The Hidizs Sonata HD DAC Cable Review
Great Value for the Money!
Hidizs Technology Co. Ltd. was founded early in 2009 in order to produce some portable HiFi audio devices. Hidizs is now producing Digital Audio Players (DAP) like AP100, AP60/AP60II, AP200, AP80 and Digital to Analogue Converters (DAC) like the DH1000 and the Sonata HD which I will now review for you.
First of all, a big thanks to Hidizs for providing me this sample of the Sonata HD for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Hidizs beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.
HidizsOffical Webpage: https://www.hidizs.net/
The HidizsSonata HD DAC Cable is available on Hidizs Store for a MSRP of 39,00 USD.
The Hidizs Sonata is a small sized USB Type-C (digital) to 3.5mm (analog) adapter with built in Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) and Amplifier which is specially designed for Android devices.
Package and Accessories:
The device comes in small zipper case which contains the following items;
- 1 pcs x Hidizs Sonata HD DAC Cable
- 1 pcs x USB Type-C to USB adapter
- 1 pcs x Zipper Case
Design and Build Quality:
The Hidizs Sonata HD is a small, digital to analog converter and adapter with a low profile cable, which is made of a 4-core OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) wire of high purity. The cable is coated with a black TPU coating, with low microphonic effect.
On one side of the Hidizs Sonata HD DAC cable is the 3.5mm single ended headphone out and on the other side is the heart of the Sonata HD, where you can find the DAC/AMP chip, which is placed inside the USB Type-C connector housing.
- SNR : 114 dB
- Dynamic range : 114 dB
- Output Power : 2x60mW @ 32Ω
- PCM : 16/24 bit, 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 KHz
- Output Current : 50mA
- Digital Interface : Micro USB Type-C
- Analog Interface : 3.5mm TRS Unbalanced Headphone Jack
- System Support : Windows/MacOSX/Android (iPhone&iPod excluded)
They are three different software modes which affect the sound character in a small margin.
- SONATA _HD-A_Call priority: this firmware can make the Sonata HD cable priority to handle the call.
- SONATA _HD-C_Sound priority: this firmware can make the Sonata HD cable priority to handle the sound
- SONATA _HD-D_Pure music:this firmware can maximize the Sonata HD cable sound enhance ability, but the call function will not be available under this mode.
The mode update of the software is quite simple. Download the mode software to your PC. Plug your Sonata HD to the USB 2.0 to USB Type C Adaptor and connect the SonataHD Cable with your PC. Run the software, which you have already downloaded to your PC and select EEPROM.
Download Link for Sound Mode: Click to Download
Equipment’s used for this review:
- DAP&DAC’s : Hidizs Sonata HD, Musiland MU1
- Sources : Meizu 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, DellInspirion 5521
- IEM’s : FLC Technology FLC8D, Campfire Audio Comet, Final Audio E5000
- Headphones : Audio-Technica ATH-M50, Sony SA3000
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Minor Empire – BulbulumAltinKafeste (Spotify)
- Casey Abrams – Robot Lover (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Steve Srauss – Mr. Bones (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- Future Heroes – Another World (Tidal Hi-fi)
- Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Metallica – Sad bu True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
The Sonata Hidizs Sonata HD DAC cable has a relative neutral, slightly bright, transparent tonality with a slightly emphasis at the upper-mid and treble range.
The bass of the Hidizs Sonata HD has a linear character, which means that the bass performance is strongly dependent of the performance of the IEM itself. The Sonata HD doesn’t increase the bass quantity, if your IEM is weak in this regarding.
The sub-bass of the Sonata HD has a moderate quantity that means the Sonata HD is a little bit leaking in sub-bass quantity. The bass is hitting pretty hard if called upon and the bass slam is especially with bass heavy IEM’s very noticeable.
Instruments like bass guitar and drums are fast, electro guitar are slightly bright and contrabass sounds vibrant and clear.
When I attach it to my Meizu Pro phone, the increase of the bass performance compared over the stock 3.5mm headphone is very noticeable, because the bass of the Hidizs Sonata HD is faster, tighter and more detailed.
The midrange of the Hidizs Sonata HD has a transparent, neutral and slightly bright character.
The Sonata HD performs very well with female vocals due the upper-midrange emphasis, which makes the voice of female vocals transparent, emphasized and spacious, without any noticeable interference and muddiness.
The Sonata HD is representing male vocals pretty clean and detailed, except of a slightly missing lower midrange depth. There is also no remarkable sibilance while presenting the vocals.
The overall definition and separation of instruments and the detail level of the Hidizs Sonata HD is pretty good for a DAC cable in this price range. The Sonata HD performs better with instruments, which have a thin character than whit those with thicker tonality. The Hidizs Sonata HD is representing instruments in an airy and spacious way, without any remarkable muddiness.
Upper Midrange & Treble:
The upper midrange of the Hidizs Sonata HD sounds quite balanced and has an above average detail and control level. Female vocals, cymbals and violins showing good extension and sounding pretty controlled.
The treble range of the Hidizs Sonata HD performs pretty well is in terms of technicality, naturalness and speed. The treble extension is good, without remarkable sibilance. The Sonata HD is performing ways above its price point, when it comes to treble sharpness, brightness, airiness and harshness.
Instruments like cymbals in metal music are fast, prominent without to spread. When it comes to instruments in classic music like violins, flutes etc. the Hidizs Sonata HD is sounding slightly bright, but with good detail and extension.
The first noticeable character of the Hidizs Sonata HD’s soundstage presentation is the airiness and spacious presentation. The soundstage has an above average wideness with moderate level of depth, where instruments have a relative precise placement.
Hidizs Sonata HDvs Musiland MU1:
The Musiland MU1 has a slightly warmer tonality compared to those of the Hidizs Sonata HD. The Sonata HD sounds more neutral and slightly brighter than the Musiland MU1.
Both DAC’s sharing a moderate sub-bass depth. The Hidizs Sonata HD has a linear bass presentation while the Musiland MU1 has slightly more quantity.
The Hidizs Sonata HD is superior to the Musiland MU in terms of bass, detail, speed and control.
I can easily say that both DAC’s have a great midrange performance especially for their price tag. The Hidizs Sonata HD performs better with female vocals, while the Musiland MU1 is slightly better wit male vocals. The Musiland MU1 sounds slightly veiled in the midrange compared to the Sonata HD. The Hidizs Sonata HD is superior to the Musiland MU1 in terms of airiness, transparency and spaciousness. The Musiland MU1 has the upper hand regarding to fullness and thickness in the midrange.
Both DAC’s are pretty successful in terms of treble performance. The Hidizs Sonata HD has more upper midrange and treble emphasis compared to the MU1, which makes the Sonata HD more successful in terms of detail, extensions and brightness, while the MU1 is good for long listening periods.
When it comes to soundstage performance; both DAC’s are pretty successful for their price tag. The Hidizs Sonata HD has a wider soundstage, while the Musiland MU1 has slightly more depth and height. The Sonata HD is superior to the MU1 in terms of space and air rendered between instruments.
The Hidizs Sonata HD DAC cable is a small and reasonable option for those how are listening their music over the phone or tablet, etc. The Sonata HD DAC cable will even satisfy those who have a weak onboard sound card in terms of sound quality and volume on their pc’s and laptop’s. The increase in both sound quality, volume, and drivability is pretty noticeable.
Pros and Cons:
- + Small and lightweight
- + Reasonable Price
- + Great sound quality and power compared to your phone and tablet
- + Vocal and Instrument performance
- + Plug and Play capability with Android
- – No dedicated volume control
- – No Built in battery (needs the power of the source)