DAC Chip: ESS Sabre ES9318 + SA9302 (Single)
PCM 32bit – 384khz DSD256, SNR: -130dB, Power: 2 Vrms, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: Unspecified), Aluminum Chassis & SPC Cable
LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING
- Clear crisp neutral timbre with balanced tonality
- Well controlled dynamics, mildly airy presentation
- Great, well nuanced Micro and Macro details, very transparent
- Balanced Mids with great textures and definition, natural toned Male/Female vocals
- Sparkly Treble with crisp decays, great extensions
- Smooth Mid-Bass with equally crisp decays
- Sub-Bass offers audible seismic response with mild decays.
- Crisp guitars, piano, percussions (chimes, bells) and drums and taps
- Well-rounded soundstage size with good depth and placement
- Great holographic spatial imaging with precise placement
- Amazing speed and dexterity on complex passages and transients
- Super clean background, zero floor noises
- Clean layers and well-defined separation lines
- Great synergy with HZSOUND Heart Mirror
- Less smooth-edged timbre and decays
- Treble focus exhibited metallic sheen on highly resolving IEMs/HPs.
- Driving power was not great compared to the top performers.
- Coherence level a tiny bit lower than the top performers
- Not forgiving on Lo-Fi or poor-quality sources (being very transparent)
- No volume adjuster
ES-PRO Audio. This unit is an example of sharp tuned ESS DAC. It is crisp and edgy. While being clean and balanced, somehow coherence level was not that great that the timbre exhibited lack of smoothness exhibited by the top performers. The use of this ES-Pro dongle will be best for non-resolving IEMs or Headphones. If you have Etymotic ER4SR/ER2XR or Beyerdynamic DT990, better stay away from this one. I have a feeling that this ES-Pro will pair very nicely with the likes of Sennheiser. Well at least it was commendably good with my Tin HiFi P1 and actually great with Heart Mirror, but then the P1 and Heart Mirror are not as resolving and transparent as the Etys duo. I didn’t even try to pair it with the ultra-resolving KSE1500, what I heard from the Etys duo discouraged me from doing so. ES-PRO is undoubtedly a very technical competent dongle, but it needs to be paired correctly to get the best out of it.
Best Pairing: Natively warm IEMs/Headphones (150Ω max)
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