• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Meizu Mblu Lifeme Pro Portable DAC/Amp Review

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 5 3.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 32 21.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 88 60.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 21 14.4%

  • Total voters
    146

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
44,210
Likes
232,258
Location
Seattle Area
This is a review, listening test and measurements of the Meizu Mblu Lifeme portable DAC and headphone amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $23.
Meizu Mblu Lifeme DAC Portable Headphone Amplifier Adapter USB-C Review.jpg

Not much to say about the form factor other than it terminates in 3.5mm unbalanced headphone connection.

If you are not familiar with these DAC measurements please watch this video.

Meizu Mblu Lifeme Measurements
Let's start with our dashboard:
Meizu Mblu Lifeme DAC Portable Headphone Amplifier Adapter USB-C Measurement.png


SINAD of nearly 100 dB is quite good for a dongle, landing it in the competent category regardless of type and cost:
Best portable DAC headphone amp review.png

Best portable DAC headphone amp zoom review.png


I do wish it had more than 1.5 volts out (minimum of 2 volts is my target). I have started to measure power consumption. Current consumption (at 5 volts) is 27 milliamps at idle and rose to 32 ma at 1 volt output into 600 ohm load.

Jitter shows a lot of random clock jitter (the large "skirt" around our 12 kHz tone):
Meizu Mblu Lifeme DAC Portable Headphone Amplifier Adapter USB-C Jitter Measurement.png


Dynamic range is not the best we have seen in a dongle but nevertheless, good:
Meizu Mblu Lifeme DAC Portable Headphone Amplifier Adapter USB-C DNR Measurement.png


Multitone lands in the same category:

Meizu Mblu Lifeme DAC Portable Headphone Amplifier Adapter USB-C Multitone Measurement.png


Power is just about everything so let's measure that starting with 300 ohm:
Meizu Mblu Lifeme DAC Portable Headphone Amplifier Adapter USB-C Power 300 ohm Measurement.png


Seems that we are gain limited in the way there is no clipping. I think this leaves money on the table as otherwise would we get more power. And help with more quiet music tracks. Same is going on with 32 ohm load:

Meizu Mblu Lifeme DAC Portable Headphone Amplifier Adapter USB-C Power 32 ohm Measurement.png


Here is how that compares to its competitors:
best portable dac headphone amplifier dac power 300 ohm.png

best portable dac headphone amplifier dac power 32 ohm.png


Meizu Mblu Lifeme Listening Tests
I started with my everyday Dan Clark Stealth headphone. On tracks that had high levels, the performance was surprisingly acceptable with excellent fidelity. But on other tracks with lower peaks, there just wasn't that much volume there and would only be good for quiet listening. Switching to Sennheiser HD650 we had at least double the volume which made it excellent on loud tracks and good on low amplitude tracks.

Conclusions
The performance of the Lifeme dongle is somewhat variable. On most of the tests it does quite well. My only wish would have been for 2 volt output instead of 1.5. That would have made it a huge winner given its price. As is, it is good for average to better than average headphone/IEM sensitivity.

I am going to recommend the Meizu Mblu Lifeme headphone adapter and DAC.

----------
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/
 

martijn86

Active Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
271
Likes
975
Location
The Netherlands
Thanks for the review Amir. The Power comparison's with competitors is really nice. Do you think we can get a similar comparison with competitors for Sinad and Sinad at 50 millivolt?

Unfortunately due to an 'upgrade' in smartphone, I'm now in the market for a dongle.
 

Toni Mas

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2022
Messages
437
Likes
286
I am currently using a similar device for summertime outdoor hassle free use with sensitive IEMs , and wonder if an upgrade to something "better" like a Tanchjim Space, Moodrop Dawn, etc... would bring any significant and audible improvement. Not quite sure...
 

JSmith

Master Contributor
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
5,030
Likes
12,798
Location
Algol Perseus
Last edited:
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
44,210
Likes
232,258
Location
Seattle Area
The Power comparison's with competitors is really nice. Do you think we can get a similar comparison with competitors for Sinad and Sinad at 50 millivolt?
Unfortunately I packed the thing already so I can't run more tests.
 

Mulder

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 2, 2020
Messages
612
Likes
859
Location
Gothenburg, Sweden
I think this could be ideal in combination with a separate all analog headphone amplifier, ie as a converter between a phone and a headphone amp.
 

Jimbob54

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
10,992
Likes
14,588
Cheap as chips and reasonable performance too.

This uses the Cirrus Logic CS43131 DAC with integrated headphone driver, datasheet;


View attachment 300389

Some teardown pics;

HIFI_PRO-18-1024x576_large.jpg
HIFI_PRO-23-1024x576_large.jpg



JSmith
Perhaps a different model but I dont think this is a 43131 device (the original Meizu Hifi Pro and non pro were)

https://www.meizuworld.com/original-meizu-hifi-dac-headphone-amplifier-pro-1.html says
High Performance DAC Chip, Pure HiFi Sound Quality
Using American Conexant CX31993 high-performance DAC decoding chip, the SNR is as high as 124dB, and the DNR is up to 111dB. Support 32bit/384kHz PCM decoding output max, lossless music HiFi enjoyment.

Independent Amplifer Two-Stage Operational,Releases the Potential
Powered by American Maxim MAX97220 secondary operate amplifier chip, After the double supporting of DAC chip and AMP chip,Give your professional headphones a powerful enough drive for a wider sound field and excellent sound quality resolution.
 

MCH

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
2,502
Likes
2,142
Cheap as chips and reasonable performance too.

This uses the Cirrus Logic CS43131 DAC with integrated headphone driver, datasheet;


View attachment 300389

Some teardown pics;

HIFI_PRO-18-1024x576_large.jpg
HIFI_PRO-23-1024x576_large.jpg



JSmith
I think those pics are of the unobtainable Meizu hifi pro.
It would be interesting to see what are the differences with this one though...

 

Jimbob54

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
10,992
Likes
14,588
I think those pics are of the unobtainable Meizu hifi pro.
It would be interesting to see what are the differences with this one though...

See my post above- I agree

Not that it matters what DAC chip really- the performance at the output is what matters. I think for my money I would spend a little more and get the Tanchjim Space lite though. Admittedly not seen measurements but can be had for around $30.
 

IAtaman

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
2,225
Likes
3,717
This uses the Cirrus Logic CS43131 DAC with integrated headphone driver, datasheet;


View attachment 300389
Thanks for that. I love reading datasheets.

Chips specs says 5 mW into 600ohms which requires close to 1.8V but Amir measured 1.45V. 7.1mW at 300 ohm adds up to ca 1.45V. I guess they have not used the charge pump then?

Also interestingly 57 mW measured for 33 ohm is actually better than chip's specs (assuming measurement is per channel as usual) which says 30 mW per channel.

Or maybe there is a revision of this chip that optimizes for higher power at lower impedance?
 

Jimbob54

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
10,992
Likes
14,588
Thanks for that. I love reading datasheets.

Chips specs says 5 mW into 600ohms which requires close to 1.8V but Amir measured 1.45V. 7.1mW at 300 ohm adds up to ca 1.45V. I guess they have not used the charge pump then?

Also interestingly 57 mW measured for 33 ohm is actually better than chip's specs (assuming measurement is per channel as usual) which says 30 mW per channel.

Or maybe there is a revision of this chip that optimizes for higher power at lower impedance?
Its not a 43131 device..... (see couple of posts above this )
 

JSmith

Master Contributor
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
5,030
Likes
12,798
Location
Algol Perseus
Perhaps a different model but I dont think this is a 43131 device (the original Meizu Hifi Pro and non pro were)
I think those pics are of the unobtainable Meizu hifi pro.
Thanks, yes you're correct. My fault for posting whilst busy with other things, clearly I've not paid enough attention, apologies all.


JSmith
 

Jimbob54

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
10,992
Likes
14,588
Thanks, yes you're correct. My fault for posting whilst busy with other things, clearly I've not paid enough attention, apologies all.


JSmith
Easily done when they all look the same and have some combination of meizu , hifi and pro in the names !
 

milosz

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
575
Likes
1,627
Location
Chicago
$23? When you buy it, do they ask "You want fries with that?"

Respectable performance and low, low price. But wait! There's More! Light weight, small size and woven cover on the cable.
 

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
4,958
Likes
10,649
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
Very unfortunate that they discontinued the 43131 ones to keep this in line... :(
 

AdamG

Follow the Science, no matter where it may lead.
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
4,573
Likes
14,704
Location
Reality
For the Price of Two Coffees and a Danish. Incredible what you get here. Yeah it’s not taking the lead on your charts, but it’s competent and gets the job done for a dongle that looks like an adapter. I continue to be amazed by the kit we can obtain on the cheap that only a few years ago would be a budget breaker.

Everyone should have a basket of these Dongles just lying around for quick out the door Audio solutions. I use my dongles mostly in my Truck and Bike. When I do get the rare opportunity to ride. Definitely improves the sound rather than direct from the Phone. Thanks again Amir. Entry level kit like this is how we grow the next generation of Audio Nerds. :cool:
 

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
4,958
Likes
10,649
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
Top Bottom