• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Musiland MU2S Phone USB-C Dongle Review

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
22,772
Likes
35,923
Location
Seattle Area
#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Musiland MU2S smartphone USB-C DAC and headphone amplifier dongle. It is on kind loan from a member overseas. It costs US $45.

Yes, Musiland seems to make countless variety of these dongles. This one looks nothing like MU2 (without S):
Musiland MU2S USB-C Headphone Phone Dongle Audio Review.jpg

There are no controls on this unlike the Plus and regular versions of the MU2 series. And the plasticy unit is not going to impress any of your friends. :) Then again it may just blend into the look of your headphone cables.

Audio Measurements
I tested the unit using Roon to stream content to it on Windows 10. Here is our usual dashboard:

Musiland MU2S USB-C Headphone Phone Dongle Audio Measurements.png


Maximum output is 1.7 volts which is a good step above many that cap out at 1.0 volt. This will help in powering higher impedance headphones.

Distortion is dominated by the second harmonic but at -110 dB, it is benign. What sets SINAD (signal over distortion and noise) then is noise.
Best phone headphone dongles tested.png


Dynamic range is not bad though for the desired application:
Musiland MU2S USB-C Headphone Phone Dongle Dynamic Range Audio Measurements.png


Jitter graph shows good bit of unwanted spikes but should not be audible:
Musiland MU2S USB-C Headphone Phone Dongle Jitter Audio Measurements.png


Most important measurement is how much power we get relative to distortion and noise. Let's start by testing at 300 ohm to simulate high impedance headphones:

Musiland MU2S USB-C Headphone Phone Dongle Power into 300 ohm Audio Measurements.png


Noise is somewhat elevated relative to its more expensive brothers but you get a bit more power:

Phone Headphone USB-C dongle Power into 300 ohm.png


Testing at 33 ohm load shows almost identical performance:
Musiland MU2S USB-C Headphone Phone Dongle Power into 33 ohm Audio Measurements.png


The family resemblance is definitely there. This is decent amount of power for a dongle:

Phone Headphone USB-C dongle Power into 33 ohm.png


Since output power is very similar to other ones in the series from Musiland, I did not try to perform a listening test. Read about it here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/musiland-mu2-hp‐amp-usb-c-phone-dongle-review.10038/

Conclusions
Stepping up from $9 dongles, you definitely get more power in the Musiland MU2S so seems like a nice upgrade. As with the rest of the line from Musiland, I can recommend this dongle.

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

Quality of sushi improves during cooler weather (fish build up more fatty tissue). Alas, the price does not go down so I appreciate some donation to fix my cravings using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
16
Likes
6
#2
Hi Amir,

Thanks for the review, impressive power for the price. and form factor. Did you get the output impedance of this dongle?
 

August

Active Member
Joined
May 4, 2019
Messages
114
Likes
74
#6
Compared with the previous generation, the performance has declined, disappointing:oops:
 
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
55
Likes
38
#12
Yes, I have that one. Got just enough power to drive easy to drive headphones. It broke though (bad usb connection), but they are sending me a replacement with the MQA version of their new DAC. I use it with my laptop which got a terribly noisy 3.5mm connection and my phone. Pretty good improvement for both :D.

Got good experiences with them, very good service. So I backed the Kickstarter without hesitation.
 

tjf

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
7
Likes
1
#13
Hey, didn't know where to post this new device review suggestion/hope/wish...

https://www.minidsp.com/products/plate-amplifiers/il-dsp-headphone-amp

Since it uses a recent low power Cirrus Logic DAC (CS43130) that also seems to incorporate a Head Phone amp in the same LSI, and then the matching low power XCore asynch USB as the USB interface, and lastly Mini DSP EQ...and I still assume all input thru output processing is 96KHZ as typical for Mini DSP...

Amir...any shot at getting your AP rig to sort out one of these $99 devices??

Thanks in advance!

Apologies if I'm posting this request redundantly...
 
Top Bottom