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Musiland MU2 HP‐AMP USB-C Phone Dongle Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Musiland MU2 portable USB-C DAC and Headphone amplifier to be used with modern phones without headphone jacks. It is on kind loan from a member. It costs US $85 which is on the high side of what these costs.

I previously measured the Musiland MU2 Plus and this looks identical to it:

Musiland MU2 portable dac headphone usb-c phone dongle audio review.jpg

It looks slick and much better than the tiny dongles we normally see for $9 or so. You have up and down volume buttons. I thought "M" stood for Mute but it actually cycles through three different output levels. I only tested it at the highest level.

Let's get into measurements to see how it does.

Audio Measurements
As usual we start with out dashboard at 1 kHz:

Musiland MU2 portable dac headphone dongle audio measurements.png


The output level is 1.4 volts which is below nominal value I like to see for DAC tests (2 volts). But this is typical and often, is limited to just 1 volt.

Performance is a bit step down from MU2 Plus which had higher output (1.7 volt) and SINAD of 107 dB. Distortion is the same as that unit though so it must be higher noise level which brings the score down.

Here is how it ranks then:
Best Audio DACs.png


Signal to noise ratio is enough to clear the hurdle for 16 bit CD/stream/download format:
Musiland MU2 portable dac headphone dongle Dynamic Range audio measurements.png


Freedom from spurious tones is surprisingly good for this class product:
Musiland MU2 portable dac headphone dongle jitter audio measurements.png


Most important measurement is amount of power so let's see that into 300 ohm:
Musiland MU2 portable dac headphone dongle THD 300 audio measurements.png


No match for our desktop products of course but it is good to know that no distortion sets in at even max volume.

Performance into 33 ohm which emphasizes current delivery is not as good:
Musiland MU2 portable dac headphone dongle THD 33 audio measurements.png


Compared to other dongles, this is how it does:
Highest Power Phone Dongle USB-C 300 ohm.png


Highest Power Phone Dongle USB-C 33 ohm.png


So clearly above the $9 dongles. Performance is very similar to MU2 Plus so not sure of the differentiation here.

Output impedance is comfortably low:
Lowest impedance headphone amplifier measured.png


Headphone Listening Tests
I only had time to listen to listen using my Sennheiser HD-650. The outcome was identical to that of MU2 Plus which is to say, it belied the numbers. There was good amount of power and no distortion. No cutting out. Solid performance at or near max volume.

Conclusions
I look to these premium dongles to best the cheap ones sold for next to nothing. In looks, measured performance and subjective listening the Musiland MU2 accomplishes that task. I must say, I can't sort through the myriad of similar products Musiland sells. From my quick search the MU2 Plus sells for US $69 which is cheaper than MU2. So unless I am missing something, that would be the better buy. But if you can find the MU2 on sale or something, then it is a good purchase.

I will put the MU2 on my recommended list.

--------
As always, questions, comments, corrections, etc. are welcome.

My wife bought this massive box of "Virginia peanuts" which are irresistible. So despite my better judgement, I ate a ton before going to sleep. Needless to say, I could not sleep for a while and had a restless night to boot. As a result I am cranky and my mood would not change until the effects of that binge eating goes way, or my pocket becomes lined with money. You can't do anything about the former, but the latter you can by donating generously using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Berwhale

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#8
FYI this review marked the 200th product I have tested with a DAC in it!!! Let the celebrations begin.
Thank you for all your efforts, it is much appreciated.
 
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#12
This little thing is extreme value for money, you get 4,5 kHz of audio data for every $, total of 384. So I strongly believe, although not visible in Amirs' measurements, that it can play frequencies only dogs can hear. What more an "audiophile on-the-go" can wish for... :p
 

Veri

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#13
This little thing is extreme value for money, you get 4,5 kHz of audio data for every $, total of 384. So I strongly believe, although not visible in Amirs' measurements, that it can play frequencies only dogs can hear. What more an "audiophile on-the-go" can wish for... :p
Sampling rate has little to do with frequencies dogs can hear though.
 
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