#donglemadness

andyaudiovault@gmail.com

Effective May 2022, #donglemadness is now officially ended. I will no longer add new contents and will cease all activities related to Dongle reviews. This site will still exist, thanks to a sponsor willing to pay monthly site fees to keep it alive, and it will remain alive for as long the subscription is maintained. To all of you who has been so supportive of my adventures, Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

118 DONGLES REVIEWED & RANKED

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

#donglemadness Best of The Best
CEntrance DACport HD
Cayin RU6 (2022), Questyle M15 (2022)
Lotoo PAW S2 (2022), xDuoo Link2 BAL (2022), Ovidius B1
* Simply, the BEST of the Bests

⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Questyle M12
Apogee Groove
REIYIN DA-Plus
TempoTec Sonata E44
Moondrop Moon River 2 (2022)
Hidizs S9 Pro
E1DA 9038SG3
HAA FEE
Creative SXFi Amp (2022)
HiBy FC5 (2022)
Colorfly CDA M1 (2022)
Astell & Kern PEE51
Hidizs S9
Luxury & Precision W2
THX Onyx
Lotoo PAW S1
* Dongles that are excellent sonically & with great features. Minimal Cons

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Shanling UA5 (2022)
JCally JM10
Earmen Sparrow MK2 (2022)
Xnyocn Q2
FiiO KA3 (2022)
TempoTec Sonata HD Pro
TempoTec Sonata HD V (2022)
iBasso DC05 (2022)
Abigail
Xumee
Avani
KINSOUND
Amazon DAC
AuxLink HIFI Pro (2022)
Whizzer DA1 Cube (2022)
hiliDAC Audirect BEAM 2S
hiliDAC Audirect BEAM 3S (2022)
VE Odyssey HD
HAKUGEI Type C
HAKUGEI iOS
ASUS ROG Clavis
Creative Sound BlasterX G1
iBasso DC04
E1DA 9038D
hiliDAC Audirect BEAM 2SE
Shanling UA2
CX-Pro Audio 31993
JCally JM6
JCally JA3 (2022)
iBasso DC03
Hidizs S3 Pro
xDuoo Link2
TANCHJIM STARGATE iOS
JCally JM04Pro
JCally JM20
ZOOAUX New Version (2022)
* Dongles that are excellent sonically & with great features. Some Cons

⭐⭐⭐½

HELM BOLT MQA
IKKO Zerda ITM01
Zorloo Ztella MQA
Shanling UA1 Pro
MCDODO Beethoven
GGMM A1
REIYIN DA-03
IKKO Zerda ITM03
TERA Grand iOS
JCally JM08L iOS
UGREEN MFi iOS
JSAUX MFi iOS
JSAUX Type-C
JCally JM40
Meizu HiFi Audio Pro
hiliDAC Audirect ATOM2
ddHiFi TC35 Pro
HiBy FC3
Xnyocn X1
ES9280c
TempoTec Sonata BHD
JCally JM08c
BREXLINK
Hill Audio ALC4050
XtremPro X1
* Dongles which are good sounding, suitable for casual usage

⭐⭐⭐

Nillkin Type-C
Hill Audio WSH9415
Shanling UA1
Hill Audio ALC4042
CS-PRO CS46L41
HIFI Audio PCM2704
Baseus Type-C
ARKTek Type-C
PLEXTONE GS1 Mark II
AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt
CYBERDRIVE XMOS
ENVEL Type-C
ES-PRO Audio 9318
UGREEN Type-C
NGOKGA Type-C
Stouchi Type-C
JCally JA21
JCally JM01
JCally JA04
JCally JA05
JCally JA06
Apple Type-C
Monolith Hi-Res DAC
SMSL Idol+ (2022)
* Dongles which are moderately good but the Cons holding them back

⭐⭐

ACMEE Magic Sound VI (2022)
DSD.3D SigmaTel
Glotao Type-C
JCally JA02
TempoTec Sonata HD II
Vention Type-C Gold
Vention Type-C
Plextone Type-C
* Dongles that failed to impart sonic enjoyment or functional use

EQUIPMENT & PLAYLIST USED

Click on the image for Equipment and Playlist Details

DISQUALIFIED DONGLES

ZOOAUX
iNassen
I have stopped buying budget range Dongles from Amazon as I am no longer confident that the advertised specifications are accurate. The listed Dongles as above has been found to be inconsistent from various feedbacks received by others. The same models has been found to contain different DAC chips

UNRANKED DONGLES

E1DA PowerDAC V2.0 (Overheated and self destructed within the first 30 minutes)
Dongles that has malfunctioned during tests. Will redo the test once replacement obtained

SPECIALTY CLASS PURIST DAC/AMP REVIEWS

Venture Electronics MEGATRON (2022)
This segment is reserved for specialty DAC/Amps that does not fall into the traditional Dongle form factor. Specialty purist devices that serves specific purposes


252 Comments

  1. Cygnus says:

    Hi Andy. I am a beginner in the scene and I got a question. As a small step, would it benefit me to get the Apple Dongle for my AKG K371?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      No. Apple Dongle is super weak for something like AKG K371. Get something like Avani or Xumee from Amazon

      Like

      1. Cygnus says:

        I’ll try to get a hold of the Avani or Xumee but if they can’t ship it to my country, I’ll just get the iBasso DC05 since a Singapore based online shop can actually send it to my country. Amazon somehow has a hard time sending stuff to my country

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        If you are in Singapore then Avani. Even CX-PRO 31993 is already much better than Apple dongle. JCally JM20 too

        Like

      3. Cygnus says:

        I’m not from Singapore. I live in Brunei. I can order the iBasso at store.treoo.sg and have deliver it to my country within a week. Items from AliExpress usually arrive in 3 months. Which is a looooong wait hahahaaha

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Kashyap says:

      If you can get stuff from Singapore get the creative sxfi instead of dc05 or the sonata e44 both are better than dc05

      Like

      1. Cygnus says:

        Sadly, both the E44 and SXFI are not available at both stores. From what I found, the two sites are the only ones that can actually ship the stuff to my country hassle free. I can go for the FiiO KA3 but it is not within my budget.

        Like

  2. Ruff says:

    Soo excited for your Link2 bal review. This year has quite a few releases, UA5 being the other DUAL DAC.
    I am curious on how the link2 bal will fare against the e44. Both being dual dac and infact using the same dac ship.
    Looking forward to your review mate.
    I must appreciate your efforts. This year especially, your reviews have gone up a another level. Reviewing power and SQ separately with a desktop setup as a reference is a brilliant idea that you have come up with. It really helps people understand synergy as some dacs have good SQ but not enough power so only sound good with efficient loads (IEMS).
    Anyway thanks mate for this.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks. We will find out soon enough yes. Lol. I am enjoying the journey as much as the gear itself. Cheers

      Like

    2. SriV says:

      Ruff…yes i second that appreciation for Andy in this area of audio…i believe nobody else is so deep on dongles.

      I am also excited which one beat e44 lol. I got two of them price being $65 on Linsoul. I dont think xduoo link 2 bal is 2.2 times worth than e44 but only Andy can tell

      Like

  3. Silco says:

    Can you give me a conparision for sound quality between this an the hidizs s9 pro(and sonata e44 and maybe 2 new entries on 5 stars), I’m planning to use this with sony ier z1r and thieaudio monarch mkii so power isn’t a problem

    Like

    1. Silco says:

      I mean the fiio ka3

      Like

  4. Cloud says:

    “Dongles that actually perform on par or better than some Mid-Tiered DAPs”. Can you list me some mid-tiered DAPs so I can imagine how good are the 5-stars?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      My base references are Cayin N6ii E02 Module and Cayin N3 Pro, both of which I used extensively last year as reference for 2021 #donglemadness

      Liked by 1 person

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