• 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). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

THX Onyx Review (headphone adapter)

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
9,354
Likes
12,121
thanks for the answer.
I dont need an systemwide EQ. I want the most neutral presentation of the sound. Flat is what i am looking for. No dramatic boosts or cuts.

it would cool if you would name a few so i can do a research. I already removed the dragonfly-s from my list.

Right now i am looking at the Volectric Chronos and Earmen Colibri.

The THX Onyx is still at the first place but as my budget is almost triple the price of Onyx i am looking for even more magic.
Top of the dongle heap is the luxury and precision w2.
 

slajmerr

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2020
Messages
9
Likes
0
Top of the dongle heap is the luxury and precision w2.
i cant find a review on audiscience or a comparision to onyx? the only thing i know is that it drains more battery. other than that it looks fantastic
 

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
9,354
Likes
12,121
i cant find a review on audiscience or a comparision to onyx? the only thing i know is that it drains more battery. other than that it looks fantastic
Look on l7 audiolab for a review.
 

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
9,354
Likes
12,121
do they have enough power to drive hd650s loud? :)
thanks for your help! that site is in chinese? :D
It gets auto translated for me on chrome. Hint, the lottoo doesn't fare too well.

But seriously, for the price you're looking to spend, I'd get 2 things, a dongle like the tempotec sonata HD pro for mobile use, then a good $100 desktop amp like the JDS Atom, fed from the same dongle as a DAC for desktop use.
 

raistlin65

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
2,277
Likes
3,393
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
It gets auto translated for me on chrome. Hint, the lottoo doesn't fare too well.

But seriously, for the price you're looking to spend, I'd get 2 things, a dongle like the tempotec sonata HD pro for mobile use, then a good $100 desktop amp like the JDS Atom, fed from the same dongle as a DAC for desktop use.

Yep. I have the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro hooked up to my THX 789 amp. But no one wants to believe that a dongle DAC is just as good as the desktop DACs that cost more money. I love it because it doesn't take up any space. Just hangs out back with the cables. lol
 

staticV3

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
2,595
Likes
3,666
try clicking the link.

it says
Latest Firmware: 8640
Release Date: June 25, 2021
 

NHL99

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
31
Likes
55
That's what I saw. I just wondered if I was missing something and there was something new.
I got the device April 2021 and had missed the FW update available from June 2021, sorry for causing a stir.
 

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,263
Likes
1,560
Location
Tampa Bay
I just received this to test and it sounds very veiled in the high frequencies. I'm not sure if this is the filter, placebo, or both, but for what it's worth:
Screen_Shot_2021-12-08_at_6.18.36_PM.png
I experienced the same thing. I put it back in the box on the shelf of products to sell. I haven't tried it again. However after checking the review here it might be because I tried it with my planar headphones. I will try it with normal headphones and see (or actually hear) what the results are.
 

Lattiboy

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
97
Likes
146
I originally bought the Onyx to drive headphones, but I’m in the middle of a system reorganization and decided to try it as an external DAC from my MacBook Pro via Airplay.

Holy shit it is good! Simply as good a DAC as I’ve ever heard. I have it feeding a Schiit Saga+ which then feeds a 150wpc Onkyo M506RS powering a pair of Vandersteen Treo CTs, so a pretty revealing system. Noise floor is extremely low and live recordings sound phenomenal. Even listened to this Chesky recording disk, which does have some incredible sounding test tracks.


0D78F220-1E9D-4309-A4A5-4B916E95D153.jpeg


I will be getting the new Bluesound Node and hope to use the Onyx on the usb outputs to push to the Saga+. I think that will basically be my last system upgrade for a long time. For something I bought used for $100 on eBay, I am in utter disbelief.

When I get the time I’m going to remove the Saga+ from the chain and attenuate the Onkyo to my max allowable volume, then use the Onyx as a DAC/pre. Will report back.
 
Last edited:

Lattiboy

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
97
Likes
146
Quick update: took out the Schiit and noticed no difference. Now running the Onyx DIRECTLY into the inputs of this 150wpc power amp and it’s just as good as before. This is a credit to the Saga+ as much as the Onyx I suppose!

At any rate, I’m very happy with this setup! If you have one lying around, try using it as a DAC/Pre, I think you’ll be surprised!
 

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,263
Likes
1,560
Location
Tampa Bay
Quick update: took out the Schiit and noticed no difference. Now running the Onyx DIRECTLY into the inputs of this 150wpc power amp and it’s just as good as before. This is a credit to the Saga+ as much as the Onyx I suppose!

At any rate, I’m very happy with this setup! If you have one lying around, try using it as a DAC/Pre, I think you’ll be surprised!
Yeah I mean it can work fine into an amplifier. The DAC portion is quite good. It just doesn't have that much power output, atleast not for planar headphones lol.
 

Lattiboy

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
97
Likes
146
Follow up:

I ended up getting a Topping E50 locally, just because I wanted to have a reference level, full featured DAC that had outboard volume controls and multiple input options.

Well, with my Chromecast Audio the E50 did great. Running in DAC mode and using the CCA for volume control I was happy as a clam, but I kept running into disconnection issues with the CCA and had it go to full volume unexpectedly causing me to nearly shit my pants; thank god I have my power amp attenuated!

So, I grabbed a raspberry pi I had lying around and put Volumino on it. Turns out the E50 can’t adjust volume with Volumino and I’ll be damned if I was going to use that garbage E50 remote, so I grabbed the Onyx and I think I’ve found my final streaming solution.

Does everything I need from Spotify to AirPlay to tidal connect. Also, between the Pi and the Onyx the whole thing can quite literally fit in your pocket!

So, if you have a raspberry pi lying around or can get one easily, this is a stupendous streaming combo that I don’t think can be beat, especially for the eBay price of the onyx and a used pi.

PS my Pi 4 didn’t have usb-c so I bought a four pack of usb-c to usb3 adapters for $8 on Amazon. No issues, and was recognized immediately.

Picture of this mighty combo on top of the E50:

79E09AB6-214C-4A8D-AA31-9190EC5AEBE1.jpeg
 

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,263
Likes
1,560
Location
Tampa Bay
Follow up:

I ended up getting a Topping E50 locally, just because I wanted to have a reference level, full featured DAC that had outboard volume controls and multiple input options.

Well, with my Chromecast Audio the E50 did great. Running in DAC mode and using the CCA for volume control I was happy as a clam, but I kept running into disconnection issues with the CCA and had it go to full volume unexpectedly causing me to nearly shit my pants; thank god I have my power amp attenuated!

So, I grabbed a raspberry pi I had lying around and put Volumino on it. Turns out the E50 can’t adjust volume with Volumino and I’ll be damned if I was going to use that garbage E50 remote, so I grabbed the Onyx and I think I’ve found my final streaming solution.

Does everything I need from Spotify to AirPlay to tidal connect. Also, between the Pi and the Onyx the whole thing can quite literally fit in your pocket!

So, if you have a raspberry pi lying around or can get one easily, this is a stupendous streaming combo that I don’t think can be beat, especially for the eBay price of the onyx and a used pi.

PS my Pi 4 didn’t have usb-c so I bought a four pack of usb-c to usb3 adapters for $8 on Amazon. No issues, and was recognized immediately.

Picture of this mighty combo on top of the E50:

View attachment 226311
pretty cool little setup there!
 

Lattiboy

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
97
Likes
146
Not much of a headphone person, but I have a new office setup and don't want to disturb my partner, so I grabbed the Onyx and slapped it into my work laptop. Did the firmware upgrade and now listening to the Tidal app. Volume normalization off and volume control at max (controlling volume through the Onyx). I have the HiFi plus tier, so listening to a mix of MQA and HiFi.

Using DT 770 Pro (80 ohm) and thrilled with the bass response and general sound. With the volume at 35 I'm pretty close to the limit of how loud I (or anyone) should listen for any extended period. If I really wanna go ape shit there is an enormous amount of power there. At 55 it got crazy loud without any audible distortion on a very bass heavy, compressed track (Al Green - Lay it Down). It also performed flawlessly with a torture test of Nude by Radiohead balancing the crazy deep bass, synth, string section and Thom Yorke's falsetto as well as anything I've heard.

I need another one now, so I'll be keeping an eye out on eBay.
 
Top Bottom