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Monoprice Monolith Hi-Res DAC Headphone Amp vs Tempotec Sonata HD Pro vs Hidizs S8???

mitchrapp

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#1
1st post, feel very fortunate to find this forum, and truly appreciate the founder's efforts to provide useful knowledge about these topics that we all can share in.

Hi, I am trying to make a decision on my first USB headphone dac/amp good for portable and regular desktop usage. I recently purchased Beyerdynamic DTS 240 Pro headphones, so a lot of power to drive these low ohm cans isn't necessary. Obviously, the 240s are entry-level or budget-minded, and looking for similar in dac/amp, I am on a tight limited budget.

I have been trying to decipher which of these portable dac/amps deliver the biggest bang for the buck but more importantly which deliver on pleasing sound for average ears. I am hoping the budget dac/amp I choose will be better than my Motherboard's sound, Asus with Realteck ALC892 chip with 8 channel HD audio codec.
Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound- DTS Ultra PC IIDTS Connect- Optical S/PDIF. The sound actually if decent with the built-in sound chip.

Phone model: Moto g(7) power has OTG

85% Primary use will be at a desk
13% TV (I have an A/V receiver will be comparing the sound)
2 % Phone when out of the house (much rarer these days lol)

So which of these three are consistently a winner (construction, lowest failure rate, over-all sound, obviously much superior to pc, phone, devices built in sound)
Monoprice Monolith Hi-Res DAC Headphone Amp vs Tempotec Sonata HD Pro vs Hidizs S8

The Monoprice Monolith gets great reviews being compared to $200+ dac/ams and declared the winner.
The Tempotec Sonata HD Pro is compared in most reviews to the Hidizs S8 and several say it's internally the same as the Hidizs, however, I can't verify that. Its biggest con appears to be only 4 position/click volume control and issues with failure to recognized it is connected to a device requiring replugging which usually solves the connection issue.
I have read the info on Hidizs S8 here at this awesome resource ASR, it seems solid, but S8 costs more ($80) than the headphones, Amazon is out of stock.

I was initially intending to buy the FiiO E10K from what I read has been a benchmark dac/amp in the under $100 class. But is now a little dated in technology. If you think this is still the better purchase please recommend it. I mainly want a portable so I can use at my desk then use it on my 55" tv. Later will buy a more appropriate desk model dac/amp.

all help is greatly appreciated
 
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mitchrapp

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Thread Starter #2
WoW, such a warm reception lol, and the recommendations woot! Ok, I understand Hidizs S8 no brainer, only $80 however when I say tight budget this sorry dude hasn't a lot of disposable income like I need a few audio cables and other assorted things for other related projects. If you think the Monolith USB DAC for $60 or the Sonata HD Pro for $54 are solid and I wouldn't be disappointed with either, would appreciate your experience comments with these dac/amps. I guess the big issue is, will paying $20-25 more for the Hidizs S8 be a difference I can actually hear. From a few buyer reviews on Sonata HD Pro the limited 4 click +- vol control and issues with connections might be a concern to tip favor toward the other two dac/amps??
 

AdamG247

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#3
WoW, such a warm reception lol, and the recommendations woot! Ok, I understand Hidizs S8 no brainer, only $80 however when I say tight budget this sorry dude hasn't a lot of disposable income like I need a few audio cables and other assorted things for other related projects. If you think the Monolith USB DAC for $60 or the Sonata HD Pro for $54 are solid and I wouldn't be disappointed with either, would appreciate your experience comments with these dac/amps. I guess the big issue is, will paying $20-25 more for the Hidizs S8 be a difference I can actually hear. From a few buyer reviews on Sonata HD Pro the limited 4 click +- vol control and issues with connections might be a concern to tip favor toward the other two dac/amps??
Welcome Aboard @mitchrapp.
 

Vict0r

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#4
Hey! Welcome. Guess your question got lost among the others. :)

I don't think they'd sound any different from each other. Also, the chances are slim anyone would own all three and could compare them for you. They all measure rather well, so I personally would go for the one with the best warranty or form factor for my use.
 

Hemi-Demon

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#5
If you have $200, consider the Luxury Precision W2 and be done with it.

If you want to spend $100 I would go for the E1Da 9038D (S), based on your expected use. Its eats phone batteries, but that is low on your percentage of usage time. Better support and the app is great.
 

Rottmannash

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#6
I agree that the hundred dollar E1DA 9038D would be a great choice. I have one and think it sounds as good as my Topping D70 and Topping E30.
 
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mitchrapp

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Hey there, Vict0r, Hemi, Rottman, thank you, so much for that input. Right now because portable isn't a big priority for me it's sort of an opportunity to get my feet wet, keeping the price down is important. However, I will be investing in a desk version down the road, and when funds available will make that plunge probably around the $125-150 mark, again I'm a budget-type guy. Due to lockdowns the funds been going into home improvements.
 

RichT

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Hi I have the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro and it's fantastic. I've used it with my Pixel phone with wavelet and Amirm's $9 headphones and it's brilliant. I've also used it with my computer and streamer with great results. I bought it for $38 with free shipping, hard to beat. I've found it works best with the included connector cable, regards
 
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mitchrapp

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Thanks again, great suggestions, mkawa & Rich T appreciate it very much. I Will post what I get, and my initial thoughts. Right now I'm investigating buying through aliexpress or one of the other china sources. I just wired whole house with cat 6 and putting together a network center, trying to add media center, nas, security cameras, and few other ideas, of course on the cheap. In the past when going bang for buck, it used to be Ebay, however, Amazon pricing and if you wait for deals or do the amazon cc trick of buying something and apply using one of their CC, then pay it off after you satisfied the gear works, then cancel, then do the process again. So far used that method on TV and a kitchen appliance. Not sure if they going to allow me do a 3rd time lol.
 

raistlin65

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#13
I was initially intending to buy the FiiO E10K from what I read has been a benchmark dac/amp in the under $100 class. But is now a little dated in technology. If you think this is still the better purchase please recommend it. I mainly want a portable so I can use at my desk then use it on my 55" tv. Later will buy a more appropriate desk model dac/amp.
These USB DACs may not work with your TV. Typically, an optical DAC is needed with a TV. Best to check and see whether your TV supports a USB DAC.
 

raistlin65

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Thanks again, great suggestions, mkawa & Rich T appreciate it very much. I Will post what I get, and my initial thoughts. Right now I'm investigating buying through aliexpress or one of the other china sources. I just wired whole house with cat 6 and putting together a network center, trying to add media center, nas, security cameras, and few other ideas, of course on the cheap. In the past when going bang for buck, it used to be Ebay, however, Amazon pricing and if you wait for deals or do the amazon cc trick of buying something and apply using one of their CC, then pay it off after you satisfied the gear works, then cancel, then do the process again. So far used that method on TV and a kitchen appliance. Not sure if they going to allow me do a 3rd time lol.
If you check the HIDISZ S8 review thread, you'll find some people have latency issues with the Sonata HD Pro/S8 and their PC. So ordering from AliExpress can be a bit of a risk because you would be unable to return it if that happened to be a problem for you.
 
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I know this is a little late, but assuming you live in the USA, why don't you just purchase the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro from Amazon and you can return it for free if you have issues (or whatever reason you want. They even have an option for "I changed my mind")... You can get a free month if you don't have Amazon Prime already.

Now, on to which is the better option?... I would be pretty adamant that the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro is your best option, especially for the criteria you stated. It is neutral, which I think is good for someone just starting out... been at this game for 10+ years and I still prefer neutral most of the time, though I do have options... It drives practically all IEMs, many headphones, and it really does sound very very good.

The S8 is a rebranded Sonata HD Pro. 100%... If you *have to see* for yourself, there is a side-by-side pic in the S8 thread.

If the Tempotec had come out 5 years ago, at least half the audio companies producing DACs would have folded. And they would have looked ridiculous. That's how amazing the thing is.
 
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