Hidizs DH80 DAC/Amplifier Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hidizs DH80 Portable DAC/AMP Review

  

Introduction:

Hidizs Technology Co. Ltd. was founded in 2009 and offers a wide variety of portable audiophile equipments such like Digital Audio Players (DAP), Digital to Analogue Converters (DAC), Amplifiers and In-Ear Monitors.

The DH80 is a Portable DAC/AMP in form of a Dock for the AP80 & AP80 Pro Digital Audio Players that adds features like 4.4mm Balanced Output, MQA with 8x Unfold, 210mW Output Power @ 32Ω and many more. Hidizs offers also the DH80S which is a the same device without the Docking interface.

 

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank Hidizs for providing me the DH80 Portable DAC/AMP as review sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Hidizs beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.

 

Price & Availability:

The Hidizs DH80 & DH80S will be released on April 1st. The pre-sale price will be $109.00 USD while the original pirce is $139.00 USD. More information’s can be found under the link below;

  

  

Package and Accessories:

The Hidizs DH80 came in a pretty small cardboard box in black colour with the product illustration and some product brandings on the top and product related specifications/information’s about the DH80 at the rear side.

This box contains the following items;

  • 1 x Hidizs DH80 DAC/AMP
  • 1 x USB Type-C to USB A data and charging cable
  • 1 x USB Type-C to USB A Adaptor
  • 1 x Metal Plate With Adhesive Surface
  • 1 x Warranty card

 

 

Design, Buttons and Build Quality:

The Hidisz DH80 is Portable DAC/AMP that was designed for the Hidizs AP80 & AP80 Pro Digital Audio Players (in short DAP), while Hidizs offers also the same device with the model number DH80S without the docking interface for use with other devices. Both the DH80 and the DH80S do work with multiple devices with Windows 10, Mac OS, iOS, Android OS or newer systems.

The DH80 is pretty small and relative lightweight device with dimension of 70×50×12mm and a weight of about 82,3grams.

It has a CNC machined Aluminum Alloy body that will be available in 4 different colors, which are Blue, Red, Champagne and Black like my review sample.

At the right surface of the device is a power indicator, the power on/off switch and the independent volume control buttons.

On the front of the device is a plastic surface with leather texture. This surface is pretty soft, so that it can protect the AP80 or AP80 Pro from any scratches when you use install them to the device.

Here is also the docking part of the device with a USB Type-C Male interface that fits with the USB Type-C female connector of the AP80 and AP80 Pro.

Behind this surface is a built-in magnet that is pretty strong. So you need to apply the Adhesive Metal Plate to your AP80/AP80 Pro that was included to the package.

The sports a Gain switch with a 3 Level Gain Selection. It is a bit difficult to put the switch in to the middle position.

At the bottom of the DAC/Amplifier are the 4.4mm Balanced & 3.5mm Single Ended outputs, the USB Type-C data and charging port and the status LED indicator.

LED indicator lights up in different colors, synchronized with the sampling rate of the currently played track. Red for 44.1k-48k, Blue for 88.2k-384k and Pink for MQA.

At the rear side of the device are some product releated brandings and industrial certifications.,

The overall build quality of the DH80 is solid tacks to the Aluminum Alloy body that has a robust look and feel.

 

 

 

Technical Specifications:
  • Model                         : Hidizs DH80
  • DAC Chip                    : ESS ES9281C PRO
  • THD+N                       : -110dB
  • SNR                            : +130dB
  • Sampling Rates          : Up to 32Bit/384Khz
  • MQA                           : 8x MQA Unfold
  • DSD                            : DSD 64/128
  • Op Amp                      : RT6863C X2
  • Power Connector        : USB Type-C
  • Battery                        : 1300mAh 3.7V Li-Polymer Battery
  • Charging Time            : approx 2.5 hours
  • Battery Life                 : 6 hours for 4.4mm Balanced & 8 hours for the 3.5mm Single Ended
  • Supported Systems    : Windows 10,Mac OS, iPad OS, Android, iOS or newer systems
  • Dimensions                 : 70×50×12mm
  • Net Weight                 : 82.3g

 

 

 

Hardware and Functionality:

The Hidizs DH80/DH80S is a small Portable DAC/Amplifier with hardware features like a ESS9281C PRO DAC Chip, Dual Crystal Oscillators and Dual OP AMP’s.

 

A) ESS9281C Pro Digital to Analog Converter (DAC):

The ESS9218C Pro DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) Chip features the company’s patented 32-bit “HyperStream” architecture that can support up to 32-bit 384kHz PCM and DSD128. The Chip offers a SNR of 130dB and THD+N abut –110dB.

  •  Supported high resolution and lossless audio formats are FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WAV, DSD64/128.

 

B) Output & Amplification:

The Hidizs DH80/80S is a nice addition for both the Hidizs AP80 & AP80 Pro. It adds them a 4.4mm Balanced TRRRS (Pentaconn) output and additional output power with better values in terms of THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) and Crosstalk performance or Signal to Noise Ratio, especially compared to those of the AP80.

What I really like about the DH80 is that both the 4.4mm Balanced & 3.5mm Single Ended outputs do offer a surprisingly clean background with very low white noise.

Here are some specs;

  • Max. Output 3.5mm: 125mW+125mW@32Ω (AP80 & AP80Pro 70mw+70mW)
  • Max. Output 4.4mm: 210mW+210mW@32Ω (AP80Pro 190mW+190mW 2.5mm BAL)
  • THD+N(3.5mm): 0.0006%.  (AP80 0.003% / AP80 Pro 0.0015%)
  • THD+N(4.4mm): 0.0004%. (AP80Pro0.0015% 2.5mm BAL)
  • Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-80kHz (AP80 20-40kHz / AP80 Pro 20-90kHz)
  • Crosstalk (3.5mm): 79dB.
  • Crosstalk (4.4mm): 108dB. (AP80 Pro 98dB)
  • SNR: 116dB (AP80 120dB / AP80 Pro 119dB)

 

C) Dual Crystal Oscillators:

The Hidizs DH80 has independent 22.5792MHz and 24.576MHz crystal oscillators supply correct time base signals to x44.1 and x48 sample rate music data respectively, reducing jitter, increasing accuracy of digital music reproduction and reducing the effect of phase noise on sound quality.

 

D) Battery Life:

The Hidizs DH80 has a 1300 mAh built-in battery with a charging time of approx 2.5 hours.

My experiences in terms of battery life are listed bellow;

  • 4.4mm Balanced        : about 5 – 5.5 Hours (@ low gain volume about %50)
  • 3.5mm Singe Ended  : about 7 – 7.5 Hours (@ low gain volume about %50)

 

 

Other Features:

 

  • Full 8X MQA Decoding:

Both the Hidizs DH80 and DH80S support the latest MQA decoding with full 8x unfolding. Experience outstanding acoustic performance with master quality audio files and enjoy the true signature of your music as the artist intended it to be. Source device should be loaded with MQA supported software such as UAPP, Tidal, and more.

 

  • Fully Balanced 4.4mm Headphone Out with Independent Volume and 3-Level Gain Switch:

Both the Hidizs DH80/DH80S features a fully balanced 4.4mm output port along with a single-ended 3.5mm headphone output. They have independent volume controls with a 3-level gain switch. The volume knob provides 30-level volume control allowing for precise volume control. Both the DH80 and DH80S provide good compatibility with HiFi headphones with an output power of up to 210mW+210mW @ 32Ω through the balanced 4.4mm output port.

 

  • Magnetic Absorption Design:

Hidizs has equipped the DH80/DH80S with a high-quality magnet that allows secure fix with a seamless connection with the connected devices (Smartphone’s/Hi-Res players).

 

  • Multiple Platform Support:

The Hidizs DH80/DH80S is compatible with different devices such as Android, iOS devices, or MAC and Windows systems. Please note that the lightning OTG cable to connect with iOS devices is not included in the package and has to be purchased separately.

 

 

Equipments used for this review:
  • Sources                     : Hidizs DH80, Hidizs AP80 & Hidizs AP80 Pro
  • IEM’s                          : Hidizs MS2, Fiio FD5
  • Headphones              : iBasso SR2, Audio-Technica ATH-M50

 

 

 

Albums & tracks used for this review:
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Deezer HiFi)
  • B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Deezer HiFi)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Twerl – Lishu (Deezer HiFi)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Photek – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kpbs)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Deezer HiFi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Deezer HiFi)
  • Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Deezer HiFi)

 

 

 

 

The Sound:

The Hidizs DH80 is a DAC/Amplifier with a fairly dynamic sound character which shows a mild amount of coloration. The lower frequency area shows a nice sense of body and fullness, the midrange is pretty natural and detailed, while the treble range is successful in terms of extension, clarity and control.

I believe in burn-in and have done that for the DH80 for about 60 hours. My sound impressions are mainly based to parings with the Hidizs M2 (testing the 3.5mm output), iBasso SR2 (testing the 4.4mm output) and FiiO FD5 (testing the 4.4mm output).

 

Sound Analysis (Bass / Midrange / Treble / Soundstage) :

The lower frequency region of the Hidizs DH80 shows a pretty natural and linear response with a low amount of coloration that adds the general presentation a nice sense of musicality.

The subbass area shows a nice level of depth and extension for such a small device, with both the FiiO FD5 earphone and iBasso SR2 headphone over the 4.4mm output. The 2.5mm output on the other hand is producing an efficient amount of subbass intensity, rumble/depth when paired with the Hidizs MS2 IEM that scales very well with it.

The midbass region of the DH80 has a pretty natural character and offers a nice amount of detail retrieval. It doesn’t add any additional coloration to the IEM’s or Headphones I have paired with it. For example, the SR2 which is a full sized headphone paired quite well with the DH80 and was able to produce a good amount of midbass depth, impact and intensity, while the Hidizs M2 showed a pretty musicality and full bodied midbass presentation along with a good sense of control and clarity.

The midrange of the Hidizs DH80 has a quite natural and detailed presentation along with good level of clarity that was audible while listen to the Hidizs MS2 and FiiO FD5. It offers nice sense of clarity and airiness thanks to the pretty well tuned upper midrange area.

The resolution of instruments and vocals is fairly good for a DAC/AMP at this price level. Instruments like guitars, flutes or pianos are reproduced with a sufficient amount of clarity and resolution, while or female vocals like Aretha Franklin and Edith Piaf did sound pretty clear and emotional.

The treble range of the Hidizs DH80 continues the pretty neutral and natural character that shows a tad of warmth, which is a coloration that is welcome. The treble range extends in general with all IEM’s and Headphones I have paired with it pretty well, especially the synergy and performance of the DH80 + Hidizs MS2 combination was great.

The treble range of the DH80 is nicely controlled and shows a good sense of detail retrieval for a product at this price level. The top end of the DH80 offers an efficient amount of airiness and sparkle. Instruments like cymbals do sound detailed and fairly natural, while crash and ride cymbals do have a tad of coloration/warmth that helps do avoid negative conditions over sharpness, without to sound veiled or muddy.

Hidizs DH80 shows a nice sense of room and airiness for a fairly precise placement and separation of instruments and vocals. The soundstage of the DH80 is pretty wide while the depth is on a sufficient level for a device at this price range.

 

 

Hidizs AP80 & AP80 Pro with Hizids DH80:

So, what are the sonic benefits do get with the DH80 if you use it with the Hidizs AP80 or AP80 Pro?

The first audible improvement of the sound is the sense of dynamism that the DH80 offers, especially over the 4.4mm balanced output. The difference is slightly higher with the AP80, which doesn’t have a balanced output that do offer in general a better overall sound experience.

The bass shows more authority & control compared to both devices, which is slightly more audible with the AP80. The midrange is rendered with a better level of transparency and detail retrieval, while the treble range has a shows better sense of clarity and definition. The changes in terms of soundstage performance are minimal with the AP80 Pro, while the DH80 offers a slightly more wideness compared to the AP80.

 

Conclusion:

The Hidizs DH80 is a nice add-on for the Hidizs AP80 & AP80 Pro that offers an audible improvement in terms of sound performance, especially with the Hidizs AP80. It adds also some nice features to these ultra small devices like a 4.4mm Balanced Output, MQA support with 8x Unfold, 210mW Output Power @ 32Ω and many more. However, the Hidizs DH80S the better DAC/AMP option if you look something for the use with other sources.

 

 

 

Pos and Cons: 
  • + Overall Sound Performance (Detail, Dynamism, Authority)
  • + Clean Output (very low white noise)
  • + MQA Support up to 8X unfold
  • + High Power Output for such a small portable device (210mW+210mW@ 32Ω)
  • + Magnetic Surface is a Good Solution (better than a magic sticker)

 

  • – OTG cable to connect with other devices needs to be purchased separately (DH80)
  • – Sensitivity of the Gain Switch

 

Thank you for the Read!

 

 

 

 

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