EQUIPMENT USED

These equipment determines the sound impressions that I described in my Dongle reviews and ranking. Different type of equipment may sound different to others from the same Dongle. Almost all of my IEMs/HPs are natively neutral and natural with high level of technical competencies

DD IEMs & Earbuds: ETYMÒTIC ER2XR, VE Monk GO, VE Asura 2.0 (155Ω) , VE Monk+, HZSOUND Heart Mirror, Moondrop Aria, VE Duke MK1, TForce Audio Yuan Li
Balanced Armature IEM: ETYMÒTIC ER4SR (45Ω /98db)
Electrostatic IEM: Shure KSE1500 (Energizer Mode Only)
Magnetic Planar IEM: TIN HiFi P1 (95db)
Magnetic Planar HPs: Monolith M565c (96db) & FOSTEX T40RP MK3 (91db)
DD Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro 250Ω & AKG K52 177Ω
Reference DAP: Cayin N6ii E02 (ES9038Q2M Discrete 2X Balanced)
Reference DAC/AMP: Topping D10s/A50s (ES9038Q2M/XU208)
Adapters: Custom 47Ω (Optional), ddHiFi TC28i iOS Lightning to C

Cables: VE SDIC 6n OFC (FOSTEX T40RP MK3), VE SPC (Heart Mirror), VE Candy (Aria) Etymotic SPC, Etymotic OFC
Source Transport: LG V35, Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, Xiaomi Mi9t, Samsung Galaxy S20 & iPhone 7-8

Source Media: Lossless Deezer Offline FLAC 44.1/16Bit

Test Songs Playlist on Deezer

USB CONSIDERATIONS

This is IMPORTANT!, the type of USB the Dongles plugs into have great influence to the sound quality.

  • USB 2.0 is more common on 70% of the Android phones
  • Apple iOS Lightning runs on USB 2.0 power delivery
  • USB 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 offers higher power output (Watt)
  • Older Micro USB uses USB 2.0 but audibly “softer” power

Some of the bigger Dongles audibly perform better when plugged to USB 3.0 because the higher wattage ensures that the Amp stage receive maximum power feed. The smaller dongles may still benefit from the extra power but may also be exposed to higher risk of floor noise especially if they are poorly designed and implemented.

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