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TempoTec Sonata BHD Pro Portable DAC & Amp Review

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 5 1.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 7 2.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 27 10.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 218 84.8%

  • Total voters
    257

MacCali

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Mine just arrived just hooked it up to my tablet, and I must say I am extremely impressed. Meze 109’s on balanced output.

Amazon has it for 70 for the titanium gray color.
 

Deckard01

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No need- found a few settings that needed disabling. So @Deckard01 with no EQ or other DSP running it gets the K701 plenty loud for me - I knocked it down 8db in software to be comfortable on most tracks I quickly listened to. So enough to add some EQ in there and by god do the K701 need some EQ when you are loud.

If i can be bothered I might see if the auto gain/ impedance sensing thing is in play too that Static references
So it can drive K701 without issues. Thank you for the info Jimbob!

Has anyone compare it with the IFI Go Link about which of the two sounds better?
 

MacCali

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So it can drive K701 without issues. Thank you for the info Jimbob!

Has anyone compare it with the IFI Go Link about which of the two sounds better?
My post right above should give you an idea, my impressions are highly resolving, resolution and detail is really on point without shoving it down your throat. As in not fatiguing. Seems fairly neutral to me in tone even though they say dacs don’t have a tone. A very nice amount of sparkle, and just to note I dislike bright sounding gear.

At the same time I’m not sure what way the Meze’s are tuned. Check the measurements and or ask in that thread.

I actually really liked the chord mojo 2 specifically for these headphones[109 pro] but honestly I feel it’s about the same in performance.

I have a lot of headphone amps, AIO’s, and I have been listening with my ifi neo idsd and that’s the only comparison I can make. As crazy as it may sound, synergy wise I think this dongle is better than the neo.

But your headphones and experience will be different. Just providing my thoughts.

For 77 dollars, what could go wrong. Worth a shot.

Only thing I can say is it seems like the power is a bit low, it can’t get super loud. Also depends on the recording and your headphone sensitivity. Not a con as this based on my circumstances and will vary for you.

I don’t have the k701, but I do have 371 I believe which is tuned to the harman curve and closed. I can report my thoughts when I get home if you wish
 

LiviuTM

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Yup. This is bonkers. (android for me) When you plug the device in you have zero clue what it's volume is set at. The only way to use the thing is to reduce your player's software volume waaay down before hitting play.

And even then if you're plugging sensitive iem into the balanced socket you might not lower it enough of the device is on a high hardware volume setting.

Advice to anyone using this. Do not start music with your 'phones in/on your ears.

I got annoyed with the tanchjim space for the opposite reason, it's hardware buttons always started too low. But at least that reported it's other volume levels on UAPP so I could check everything else. There was a degree of safety built inti the Space that this massively misses.
Mine arrived too. Same issue with the hardware volume in Windows 11, or rather the lack of it. The screenshot is from TempoTec USB Audio Control panel.
I also made a quick test in Android 13 with AIMP and couldn't figure out if there's any indication of the hardware volume; I suspect not.

Otherwise, it seems a nifty little device.
 

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Jimbob54

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Mine arrived too. Same issue with the hardware volume in Windows 11, or rather the lack of it. The screenshot is from TempoTec USB Audio Control panel.
I also made a quick test in Android 13 with AIMP and couldn't figure out if there's any indication of the hardware volume; I suspect not.

Otherwise, it seems a nifty little device.
Yup. Think if one intends to use this, should keep it for headphones of roughly the same sensitivity. Would hate to use it on some hard to drive cans today high up the volume scale, put it in the drawer then in a week connect some highly sensitive iem and forgetting to hammer the volume button down before pressing play.
 

staticV3

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I also made a quick test in Android 13 with AIMP and couldn't figure out if there's any indication of the hardware volume; I suspect not.
The only players that support UAC2 Hardware Volume on Android are Neutron, Hiby Music, and UAPP.
 

Jimbob54

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Thanks, I didn't know that. Played with Hiby a bit and the Hardware option from the "Volume mode" was not selectable.
Its in settings- exclusive mode
 

manisandher

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I wonder if the balanced headphone output could be used as balanced a line output as well and connected to a suitable device with a ground-referenced line input?

Hey Michael, I just received my Sonata and will give this a go once the 4.4mm-to-2xXLR cable has arrived.

(Still haven't got around to trying my MM Pro, but hope to in next few weeks.)

Mani.
 

LiviuTM

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Its in settings- exclusive mode
Sorry, I wasn't very clear. I managed to activate Exclusive mode, so Hardware option was visible in "Volume mode", just it wasn't possible to select it. I suppose this is connected to the limitations related to displaying hardware volume that you mentioned earlier.
 

blse59

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Still rocking the original Tempotec Sonata HD Pro. Super great hassle free dongle. The only thing I don't like about it is that braided cord it comes with which provides a finicky connection if you move it around a bit. I replaced it with a sturdy Amazon Basics cable and all is well.
 

ReaderZ

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Just got mine, works on my PC but not my S23 Ultra. Phone doesn't seems recognize it
 

manisandher

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Just got mine, works on my PC but not my S23 Ultra. Phone doesn't seems recognize it

Switching phone off and on with Sonata connected worked for me.

Mani.
 

ReaderZ

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Switching phone off and on with Sonata connected worked for me.

Mani.
Actually the issue is the cable that came with the BHD Pro not working...

Edit: not this either. It's I have to play some music on the phone then plug it in... This is annoying.

So far in term of usability W4 >> Space >>> BHD pro.

W4 is double the price of other 2 combined, but Space IMHO is simply better at similar price.
 
Last edited:

WILL

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You should be able to use the 3.5mm jack ---> Aiyima RCA's. Turn the volume of Tempo to max in order to push the entire 2 volts of output to the Aiyima.

It's OK to play with the volume of both devices when hooked this way.
Good, thanks.
 

boz

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I can't tell the difference between MacBook Pro M1 headphone out to Sennheiser HD580, vs using Sabaj DA3, although using balanced out is louder on the Sabaj.
I'm guessing probably would not tell the difference with this dongle either ?
 

ReaderZ

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I can't tell the difference between MacBook Pro M1 headphone out to Sennheiser HD580, vs using Sabaj DA3, although using balanced out is louder on the Sabaj.
I'm guessing probably would not tell the difference with this dongle either ?
Most likely you won't able to tell, but the performance and power difference is there. I do highly recommend you go with Space over this one. As it is not recognized by my phone unless I was already playing some sound on my phone. Or go to a W4 if you are willing to spend a lot more.
 

totti1965

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Platform support: Windows PC,MACOS and Android
  • USB Audio driver: Win7,Win8 Win10 & Exclusive ASIO driver for windows system

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I have to ask, if there is anybody here who uses this exact Dongle with an iPhone or iPad?
Will it work simply with an Lightning to USB C Adapter?
iOS is not mentioned in the factory specs!

If there will be a Problem with Short Batterie Time. Would the Solution be then, to just take an Adapter Lightning to 3x Lightning and Power the device with one of the Lightning female Connections?

One of the other Lightning connections then paired with an Lightning to USB-C ….. and Everything will work fine???

Sorry in case if this was asked earlier in this Thread.
 

staticV3

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If there will be a Problem with Short Batterie Time. Would the Solution be then, to just take an Adapter Lightning to 3x Lightning and Power the device with one of the Lightning female Connections?
Here are a few solutions that can prevent battery drain with power hungry USB accessories:

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MK0W2AM/A/lightning-to-usb-3-camera-adapter
https://www.ddhifi.com/productinfo/1350761.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3256804532779810.html

They all require you to plug in an external power source (Powerbank/USB charger).

If your iPhone supports wireless charging, then that could be a solution as well.
 
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