CX-Pro Audio 31993

DAC Chip: Conexant CX31993 (Single)
PCM 32bit – 384khz, SNR: -128dB, Power: 2 Vrms 65mW x2, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: YES), 12mm, 5g, Aluminum Chassis with Braided Cable


LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING


💚PROS

  • Sparkly clean timbre, natural and realistic, mildly euphonic
  • Spacious airy note, great coherence.
  • Great Treble textures and extensions, polished crisp decays
  • Visceral Mid-Bass punch, rich textured body and crisp decays
  • Neutral Mids, not too forward nor recessed, richly texture, smooth.
  • Rich Sub-Bass with tingling and polished seismic feedback
  • Beautifully nuanced and crisp details retrieval, highly transparent
  • Realistic tonality to guitars, cello, percussions, and piano
  • Amazing speed and transients handling, amazing dexterity
  • Properly sized soundstage with natural feel to the spatial imaging
  • Great separation of layers with precise holographic projection
  • Good driving power, 65/100 volume to drive Tin HiFi P1
  • Great synergy with about anything (no lower than 94db of sensitivity & over 250Ω)
  • Very forgiving on poor quality recordings and Lo-Fi music despite being very transparent
  • Good sibilance resistances even on shouty music
  • Clean black background even on low impedance IEM (TRN-MT1)
  • Doesn’t get hot even after over 5 hours of usage.
  • Very merciful on battery drain

💔CONS

  • Being this cheap, there’s potential QC issue and consistencies. As with many cheap Chifi items
  • No mechanical volume adjuster
  • No Balanced Output
  • 90/100 for normal loudness on T40RP MK3
  • Compared to other dongles in the same range, driving power for demanding pairing seems lower

VERDICT

CX-Pro Audio CX31993. When I started this #donglemadness, this is exactly what I was hoping to discover. A true performer that’s modest and unpretentious. There’s no hype surrounding this CS unit, just sheer performance both technically and musically. It has some of the most balanced timbre projection I have listened to so far, and it is consistent across all of my IEMs and Headphones – exhibiting flexible synergy better than any other 5 stars dongle I have tested so far. It has the power, sparkly smooth Treble, deep commanding Bass, richly textured Mids, it has it all – well balanced and not overcooked. On the subject of cooking, I believe one of the reasons this CX unit exhibited stellar stability was due to great power management. It doesn’t seem to want to heat up even used for long hours. Not forgetting the merciful power draw on the host despite being a powerful unit that can drive even the notoriously stubborn Tin HiFi P1. For the asking price of no more than $13, this one is a no brainer ⭐⭐⭐⭐½ performer.

18 July 2021 Update:

The arrival of my FOSTEX T40RP MK3 91db Magnetic Planar warranted for a re-test of for some of the top performers I have tested before. This include CX-Pro. The test was done using my iPhone 7 USB 2.0 (USB-C to Lightning ddHiFi adapter). All on Deezer HiFi FLAC.

First of all, the volume required to be cranked all the way to 90/100 and over for proper listening loudness. What I have observed, the CX-Pro has lost that euphonic signature to the timbre vibrancy. It is still decently engaging to not sound outright meek. However, worth to note that on many songs, I can’t shake the feeling that the overall presentation now being held back, reserved and occasionally recessed. Luckily the mids somehow managed to not degrade that it retained a semblance of neutrality to the tone and texture. Treble suffered a little as it seems the extension are not as far reaching now, it rolled off earlier. Bass remained fast and tight, still amply punchy and vibrant.

Most importantly, unlike iBasso DC04 and DF Cobalt, CX-Pro survived intact by not falling apart on timbre and dynamics coherence – despite being less euphonic now. It remained stable cranked at 90-100/100 volume. All these taken into consideration, CX-Pro retained its place in the ⭐⭐⭐⭐½ segment but will now be placed behind Shanling UA2 which fared better with the T40RP tests.

A/B Contest with Ovidius B1:
– A hair crisper and more rounded timbre on Ovidius B1
– A step more intimate Mids on Ovidius B1
– Ovidius B1 3 steps more powerful than CX-Pro (both already quite stellar in driving capability)
– Ovidius B1 still brutally unforgiving to Lo-Fi recordings, CX-Pro much more accommodating

For CX-Pro to even stand so close beside Ovidius B1 is a testament how stellar this nondescript unit is. Ovidius B1 keep on reminding me why it is still my No.1 personal best dongle.

⭐⭐⭐⭐½ ($13.00)

Best Pairing: Flexible for anything less demanding under 100Ω

Back to #donglemadness

50 Comments

  1. You are very right, this dongel pur its price is very good, for me the best dongol for this price, everything pointed out in the review is correct, I tried it with a blon Bl 05s and Phone redmi note 8

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I also ordered this DAC, I’m looking forward to it, curiosity takes over) . It’s very cool, Andy, that you decided to make your own format ,and thereby fence yourself off from prying judging eyes, further success to you)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Based on your review, this is value for money. Just had mine and still trying to figure how difference between this and a more expensive Dragonfly Red. Noticed though that it says file not supported when playing DSD.

    Like

  4. Im amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thats both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that too few folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I found this in my search for something relating to this.🤗 🤗 2021-08-30 04h 19min

    Like

  5. I find it quite capable and actually a pleasure to listen to. I have it driving my Senn HD580 just fine. With my Sony IER-M7, the sound is wonderful. I keep mine at work to use on my laptop. If it gets stolen, big whoop.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi sir, will HM+cx31993 be a good combo (I mean the sound)? I’m about to buy HM, but still don’t know if it can get along well with my cx31993.

        Like

  6. I bought it for 5 dollars and a couple cents from aliexpress to dive my Moondrop SSP (30 dollars). Those will be my first IEMs apart from those that used to came with smartphones! Just waiting for it.

    Like

    1. Not optimal, it will still be listenable just like my FOSTEX T40RP MK3 (91db 50 Ohm). You will be better off with VE Odyssey HD for Magnetic Planars if you want compact Dongles. Or if you have the budget, get TempoTec Sonata E44 which runs great on Planars

      Like

    1. No I would not recommend CX-Pro for something like a DT240 Pro, with a sensitivity of 98db DT240 Pro will be better served with VE Odyssey HD instead (if you are looking for compact sized budget options). Otherwise I would recommend either TempoTec Sonata E44 or Ovidius B1

      Like

  7. Can I use this for my pc? Will it not get too hot if it’s plugged in for a long time? Planning to pair it with my blessing 2 dusk

    Like

  8. Hello boss, have you try this for gaming (PC)? Last time i bought ALC5686 when i use mic ingame (CSGO) the dongle has stopped. Something like connection issue. Need to reconnect the dongle or use another usb soundcard. I’m tired already using multiple dac and soundcard for input and output.

    Like

  9. Hello sir. I’m new to Head-Fi. Do you think this Conexant CX31993 can pair with Venture Electronics Monk Plus and play Hi-Res/DSD track withou any problem? Will it be the ultimate best combo for cheap Head-Fi? Thank you sir

    Like

      1. Thank you for your response sir. But unfortunately, I already spend on Conexant dongle. If to buy another dongle, that would be out of my budget. However, do you think Conexant dongle still best work with Monk 64ohm? Thank you in advance

        Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s