#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. Abid Rahman says:

    We’re glad you’re back

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FerdinandSV says:

      It’s really nice that you’re back because i really love your work. Can you please update them regarding if yoy find them cold/bright, warm or neutral so I can better pair them with my stuff? Thanks!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Andy.EF says:

        Thanks. Usually my definition of warm will be analogue or organic sounding. My Equipment for listening are all neutral by design and largely the dongles are neutral as well. Take a look at Hidizs S9, Tempotec Sonata BHD or CS46L41, they are as warm as I can put it

        Like

    2. Andrew says:

      Hello! Can you add your opinion of questyle m12?

      Like

      1. Andy.EF says:

        You can’t see it? I already reviewed M12 long time ago, check again the list up there

        Like

  2. Ikram Adnan says:

    Awesome stuff Andy, as always. Looking forward for the “incoming dongles” review. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thank You!

      Like

  3. Eugen says:

    Hallo Andy, thank you for your GREAT JOB!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thank You!

      Like

  4. Yusak Handianto says:

    Nice to see you again here.. please keep on fire and keep your wallet thicks 😋😋

    I have some request if you would..
    Please add dragonfly red since the red still affordable by many people than cobalt..
    And may you add some bluetooth dac into consideration here? They are not dongle but they are still for portable use and may be used as usb dac…? 😁😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks. I am open to consider other options. A moment of silence for my wallet 😂

      Like

  5. Nur Hossain says:

    Bang!
    Welcome back….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chris Love says:

    Andy, first off… Man thanks for coming back… The work you’ve put in speaks for itself and is very important for the hobby IMO. Anyways, I don’t want to ask any more out of you but have you ever tried the DDHIFI TC44B. I was really wondering what your thoughts were. I know you can’t review them all but I was simply wondering. Take good care and thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks Chris. As I type this I am finalizing my review on ddHiFi TC35 Pro. Perhaps later I may have a chance to do TC44B. Cheers

      Like

  7. Alex says:

    This is all very impressive, Andy.
    I’ve noticed you’re using Hzsound Heart Mirror in your rotation, a great IEM that I also own. In your opinion, which are the dongles that work best with the Heart Mirror? I’m currently looking to buy a dongle and your advice would be really appreciated. Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks. Heart Mirror is such a beautiful IEM and exhibited great synergy with many Dongles. So depending on your budget the selection can be quite big to choose from. For me personally I love my Heart Mirror with Ovidius B1, VE Odyssey HD and Hidizs S3 Pro

      Like

      1. Alex says:

        Thank you for the quick reply. Right now I’m probably looking for a sub $100 device but I’m always willing to spend more for better quality. I’ll check the dongles you suggested. Thanks again

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Brian says:

    Hi bro, very good post, i have now a dragonfly red and i want to upgrade it, this list help me a lot!
    i’m thinking between the s9 pro and the fc3 (somebody is selling me this one in 60 usd), my question is, must i buy the fc3 for the price or buy the s9 pro for the sound? or may i wait till you finish your list? thanks dude, greetings from Colombia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      S9 Pro does everything right with the sound perspective and it earned the 5 stars rating for a very good reason. FC3 is great especially if you prefer bright neutral timbre and depends on the type of IEM/Headphones you use. Hope this helps

      Like

  9. Tanvir says:

    Amazing work! Can you please add FIIO BTR5, Shangling UP4, Shangling UP5 in your list? And listed to them exclusively in USB DAC mood? It’ll be big help for lot of people I think. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I would like to do that soon as a sub category, but probably have to wait a bit as this is a self funded adventures

      Like

      1. Al says:

        Sir can you review the tanchjim stargate?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Tanvir says:

        Take your time. Thank you for doing this awesome project. Love it.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Zek says:

    Is the SoundMAGIC A30 on its way to the test?

    Like

      1. Zek says:

        As far as I remember, the A30 was on the waiting list that you deleted.

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        The plan has changed a bit. May still get it later

        Like

  11. Alex says:

    Sir please review the Lotoo paw s1 if you can too. Much appreciated ☺️

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Already did, please check the list again

      Like

  12. Tiago Eler Von Rondon says:

    Excelente comparações, continue assim!! Está de parabéns, e obrigado por testar tantos dacs, já até comprei o cx31993 pra comparar com o sonata HD e sonata HD pro. Bom trabalho!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Obrigada!

      Like

  13. Mad Gio says:

    Thanks for all of this.
    Just like to ask, if you only have your Tin P1 and a phone/DAP(only these two), which one of all the dongles reviewed will you choose as daily driver.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Ovidius B1. Cheers

      Like

  14. Erphiera says:

    Wow congrat’s with your new home bro 👍, Maintain the awesome review of yours 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thank You!

      Like

  15. Arfhel says:

    Awesome work man. I had always thought dongles are insane having being having a rooted lg v40 but hey I was damn wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Aiman says:

    Mantap bang Andy! Persetankan semua komen negatif.

    Semoga abang sentiasa maju jaya dan ditebalkan poket 😜 (murah rezeki). Salute sebab sanggup berkorban demi kami pencinta audio untuk ‘mengenal bare’. Hehehe…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Tengkiu bro! Haha

      Like

  17. Jacob says:

    Hi. Good weekend. I questioned about is it better to be on above the same rank?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes. The order signify how I rate them within the segment

      Like

      1. Jacob says:

        Then, Hidizs S9 is better than Hidizs S9 Pro? right? or now you are retesting S9 Pro? Thank you.

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        We will know soon enough

        Like

  18. Yusak Handianto says:

    You earn my respect bro.. it’s really not easy to compare all of them. Excellent job and thank you. I really appreaciate your hard work

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thank you so very much!

      Like

  19. Alex says:

    Hi. Does your assessment take into account the cost-performance ratio? Or do you only assess the performance as it says in RATING AND GRADE?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Not always. Sometimes I was compelled to factor in prices vs performance if I feel it is applicable. If I am to purely judge on Price to Performance ratio then the likes of ZOOAUX and Odyssey HD would have been topmost on my list. Sheer performance and quality is what I ultimately value

      Like

      1. Alex says:

        Thank you for your quick response and great review!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Sagarmatha says:

    Hai Andy, thanks a lot for your job to someone like me who very exciting about ultra portable audio gears.
    Can i read your review on jcally jm10?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks. JM10 is already available to read

      Like

      1. Sagarmatha says:

        Where i can read it?

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        LOL you are literally here and can’t see it!? https://andyaudiovault.com/donglemadness/

        Like

      3. Sagarmatha says:

        Really sorry bro,
        idk if list is link too, lol

        Like

  21. Savior says:

    Hi Andy. Why is the reason for not included Hidizs S9 PRO in Dongle Reviews Tour?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Because I don’t have it with me now. More than half of my Dongles has been given away. There is another #donglemadness Tour ongoing now in Canada organized by Yannick with 1/3 of the Dongles I sent him

      Like

      1. Savior says:

        Thank you, Andy. Have a good evening.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Andy.EF says:

        My pleasure. You have a great day too.

        Like

  22. hifi-shaolin says:

    how do these dongles compared to desktop dac? in my case, the ones in the $100-$200+ like Ifi Zen, Fiio K5 Pro and Topping DAC’s? Trying to find out If I could save money skipping Desktop DAC in favor of these dongles in my stack for desktop use. Driving power isn’t a problem since I already have an amp

    Like

  23. shaolin-fi says:

    how do these dongles compared to desktop dac? in my case, the ones in the $100-$200+ like Ifi Zen, Fiio K5 Pro and Topping DAC’s? Trying to find out If I could save money skipping Desktop DAC in favor of these dongles in my stack for desktop use. Driving power isn’t a problem since I already have an amp

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      For my own scenario, all of the 5 Stars Dongles performed better in terms of sound quality compared to my Topping D10s DAC + A50s Amp which sounded to me very clean but not musical. Even some of the Four and Half Stars Dongles can substitute for desktop DAC/Amp like the E1DA 9038D or iBasso DC04 Dongles

      Like

  24. Jeremy says:

    Hello, Andy. To improve this page load, try compress the dongle images in the top section to reduce the file size. Have a good day!

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I will do it soon. Cheers

      Like

  25. devicharan says:

    eagerly waiting for kinsound type c reveiw, since it is one of very few in you list that’s directly available in India.
    but seriously, thank you for all the effort man .

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      It’s coming up soon. Cheers

      Like

  26. Rubel says:

    There is no ranking in your number with the picture is given in the picture ovidius B1 (8) numbers

    Like

  27. Rubel says:

    Hi Andy I use my favorite fh5s earphones so which dangle would be best for me your recommendation

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Hi, sorry I never use FH5s so I have no idea how to suggest the best pairing for it

      Like

  28. Taciturn says:

    Will you reviewing ddhifi tc44b? Or tempotec sonata e44?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Soon. Perhaps in September

      Like

  29. Serg says:

    Hi Andy, can you give a link where I can buy a Hakugei iOS DAC? I can not find it.

    Like

  30. Muntasir Imteaz says:

    Hey Andy! what will be the best 2.5mm dogle for aria under 10% and 100%

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      2.5mm dongles not that many actually. But I personally like Aria with Hidizs S9 Pro. The cheaper options normally don’t have 2.5mm. If you don’t mind switching to 3.5mm, then Zorloo Ztella is the best

      Like

  31. Ken says:

    Thanks so much for this site. I have the Apple USB-C, Meizu HiFi (non-pro), and can confirm that the JSAUX USB-C is better than either of those. After recently getting the summer special on the Sennheiser HD58x though, I found that I needed something with a little more power to get the most out of them. So I just got the $25 SYBA model with Bes3100 DAC and Max97720AA amp chips. With my easier to drive 32 ohm Phillips headphones it’s only a slight upgrade over the JSAUX but it’s made a big difference with the 58x. You might want to check this one out. They claim 125 mW max output, but don’t say at what resistance, so could be anywhere from 1.4-2.0 Vrms. There exists also a Sharkoon Gaming DAC using the same chip combination which is 2.0 Vrms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks. I will check them out

      Liked by 1 person

      1. KenBalbari says:

        Thanks Andy, though having just tried them now with my IEMS, the noise is terrible. So I’m afraid it’s going to be much more of a niche product than I realized. Good only for some slightly hard to drive not too hard to drive headphones.

        Like

  32. acerimusdux says:

    Thanks so much for this site. I have the Apple USB-C, Meizu HiFi (non-pro), and can confirm that the JSAUX USB-C is better than either of those. After recently getting the summer special on the Sennheiser HD58x though, I found that I needed something with a little more power to get the most out of them. So I just got the $25 SYBA model with Bes3100 DAC and Max97720AA amp chips. With my easier to drive 32 ohm Phillips headphones it’s only a slight upgrade over the JSAUX but it’s made a big difference with the 58x. You might want to check this one out. They claim 125 mW max output, but don’t say at what resistance, so could be anywhere from 1.4-2.0 Vrms. There exists also a Sharkoon Gaming DAC using the same chip combination which is 2.0 Vrms.

    Like

  33. Naveen says:

    I have bought the VE Odyssey hd based on your review , thank you and could you please review the earmen eagle too?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      My pleasure. I hope I can get The Sparrow in September 🙂

      Like

  34. Martin says:

    Hi Andy! What is the address of the TTGK App in the google play store?

    Like

  35. Allan says:

    Do you have this yet?
    It looks the same as the cx-pro but slightly cheaper, labeled hi-dac, has alc5686 (2020 firmware)
    https://m.aliexpress.com/item/1005001719409146.html

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      No not yet. But may try to get it soon. Thanks

      Like

  36. A newbie here – your site has been incredibly valuable as I make my way back to an old hobby. I found your reply above intriguing and it leads me to ask the following newbie question – are there any issues with coupling one of the aforementioned high quality dongles – which will already have an amplified output – with an amp like the JDS Atom in order to drive higher resistance headphones? My apologies upfront if this is a bad question, but maybe there will be other newbies like myself who will benefit from my inexperience.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Hey thanks. Good questions. Yes I use some of my Dongles to serve as AUX feed for my Electrostatic Amp for Shure KSE1500. But not all are suitable, for example Ovidius B1 is not a good AUX source due to an already amplified output that it produced, same goes for THX Onyx. However especially the smaller Dongles that do not have separated Amp stage in them will do AUX perfectly. Avani, Odyssey HD or ASUS ROG Clavis would be my choice to do this role

      Like

      1. Zek says:

        Is it possible to use JCALY JM10 as a desktop DAC and connect to an integrated amplifier?

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Yes. JM10 has good clean output

        Like

      3. Thanks for the prompt reply Andy and suggestions. Rummaging through your site I see that you answered this already pretty much in the question section of the Hidizs S9 Pro review (submitter: mahakit). Sorry for the repeat question but thanks for being gracious in providing a comprehensive answer – again!

        Liked by 1 person

  37. Salley Vokes says:

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. many thanks

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks!. No, I just subscribe to WordPress and use the blank template and wrote as simple as possible. That seems to work haha

      Like

  38. Zek says:

    Thanks, Andy.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Hello! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Sorry to hear that. So far my page is okay. But I am relying on WordPress security to mitigate any issues like that (hacking etc.)

      Like

  40. Aris says:

    Patiently waiting for Hidizs DH80S (with battery) review from you :). I bought S9 Pro after reading your review, and I’m amazed by how it sounds to me. But the battery drain is my only reason to look for another dongle, and maybe it (DH80S) will take the spot from S9 Pro 🙂

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Hi. Sorry I have no plan to include battery operated DAC/Amp. I just don’t have the budget to go beyond Dongles. Thanks

      Like

  41. Rob says:

    Just saw this JCally JM6 dac with CX31993 chip: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003093384809.html?mp=1

    A CX31993 dac with good QC? Color me interested.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes I saw that too and plan to test it. JCally may probably do it better than CX-PRO in terms of quality, but then it is still an Ultra Budget item so I will not expect anything spectacular from it. If it sounds great then consider ourselves lucky, this is illegally cheap great sound (possibly)

      Like

  42. Powergeek says:

    Do you plan to review the new Sonata MHD? Thanks.

    Like

  43. slat says:

    Hοwdy would yоu mind letting me кnow which webhost you’re using?
    I’ve loaded ʏour blog in 3 different web browsers
    and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.

    Can y᧐u suggest a good hosting provider at a reasonable price?

    Cheers, I appreciate it!

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I am using WordPress 100%

      Like

  44. Fiq says:

    Hi Andy, just wondering how can a module like Jcally JM10 can be in the same rating with normal / simple avani dongle. So basically if we compare with same IEM, avani will provide audio quality as good as Jcally JM10?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes. They are ranked as such because they deliver the quality deserved. #donglemadness is especially focused on the output quality and if a $5 sounding as great as Avani then I will say it so, not gonna put excuses as why I didn’t rate them higher or lower. As you can see I rated a $300 DF Cobalt 3 stars because that’s exactly the reflection of its quality when subjected to the listening equipment I used to test them against. Many other dongles performed much better sonically than the overrated Cobalt.

      Like

      1. Fiq says:

        Thanks a lot Andy! It takes good work and passion to do this and you’re done the best!

        Liked by 1 person

  45. Rob says:

    Hello, which one would you recommed for the same price, Xnyocn Q2 or Tempotec Sonata hd pro? I’ll be mainly using it on my desktop PC with iems. Thanks

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      For primarily PC usage then definitely TempoTec Sonata HD Pro (FW3)

      Like

      1. Rob says:

        Thanks for the quick reply. Also, re-sale value is important for me too, Tempotec is probably better for that.

        Liked by 1 person

  46. Rob says:

    I guess this is the first small dongle with CS43198. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33023661641.html?mp=1

    Like

    1. Rob says:

      Looks like it’s another Jcally dongle and will be named as JM30 https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=652747287607

      Like

  47. Zek says:

    Do you intend to test the TempoTec Sonata E35?

    Like

  48. zach says:

    Do phones need to have OTG support to be able to use dongles?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I am pretty sure all Android phones have OTG natively, except for the very old models or special ones with very rare SOC

      Like

  49. lotoss25 says:

    Hello! Can you add your opuinion of questyle m12 ?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes already did. Check again my list in the ranks up there. I tested M12 long time ago

      Like

      1. lotoss25 says:

        Hello! Thank you!
        And how about Qudelix 5K ?

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Qudelix 5K I have not tested yet. Furthermore it falls under battery powered BT DAC/Amp and up until now I focus primarily on Dongles that are not battery powered or BT based

        Like

  50. CqTek says:

    Hi Andy.EF.

    I’m CqTek from hiendportable.com. I’ve reviewed a few dongles, not as many as you.
    I just reviewed the Tempotec Sonata E44 and I see you are in the process of reviewing it. In my humble opinion, this E44 has become one of my favorites under $100. So I would like to read your very reputable opinion on it soon.
    Best regards and good luck with your dongle madness.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks buddy. I am still testing the E44 in all possible load and scenarios, hopefully should be done in a day or two

      Like

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