Andy EF have sent me a few of his highly rated Dongles DAC/Amp for my honest impressions. ‘Honest’ is the key word here and I am giving my own impressions on these dongles. Please take my impressions with a touch of a grain of salt as everyone taste and interpretation of good sound is different. I myself prefer sound with great details, airy forward highs and a neutral but with a tight bass response. Here are the dongles provided to me.
- Ovidius B1
- Luxury & Precision W2
- ZOOAUX USB C
These are the dongles that I have in possession to compare:
- Hidizs S9 PRO
- Ibasso DC03
- Ugreen USB C
- ALC4042 dongle
- JSAUX USB C
- Lotoo PAW S1
These are my earphones and earbuds used for this mini review and I will not use my headphones as they are not meant for portability (Beyerdynamic T1, HiFiMan HE560, HD800s)
- Beyerdynamic Xelento
- Intime Kira
- Moondrop A8
- Audio Technica CKW1000ANV
- HZ Sound Heart Mirror
- Blon A8 Prometheus
- Hidizs MS1
- VE Zen Lite
- Blur DaBass
- Toneking TO600
- JCally EP09
- Tingo Tg38sa
One of the best sounding dongles I ever tried. Everything is fast, crisp and sweet with very good clarity from top to bottom. Very powerful and able to drive my 600ohms earbuds with ease. It is balanced sounding and slightly aggressive but still in control unlike AK PEE51 which can sound a little fatigued after long sessions.
Synergy is good with all my gears and matches them well. Bass is tight, fast and deep at the same time. Mids is slightly forward, sounded very musical and very clear for vocals. Highs is crisp, fast, clean, smooth and airy. The highs are simply the best and everything sound so crisp like eating a good bag of Lay’s chips.
Soundstage is good and it gives out a good depth in my music. Details is top-class and brings out every single detail in the music I’ve tested. Timbre and separation are excellent, everything is crystal clear even with complex songs. Highly recommend this dongle. 5 stars for this dongle without a doubt. 97/100
Luxury & Precision W2
A different sound signature versus the B1. Tone is more to warm, laid-back, smooth and thick sound. There is a lot of function like EQ, sound pre-sets and gain settings making it slightly more versatile. Normal settings in high gain are the settings best suits me. Synergy is a little tricky with this W2. With Heart Mirror, Moondrop A8 and some of my earbuds may sound a little laid-back for me on certain tracks and it reminded me of the Sennheiser HD650 stock sound, which some may and may not like.
But, with my Xelento and intime Kira it sounded sublime and a true upgrade in all aspect for me. Bass on the W2 is tight, thick and deep. Sub-bass is extended and add some rumble in the bass. Mids is very thick and detailed. Micro details on this W2 is great but the Ovidius B1 is better in this area. Highs on the W2 is neutral in my opinion and the highs are silky smooth with no fatigue for long sessions. Highs possesses some air and have a decent extension.
Soundstage on the W2 is big, goes deep and width is very good. Slightly bigger than B1 but not very apparent. The sound I would describe the W2 is HiFi-ish laid-back, warm, very detailed and smooth. For me it is an upgrade over the Lotoo Paw S1 in terms of details, driving power and thicker sound overall. Is it worth double the price of the Paw S1? Maybe, but those who wants the smooth sound with all the perks in sound setting like EQ, gain switch etcetera like the S1 with a better sound, then yes. 95/100
Similar sounding to the Ovidius B1 but slightly less musical and bass has less bite unlike the B1. It is not as powerful unlike the B1 and W2. I needed to add 2 clicks on volume up to match the same loudness level.
Bass on the ZOOAUX is good and has a very slight boost, also it goes quite deep but not as deep like on the W2. Bass is somewhere between the W2 and B1 for me. Mids is thick, lush and clear. Mids sounded very good to my ears and on par with the B1 but it is less musical on the ZOOAUX. Highs is smooth and neutral with decent extension. Highs sounded quite airy and it is clearer than the W2. Details on this
ZOOAUX is excellent. Where I am surprised by this dongle is the holographic, 3D and realistic timbre it produces. On IEMs is good but on my earbuds it is excellent. It gives my earbuds a better imaging and everything sounds so realistic. So realistic that I have mistaken some notes/sound came from the outside. The soundstage it provides is huge and I do feel its bigger than the W2 and B1 but. Its mind boggling for the price in terms of its imaging and separation.
The sound quality is really good on the ZOOAUX but what it lacks is power to drive 600ohms earbuds which is fine for the size and price. I am skeptical at first but the holographic details blew my mind. Given the price and size, it is a truly a gem. 92/100
Thanks for reading guys… hope this will provide some info to users out there.
Original article by Edmund (FB Link)
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