DAC Chip: Conexant (Synaptics) CX21988
PCM 24bit – 96kHz, SNR: Undisclosed, Power: Undisclosed, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: YES), Metal Chassis & OFC Cable
Listening Equipment: Etymotic ER4SR, Kinera Idun Golden, Tripowin Olina, FOSTEX T40RP MK3, Shure KSE1500 & Beyerdynamic DT880 600 Ohm
LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING
This is another variant of ZOOAUX 2nd Gen CX21988 (current version of Amazon’s ZOOAUX) and KINSOUND which uses the very same Conexant CX21988 from the same factory in China. I verified this with TTGK App and Windows Control Panel. Both showed exactly the same details one to one.
- Reference grade, crisp balanced neutral flat timbre, mildly euphonic
- Vibrant and coherent dynamics, full bodied with smooth presentation
- Exceedingly well nuanced Micro and Macro details, very transparent
- Balanced Mids with detailed textures and definition, naturally toned Male/Female vocals
- Sparkly Treble with crisp smooth decays, great extensions
- Smooth impactful Mid-Bass, tight, fast with crisp decays
- Sub-Bass with tingling seismic response, natural decays.
- Crisp and vivid guitars, piano, percussions (chimes, bells) and drums and taps
- Amazing holographic spatial imaging with sharp precise placement/layers
- Amazing speed and dexterity on complex passages and transients
- Super clean background, zero floor noises
- Super clean layers and well-defined separation lines
- Drives Magnetic Planars and BA at 80/100 volume, great fidelity
- Excellent synergy with many type of IEMs/HPs
- Forgiving on Lo-Fi and lower quality sources
- Low battery drain on the host
- Does not heat up easily
- Limited to 24bit/48kHz Max resolution
- Driving power for great fidelity maxed out below 100Ω and with no less than 90db sensitivity.
- A bit dry sounding compared to the top 3 performers
- No volume adjuster
After spending almost a week listening to this unit, without a doubt it is exactly identical sounding to ZOOAUX 2nd GEN and KINSOUND Dongles. And they should sound the same because internally they are identical to each other. Not a surprise at all since it is a lot easier for different brands now to obtain OEM CX DACs and package them differently. What must be acknowledged, just like ZOOAUX Gen 2 and KINSOUND, AuxLink HIFI Pro offers great sound in a very affordable package. That alone makes it a worthy purchase for casual usage and listening.
Best Pairing: Flexible for anything less demanding under 100Ω
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