Avani

DAC Chip: Realtek ALC5686
PCM 32bit – 384kHz, DNR: -110db, Power: 1 Vrms, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: YES), Metal Chassis & SPC Cable


LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING


BACKGROUND

💚PROS

  • 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

💔CONS

  • Driving power for great fidelity maxed out below 100Ω and with no less than 90db sensitivity.
  • A bit flatter sounding sometimes compared to the top 3 performers
  • No volume adjuster

VERDICT

Avani. After extensive listening sessions with all of my regular equipment, I drew conclusion that Xumee/Avani shared the exact OEM Realtek ALC5686 DAC Chip internally as ZOOAUX 1st Gen, from the same factory, but finished and packaged under different brand for Amazon only release (Xumee and ZOOAUX). It makes perfect sense as they are in similar form factor despite different exterior cosmetics. There’s no sonic differences that I observed between the three. Automatically Avani ranks identical to ZOOAUX/Xumee. I have also verified this using TTGK Android app to inspect the hardware element and specifications, Xumee and Avani practically identical.


⭐⭐⭐⭐½ ($5.00)

Best Pairing: Flexible for anything less demanding under 100Ω

1st Release on VEClan Online Shop
Avani Prototype 00
Serving as AUX for Shure KSE1500 beautifully

Back to #donglemadness

107 Comments

  1. zach says:

    Hi! Saw the Avani in Shopee and I would just like to ask what is the difference of the 3.5 SE and 3.5 TRRS variants? Is the TRRS for balanced output or is it for cables with mics? Also, have you tested the Avani or any other dongle for speaker use? Would it be safe to do so?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Avani only comes in 3.5 Single Ended version. I have never tested any of the dongles for speakers use, so no idea really. Thanks

      Like

  2. Tommy says:

    Hi, is Avani support cable with the mic as well?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes, Avani just like Xumee supports MIC

      Like

      1. Tommy says:

        Thanks Andy. Do you think Avani can drive Tin Hifi T4 well?

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        I haven’t tried T4 yet but with the specs mentioned for this unit and being neutral in nature, it should go well with Avani

        Like

  3. Andrew says:

    What’s the Lightning-to-USB-C adapter that you’re using here? Thanks!

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      ddHiFi TC28i. Cheers

      Like

      1. Chi Thanh says:

        Hey Andy, does the adapter really matter? (sound quality and such?) Because it’s pretty expensive.

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        It’s the build quality and robustness. I have tried around 8 cheap adapters and they broke on me. With ddHiFi, all issues sorted out and that thing is built to last

        Like

  4. Andrew says:

    What Lightning-to-USB-C adapter are you using here? Thanks!

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      ddHiFi TC28i

      Like

  5. Akash says:

    Is there any budget Dongle ($5-15) which supports Mic and have Good Bass and Sub-Bass with lots of clarity and details but smooth and warm sound.

    I use Samsung S10+ with PowerAmp. Will DAC Dongle work in that? Is there any good Dongle which can charge too at the same time

    Also, which Chip is the Best? Cirrus Logic or Realtek or Conexant or something else?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Warm and smooth, honestly a source should always be neutral for them to perform the best. The better the transparency the better it is. Let the warm/sparkly nature of the sound be determined by what IEMs/Headphones you use. In any case, especially if you are not using anything super sensitive, Odyssey HD is the closest that I can think of being warm and smooth. But Avani offers better clarity and details, focus more on being crispy rather than smooth edged. But then again as I said, it all depends on your IEMs/Headphones ultimately. On the other hand, DAC chips brand does not necessarily make them better over the other, how they are tuned and implemented matters the most. Lotoo PAW S1 runs on very old AKM chip and still sounds great until today. Apogee Groove runs on very old ESS chips too, but the implementation makes it stand out of the rest

      Like

      1. Akash says:

        Thanks Andy. I am looking for great clarity for sure but don’t eant harsh and peaky treble too. That’s why mentioned Warm and Smooth. I have Monk+, TP16, FiiO EM3, RY4S MMCX and Faaeal Iris.

        So Avani is good too with some smooth sound with ckarity but have nice Bass and Sub Bass too ?

        Like

  6. Is it ideal to use avani with blon 03 and kbear lark.??

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I wish I can tell you the answers but since I never used both IEMs it would be a guesswork. And I don’t do guesswork. The only thing I am certain, Avani is super flexible for any non demanding IEMs

      Like

      1. Pavankumar says:

        Avani synergizes greatly with Bl03—> Technical Blon with all-around blissful and engaging musicality!!! Can’t ask for more!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Amazing. Thanks for the feedback. As it is Avani remains one of my personal favorites for ultra compact category

        Like

  7. John Smith says:

    Does this work well with the Heart Mirror? I currently own it and was thinking of getting a usb dac for my phone that’s cheap. This seems like the best fit for now, but i was thinking if it does well paired with the Heart Mirror, or with a cheap kz edx or Trn Mt1 for outdoors usage.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes it does. HM, EDX and MT1 are all easy to drive IEMs which Avani synergize well with

      Like

      1. John Smith says:

        Thanks for the reply! I’ve been thinking of buying it now because of this recommendation sorry for the late reply

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Lucho says:

    I’m a novice music lover, “with no less than 90db sensitivity” means the sensitivity of my headphones/IEM? Or the volume on my smartphone? Thanks.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Check the specifications of your IEM, normally it will say what is the sensitivity level and also Impedance rating

      Like

  9. Lucho says:

    Could Avani also amplify my IEM? Thanks.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      What IEM is that? Avani can work with many IEMs especially those up to 32 Ohm and over 100db sensitivity

      Like

      1. Lucho says:

        Yuan li (32 Ohm impedance and 103.5dB sensitivity) and Moondrop Spaceship (16 Ohm impedance and 104 dB sensitivity)

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Both are easy for Avani to drive

        Like

  10. Lucho says:

    Would Avani amplify Hzsound Heart Mirror correctly?

    Like

  11. Sab says:

    Hello Andy, good review. Is this dongle produce same sound signature of this Hi-DAC (ALC5686) dongle? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ30of2sk1o i bought it from Shopee Malaysia 🙂 I prefer this ALC5686 compared to jm20, QualComm, dc03 and Blasterx G1. BlasterX G1 is good for gaming i believe it has the best imaging from all of my dongles. I have E10K too but imaging is not good on E10K. OK back to the main point.. if AVANI produce the same sound signature as Hi-DAC ALC5686 then i can skip this dongle. Maybe i can try Abigail or VE Odyssey HD.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      When it comes to imaging, Avani is among the best. Only the 5 Stars performer can outclass Avani on this subject. Abigail offers slightly different experience of being a bit more spacious and airy but honestly my ears telling me Avani being a bit sharper on imaging. Odyssey HD is not as sharp as the other two. But I love all of them equally and they serve different pairing and purposes. The three of them costing no more than $20

      Like

      1. Phil says:

        Good morning great site, words of appreciation for passion, time and work. My request is a question which dongle suits the Philips Fidelio X2 / HR better: Avani, Abigeil or yet … another? (one cheap, the other more expensive $ 🙂)

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        I have never listened to Philips Fidelio X2 so I can’t be specific about recommending it. But between Avani and Abigail you can’t go wrong. Not when the both of them cost less than $20 both combined. Avani more on warm, intimate presentation yet highly technical. Abigail a bit more neutral with airy dynamics and spacious sense of staging

        Like

  12. Den says:

    avani or ohd? and why did you choose it?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I kept all three. Avani, Abigail and OHD. All with specific pairing to match different setups. I use Avani and Abigail mainly for IEMs, OHD for Magnetic Planars and Earbuds. Avani has warmer touch to the sound and more forward presentation, Abigail offers more space and closer to flat neutral responses. OHD warmer than both. It’s great to have choices to swap around. All of them costing less than $40 combined

      Like

      1. QC says:

        Would you consider the Avani a better dongle on a technical level than the Abigail? By this I mean the clarity and details.

        From the review/ comments it seems that the Avani has a blacker background and slightly superior imaging but I couldn’t find a lot of comments on how the two dongles compared in terms of the clarity/ detail aspect.

        Thank you so much in advance and for authoring this comprehensive bible on the best audio dongles!

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        If you check my foreword again, it all depends on synergy factor. The reasons I don’t want to keep just to one DAP or one Dongle was because less than suitable pairing would result differently. That’s the essence of #donglemadness, basically I needed to find one Dongle that will pair the best with my favorite listening devices. For example I will never use both Abigail and Avani for my FOSTEX T40 ROP MK3 because OHD will give better results. Anyway, I think in Abigail review I did, I noted that Abigail is slightly superior to Avani overall, and not by much. This decided by the collection of devices I use to attach to them. But yes, Avani has a hair more defined lines vs Abigail – because Abigail has more air and smoothness. So it depends on the eye of the beholder

        Like

  13. Ramy says:

    Hello Andy
    i want a small dongle dac for the conveniency . What do u think matches better with tin t3 plus and timeless . I bought avani he is on the way . But i want to know if i need to buy Abigail too or any other suggestions!

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Buy both. Combined they cost no more than $20. Much cheaper than any other Dongles available out there. Some dongles priced at $100 and does not sound as great. But if you want just one then Avani works perfectly with T3+, so does Abigail and CX-Pro

      Like

  14. Mark Roca says:

    Since moondrop quarks has a neutral/warm tuning

    What should I pair it with? Avani or Abigail?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Quarks will run better with Abigail as Avani is already warmer

      Like

      1. Tommy says:

        Abigail or Avani for Takstar Pro 82?

        Like

      2. Tommy says:

        Btw thank you very much for everything and the fast response.
        You do consider Abigail etc better than the Apple dongle right?
        I also forgot to mention I am considering the JCally JM10 but don’t wanna rush things since I’m just getting into this, is there anything better around that JM10 price point you consider better?

        Like

      3. Andy.EF says:

        No worries. Yes of course. Apple dongle is good, but it is severely limited with power and this alone makes it inferior to Avani/Abigail or most other dongles including the likes of CX-Pro, JM04Pro and JM20. For that budget, you can always consider REIYIN DA-Plus/Pro or Colorfly CDA M1

        Like

  15. Daniel says:

    I have KZ ZS10 Pro and an Audio Technica M50x, I’ll be using it on a POCO F3. I am torn among jcally, conexant, abigail and avani.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Pick Abigail, you will be fine

      Like

  16. Luktzen says:

    Hi, Thank you for your reviews.
    I have Shure SE215 and On its way KZ x CRN (zex pro). I listen to wide genre of music pop, rock, jazz, lofi, instrumental. And also use it to watch movie
    Which dongle would you recommend Abigail or Avani ?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks. For all rounder setup I always go for Abigail. Avani is slightly warmer sounding in comparison. Nonetheless both are still excellent in their own ways

      Like

  17. noman says:

    I am grabbing a tanchjim tanya soon
    which one do you recommend for that? avani or abigail?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      From what Yannick has indicated, Tanya pairs better with Avani

      Like

  18. Leviz says:

    Will there be a big difference with the use external dac vs phone audio port.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Depends on what phone you are talking about. Something like LG V Series are already amazing especially LG V50 ThinQ, so does some Sony Xperias. These especially if you already using easy to drive IEMs. Avani to me shines better than my LG V50 because it had better balance in warm timbre. LG V50 is not as organic as Avani so it depends what sort of sound you prefer

      Like

  19. ritif says:

    Which one would be the cheapest and good for headphones Beyerdynamics dt 880 edition 250Ohm?
    phone: Galaxy S21 FE (according to specs 32bit/384kHz)

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      For under $100, get Creative SXFi Amp, Colorfly CDA M1 or TempoTec Sonata E44. All of them will work great with DT880

      Like

      1. ritif says:

        thank you for the answer. one more question, which choices would be the best under 30-35$ for the same phone. And of course not necessarily for DT880.

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Avani or Abigail

        Like

  20. Chi Thanh says:

    Hi Andy,
    Do you think this would give my LG G7 + Koss KPH30i some power?
    I pretty happy with my combo but when I at work use Iphone 7 so I want something more portable.
    I remember laugh at my friend combo Avani + KSC75, because sell on shopee for 5$.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I have no idea really since I never tried KPH30i. So I can comment on something I haven’t tried yet

      Like

  21. Munteaz says:

    What will be the best dongle for Moondrop starfield ?(almost same as moondrop aria)

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      You did not mention any budget range so it can be any of the 5 Stars dongles. Or most of the 4 1/2 stars. Especially Colorfly CDA M1 and REIYIN DA-Plus for under $100

      Like

      1. Munteaz says:

        my budget is 30-50$

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Tempotec Sonata HD Pro then

        Like

  22. Arthur says:

    Do you recommend this for neutral-bright iems like the Tin T2, Hzsound heart mirror and the Dunu Titan S?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes, Avani works great with those neutral bright IEMs

      Like

  23. Faris says:

    Hey Andy,
    Does it make difference in the sound if the chip is same which is the ALC5686, but in different brands? some online shop in here doesnt sell Avani neither Abigail, but there’s one shop selling with the ALC5686. wonder if that makes any difference. And do you recommend pair with the KZ ZS10 Pro (30Ohms)?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      All DAC chips has their own native sound signature and basic tuning. Assuming that JCally JM04PRO is using the basic tuning, Avani on the other hand is better sounding because the manufacturer actually tune it better, while it is also an ALC5686. Anf that’s the reason I rate Avani/Xumee/ZOOAUX 1st gen higher than the other ALC5686

      Like

      1. Faris says:

        Ah okay then i should order from AliExpress then. Thanks Man!

        Like

  24. Zahid Hasan says:

    Avani or apple type c dongle for Philips shp9500 to use inPC with a USB converter? I only listen to male vocal-only songs

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Avani. Apple would not have the power for your headphone

      Like

  25. Max says:

    What is the best DAC for NiceHCK DB1?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I have not tried DB1 so it will be hard for me to recommend precisely. But if you are looking for budget options then you can’t go wrong with Avani or Abigail

      Like

      1. Aakash says:

        Hi,
        I got the KZ ZSN Pro X, and I like the crystal clear details as well as the bright V shaped signature of these but I am looking to soften the treble and the piercing highs that is quite prominent on these iems. Which one DAC do you think should be the suitable pick??

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Sounds like Avani can do the trick for you

        Like

  26. Ares says:

    Which of these 3(Avani, Abigail, Cx-Pro) would pair suitably well with KZ edx?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Abigail. But if you want warmer sound, Avani

      Like

  27. Jo says:

    Hi Andy,

    Let me first say, this site of yours is an absolute gem. 🙂

    I recently bought the KSE1200, because I fancy electrostats and kept coming back to reviews on these IEMs for years now. Your praise of the KSEs and the Etymotics helped me pull the trigger, as my first pair of IEMs a decade ago were Ety ER4s and I still miss their highs. Have had SE535s for years now and like their mids performance in acoustics and vocals, which I tend to listen most to, but hoping for the KSE1200s to be the best of both.

    However, I still haven’t settled on a DAC for it. I’ll mostly use an Samsung S21 for playback and prefer Spotify, but might switch to Tidal and UAPP to bypass the Android driver limitation, if the sound difference justifies it. If you only had the KSE1200s, would you just go with the Avani or Abigail (Odyssey HD seem to be sold out now?), or still pick one of your five top performers?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Absolutely spot on with Shure KSE1200, IMO the best ever IEM to exist. Nothing beats the legitimate sound of real Electrostatics. For my own regular use, I juggle between Avani and Abigail depending on my moods. Avani offers sharper spatial imaging and “slightly warmer” than Abigail. Abigail on the other hand, has better air and sense of space with marginal improvement on smoothness over the crisp Avani. Both of them being $10 each, absolutely doable to own both. Otherwise when I feel like for critical listening, I will use Questyle M12 or xDuoo Link2 BAL with my KSE. Cheers

      Like

  28. Nick says:

    How do I know if using this will offer better sound than the DAC of the jack on my phone (Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G)? No website on earth seems to reveal what DAC it uses. Pls help!

    Like

  29. iRFS says:

    hi i’d like to ask would avani pair better with KZ DQ6s or should i get the abigail

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      For DQ6s, it is better with Abigail

      Like

  30. Turan says:

    I’m planning to buy tanjhim ola so should i buy apple dongle or avani?or abigail?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      For OLA is pairs better with Avani

      Like

  31. WS says:

    I can’t get Avani or Abigail in my country, what other good suggestions for CCA CRA at the same price or below?

    I like listening to Pop, EDM, R&B, Vocal & Instrument songs

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      JCally JM04Pro will be a great substitute

      Like

      1. WS says:

        How about Jcally JM6? Is it suitable too?

        Like

  32. WS says:

    I’d like to rectify my first question, what’s the best advice under $8?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      At that very low price, your only options would be JM6, JA3 or JM04Pro

      Like

      1. WS says:

        if so what is the best neutral/to warm dac under $20?

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Avani or JM04Pro

        Like

  33. Riki says:

    What the best sounding avani or jm04 pro

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Avani and JM04Pro shares the same Realtek DAC chip, however Avani has slightly better tuning than JM04Pro

      Like

  34. Sadaf says:

    is avani good for neutral listening? I am searching for a budget dac which can do true sound restoration, i will be using superlux hd 681 and mpow h12

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes it is. I would describe Avani as being neutral but mildly on the “warmer” side. If you need flatter neutral response, then it is Abigail

      Like

      1. Yogesh Yadav says:

        Avani or Abigail with cca cra?
        It is sounding little harsh for me

        Like

  35. Nirmal Kumar says:

    Which one do you suggest for Soundmagic e10c . I will also use the same dongle for my future purchase which is likely the KZ ZSN Pro X

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      At the lowest budget, Avani, Abigail or JCally JA3 will do perfectly. If you want to spend more, then just pick one of the 4 1/2 stars rated dongles, can’t go wrong with any one of them

      Like

  36. Aakash says:

    Hi,

    I got the KZ ZSN Pro X, and I like the crystal clear details as well as the bright V shaped signature of these but I am looking to soften the treble and the piercing highs that is quite prominent on these iems. Which one DAC do you think should be the suitable pick??

    Like

    1. Nirmal says:

      Avani for warmer sound (control treble) , Abigail for brighter sound ( control bass). For KZ ZSN pro X everyone recommends Avani . BTW how is the fit I’m gonna grab one but afraid it would hurt my small ears 🙂

      Like

      1. Andy.EF says:

        I never tried KZ ZSN Pro so no idea how the fit is. I do know the most comfortable KZ is DQ6s HBB and KZ ZEX (non pro)

        Like

  37. jehoje8357 says:

    Between Abigail and Avani, which one do you recommend for Moondrop Aria?

    Like

  38. Hello Mr. Andy, thank you for creating this dongle database.
    You answered Tommy above that he should choose Abigail for Takstar Pro 82. Why, is that due to particular synergy? Based on your description of both dongles I was under the impression that Avani would be better as the Pro 82 already has plenty airiness/soundstage/micro-details (for a budget closed-back, that is). With all bass ports closed it does lack, to me, “oomph” in the bass/mids, but that setting has the best bass speed and overall cleanliness to the sound, so I was guessing Avani would help with that. I’m hoping I’ll get both dongles, hopefully, but I’m curious about your impressions as I’ve acquired the 82 recently and am very impressed with it (currently running it on Apple dongle). I’ve also heard about some (unconfirmed) synergy with the $20 Lusya Fever DAC, but as I have not found it on this database I’m wary of buying that one before Av/Ab.

    Like

  39. andreas says:

    hello i think now new avani batch is 24 bit 96 khz

    Like

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