant to be used as the final link to a more portable headphone/earphone rather than as a balanced DAC, really.Looks to me like the cheapest DAC with usable (4V @ 0 dBFS) balanced output with very good SQ. Just needs an (admittedly clumsy) adapter cable 2.5 mm to 2 x XLR.
Interesting, so am I right in thinking this is probably ok power wise for a Hifiman Sundara? But may not be great for IEM (moondrop starfield) based on the 50mW test?
I remember that was a bad idea with the E1DA 9038S since a simple cable adapter provides no ground return path when you use it with an external amp./QUOTE]
I didn't realize this. Makes the adapter more clumsy by using also the 3.5 mm connector for the ground connection. Unplugging it works as ground lift
According to the Hidizs' specs, the S9 supports headphones with inline microphones (hopefully adhering to a commonly used TRRS wiring scheme and presumably with the unbalanced jack only).
I'd love for this to be the case, but it says 'Headphones with Mic: Compatible', which could mean anything really. It might just be that TRRS(CTIA/OMTP)-plugged headsets can be used with the 3.5mm socket as output only; not necessarily that audio input is supported, sadly.
I've ordered one from AliExpress anyway to see what it's like. If it does support headset input it would be a great replacement for my 'Sharkoon Gaming DAC Pro S' for general multiplayer gaming use. Otherwise, it will add a high quality output to my Xperia 1.