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TANCHJIM Space Portable Headphone Adapter Review

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 3 1.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 33 12.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 234 86.3%

  • Total voters
    271

Jimbob54

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From the look of it, I'm sorry for bothering you so much.

If you had the option to go with this dac or the TempoTec Sonata BHD Pro

Which one would you choose? I ask you because the TempoTec analysis is very good and it is also at a similar price.
The Tempotec has some functionality issues for me regarding its volume control. For IEM and easy to drive headphones, I'd get the Space now if 11.11 sales are still on or if there is a black friday sale.
 

Marcos1

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They perform basically the same acc. to Amir's tests.
I think I'd buy the Tanchjim. It's smaller and looks nicer IMO :)
Thank you very much for answering.

The last question and I don't bother him anymore.

I wanted to find the graph to know the impedance of the TempoTec but I can't find it, I asked you who knows much more than me,

If its impedance is the same or similar to the Tanchjim?

And if both Tanchjim and TempoTec dacs are more oriented towards cell phone use, is there a problem if I wanted to use them on a notebook?
 

staticV3

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I wanted to find the graph to know the impedance of the TempoTec but I can't find it, I asked you who knows much more than me,

If its impedance is the same or similar to the Tanchjim?
I don't now. I suspect that both have near 0Ω output impedance.

And if both Tanchjim and TempoTec dacs are more oriented towards cell phone use, is there a problem if I wanted to use them on a notebook?
No
 

ArsenalODoom

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As to the Hiby FC4, great concept, but mine arrived with a short in the USB cable port. The company's response was "try a new cable." When I did and got the same result company's response was . . . crickets.
Well that definitely sucks. Customer service plays a large part on purchases especially when products originate in Asia as shipping is costly. Guess I'll just forgo the thought of using the Aeon's via phone.
 

Bernard23

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Since I've had to swap pout my LG V50 for a Samsung with no headphone jack, then I'm looking for a sensibly priced USB DAC/Amp like this. I've found it on Amazon UK which is good start, but the description includes this:

  • Interchangeable Cable: SPACE adopts Type-C interchangeable design to support the mainstream devices. Users can realize high-performance decoding of Android devices, i0S devices and PC by replacing different OTG cable.

What does that last sentence mean exactly?

I had on my list after only a couple of hours research
Fiio KA5
Ifi Go Bar
Ifi Go Link
HiBy FC4
Questyle M15

I was about to jump on the KA5 on the basis that they're all probably going to sound much the same, but it had the highest rated power output than most of the others per £. In the absence of any scientific comparison, I figured that's probably the most useful number.
 

mc.god

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  • Interchangeable Cable: SPACE adopts Type-C interchangeable design to support the mainstream devices. Users can realize high-performance decoding of Android devices, i0S devices and PC by replacing different OTG cable.

What does that last sentence mean exactly?
Simply that you can swap cable for using the specific connector for your phone or pc, i.e. usb-c to usb-c for android, usb-c to usb-a for pc and usb-c to lightning for iphone. There are other dongles with integrated cable, generally usb-c, that you have to use an adapter to achieve the same.
 

Bernard23

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Does it ship with a USB C to C? Not quite clear from the product description, though I think it does.
 

staticV3

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Does it ship with a USB C to C? Not quite clear from the product description, though I think it does.
Yes. Included in the box is a short USB-C to USB-C cable as well as a USB-A male to USB-C female adapter that you can use to plug the Space into a laptop or PC without USB-C ports.
 

Bernard23

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Also Truthear Shio is almost the same dongle, with 2 x CS43131 DAC chips, a little cheaper at 70 usd. Another great option and selling well. Although I prefer spending a little more for the nicer and smaller chassis of the Tanchjim Space.

How close is almost?
Asking as I've found one that's a bit cheaper than the Space and for a much shorter lead time. I've also got the Fiio KA5 on my list, has anyone done a comparison?
 
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Bernard23

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Dammit, I keep reading more tests of these dongles and adding more options. Just read the evaluation of the Hidizs S9, the pro version is on a 25% discount on Amazon too.
Is there a comparison table that someone might have curated to give some quick look up guidance?
 

Bernard23

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I just got a Hidzis S9 pro to supplement my original S9 and now this. I’m slowly building a bit of a collection of dongle dac/amps. Thanks again @amirm .
Is it worth paying extra for the S9 over the Tanchjim? I really don't want to start building a collection!
 

mc.god

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Dammit, I keep reading more tests of these dongles and adding more options. Just read the evaluation of the Hidizs S9, the pro version is on a 25% discount on Amazon too.
Is there a comparison table that someone might have curated to give some quick look up guidance?

I think that these CS43131 dongles, apart single (for single ended ones) or dual chip (for balanced ones), mainly differ between ones going straight out from the 43131 and ones using separate output opamp.
The ones without opamp are almost all the same, ones using opamps generally can achieve more power at lower ohms load but at the risk of slightly worse measurements, depending to the opamp used and implementation. I think that the majority out there are not using separate opamps, many claiming more power than the 43131 can output just for marketing, but maybe someone actually does (like the old and loved Meizu HiFi Pro and Ugree HiFi pro).

Other that this, main differences are on builds, aesthetics and user interface like hardware volume buttons, led, control app and even a display.
 

Bernard23

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I think that these CS43131 dongles, apart single (for single ended ones) or dual chip (for balanced ones), mainly differ between ones going straight out from the 43131 and ones using separate output opamp.
The ones without opamp are almost all the same, ones using opamps generally can achieve more power at lower ohms load but at the risk of slightly worse measurements, depending to the opamp used and implementation. I think that the majority out there are not using separate opamps, many claiming more power than the 43131 can output just for marketing, but maybe someone actually does (like the old and loved Meizu HiFi Pro and Ugree HiFi pro).

Other that this, main differences are on builds, aesthetics and user interface like hardware volume buttons, led, control app and even a display.
Makes sense, at this price point you're not going to be designing unique chip packaging applications.
I happened to spot that Hidizs are selling the S9 Pro at half price, even better the new S9 Pro Plus "Martha" for $70 delivered free to the UK so at some point probably in the new year I'll get it. The Truthear Shio arrives tomorrow, so will soon get a good idea if using a dongle with the S23 is a better solution than the V50.
 

Eddie

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I just bought this device. And unfortunately there is a problem with the test of the default audio format in Windows 10 64-bit (Settings -> System -> Sound -> Device Properties -> Additional Device Properties -> Advanced -> Default Format -> Test).

With any of the 24 available audio formats (16/24/32 bit with 44.1 to 384 kHz), the test sound (chime) on each channel does not start at the beginning. The first few milliseconds are missing. It is clearly audible.
This also happens when playing an audio file in WASAPI exclusive mode (AUDCLNT_SHAREMODE_EXCLUSIVE, with or without AUDCLNT_STREAMFLAGS_EVENTCALLBACK). When IAudioClient::Start() is called (right after filling the initial buffer with IAudioRenderClient::GetBuffer()/ReleaseBuffer()), the beginning is missing. For example, if a song starts with a snare drum hit, it is missing. Just as if the beginning is filled with silence or as if the beginning is skipped.

I can reproduce this behavior on four different computers (2 desktops, 2 laptops) on all available USB ports.
And it does not happen with other non-USB audio devices I have tested, not even with the inexpensive onboard solutions from Realtek.

Is this a bug in the Space (e.g. its audio USB bridge ComTrue CT7601 or CT7602)?
Or is it a bug in the Windows audio subsystem? Or in WASAPI? Or in the USB Audio 2.0 driver from Microsoft/Thesycon?

Would be great if someone here could do the same test and report the result. Maybe it's not a bug at all and my device is just broken.
 
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I just bought this device. And unfortunately there is a problem with the test of the default audio format in Windows 10 64-bit (Settings -> System -> Sound -> Device Properties -> Additional Device Properties -> Advanced -> Default Format -> Test).

With any of the 24 available audio formats (16/24/32 bit with 44.1 to 384 kHz), the test sound (chime) on each channel does not start at the beginning. The first few milliseconds are missing. It is clearly audible.
This also happens when playing an audio file in WASAPI exclusive mode (AUDCLNT_SHAREMODE_EXCLUSIVE, with or without AUDCLNT_STREAMFLAGS_EVENTCALLBACK). When IAudioClient::Start() is called (right after filling the initial buffer with IAudioRenderClient::GetBuffer()/ReleaseBuffer()), the beginning is missing. For example, if a song starts with a snare drum hit, it is missing. Just as if the beginning is filled with silence or as if the beginning is skipped.

I can reproduce this behavior on four different computers (2 desktops, 2 laptops) on all available USB ports.
And it does not happen with other non-USB audio devices I have tested, not even with the inexpensive onboard solutions from Realtek.

Is this a bug in the Space (e.g. its audio USB bridge ComTrue CT7601 or CT7602)?
Or is it a bug in the Windows audio subsystem? Or in WASAPI? Or in the USB Audio 2.0 driver from Microsoft/Thesycon?

Would be great if someone here could do the same test and report the result. Maybe it's not a bug at all and my device is just broken.
Interesting, are you using foobar2000 for player or other software?
I would like to try to recreate this on my space
 

Eddie

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Interesting, are you using foobar2000 for player or other software?
I would like to try to recreate this on my space
Thanks for your interest.
The first thing you could do would be to simply use Windows 10.
Open "Sounds", then double-click the device:
1701335789997.png

1701335880177.png

Click "Advanced":
1701335912588.png

Click "Test".
The chime on each channel "should" start at the very beginning.

By the way, these are the installed drivers:
1701336142223.png

"usbaudio2.sys" is the USB Audio Class 2.0 driver from Microsoft/Thesycon. The other three drivers come from Microsoft.

You can also test with free software, such as Audacity (the latest version is 3.4.2).
Got to "Edit -> Preferences -> Audio Settings":
1701336515058.png

Then load an audio file where the sound starts at the very beginning (no fade-in or something).
You can immediately compare with "MME" or "Windows DirectSound", where there is no such problem (if "Buffer length" is large enough):
1701337006132.png

No problem!
1701337050199.png

No problem!

If you can program in C++ on Windows, there is a WASAPI sample from Microsoft:

I have developed my own audio playback software (using the code sequence described in my original post), but I cannot make it available to you.
The code sequence is pretty straight forward and as direct as it can be. Contrary to what some people might think, implementing WASAPI exclusive mode is not really complicated. Before Windows 7 was released, I used Steinberg's ASIO (which can be a mess) but then switched to WASAPI (which was a relief).

Just one more thing. I really tried hard to report this issue to Tanchjim on their feedback website:
But I am unable to solve this puzzle: 您是机器人吗?
I tried "no", "No", "no.", "No.", "不". Nothing works. The message is rejected.

Next I will report this to Microsoft. And maybe to ComTrue, too. Ultimatey, there must be a reason for this abnormal behavior.
I would like to keep this device, but will definitely send it back to the seller if there is no solution.
 

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Thanks for your interest.
The first thing you could do would be to simply use Windows 10.
Open "Sounds", then double-click the device:
View attachment 330563
View attachment 330564
Click "Advanced":
View attachment 330565
Click "Test".
The chime on each channel "should" start at the very beginning.

By the way, these are the installed drivers:
View attachment 330566
"usbaudio2.sys" is the USB Audio Class 2.0 driver from Microsoft/Thesycon. The other three drivers come from Microsoft.

You can also test with free software, such as Audacity (the latest version is 3.4.2).
Got to "Edit -> Preferences -> Audio Settings":
View attachment 330572
Then load an audio file where the sound starts at the very beginning (no fade-in or something).
You can immediately compare with "MME" or "Windows DirectSound", where there is no such problem (if "Buffer length" is large enough):
View attachment 330573
No problem!
View attachment 330574
No problem!

If you can program in C++ on Windows, there is a WASAPI sample from Microsoft:

I have developed my own audio playback software (using the code sequence described in my original post), but I cannot make it available to you.
The code sequence is pretty straight forward and as direct as it can be. Contrary to what some people might think, implementing WASAPI exclusive mode is not really complicated. Before Windows 7 was released, I used Steinberg's ASIO (which can be a mess) but then switched to WASAPI (which was a relief).

Just one more thing. I really tried hard to report this issue to Tanchjim on their feedback website:
But I am unable to solve this puzzle: 您是机器人吗?
I tried "no", "No", "no.", "No.", "不". Nothing works. The message is rejected.

Next I will report this to Microsoft. And maybe to ComTrue, too. Ultimatey, there must be a reason for this abnormal behavior.
I would like to keep this device, but will definitely send it back to the seller if there is no solution.
I was unable to recreate the scenario, I have tried MME, WASAPI, and DirectSound all on the same 100 buffer length, they play smoothly but while checking drivers, mine are a bit different.

On 1000 buffer length, however, DirectSound and MME have a slight delay after pressing play, but no means that the first second is skipped, it plays from the beginning still.

Oh also, I updated my SPACE firmware a while ago, so that might be a differential factor.

I experienced audio skipping at the beginning of the song using TIDAL, that was after updating the firmware, I resolved it by lowering the memory speed on the computer, it seems that audio and high-speed memory do not play well together, or maybe just the limitations of my computer. After reducing clocks by 1 level interval below, the problem was solved and no more cutting or dropping audio during the beginning nor anywhere within the song.
 

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Eddie

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I was unable to recreate the scenario, I have tried MME, WASAPI, and DirectSound all on the same 100 buffer length, they play smoothly but while checking drivers, mine are a bit different.

On 1000 buffer length, however, DirectSound and MME have a slight delay after pressing play, but no means that the first second is skipped, it plays from the beginning still.

Oh also, I updated my SPACE firmware a while ago, so that might be a differential factor.

I experienced audio skipping at the beginning of the song using TIDAL, that was after updating the firmware, I resolved it by lowering the memory speed on the computer, it seems that audio and high-speed memory do not play well together, or maybe just the limitations of my computer. After reducing clocks by 1 level interval below, the problem was solved and no more cutting or dropping audio during the beginning nor anywhere within the song.
Have you run the "Sounds" test on Windows (my first example)? This is the easiest and most reliable test as it does not require any additional software.

>> but while checking drivers, mine are a bit different <<
Where did you get the ComTrue ctuac2.sys driver from? Since this device is UAC2 compliant it does not actually need any drivers other than what Windows already has (specifically usbaudio2.sys).

>> On 1000 buffer length, however, DirectSound and MME have a slight delay after pressing play <<
Yes, me too.

>> but no means that the first second is skipped, it plays from the beginning still <<
Yes, that's what I wrote.

>> Oh also, I updated my SPACE firmware a while ago, so that might be a differential factor <<
So did I. That was actually the first thing I did.

>> I experienced audio skipping at the beginning of the song using TIDAL <<
Does TIDAL use WASAPI exclusive mode?

>> I have tried MME, WASAPI, and DirectSound all on the same 100 buffer length <<
I first thought that Audacity was using exclusive mode with WASAPI. However, shared mode is used instead. I did not check this before. My mistake.
But MusicBee uses exclusive mode. Directly from the Microsoft Store:

I have attached an audio file where the music immediately begins with a snare drum (the first two seconds of "sultans of swing" from Dire Straits).

With these settings in MusicBee the snare drum is skipped (on four different computers):
1701692456885.png

If you select "DirectSound" or "WASAPI (Shared)" for "output" instead the snare drum is not skipped.

I contacted an audio expert at Microsoft about this behavior. He said he did not know.
I also contacted ComTrue but there is no response yet.
I tried to contact Tanchjim through their official feedback website, but I don't know the correct answer to 您是机器人吗 (which translates to "are you a robot").
And finally I contacted a member of this forum who develops USB audio devices and knows the ComTrue USB bridge. He said this behavior was due to its "de-pop" feature not working properly in WASAPI exclusive mode. The only way to work around it would be to disable this feature in the firmware. I don't know if that is really true, so I asked ComTrue about it. But I don't think they will ever respond to me. Maybe Tanchjim would fix it in the firmware but, well, I cannot reach them.
 

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For iPhone users, as an alternative you can virtualise Android x86 in virtualbox or other VM and then pass through the USB. The TANCHJIM app works, at least to change low and high gain.. since the latest firmware makes it kinda weird to know whether it is low or high gain while on the same volume level. not sure why but hey it works!
 

Jimster480

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For iPhone users, as an alternative you can virtualise Android x86 in virtualbox or other VM and then pass through the USB. The TANCHJIM app works, at least to change low and high gain.. since the latest firmware makes it kinda weird to know whether it is low or high gain while on the same volume level. not sure why but hey it works!
Virtualbox on ios?
 
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