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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

staticV3

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I received this unit today and did a quick test on my iPhone 15 Pro. It works, but I don't appear to be able to adjust the volume? On the phone I can't, and on the unit itself I'm not noticing any change in volume?
Others have reported the same (link).
The lack of UAC2 Hardware volume support on the BHD Pro means that the default volume control in iOS/iPadOS/macOS will be disabled.
Additionally, the volume control via the BHD Pro's buttons is apparently dreadfully slow, so you'd have to click Vol up a lot and wait a bit until you can hear the effect.

Do check if there's a firmware update available though as that may fix one, or both of these issues.
 

starfly

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Others have reported the same (link).
The lack of UAC2 Hardware volume support on the BHD Pro means that the default volume control in iOS/iPadOS/macOS will be disabled.
Additionally, the volume control via the BHD Pro's buttons is apparently dreadfully slow, so you'd have to click Vol up a lot and wait a bit until you can hear the effect.

Do check if there's a firmware update available though as that may fix one, or both of these issues.
Ah yes, the volume steps are ridiculously small. I have to hold down the volume button for quite a while for there to be a perceptible change in volume.

Well, at least it works so I can't claim it's a dud. Might still try to return it, though I ordered it from AliExpress.

Are there any comparable devices with similar performance, but better compatibility with various platforms? I'm also still using a Hidizs unit (also reviewed here on ASR a few years back) that just works. Maybe I should just keep using that.
 

Jimbob54

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Ah yes, the volume steps are ridiculously small. I have to hold down the volume button for quite a while for there to be a perceptible change in volume.

Well, at least it works so I can't claim it's a dud. Might still try to return it, though I ordered it from AliExpress.

Are there any comparable devices with similar performance, but better compatibility with various platforms? I'm also still using a Hidizs unit (also reviewed here on ASR a few years back) that just works. Maybe I should just keep using that.
I'll be honest , not sure what this offers that the hidizs s9 doesn't. Or is it the s9 pro? The one reviewed on here .similar power and performance to my untrained eyes
 

starfly

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I'll be honest , not sure what this offers that the hidizs s9 doesn't. Or is it the s9 pro? The one reviewed on here .similar power and performance to my untrained eyes
I believe I have the Hidizs S8.
 

Jimbob54

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I believe I have the Hidizs S8.
Yes , sorry, meant that the s9 and/or the pro can be had for cheaper than this device with basically same performance- the s8 is only 3.5mm.

s9 https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/hidizs-s9-review-headphone-adapter.21152/
Pro https://www.audiosciencereview.com/.../hidizs-s9-pro-measurements-dac-dongle.34082/

The Pro can be had for $50 EDIT $60 on hidizs site limited 50% off . Assume the regular s9 replaced due to AKM chip shortage many moons ago
 
Last edited:

starfly

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Yes , sorry, meant that the s9 and/or the pro can be had for cheaper than this device with basically same performance- the s8 is only 3.5mm.

s9 https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/hidizs-s9-review-headphone-adapter.21152/
Pro https://www.audiosciencereview.com/.../hidizs-s9-pro-measurements-dac-dongle.34082/

The Pro can be had for $50 EDIT $60 on hidizs site limited 50% off . Assume the regular s9 replaced due to AKM chip shortage many moons ago
Right, guess I'll just stick to the S8 then, though it having a micro-USB port is a bit outdated these days.
 

Jimbob54

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Others have reported the same (link).
The lack of UAC2 Hardware volume support on the BHD Pro means that the default volume control in iOS/iPadOS/macOS will be disabled.
Additionally, the volume control via the BHD Pro's buttons is apparently dreadfully slow, so you'd have to click Vol up a lot and wait a bit until you can hear the effect.

Do check if there's a firmware update available though as that may fix one, or both of these issues.
As of last week no firmware changes this and I have been discussing this lack of UAC2 with UAPP developer - he hasnt as yet been able to find a workaround.

I mistakenly thought that the Hiby music app could control hardware volume (the BHD manual refers you to the Hiby app) but whilst it does allow exclusive control of the DAC- it doesnt allow for hardware volume.

Im sure there is a reason Tempotec set it up like this but damned if I can fathom it. It is both inconvenient and bordering on dangerous that there is no way to know what the volume is set to when you press play. If I use it, I switch UAPP volume to software and drop it 20db before pressing play as well as mashing the hardware butttons on the BHD down unless I for sure know which HP/ IEM I used last.
 

chi2

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I am using my HD800s and HEK Stealth on my W4 and they sound great and most I have ever need to balanced high gain, vol 70. Only set that feels a bit lacking is HE6 SE V2.

A bit OT, but can you say something about the power consumption of the L&P W4. Did you happen to messure it? Or can you estimate how much shorter the runtime of your dap/phone is?
 

frankh

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I was extremely disappointed with this unit. The combination of good measurements, 4.4 balanced out, and reasonable price looked great on paper and I had very high hopes.

When the unit arrived, I plugged it into my phone and it lit up, as it should. I didn't have a headphone handy and had to leave, so I didn't get a chance to try it. After I came back, I plugged it into my phone (Galaxy S23 Ultra) and nothing was detected and the light didn't come on. I thought maybe the cable was directional like the Hidizs cable so I flipped the ends and still got nothing. I tried the Hidizs cable and even a Galaxy S23, but couldn't the unit to power up.

I booted up Windows and plugged it in and it lit up. I tried a few songs and they sounded good. I switched to Linux and again it worked just fine. I tried my phone again and again I got nothing.

There is no support email so I left a message on their chat system and waited and waited. While waiting for a response, I kept messing with the unit and my phone and somehow I got it to work. I unplugged and replugged it several times and it worked fine. I thought the issue was solved, but the next day my phone wouldn't connect to it again.

I few days later, I received a response from Tempotec. Their solution was to enable USB Debugging mode. This suggestion did not make any sense to me. None of my other dongles require USB Debugging. In terms of security, I did not feel comfortable giving elevated access to a no-name vendor.

I returned the unit back to Amazon.
All you need is to use the OTG adapter that comes with your Samsung Galaxy phone and it will work perfectly again. This is not the fault of Tempotec because I have no such issues with my LG V50 phone, I don't need to use the OTG adapter at all on the LG V50 phone. This is clearly Samsung phone's issue because I have to use the OTG adapter for my S20 FE so I guess the same applies to your S23 phone too.
 

JamesYeomans

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Yeah, this thing seems only works on PC but not phones. On S23 Ultra it needs lots of work to connect it and it doesn't work on 13 pro max at all.

DO NOT BUY THIS
Works great with my iPhone 15 Pro Max.
 

ReaderZ

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All you need is to use the OTG adapter that comes with your Samsung Galaxy phone and it will work perfectly again. This is not the fault of Tempotec because I have no such issues with my LG V50 phone, I don't need to use the OTG adapter at all on the LG V50 phone. This is clearly Samsung phone's issue because I have to use the OTG adapter for my S20 FE so I guess the same applies to your S23 phone too.
Not true, using the included cable, you MUST play music before you connect it. Nothing you can do once it's plugged it and not recognized, other than unplug, play music, plug back in.
 

starfly

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Works great with my iPhone 15 Pro Max.
It works on my iPhone 15 Pro as well, but volume control from the phone doesn't work. The volume control on the DAC itself has steps that are way too small. Requested a return through Ali Express.
 

frankh

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Not true, using the included cable, you MUST play music before you connect it. Nothing you can do once it's plugged it and not recognized, other than unplug, play music, plug back in.
If it's not true then why is the OTG adapter method 100% working on 2 of my Samsung phones every time??? Both my LG phones do not have this issue. LG phones work perfectly without using the OTG adapter.
 

ReaderZ

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If it's not true then why is the OTG adapter method 100% working on 2 of my Samsung phones every time??? Both my LG phones do not have this issue. LG phones work perfectly without using the OTG adapter.
Because I actually have the same phone as him, while you have different phones???
 

bavlf

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Yes "clean and powerful"
These Tempotec Sonata BHD pro are really excellent and not just in terms of measurements: very beautiful musicality, very accurate, very fine, detailed, subtle and with fantastic transients, very dynamic rendering (macro and micro)
 
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frankh

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Because I actually have the same phone as him, while you have different phones???
Did you try your phone with the OTG adapter on your S23 phone??? I just tried the OTG adapter on my wife's S23 and it's 100% working without having to play any files first , which is your method unfortunately. Most problems have a solution and at least mine is a 100% working solution ;)
 

MCH

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USB-C remains to be a headache. Too many wiring options and next to no practical standards. If a device comes with any USB-C cable, I highly advise to never get rid of it, no matter how cheaply made it is. It may be the only cable that works with the device. And finding a replacement or upgrade is a complete folicy.

It would be welcome one day if it was as easy as USB-B where you plug it in and it just works, always. We're far from that currently.
 

Deckard01

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And the question here is if there any comparison between the head to head for now as I see TempoTec Sonata BHD Pro TANCHJIM SPACE?
I do not know what to choose!
 

ReaderZ

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Did you try your phone with the OTG adapter on your S23 phone??? I just tried the OTG adapter on my wife's S23 and it's 100% working without having to play any files first , which is your method unfortunately. Most problems have a solution and at least mine is a 100% working solution ;)

Ours phones are Ultra, not sure if that makes a difference but with included Samsung cable it still needs the word around I posted earlier.
 

ReaderZ

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USB-C remains to be a headache. Too many wiring options and next to no practical standards. If a device comes with any USB-C cable, I highly advise to never get rid of it, no matter how cheaply made it is. It may be the only cable that works with the device. And finding a replacement or upgrade is a complete folicy.

It would be welcome one day if it was as easy as USB-B where you plug it in and it just works, always. We're far from that currently.

So far all USB-C data cables I used on the Space or W4 works. BHD pro doesn't work well with any cable I tried, I would blame the product rather than cable if the cable came with the product doesn't even work with itself.
 
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