iNassen (DISQUALIFIED)

DAC Chip: Conexant (Synaptics) CX21988
PCM 24bit – 96kHz, SNR: Undisclosed, Power: Undisclosed, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: YES), Metal Chassis & OFC Cable


LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING


FOREWORD

Same product ID as ZOOAUX 2nd Gen (Identical 100%)

💚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

  • Resolution limited to 24bit/96kHz
  • Driving power for great fidelity maxed out below 100Ω and with no less than 90db sensitivity.
  • A bit dry sounding compared to the top 3 performers
  • No volume adjuster
  • Amazon only item, not available elsewhere
  • May suffer from QC issues, if you are lucky you get a great copy, with $9 there has to be a compromise since this is not a bespoke handmade unit, it is an assembly line product, probably with near zero QC (just like tons of other ultra budget Dongles)

VERDICT

iNassen. The moment I listened to this device I immediately recognized the sound of ZOOAUX CX21988. And that made it all super easy for me to grade it alongside ZOOAUX, Xumee and Avani in the same exact group – #donglemadness 4½ Stars Performer.

The differences between iNassen CX21988/ZOOAUX CX21988 and Xumee ALC5686/ZOOAUX ALC5686/Avani ALC5686– very little. What my ears telling me, the ALC5686 version seems to offer a hair better timbre coherence and dynamics, volume loudness slightly more on ALC5686 version, while the rest of the spectrum are identical. Tonality wise and staging also identical, so does the technical capabilities. The factory that built them are damned good at tuning and implementation to keep the standards consistent despite using different DAC chips.

PS: Avani is the exact same model as Amazon’s Xumee, branded differently for Asian consumers who don’t have access to Amazon. Avani is available through Venture Electronics sales network. Xumee, ZOOAUX and iNassen remained Amazon only exclusives.


DISQUALIFIED ($9.00)

Best Pairing: Flexible for anything less demanding under 100Ω

Back to #donglemadness

15 Comments

  1. May I know where you bought your iNassen from? A quick google search of it shows me dongles that are all rocking realtek chips..

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    1. If you read again my review for iNassen you will find that I already mentioned this is an Amazon only exclusive product. Not found anywhere else similar to ZOOAUX and Xumee. Amazon advertised it as ALC4050 but in reality it runs on CX21988 when I checked it using TTGK App that will reveal hardware information. All these has been written clearly on my iNassen review. For now iNassen I think ran out of stock in Amazon shop and will likely be replaced again internally with something else. I have seen this pattern with Amazon dongles where the internals were changed and the seller did not even notify the buyers. Thanks

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  2. I blog frequently and I really thank you for your information. Your article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

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  3. Aw, this was a very good post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

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      1. Thanks. Then it is confirmed iNassen on Amazon being sold with at least two different DAC Chips inside while the exterior remained identical. This is why I took out ZOOAUX and iNassen from my list

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  4. Admiring the commitment you put into your blog and in depth information you offer. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

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