Malaysian #donglemadness tour by Ðéstînö Ãzéll
Who let the dongles out woof woof!
DONGLE MADNESS MALAYSIA TOUR [2021.10.05]
Cut to the chase, I’ll be comparing them directly to my beloved Ovidius B1, paired with my one and only IEM,the Tanchjim Darling. In short, this is just another journey to find a better pairing for her by assessing another 7 out of 9 dongles [except for EIDA] that are available on this tour.SETUP : Laptop > Foobar200 (.FLAC) > X Dongles > Tanchjim Darling with stock cable/tips.
List of Songs :
- CAROLE & TUESDAY IN “ Light A Fire” by Alisa
- COLORLESS (Album) “Colorless” by Taichi Mukai 向井太一
- Tokyo Revengers OP “Cry Baby” by Official HiGE DANdism
- Vanitas no Carte ED “0 (zero)” by LMYK
- Night Head 2041 ED “シオン Shion” by Myuk
- Shiro SAGISU Yoko TAKAHASHI ver “鷺巣詩郎 what if 高橋洋子ver. 通常版”
- Hope (Album) “Side Dish” by Shota Shimizu
- Golden Kamuy S3 ED “Yuusetsu” by THE SIXTH LIE
- ZARD tribute (Album-12) “Shoujo no koro ni modotta mitai ni” by SARD UNDERGROUND
- Love Live! Nijigasaki IN EP9 “VIVID WORLD”
- MARS RED ED “ON MY OWN” by HYDE
- ONE OK ROCK (Digital Single) “Broken Heart of Gold”
- ONE OK ROCK (Digital Single) “Renegades”
- Nissy (Takahiro Nishijima) 西島隆弘 (Digital Single) “Do Do”
- (Sakura Chill Beats Singles) “BLIZZARD (Outr3ach Remix)” by BURNOUT SYNDROMES & Outr3ach
FLAC DOWNLOAD LINK [15S-850MB]https://drive.google.com/…/16b1IYTrr…/view…
- This does better job being a neutral-bright-ish source than S9PRO IMHO.
- Biggest soundstage of them all!, Great separation & imaging across the spectrum.
- Incredible transient/speed lows to highs
- Top par detail retrieval with great transparency comparable to Ovidus B1.
- Smooth vocals; female vocals shines! Smooth Non-fatiguing treble. Providing a nice sense of air and spatial in mix.
- Definitely doesn’t sound as forward as the Ovidius B1.
- A tad more relaxing to hear compared to Ovidius B1.
- A slight cleaner sounding than Ovidius B1.
- Tonally this sounds less warm than S9 Pro.
- Free from noise floor.
- A solid’ol performer as long as you just don’t expect too much on bass emphasis.
- Only a slight upgrade to S9 Pro (less than 10%) for 2.0-2.5 times the price. And ONLY in SQ wise. The rest is err nope.
- Ovidius B1 has better midbass extension. its slams a tad harder and it rumbles a smidge better.
- Ovidius B1 has more organic timbre.
- Ovidius B1 may have slightly better sense of 3D-imagining.
- Slightly prone to bearable shout like the B1, especially on bad recordings.
- Overall it sounds a tad brighter than Ovidius B1, I get that colder/dryer/thinner sensation when doing A-B testing sometimes.
- A BIG HEAVY ass bar. Just don’t drop the bar.I don’t think it’s bullet proof.
- Can get as hot as my hot coffee mug ; A BIG downside if you wanna carry around while listening to music.
- Pepega price tag for a dongle .A Big OOF for poor people. Too expensive especially when the Ovidius B1 & S9 Pro exist.
- Though they’re very close, Tonally, I’d prefer the Ovidus B1 neutral (with a slight warm) traits with its slight bass emphasis which makes it sounds fuller/thicker in general. Personally, my Darling pairs with the Ovidius B1 better.
- However, if you’re into this sound signature, I’d recommend you just get the S9 Pro instead… wayyy cheaper with less realworld issues.
Hidizs S9 Pro
- This sounds like a slight nerfed Apogee Groove. It has most of the Apogee traits but with less spacious in its head-staging and a tad thicker & warmer in it’s overall sound.
- Vocal performance is definitely it’s strength. Good Definition, nicely textured. Very sweet and pleasant vocals representation.
- Vocals & BGM are not as forward as Ovidius B1.
- Overall tone is smooth/relax/laidback sounding in general.
- Very clean with good micro/macro detail retrieval.
- More forgiving on LOW-RES sources than Ovidius B1.
- You can listen to higher volume without feeling fatigue.
- ZERO noise floor. – Light & Handsome design.
- Might work best for bassy IEMS!
- Sound less thin than Apogee but no thicker than Ovidius B1.
- Tonally I prefer the S9 Pro over the Apogee.
- Get this if you want to taste 90% of what Apogee Grove can do.
- RECOMMENDED if you want a neutral bright-ish source. A very capable dongle for around Ovidius B1 money.
- Slightly weaker bass response in comparison to Ovidius B1 (even to Apogee).
- A noticeable nerf on midbass energy: it has less body, less energy, less impact.
- Bass decay speed is slightly behind the Ovidius B1. On busy EDM/Rap songs will struggle a little bit but far from suffering.
- Prone to bearable shout.
- Can get nearly as hot as my hot coffee mug whereas the Ovidius B1 is is just chilling like lukewarm water at most. Still, not as bad as that blazing hot Apogee.
- Only get this if you’re okay with the slightly weaker bass energy, and prefer less forward sound/relaxing tune of the Ovidius B1.
- I am a treble head but a bass head at heart, nerfing my darling bass which already on the fence on being adequate is quite a let-down.
- Ovidius B1 does a better job on low volume listening due to its forwardness.
- I don’t really see myself buying this, as the delta difference is minute (10-15% in most areas). And honestly it is not the ” Ying& Yang” duo that I was expecting it to be. Yes, they’re different but it’s not like a night and day difference, it’s more like late afternoon and early evening sort of comparison. If you already have the B1, you may skip this and vice versa. I just don’t see a big plus owning two of them at once other than you disliking Ovidius B1 forwardness sound representation and some of its quirks.
JCally JM10 & TempoTec Sonata HD Pro
- They both sounds nigh identical, if I were to be hypocritical between the two, I’d say:
- Sonata HD Pro is slightly warmer and thicker sounding.
- JM10 is a tad more balanced tonally with smoother treble response and has higher power output among the 2. Maybe a smidge better in clarity.
- They’re super close (5% difference at most), just pick one based on your preference!
- The vocals just have a good sense of definition with rich texture, hitting the right balance of crisps and smoothness.
- Doesn’t sound as forward Ovidius B1 but more forward than S9 Pro.
- Surprisingly great transient/speed across the range!
- Didn’t seems to struggle/congest on busy tracks at all.
- The vocals and background music sounds intimate.
- Impressive bass extension & speed (Better than S9Pro & Apogee)
- Unfatiguing Highs. ZERO sibilance and shout.
- Average staging/imaging/separation. Good enough for me.
- As for micro & macro detail; just a step behind the Big 3.
- It sounds thick, it makes Apogee/S9 Pro sound thin.
- Highly recommended if you have thin/dry/overly bright issue IEMS.
- Can be paired well with nearly most IEMS that’s out there.
- Quite the all-rounder.
- Small and Light, neither of them suffers from heat issue.
- Zero Noise Floor.
- Reasonably priced, Great value! (Both cost roughly the same)
- Lacking that final touch on treble energy/extension. Or else it’s a perfect mid-tier sounding dongle.
- I just wish it had better sense of air and sparkler treble.
- Definitely fall slightly behind B1/S9Pro/Apogee when it comes to overall dynamics.
- Not as powerful as the Big 3. Adequate enough for most IEM usage.
- This sounds like my ROG Laptop jack port. Maybe 20-30% better performance.
- One of the cleanest source in this tour. Even cleaner than Ovidius B1.
- Everything just sounds alright, nothing too offensive.
- Fancy sci-fi design with RBG!
- Dynamic wise it’s a 1-2 notch behind the Big-3, However, musically its quite pleasant sound to hear. There’s something about it being super clean and colorless at the same time. Another interesting flavor that pairs well with my Darling.
- It’s weakest point is definitely in bass region : it’s lacking in attack and speed.
- If I were to be hypocritical about the SQ , everything just feels like a step behind even by JM10/Sonata HD PRO standard.
- Will slightly struggle on busy tracks.
- Not very powerful. – Too expensive, you can actually use that money and get Ovidius B1 / S9 Pro instead.
- This feels like side grade rather than upgrade. It is something you reach for a change of pace.
- Best AVOID this if this is your one and only dongle, unless you’re ROG diehard fan like me I can see myself buying it OR you already have some good stuff lying around on your plate and you want something that is sci-fi looking with RGB then by all means buy it.
- Don’t get me wrong it is far from being trash, it’s just that for that money, it just doesn’t stand out, Ovidius B1 or S9 Pro is the better buy partly because you get a lot more for your money.
- Can’t be bother to write the pros/cons. Definitely not the best dongle to pair with Darling. My least favorite.
- At least it had some nice bamboo print upfront, lol.
- Might be some folk’s jam. DISLIKE:
- Despite having just about the same technicalities of JM10/Sonata HD PRO, tonally it’s far too bright for my Darling. It makes my darling sound as dry as Sahara dessert.
- Just AVOID this and get the JM10/Sonata HD PRO instead, they’re a safer option and sound wayyy more pleasant to my ears.
Xumee ( A.K.A Avani in Asian market)
- This little guy makes me question life itself. For sub 15 bucks this is amazing. A good example of ” Being cheap doesn’t mean it’s trash” I daresay, it can deliver just about 75-80% of what the Big-3 can do in terms of sound quality. It is by no means slouch.
- Tonally it’s pretty neutral. Neither it is warm nor bright.
- My 1st impression when listening to this is how crispy does everything sounds.
- Good bass response with decent treble extension.
- Vocals have good definition and nicely textured. I don’t find it lacking at all.
- Free from any shout or sibilance.
- Impressive speed ; didn’t face any congestion, laginess ,bass bloat/bleed.
- Average staging/imaging/separation at best.
- Zero noise floor – No heat issue. – Adequate power output.
- I’d picked this over CXPRO & VE OHD anytime or any day. Though I am not sure about Abigail as I haven’t tried it out yet.
- As for now. it is my budget king! I just love the way it is tuned.
- If I am poor, I’ll just get this and be more than happy to use it for the rest of my life without feeling too left out as I have no major issue with it.
- YES,YES dynamically it is 1-2 step behind the big 3. I know it’s not even fair to say that. Still,It is not a flagship killer if you’re wondering.
Thanks to this #malaysia-dongle-tour, I started to appreciate the Ovidius B1 even more. I am not being biased because I’ve owned it but to put it simply, in reality, the Apogee Groove and Hidisz S9 Pro aren’t that major of a different to point that is it not worth the price premium to get either of them to actually compliment the Ovidius B1.On top of that, Ovidius B1 does a better job in resulting my Darling to produce my preferred sound. That is why it is still my no.1 favourite among the 3 high-end dongles thats available on this tour. I hope I’ll be given another chance to try out Andy’s latest no.1 and no.2 spot which is the TempoTec Sonata E44 & CEntrance DACport HD. They look quite promising XDNext, my personal mid-tier favorite will be the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro.I just love how thicker and warmer my darling sounds when pairing with this. And that richly textured vocals is a big plus for me. It’s a different sensation to the Ovidius B1.A good flavor for a change of pace. I am heavily considering to get one but then the TempoTec Sonata E44 exist. Hmmph. If It is your one and only dongle, JCally JM10 is the better buy, they’re pretty similar but JM10 is tuned closer towards Ovidius B1 especially on tonal balance. I really do like the JM10 quite abit. Get either of them, you’ll be more than happyAnd finally my budget favorite; the Xumee A.K.A the Avani, cheap and capable dongle. Such a well-tuned dongle with so little money. As long as you don’t day dreaming beating the Big-3 with it. It’s very difficult for me to fault it. An excellent budget reference. Love it!All and all, it was a fun tour, some surpasses my expectations, some just left a bad taste in my ears. I realized it is not always about the technicalities, it has always been about the musicality’s as a whole, how much enjoyment can a dongle brings to your music experience. Nothing beats the sound of a well synergized couple (iem x dongle).All these rankings, pros and cons does not translate everything but rather it only tells you a hint of it’s ability to manipulate the overall sound of IEMs.I strongly believe each IEM have different pairing to go by to suit your preference. It’s best to try them out. But If you can’t, just DM any of the tour member especially Andy himself, we’ll be happier to help you out. Just don’t my let impressions triggered you in the wrong way. Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy your music with whatever gears you have right now. Sometimes we are so preoccupied trying to own new stuff to a point that we no longer enjoy this hobby, myself included On that note, it’s time to end, thank you so much for reading! If you find my impressions useful, please smash that like button and comments below! I really hope my humble impressions can somewhat give you some idea of what these dongles are capable of doing and serve as a guide for your future purchase! As for Andy EF, God bless you man, it has been a great fun walking on this path with you! Thank you so much! And I really appreciate the momento gift! love it! p.s please have mercy on my English grammar. I am not the most well-versed when in comes to this. And also, be sure to download and try those songs! If you like them let me know!
Original Post can be read here: FB Link
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