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(Unofficial) Moon Drop Dawn Pro Balanced DAC/Headphone AMP Measurements

Yes, that is true. But according to their own tests on their website; the KA13 has around 108 SINAD. That should do the job anyway.
The desktop mode does deliver big power; and this has been able to power some of my Planar's. Honestly it is great power in a small package even if the design is not the most ideal, it is pretty cheap and destroys other dongles I had before in terms of power output for full frame headphones.
If you need that power, you need that power.

-108 with an 1kHz sine wave in best case conditions yes. But compared to the -115db that is already an drop but the most important thing is, this is all best-case, not real world.

If you look here


You'll notice that the -115db THD+N on the CS43131 depends on the Load and the volume. It^ only archives -115 THD+N at >=600Ω at 100% High Gain.

If you use an 16Ω IEM and listen at high volumes, you are already down to -86 THD+N.

i just measured mine and at 30/100, i am down to -68 THD+N (A-weight).

Also the Noise Floor is always the same, no matter the output power. With sensitive IEM, there will be an audible hiss that is not there with the DAWN PRO.

But i do not need an high amount of power, i could drive everything easily from my Dongle so far.
 
If you need that power, you need that power.

-108 with an 1kHz sine wave in best case conditions yes. But compared to the -115db that is already an drop but the most important thing is, this is all best-case, not real world.

If you look here


You'll notice that the -115db THD+N on the CS43131 depends on the Load and the volume. It^ only archives -115 THD+N at >=600Ω at 100% High Gain.

If you use an 16Ω IEM and listen at high volumes, you are already down to -86 THD+N.

i just measured mine and at 30/100, i am down to -68 THD+N (A-weight).

Also the Noise Floor is always the same, no matter the output power. With sensitive IEM, there will be an audible hiss that is not there with the DAWN PRO.

But i do not need an high amount of power, i could drive everything easily from my Dongle so far.
How sensitive on an IEM would I need to be able to hear the Hiss? I can't hear it on my 1More Quad drivers or Penta Drivers.
I also cannot hear it on my Denon AH-MM400.

So far the quality has been quite good, especially when I compare to any of my laptops headphone jacks.
 
I've compared the DAC on my PC setup vs SMSL SU-1 and can't hear any difference. It's that good.
 
The KA13 does have one big disadvantage because FiiO did something absolutely unnecessary because FiiO is FiiO

For FiiO, big numbers on papers are the most important thing, so they did something stupid. They did put Op-Amps behind the CS43131 (which is completely useless as the CS43131 already has an Headphone driver, it does not need an Op-Amp, that is the whole feature of the thing), so basically all what FiiO does is boost the output of the CS43131 afterwards which does have disadvantages.

While the DAWN PRO has an Noise Floor of 1.3µV on 4.4mm Balanced, the KA13 has 3.1µV and they also increased the distortion and output impedance.

All they do is take the input signal from the CS43131 and boost it which is kinda unnecessary and useless. If the CS43131 doesn't have enough power, the right thing to do is to take the CS43198 and put Amps behind that one. But that is more expensive and hence, FiiO didn't do it. They should just have left the CS43131 alone do the job and be done.

So the KA13 has more power, but is worse in everything else.
I don't think putting an additional op-amp at the output of CS43131 is a bad idea in absolute term since the cirrus chip shows a decay of performance under low ohm loads as you can se in the 32 ohm sweep of many CS based dongles or even better here:
index.php

where the dongles based only on the CS43131 output stage (Jcally, MBQuart, Meizu NON pro) show an early rise in thd+n where the two unit mounting an additional op-amp (the old Meizu Pro and Ugreen Pro) show a correctly descending curve till clip other than providing more max power.

Another matter is the type, quality and implementation of the opamp used where I agree that can evetually bring more issues than advantages, the SGM opamp used by Fiio are surely cheap and received some criticism here by well acknowledged members, so it would be interesting to see complete measurements of the KA13 to tell how much more power comes at cost of distortion\noise.
 
Someone here mentioned that the device has a ComTrue CT7601 USB bridge. Has anyone had a problem installing the driver on this device under Win 10/11?
And without drivers {in USB (Class Compliant) Audio 2.0 mode}, is there a iAP Interface device that does not have a driver in the Device Manager?
 
I've compared the DAC on my PC setup vs SMSL SU-1 and can't hear any difference. It's that good.
My laptop(s) and my Aya Neo are so much worse than my Dongle.... it is incredible. In a vacuum it might sound "okay" (depends on the laptop) but most just sound really atrociously bad. It actually surprises me how bad they are considering how cheap decent DAC's are today.
I don't think putting an additional op-amp at the output of CS43131 is a bad idea in absolute term since the cirrus chip shows a decay of performance under low ohm loads as you can se in the 32 ohm sweep of many CS based dongles or even better here:
index.php

where the dongles based only on the CS43131 output stage (Jcally, MBQuart, Meizu NON pro) show an early rise in thd+n where the two unit mounting an additional op-amp (the old Meizu Pro and Ugreen Pro) show a correctly descending curve till clip other than providing more max power.

Another matter is the type, quality and implementation of the opamp used where I agree that can evetually bring more issues than advantages, the SGM opamp used by Fiio are surely cheap and received some criticism here by well acknowledged members, so it would be interesting to see complete measurements of the KA13 to tell how much more power comes at cost of distortion\noise.
I can send mine in to @amirm or he said he can request it from FiiO. I think it is an interesting project because it truly offers a large amount of power in a small package. I have really enjoyed mine thus far as I can bring larger headphones with me if I go on a trip (it can power my Hifiman Ananda and even my Oppo PM-2 w/ a Balanced Cable).
 
How sensitive on an IEM would I need to be able to hear the Hiss? I can't hear it on my 1More Quad drivers or Penta Drivers.
I also cannot hear it on my Denon AH-MM400.

So far the quality has been quite good, especially when I compare to any of my laptops headphone jacks.
You need something like the CHIKYU-SEKAI 5/COSMOS (109db @ 7.7Ω) or the Moondrop S8 (122db @ 16Ω) maybe (not sure though) the FiiO FA9 (110db @ 16Ω), but that one has an switch that increases the impedance to 32Ω for hissy gear.

The 1More Penta has 105db @ 32Ω, that is not even remotely sensitive enough. With 99db @ 32Ω, the Quad is even less sensitive.

So you own nothing that is sensitive enough to hear that hiss, but there are (famous) IEM that are sensitive enough.
 
I don't think putting an additional op-amp at the output of CS43131 is a bad idea in absolute term since the cirrus chip shows a decay of performance under low ohm loads as you can se in the 32 ohm sweep of many CS based dongles or even better here:
index.php

where the dongles based only on the CS43131 output stage (Jcally, MBQuart, Meizu NON pro) show an early rise in thd+n where the two unit mounting an additional op-amp (the old Meizu Pro and Ugreen Pro) show a correctly descending curve till clip other than providing more max power.

Another matter is the type, quality and implementation of the opamp used where I agree that can evetually bring more issues than advantages, the SGM opamp used by Fiio are surely cheap and received some criticism here by well acknowledged members, so it would be interesting to see complete measurements of the KA13 to tell how much more power comes at cost of distortion\noise.
It doesn't just receive criticism from members, they just tell you, straight out, in their documentation, that its not that good.

 
You need something like the CHIKYU-SEKAI 5/COSMOS (109db @ 7.7Ω) or the Moondrop S8 (122db @ 16Ω) maybe (not sure though) the FiiO FA9 (110db @ 16Ω), but that one has an switch that increases the impedance to 32Ω for hissy gear.

The 1More Penta has 105db @ 32Ω, that is not even remotely sensitive enough. With 99db @ 32Ω, the Quad is even less sensitive.

So you own nothing that is sensitive enough to hear that hiss, but there are (famous) IEM that are sensitive enough.
Alright, then I am not worried :)
109db @ 7.7 is wildly sensitive haha. 122db @ 16 is extremely sensitive too.
 
I got the Shure SE846 today and even though they are 9Ω and 114db/mw, there is 0 Noise. The 4.4mm is pitch black, nothing. This IEM is hard to please with an pitch black Noise Floor, but the DAWN PRO provides it.

Also, lowest Volume on Low-Gain is just right. Its not too low and not too high for very long listening sessions.

This IEM and this dongle are an match made in heaven
 
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