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Having read other reviews I was expecting to be blown away by improved sound quality, but it simply doesn't improve the sound in most cases. I've updated the firmware as suggested on the manufacturers website to the highest setting and relevant computer/phone settings.
Using Shure SE535LTD and Tidal HiFi there is no difference in quality over the built in DAC in a Oneplus 6T and a barely discernible difference on a windows laptop.
It does however work as an external USB-C DAC on handsets without a built in DAC (such as the Google Pixel) but again offers no improvement in sound quality over the 3.5mm jack.
Well made in black metal. Dramatically more volume than typical £10 DAC/dongles for 3.5mm jackless smartphones (e.g. the one from Google). Setting the playback 'mode' is tricky, though the default mode is good enough for most people. The support for higher sampling rates is nice to have, should you have some 96kHz or higher music, though my 50 year old ears couldn't tell the difference - so it's all about the volume! A high quality accessory for people wanting high quality wired audio.
Fantastic little amp, great price, great sound and barely any bigger than the standard USB-c to 3.5mm jack adapter that came with my phone. There are currently some compatibility issues with certain Huawei and mediatek devices when in Highest quality 24 bit 192khz mode (firmware version D) and firmware version c, there is a revised version of firmware A that works fine with these devices in 24 bit @192khz. I'm using one on my Huawei p20 Pro and it's great.
I paid for 2 of these to have a spare as it was only £25. The first one I tries played fine for 2 seconds then the volume lowered and the music started to sound extremely distorted. Tried it on 2 different android phones, macbook and windows desktop and all had the same problem. I tried the firmware upgrade on there site but it didn't make a difference. I then tried the 2nd one and they it played a white noise over whatever audio you listen to through it. I tried the firmware upgrade on there site but it would not recognize the DAC was plugged in even though windows clearly showed it was. I would not recommend this to anyone until this problem is sorted.
How the hell do you fit such power in something like this?
So, I used to use a portable amp for my headphones and it was about half the size of the phone accompanying it. This is just an adapter. It's bigger than the usual ones (barring Motorola and Razer) but not at all oversized. Probably like 10cm total, and somehow it fits a powerful amp and fantastic DAC inside that brings me a new confidence playing audio through my phone. Power, soundstage, clarity, precision, and hell now I'm even noticing timing differences.
I'm fawning 100% but for £28 and no additional carry in my day to day this is all I will ever need. What they've done is phenomenal.
I was bitterly disappointed with how my Oppo PM3s sounded with my new Huawei Mate 20 Pro and its USB C adapter... No volume and really really poor sound. Was considering selling the headphones. Then I dropped £20 on one of these, not expecting a lot, but OMG wow!! It let's the PM3s sing! They sound engaging, exhilarating and detailed again. And they are going nowhere. More volume too. If only phone manufacturers would bother integrate this level of electronics out of the box... But until they do. Get one of these. Really, just buy it! You won't regret it and will hear the difference immediately!
I came to the my pixel 3 phone from my old htc 10 that had a stellar headphone output. The moment I put my headphones into the included dongle in the pixel 3 box I was disappointed. The volume was quiet and had lost alot of punch and detail. After doing some research, I discovered that the fault is not the phone but the dac of the pixel 3 dongle which outputs voltage levels way lower than other vendors. Doing some research I read that this convertor is one of the best on the market. But at £30 at time of purchase I had to think about it. After a couple of days, I decided to take the plunge and I'm so glad I did! The sound output from this is on par with my HTC 10 and light years from the included Google dongle. The sound is louder, yes, but also contains more detail and the soundstage is a lot wider. I can't recommend this product enough.
Oh, before I forget, the fact this comes with a USB c to usb a convertor (to use on older laptops) and a very sturdy carry case for this and your earphones adds even more to the package.
Surprised how good the sound is for something so small. I mostly use my dap but wanted a alternative my Huawei p20 pro which the incl dongle and earphones aren't great. This works fantastic very nice sound and powerful. Also works on my desktop.
Oh dear, I started a return and gave this a scathing review - it turns out I just needed to push harder to insert my headphone jack - what a numpty! This works fine on my Pixel 4. I compared this between the standard jack on my laptop and this device using the USB-C port - the sound is definitely much 'harder' in a good way.