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Khadas Tone2 Pro Review (DAC & Amp)

Grooved

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Feb 26, 2021
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Have the designers found how to fix jitter issue on the tone2 pro? Looks terrible
The jitter "looks" terrible, but looking the unit on the left... it's all below -130dB, so like Amir said :
"Fortunately these are not audible distortions so practical implication is not there. "

Sure, it would be good if they fixed it, but if we don't hear any change, they have done a better job by fixing first all the things we could hear ;)
 
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I've found this video on Khadas forum.
You can hear pops when adjusting playback position. Are they going to address this issues?
 

dsnyder0cnn

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I've found this video on Khadas forum.

You can hear pops when adjusting playback position. Are they going to address this issues?
I hear a minor and very brief glitch with MQA content, but adjusting position works perfectly with PCM and DSD. As I mentioned on the thread in the Khadas forum, this is the case with most MQA DACs I have that implement decoding in XMOS firmware. I imagine it just takes a little while for the decoder to lock on to the stream. Options for the DAC implementation are to just be silent or to play PCM and then transition to MQA decoding/rendering once lock is achieved.

My Gustard X16 implements MQA in the DAC chip, so this is much less of an issue but it's still present sometimes.

If this bothers you, don't skip around or stop listening to MQA. :p
 

noel_fs

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got mine today. yep its super small, makes it super easy for a portable setup. kind of unbelieable for the performance/price/flexibility

my biggest complain so far are the encoder options, like holy i have to cycle through 4-5 things if i missclick once. i guess this isnt a new complain and im hopeful for a future firmware update

second, the lack of ability to control hardware volume from anywhere in windows.

third complain. dsd gain, i dont like it. Anyway doesnt really matter i just do the conversion in my pc . In case someone doesnt know: dsd "native" on these dacs isnt native at all, its just a conversion to pcm just like the foobar component would do. Personally, volume matched I dont hear a difference between dsd output and ouputting it already in pcm.

fourth the encoder settings again, it is really annoying

fifth, sometimes when turning the volume down very slowly there is a section where the encoder just goes nope and turns up the volume instead. i hope its not just related to my unit :( again i hope its firmware related/fixeable

something that is confusing me is that instead of getting red for pcm im getting the green of mqa? anyone else?

I mean the rest is fucking great, could say good things for a while but i think here numbers speak for themselves enough. encoder control settings can be a pain in the ass but its not that important because... mostly you are only gonna use volume, pause is a single click so no problems. Next/previous track would be great to cycle only with volume but not many dacs out there that even provide the feature i believe.

in terms of volume: for reference i have hd660s, always use replaygain and im a guy who likes his music well mastered without volume wars.
-Unbal: low gain can barely make the cut for enough for volume, high gain does fine not lots of headroom but there is headroom. I think its ideal for iems
-Bal: low gain is the sweet spot, some headroom that little bit extra for those moments, high gain... well you will go deaf if you use it in max volume. As long as its not something with really low sensitivity i think it can power basically everything


something interesting is that with my phone i need externar powersource for khadas to turn on but after that if disconnected it doesnt turn off. A phone with 4000mah batterly would probably last 3-4hours, maybe more depending on headphones load? didnt test much anyway this thing is so small that its easy to attach to a power pank
 
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I hear a minor and very brief glitch with MQA content, but adjusting position works perfectly with PCM and DSD. As I mentioned on the thread in the Khadas forum, this is the case with most MQA DACs I have that implement decoding in XMOS firmware. I imagine it just takes a little while for the decoder to lock on to the stream. Options for the DAC implementation are to just be silent or to play PCM and then transition to MQA decoding/rendering once lock is achieved.

My Gustard X16 implements MQA in the DAC chip, so this is much less of an issue but it's still present sometimes.

If this bothers you, don't skip around or stop listening to MQA. :p
Yeah but the pops at 2:29 and later are when playing HI-FI content which is just PCM.
 

Grooved

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...
something that is confusing me is that instead of getting red for pcm im getting the green of mqa? anyone else?

something interesting is that with my phone i need externar powersource for khadas to turn on but after that if disconnected it doesnt turn off. A phone with 4000mah batterly would probably last 3-4hours, maybe more depending on headphones load? didnt test much anyway this thing is so small that its easy to attach to a power pank
Red ? there is no red for signals, just in settings. PCM is yellow on this device
If you're getting Blue or Green (or even Magenta if the player app is doing the MQA Core decoding process and the DAC is only doing the rendering), it's that the file you're playing is an MQA file, no doubt about that.
You can get yellow on MQA file if there is no decoding or rendering done, and the only way I saw it was with Roon by setting Roon with "Core decoder off" and MQA capabilities of the device to "no decoder no renderer".

Regarding the battery, try to use one with good voltage, because is it's lower than the voltage on the output of your phone, it will draw a bit of current from your phone.

Yeah but the pops at 2:29 and later are when playing HI-FI content which is just PCM.
Like said several times, in the Hifi setting on Tidal, you can get 16bit FLAC, and/or 16bit MQA files. If you're getting blue, green or magenta, it's a MQA file coming. With 16bit MQA, I only saw Green (or Magenta is I set the app to do the decoding process), but never Blue. With 24bit MQA (setting Master), there are Blue and Green (or again Magenta is set for)
 

noel_fs

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Red ? there is no red for signals, just in settings. PCM is yellow on this device
If you're getting Blue or Green (or even Magenta if the player app is doing the MQA Core decoding process and the DAC is only doing the rendering), it's that the file you're playing is an MQA file, no doubt about that.
You can get yellow on MQA file if there is no decoding or rendering done, and the only way I saw it was with Roon by setting Roon with "Core decoder off" and MQA capabilities of the device to "no decoder no renderer".

Regarding the battery, try to use one with good voltage, because is it's lower than the voltage on the output of your phone, it will draw a bit of current from your phone.



Like said several times, in the Hifi setting on Tidal, you can get 16bit FLAC, and/or 16bit MQA files. If you're getting blue, green or magenta, it's a MQA file coming. With 16bit MQA, I only saw Green (or Magenta is I set the app to do the decoding process), but never Blue. With 24bit MQA (setting Master), there are Blue and Green (or again Magenta is set for)
I dont ever use MQA. I guess i confused the PCM color and since the led doesnt have the best color accuracy so i assumed it was green. Now that im taking a closer look it might be yellow instead of green as i thought.

Thanks.
 

Grooved

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I dont ever use MQA. I guess i confused the PCM color and since the led doesnt have the best color accuracy so i assumed it was green. Now that im taking a closer look it might be yellow instead of green as i thought.

Thanks.
OK, that makes more sense ;-)
 
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got mine today. yep its super small, makes it super easy for a portable setup. kind of unbelieable for the performance/price/flexibility

my biggest complain so far are the encoder options, like holy i have to cycle through 4-5 things if i missclick once. i guess this isnt a new complain and im hopeful for a future firmware update

second, the lack of ability to control hardware volume from anywhere in windows.

third complain. dsd gain, i dont like it. Anyway doesnt really matter i just do the conversion in my pc . In case someone doesnt know: dsd "native" on these dacs isnt native at all, its just a conversion to pcm just like the foobar component would do. Personally, volume matched I dont hear a difference between dsd output and ouputting it already in pcm.

fourth the encoder settings again, it is really annoying

fifth, sometimes when turning the volume down very slowly there is a section where the encoder just goes nope and turns up the volume instead. i hope its not just related to my unit :( again i hope its firmware related/fixeable

something that is confusing me is that instead of getting red for pcm im getting the green of mqa? anyone else?

I mean the rest is fucking great, could say good things for a while but i think here numbers speak for themselves enough. encoder control settings can be a pain in the ass but its not that important because... mostly you are only gonna use volume, pause is a single click so no problems. Next/previous track would be great to cycle only with volume but not many dacs out there that even provide the feature i believe.

in terms of volume: for reference i have hd660s, always use replaygain and im a guy who likes his music well mastered without volume wars.
-Unbal: low gain can barely make the cut for enough for volume, high gain does fine not lots of headroom but there is headroom. I think its ideal for iems
-Bal: low gain is the sweet spot, some headroom that little bit extra for those moments, high gain... well you will go deaf if you use it in max volume. As long as its not something with really low sensitivity i think it can power basically everything


something interesting is that with my phone i need externar powersource for khadas to turn on but after that if disconnected it doesnt turn off. A phone with 4000mah batterly would probably last 3-4hours, maybe more depending on headphones load? didnt test much anyway this thing is so small that its easy to attach to a power pank
Im i the only one who likes the interface and think its easy? Heard several people say that its a hassle. I think its VERY easy. Thats me though
 

Grooved

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Im i the only one who likes the interface and think its easy? Heard several people say that its a hassle. I think its VERY easy. Thats me though
Same here, but I admit I was completely lost at first.
The thing I don't like is that you have to do a full loop to go the the previous item in the menu, you can't go back and can only go to the next item. And it would be so much a problem if the led system was a straight one placed in any line of the design instead of under the wheel, especially being on the top-left side of wheel instead of just in the middle and the bottom.
 
Last edited:

Grooved

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Yeah. Perhaps an issue with that person's setup. I'm unable to reproduce the issue with Roon and adequate power being delivered to the Tone2 Pro.
Just tested in Roon and I get one pop going from MQA track playback to a FLAC track, and the pop comes exactly at the moment the LED goes from Light blue (volume level) to Yellow (to show it's PCM)
 

dsnyder0cnn

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Just tested in Roon and I get one pop going from MQA track playback to a FLAC track, and the pop comes exactly at the moment the LED goes from Light blue (volume level) to Yellow (to show it's PCM)
Sure, but no pops from skipping around on PCM or DSD tracks, correct?

If anyone has an MQA full-decoder DAC that does not do this, please share. I've yet to find one.
 

Grooved

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Sure, but no pops from skipping around on PCM or DSD tracks, correct?

If anyone has an MQA full-decoder DAC that does not do this, please share. I've yet to find one.
I will test it again later, but I don't remember that on PCM and DSD, indeed.
 

Waterking

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Dec 10, 2019
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got mine today. yep its super small, makes it super easy for a portable setup. kind of unbelieable for the performance/price/flexibility

my biggest complain so far are the encoder options, like holy i have to cycle through 4-5 things if i missclick once. i guess this isnt a new complain and im hopeful for a future firmware update

second, the lack of ability to control hardware volume from anywhere in windows.

third complain. dsd gain, i dont like it. Anyway doesnt really matter i just do the conversion in my pc . In case someone doesnt know: dsd "native" on these dacs isnt native at all, its just a conversion to pcm just like the foobar component would do. Personally, volume matched I dont hear a difference between dsd output and ouputting it already in pcm.

fourth the encoder settings again, it is really annoying

fifth, sometimes when turning the volume down very slowly there is a section where the encoder just goes nope and turns up the volume instead. i hope its not just related to my unit :( again i hope its firmware related/fixeable

something that is confusing me is that instead of getting red for pcm im getting the green of mqa? anyone else?

I mean the rest is fucking great, could say good things for a while but i think here numbers speak for themselves enough. encoder control settings can be a pain in the ass but its not that important because... mostly you are only gonna use volume, pause is a single click so no problems. Next/previous track would be great to cycle only with volume but not many dacs out there that even provide the feature i believe.

in terms of volume: for reference i have hd660s, always use replaygain and im a guy who likes his music well mastered without volume wars.
-Unbal: low gain can barely make the cut for enough for volume, high gain does fine not lots of headroom but there is headroom. I think its ideal for iems
-Bal: low gain is the sweet spot, some headroom that little bit extra for those moments, high gain... well you will go deaf if you use it in max volume. As long as its not something with really low sensitivity i think it can power basically everything


something interesting is that with my phone i need externar powersource for khadas to turn on but after that if disconnected it doesnt turn off. A phone with 4000mah batterly would probably last 3-4hours, maybe more depending on headphones load? didnt test much anyway this thing is so small that its easy to attach to a power pank
It does the same volume up while turning down on mine and vice versa. Hope they fix it with firmware. Its sounds freaking amazing for the money
 

noel_fs

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It does the same volume up while turning down on mine and vice versa. Hope they fix it with firmware. Its sounds freaking amazing for the money
yes same, i was thinking on dripping some alcohol in it but seeing im not the only one ill leave it alone just in case.
 
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