USB DAC/amp (dongles)

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by Stuff Jones, May 17, 2021.

  1. nishan99

    nishan99 Friend

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    That's the older version. Seems like ibasso withdrawn the sale for the new unreleased products

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004374869183.html

    https://www.googleadservices.com/pa...LWJ_JD9AhUOVqQEHXBsDHIQ9aACKAB6BAgGEBw&adurl=
     
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  2. DigMe

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  3. Biodegraded

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    On the topic of cheap dongles: has anybody heard the iFi GO Link?
     
  4. DigMe

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    I don’t know why these dongles aren’t all made with a detachable cable like the one I reviewed above. It’s an obvious failure point that can’t be easily replaced. With replaceable you can switch between lightning or USB-C and replace breaks and it seems like it really doesn’t need to be bigger.
     
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  5. Biodegraded

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    I'm on the fence about that. Being replaceable is certainly good in case the cable breaks or if you have an application where a different length would be useful or would add distance from a source of interference (Earmen Sparrow). But for general phone use, it's yet another connector that adds bulk and can come apart when jostled around in your pocket.
     
  6. Biodegraded

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    Just ordered one, so I'll let myself know :)
     
  7. MrSheep

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    New R2R dongle from HiBy - FC6. Price will be around 300$.
     
  8. JK47

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    My iBasso DC03 Pro arrived yesterday and good grief, this and the 7hz Timeless are a ridiculously great budget IEM combo. Pretty dang close to a reference sound for me, it's stupid good. Tried it with iPhone 13 mini and Mac Book Pro M1 without issue.
     
  9. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I liked mine so much that I’m upgrading to their DX320 standalone DAP and have found used pairs of the OG Campfire Vega and the ie600 to try with it and compare against the Timeless.
     
  10. DigMe

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    Damn! You went from budget to bling pretty quickly! :D
     
  11. DigMe

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    somebody else spend 25 bucks on this thing so we can see if we get a consensus here.
     
  12. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I do a lot of listening before/in bed these days, so I figured it would be worth it to go higher end since this is the majority of my headphone time. Plus used prices on OG Vegas are extremely low considering it was over $1k when it first came out, and I happened across a very nice deal on a slightly used pair of ie600s otherwise I wouldn't have picked them up as well.
     
  13. DigMe

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    I was mainly talking about the DAP. That’s like $1500 or more, isn’t it? I’m not criticizing your purchase btw just to be clear. I was just laughing at how quickly that escalated from “great budget dac,” in typical SBAF style. :)
     
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  14. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Yeah, I also got a very good deal on the DAP used. I considered jumping to the DX170, which is $450 new, but I liked the dongle so much that I wanted to hear what ibasso could do in a cost no object device. If it's not a huge leap in sound quality I can always resell it and get one of their lower tier DAPs.
     
  15. Biodegraded

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    iFi GO link - $US59. TLDR: great for the price - forgiving tonal balance and good technicalities, good synergy with a variety of IEMs.

    Associated gear: USB Audio Player Pro from Samsung S10, into 7Hertz Timeless planar, JVC HA-FDX1 single DD, Massdrop Plus 3BA, Ultimate Ears UE900S (I haven't tried it with headphones).
    Comparisons: EarMen Sparrow (balanced & SE), Audioquest DragonFly Black, Apple adapter; and from memory & notes, Helm Bolt, Shanling UA1, Tempotec Sonata BHD. Also listened vs the not-dongles iFi nano iDSD Black Label & iFi hip-dac.

    The overall tonal signature tends towards iFi's warmer house sound, but not making it anywhere near as far as nano iDSD BL or (particularly) hip-dac, possibly because of the GO link's Sabre DAC vs the PCM 179? in the others: warm and full but not overly rounded in the bass, clean but restrained in the upper mids & treble, no obvious upper mid peak unlike the Sonata BHD and (to a lesser extent) the Shanling. Strong but not overly exaggerated macrodynamics, transients quick in the upper mids and highs but more rounded in the bass.

    Vs EarMen Sparrow bal., GO link is warmer. Bass and treble are a little rounder, bass leading edges in particular not as well defined as Sparrow bal. Not quite the clarity of Sparrow bal. in upper mids, not too far off though. Not as ‘fast’. Less energetic and less extended treble.

    Sparrow SE is inferior to GO link in every sense – bass control, macrodynamics, treble texture, resolution (nuance).

    DragonFly Black: with Timeless, oof, really loose in the bass in comparison. Smooths the FDX1 delivery and fills out the bass nicely, but there’s a bit of harshness & fuzziness in upper mids & treble that has me looking forward to the Cobalt. GO Link not bad by comparison, bass is still warm but better textured, mids are more forward but less fuzzy, Highs are better resolved.

    Apple adapter is strangely thick in the bass, particularly with the Massdrop Plus; and macrodynamically soft.

    GO link does well with all these 'phones: with Timeless, good bass control despite Timeless's issues there, good macrodynamics (not up with Sparrow bal., but having enough welly to compensate for the Timeless's softer character); with FDX1, again good bass control (vs Helm Bolt, which seemed to me loose and one-note with the JVC bass) and not too offensive in the uppermost mids (Bolt was ok there too, but Sonata and even UA1 were too elevated); with Massdrop Plus, good nuance in the upper mids & highs; maybe less successful with UE900S, which have a dip in the upper mids that was more synergistic with the UA1's tonality.

    Of these comparisons with these earphones, I'd put GO link second to EarMen Sparrow balanced except maybe with the sharp and fast FDX1s, with which the GO link's slightly softer dynamics are a better match. I'd have to listen again to the Helm Bolt, which has a more mid-centric balance and trusting to memory might have been a bit smoother in the upper mids & highs but doesn't do well with the FDX1s in the bass. I didn't hear the Helm with the Timeless.

    Non-sound stuff: It's surprisingly small and skinny - length & width wouldn't fit a USB-C socket. The USB-C plug at the phone end is pretty bulky (same width & depth as the body of the dongle); this might be an issue with some phone cases but even though it was too thick to fit properly inside mine, the business part of the plug goes into the phone socket very securely. The connecting cable is flexible but seems sturdy. A USB-C to Lightning adapter comes in the package.

    Hopefully somebody can compare to the similarly-priced iBasso DC03 Pro.
     
  16. Thad E Ginathom

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    Thanks. I just lost my Geekout thingy, which was a gift from someone who wasn't using it. But what I hated about it was the temperature: it got very hot.

    This is about my budget. It won't have much use.
     
  17. Biodegraded

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    I forgot to mention - it does get warm. Not hot, but warm.
     
  18. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Comfortable keeping it in a pocket? With the Geekout thingy that would have felt like a fire risk. Seriously.
     
  19. Biodegraded

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    Oh yeah - no problem in a pocket.

    What earphones do you plan to use it with?
     
  20. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Nothing special. RHA - MA390. Well, OK for low budget.
     

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