Hifime 9018 USB DAC
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- Ultra detailed sounding Sabre ES9018K2M DAC chip and Sabre 9601 output stage chip
- No drivers needed, supports high resolutions up to 96khz/24bit. Low power consumption (40-80mA). Works with (some) Android and iPhones
- Optimised design using 4 layer PCB, ultra low noise regulator LP5907 with noise reducing aluminium solid capacitors
- Includes output chip that supports most headphones and line level loads. 110dB THD+N:2Vrms@600ohm, 100dB THD+N:30mW@32ohm
- Volume level can be adjusted with computer hardware keys
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|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Audioengine LLC||Parts Express||WORLD WIDE STEREO||WORLD WIDE STEREO|
|Item Dimensions||2.17 x 1.38 x 0.71 inches||1.48 x 1.38 x 0.39 inches||2.44 x 0.83 x 1.93 inches||5.12 x 4.17 x 1.81 inches||7.52 x 8.46 x 2.05 inches|
The Hifime 9018 DAC is a great sounding audiophile DAC at an unbelievable price. We have picked the most important features to include in this DAC be able to make a incredible sounding DAC at this low price. It comes in a new nice looking case which is still simple and keeps cost down. The sound from the Sabre 9018 is very detailed with a great soundstage. The 9018 DAC chip is a high end chip and combined with the Sabre headphone driver makes a great sounding combo. The noise floor is very low and can be used with also the most sensitive headphones. It is tested to work and sound great with Audio Technica ath-m50 (38 ohm, 99dB), Sennheiser hd650 (300 ohm, 103 dB), IEM: JH Audio JH-13 (28 ohm, 116dB). The Sabre 9018 works without drivers with all major systems and programs; Windows, MAC, Linux. iTunes, Spotify, and Android. The Sabre 9018 DAC can play any format (MP3, AIFF, FLAC etc) from CD quality up to high resolution 96kHz/24bit files. It does not support 196k or 384kHz natively, nor does it play DSD files. Why? Most people does not have 192/384/DSD files. You do not benefit from a 384kHz capable DAC when playing CD quality (or high resolution 96kHz) files. If you need a 192kHz/384kHz/DSD DAC then we have other options for you. We have intentionally omitted this for all of our customers that don’t play 384kHz/DSD so you can save and get a better sounding CD quality DAC.
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After extensive listening I'm going to lower to 4 stars simply because I heard an older muse DAC20 that sounded a little better in the midrange and this DAC coninues to be a little on the warm side. This could be do my loss of hearing in the upper highs. In summary, this is still an excellent DAC but I prefer slight more midrange/treble for my ears.
A DAC unit hanging on a short USB cable, I love this form rather than those USB flash drive form. With this, the USB connector wouldn't been bent by any heavy RCA cables.
Plastic husk, looks like $20 thing. I'm not a fan of metal, so it is fine to me. Low-profile black matches my desk a lot.
Indicator light is soft, not blinding.
I am a Fiio E10(K) user for a few years. I loved its feature a lot, front headphone jack for low impedance headphones, rear line out out for an amp to drvie high impedance headphones. With Hifime 9018, I can not do that anymore. Plug and unplug, I have no idea how many times this headphone jack can bear. So I basically use Fiio 10k for low impedance headphones and use Hifime for HD650, HD700 right now.
9018 sounded a little harsh out of the box, running a few days, it went better and better. I set 40~50 volume in Win7. The upgrade of Hifime from Fiio 10k's line out is not hard to tell. Clearer sound, especially bass. bigger soundstage, same musicality. HD700 gets benefit from these very much. However, comparing the front headphone jack of E10k to drive HD630VB, Hifime doesn't shine.
Even though Hifime 9018 has less function than E10k, it's better sound make me happy.
After extensive critical listening through Grado SR225e cans, with several different genres, I can equivocally say this is notably better sounding than the dragonfly black, which I was not expecting. This is high praise indeed, because I like the black and the dragonfly is an immediately noticeable over the built in headphone audio on my iPhone 6 Plus. The output level on this item is quite high, and when punching hard it doesn't sound strained. It is a much more open sound than the DF, which sounds constrained by comparison. This is vibrant, smooth, and has a crisp and detailed high end without any harshness. The DF sounded slightly muddy in the lower mids with layered harmony vocals and this unit resolves with better clarity and separation. The low bass is punchy, deep, well defined, well controlled, and has no unpleasant colorations. I like it so much I ordered a second one after a few hours listening. I'm hard to please and I usually find one deal breaking audio flaw in most gear I buy but I just love this. UPDATE: Still love it almost a year later. Sold the Dragonfly Black and upgraded to a Dragonfly Red. Still like this unit slightly better than the DR sound-wise.
This thing does have a nice chip installed in it, but I have doubts about the build quality based on my experience.
Top international reviews
At this price, its a steal, try it, you won't be disappointed. Without any run-in, straight out of the box, its excellent.
Well, I've had this DAC for 2 months and it just gets better. It takes very little time to 'run in'. In fact, I was extremely pleased with it straight out of the box (it arrived in a clear plastic box).
I should point out that I also use the HifimeDIY USB Isolator ADUM4160 to provide clean power to the DAC. Computer USB ports can be very noisy. This does increase the depth of sound, however I noticed an immediate increase when plugging in this DAC.
The only thing that will beat this excellent little package is the Chord Mojo but that's much more expensive and uses different technology to other more standard DACs.
For £60 its ridiculously cheap and now works with many phones. Buy one.
However, there are two niggles: (1) it has a face that only a mother could love; (2) this version comes with a full-sized USB plug, so you need an adapter for your phone. That's no big deal, but it does mean there's yet another cable to deal with, and it makes everything even uglier. That may not bother you, but if it does, you can get this same DAC with a USB C plug, if you order direct from the website. That's what I've done, so this one is going back.
However, in case I didn't make it clear earlier, it is absolutely brilliant to listen to. Make sure you use a decent music player on your phone (Neutron is my choice), because stock players tend to downsample everything to 26/44 (or 48),which somewhat defeats the point of high resolution files.
PS: I had absolutely no clicking, popping or other connection errors with my phone (Huawei Honor 9).
This is a true audiophile DAC which sounds just beautifully, and represents unbelievable value. It is a simple, understated little box and is limited by design to 24/96 files, but if one cares about listening to music at its best, then this is the first step to enjoy music and build a seriously classy system.
I plugged it in a Linux system and connected using QED interconnects to Linn amplification feeding Rogers Floor-standers.
I had no issues with firmware compatibility. I simply plugged it in a USB port and selected its Analog Audio Output in the Audio settings. Once this is done the first time the choice is remembered for the future.
I used it with Kodi and other digital players. I played well recorded 24/96 masters lossless FLAC files, CD quality minimally compressed 16/44 files, radio streams at 128 Kb/s (Classic FM) and high definition radio streamed at 320 Kb/s. I listened to Jazz, Blues, Classical, Rock Piano, Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar, Choral, Operas, Folk and Pop music. With all the above the experience with this DAC is just wonderful.
Of course badly recorded music is exposed for what it is, but despite its incredible detail and precision this is not an analytical DAC and is somewhat more forgiving than other high quality DACs I experienced. With good recorded music the experience is truly enjoyable.
Rendition is extremely detailed and accurate at all frequencies. Bass have great extension, precision and pinpoint accuracy with just the right weight. Mids are wonderful rendering voices beautifully. Highs are detailed, agile and truthful, with no harshness, nor graininess. Dynamics is outstanding. Pace is superb.
This is an incredibly revealing DAC but despite its impeccable precision, details and accuracy it remains beautifully musical. The tonal signature is neutral or even a little warm. The soundstage is where this DAC really shines and it is just class act. Wide, deep and incredibly precise.
This is a little understated plastic box and it does just one thing: it reproduces music perfectly.
It does benefit a lot from having good headphones, I use beyerdynamics T90 and the music just sparkles, no sibilance except for the first hour out of the box, so do run it in a bit.
I am really looking forward to hearing music after 50 hours, no doubt I'll hit that mark very quickly, I absolutely am loving my music collection again, hearing instruments and backgrounds I've not heard before.
I am so glad I chose this DAC based on the Sabre 9018 which makes it high end but without the cost.
Oh my giddy aunt.
The Sabre 9018 chip in this thing is astonishing. My headphones are suddenly generating astonishing clarity, superb (and I really mean superb) bass reproduction, precision stereo and instrument clarity on all my music files. A week side, I have the Apple 'camera' adapter (lighting to USB adapter) and it recognises this. It will of course draw power from your idevice but nevertheless the quality is a similar ramp up.
Pair it with some decent headphones and again will be amazed.
First impression slightly brighter sound, later i realized the top isn't excatly brighter,
it's just more easy top hear,my mission LX-2's could handle a slightly more noticeable top and still sound neutral,
the bass sound less boomy,muddy,when playing something like katie meluas moonshione the bass was as
deep,warm,fullbodied as it used to be, but still sounds a bit less boomy,muddy,
the midragne was clear and the soundstage was wide and deeper than most budget dac's.
I had no noise hiss what so ever
For the money a wery god usb dab,you only get what you need,
nothing that would make the price higher without making the sound better
Connect it to a usb port and you wil get good sound for a very good price,
not ultra budget like the Behringer UCA 202, but it sounds alot better
It died after about six months, would not be detected in any PC. Sent it back to Amazon for full refunds, no issues. I bought a better known, better packaged, metallic, more expensive looking Dragonfly black. A great DAC/Amp, but my old Sabre was better. And 2/3rds of the price.
Also, it is not compatible with the I-Phone 7 Plus. Shame.