DAC Chip: Wolfson WM8533
PCM 24bit – 192khz, SNR: -103db, Power: 1460mV, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: YES), 195mm Aluminum Chassis, OFC Cable
Listening Equipment: Etymotic ER4SR, TIN HiFi P1, HZSOUND Heart Mirror, Moondrop Aria, VE Monk GO. Source: USB 3.2 Samsung S20
LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING
- Well balanced flat neutral timbre, natural analogue tonality
- Engaging and superbly controlled dynamics, great coherence
- Treble is crisp and smooth with silky polished decays, great extensions
- Mids slightly forward and richly textured with realistic tonality
- Fast Mid-Bass response with natural texture, smooth decays
- Smooth Sub-Bass presence, well nuanced decays
- Realistic guitar and stringed instruments tone, polished edge
- Great balance between technical and musical ability
- Spacious soundstage with good imaging
- Excellent details retrieval, great transparency
- Great speed and transients, great resistances to congestion
- Sibilance free, very forgiving on Lo-Fi recordings
- Drives magnetic planars and BA with ease at 75/100 volume
- Remained cool even after used for long hours
- Does not drain host battery too fast
- One of the best implementation of independent volume control in any dongles
- The longest overall construction for any dongle tested so far at 195mm
- Overall bass response slightly flatter compared to warmer dongles
- Percussions not as crisp as the top performers. slightly soft edged
- No user selectable gain or any indication of adaptive gain
GGMM A1. This is yet another very neutral and balanced DAC/Amp. It has that polished and mature analogue tonality to the timbre which is superbly clean and coherent. In fact I find almost identical sonic characteristics of this GGMM A1 with hiliDAC Audirect BEAM 2S. They are both refined in their own ways despite A1 being Single Ended. Timbre wise practically similar – very consistent coherency across the spectrum and with no attempt to overdo anything. However what separate them despite being marginal is that BEAM 2S has that upper hand in overall crispness to the sound. GGMM a bit laid back in contrast.
With magnetic planars and BA, the A1 exhibited commendable prowess to drive with an output which is enjoyable and not thin sounding, but the volume adjuster will need to be cranked up to 75-80/100 (on Samsung S20 USB 3.2). The presentation remained clean and coherent despite being cranked almost to the max.
GGMM A1 performs the best with high sensitivity IEMs. For both my HZSOUND Heart Mirror and Aria, the output quality is identical to REIYIN DA-03 performance. Heart Mirror sounded so pristine with great balance across the entire spectrum. Treble crisp and airy, Mids naturally textured and Bass responses fast and tidy. Similarly with Aria, very polished presentation with deftly controlled Bass performances practically smoothening Aria U shape curve to almost flat neutral (Aria is natively warm). If there’s anything that can make an Aria so very well balanced yet rich sounding, this A1 is one of them. Additionally the background is pristine clean without any hint of unsavory floor noises despite Aria’s exceedingly high 122db of sensitivity.
Another reason to choose this A1 over the other competition is the independent volume adjuster. This is among the best I have tested so far. The jump between levels are not too drastic and this helps a lot especially when listening in shuffle mode.
Best Pairing: Sensitive Dynamic Drivers IEM below 100Ω
Back to #donglemadness