Overall

As an audiophile and restless traveler, this little gadget works great with my iPhone X. I plugged into it my state of the art, high impedance headphones and got all the sonic clarity of beautiful 32-bits. This under $100 DAC sounds great but lacks volume; it doesn´t have enough juice for truly high impedance toys. It also drains the battery of your phone a little too fast. Besides those two cons, it is a great addition to our Hi-Fi obsession.

Pros

  • Bass Boost makes a real difference
  • Supports DSD formats
  • Official MAC MFi and Hi-RES certifications

Cons

  • Needs to be cranked when in 3.5mm
  • Drains the phone battery too much
  • Micro to lightning cable is very hard to replace

Inputs: Micro USB, 3.5mm
Outputs: 3.5mm, 2.5mm (balanced)
Max Sampling Rate: 32-bit – 384Khz
MQA: No
DSD: Yes
Dimensions (HxWxD): 0.47 inches x 2.32 inches x 3.9 inches

Build and Compatibility

The build quality is great. You don´t have the problem of moving the volume knob as much as with other brands because you can use a pouch to protect it while keeping it in your pocket. That being said, all other sliding switches are really hard to operate due to the small size. They feel very sturdy, though; it seems like a very well-built unit.

In terms of compatibility, I would say that it is very limited. If you are an avid Mac user, it is a great add-on but if you happen not to be, you´ll be missing much. The micro to lightning cable is superb, it is about time more companies manufacture such a piece.

On the other hand, it is very hard to replace if it fails or gets broken. Finally, it automatically recognizes what sound source you´re plugging into it and acts accordingly which I think it´s great. That makes it basically a plug and play add-on; my favorite type of add-on.

Sound

I think this is what this device does best: it sounds amazing. I mean, I am an audiophile and have been through many DACs in my life but few sounded like this.

It is crisp and clear and works marvels with any style of music. I do think that it lacks juice for true hi-end equipment. Plugging in some very high impedance headphones makes you realize it can´t handle them. I had to crank it and put on the gain boost all the time to be able to hear well.

On the other hand, even being difficult to turn on, the bass boost makes a healthy difference to the sound. All in all, it sounds great at the volume it can generate.

Conclusion

For audiophiles who want to have a good experience while on the road and love Mac equipment, this could be the Holy Grail. I hope in later editions they update the power amp and make this device more powerful. I wouldn´t recommend it for home use but it really adds to the sound of your phone or laptop.

You can see it playing native DSD files here

Last update on 2020-04-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API