DAC Chip: Undisclosed
PCM 32bit – 384kHz, SNR: -95, Power: Undisclosed, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: YES), Metal Chassis & OFC Cable
Listening Equipment: Etymotic ER4SR, HZSOUND Heart Mirror, Moondrop Aria, FOSTEX T40RP MK3, VE Monk GO. Source: USB 2.0 iPhone 7 (Deezer HiFi) ddHiFi TC28i Lightning Adapter
LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING
- Neutral timbre, sparkly dry sounding
- Moderate and well controlled dynamics
- Crisp Treble with equally crisp decays
- Mildly intimate Mids with neutral tonality, realistic vocals
- Crisp tone for percussions and guitars
- Strong and impactful Mid-Bass
- Audible Sub-Bass presence
- Decently sized Soundstage
- Decent speed and transients
- Great layers separation and imaging
- Works great with iOS via MFi certified adapters
- Moderate Macro and Micro Details, depends on how resolving the paired IEMs/Buds/HPs are
- Overall dry and lean presentation
- Natively not a fast sounding Dongle
- Does not play well for Lo-Fi and poor recordings
- Slight grainy, coarse edged Treble and decays
- Weak driving power, outright anemic with Magnetic Planars and Balanced Armatures
- Amazon only release
- May suffer from QC issues, if you are lucky you get a great copy, with $8 there has to be a compromise since this is not a bespoke handmade unit, it is an assembly line product, probably with near zero QC (just like tons of other ultra budget Dongles)
ENVEL. Another normal sounding Dongle that is average at best. Impressive spatial imaging with clearly defined layers separation being its biggest strength. The rest are not much different from the the bunch of Dongles within the same price range.
The Achilles Heels for this ENVEL, overly crisp upper segment that sounded sharp and with slight coarse edged decays – not a pleasant experience to be paired with less efficient, highly resolving bright sounding IEMs/Buds/HPs.
With my Etymotic ER4SR it actually sounded very good with well refined and tidy neutral timbre. So if I am to draw a limit based on the responses exhibited on the 45Ω ER4SR, keeping it below 50Ω is a very sensible thing to do with this Dongle. And speed boost from the pair helps too.
Paired with Moondrop Aria, I was not pleased with the somewhat slow Bass responses and erratically muddy textures. It was grainy edged as well on the higher frequencies. The timbre however are very well balanced neutral sounding.
And finally some really decent output when paired with HZSOUND Heart Mirror. Heart Mirror being a sweetheart as always – very forgiving and Bass responses are tighter and cleaner compared to how it was with Aria. Less grainy edged too (but still very slightly granular). Good results with VE Monk GO too, that venerable flat neutral Earbuds synergize well with ENVEL Bass frequencies and everything actually sounded very natural and wide. The smoothest edged presentation from ENVEL so far.
My conclusion on this ENVEL, it needed natively fast and speedy BA or DD IEMs/Buds to sound good. And they need to be efficient too. Otherwise the output will be grainy, muddy and slow Bass and slightly dry sounding. Great spatial imaging and layering saved this ENVEL from dropping to 2 Stars segment.
Best Pairing: Warm IEMs/Earbuds under 70Ω
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