Hill Audio ALC4050

DAC Chip: Realtek ALC4050 (Single)
PCM 32bit-384khz, SNR: Unspecified, Power: Unspecified, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: YES), Metal Chassis & SPC Cable


LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING


💚PROS

  • Clean neutral smooth, coherent timbre, Mids focused.
  • Vibrant dynamics, fun and groovy, very musical
  • Neat Treble textures with smooth decays, velvety airiness
  • Commanding Mid-Bass with great textures, fast extensions, and decay
  • Sub-Bass exhibit great texture definition, so does the Mids
  • Forward, and lush male/female vocals, good depth
  • Great macro and micro details retrieval, nicely nuanced
  • Realistic Piano, Violin, Sax and Cello attack and tones
  • Realistic mild edged guitars and stringed instruments tone
  • Realistic percussions tone, chimes and bells sounded vivid.
  • Great speed and attack handling, no congestion, no compression
  • Impressive sibilance resistance all the time
  • Tall and spacious Soundstage
  • Good imaging, not razor sharp but spatial projection is holographic.
  • Excellent black background with zero floor noise
  • Great synergy with many type of IEMs/Headphones
  • Drives Magnetic Planar with ease (75/100 Volume)

💔CONS

  • Not as powerful – limited up to 100Ω for full fidelity.
  • Lacking a bit of transparency to make it genuinely great unit.
  • Not an outright technical sounding unit
  • No hardware volume adjuster

VERDICT

Hill Audio ALC4050. This dongle reminds me a lot of the JCally JM04Pro, another excellent Realtek ALC DAC implementation. It is very clean sounding with vibrant dynamics that even make my TIN HiFi P1 sound exciting and musical. Perhaps not as razor sharp with precision but then the silver lining of that is, very smooth presentation that will not induce fatigue for extended listening indulgence. A great deal of people will find this ALC4050 entertaining, me included. It is polished and mature in many ways, not attempting to overdo anything. This is one very modest dongle, and that modesty is its greatest appeal. Synergize great with many type of IEMs/Headphones up to 100Ω, but even better with technically competent BA or speedy DDs. In fact, I am liking this one better than JM04Pro because the JM04Pro may have some tendencies to exhibit some treble glare on shouty/peaky music. So personally, I will give extra points on that element.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ ($9.40)

Best Pairing: Technically adept IEMs/Headphones up to 100Ω

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