My mini-donglemania remains with an overview of the Hidizs S9 PRO healthy DAC/amp. I recently reviewed the Audirect Atom 2, which, unlike the S9 PRO, is a small DAC/amp meant to connect to the underside of a phone (or tablet) without an OTG cable. The S9 PRO is all doubly long and links to the foundation device via a small removable USB-c cable.

Since I am an iPhone guy, I SHOULD manage only to use a USB-c to lightning OTG cable to connect the S9 PRO. And if you are also an iPhone-type person, you’ll know that this simple answer seldom (if ever) works. Even my new obtain of the supreme quality xDuoo X-C15 cable, which operates fine with xDuoo products, won’t assist the S9 PRO. Ugh.

Fortuitously the ddHiFi TC28i lightning to USB-c adapter seldom lets me down, and this time was no exception. With at the least included bulkiness, the S9 PRO operates fine with my Apple phone connected via the involved USB-c to USB-c OTG cable to the TC28i.

The S9 PRO is an enhanced variation of the well-regarded S9 product, including a brand new DAC chipset (ESS ES9038Q2M) and more output energy in the same bodily format. Last spring’s loss of the AKM semiconductor manufacturing plant due to fire likely explains the S9 version and move to the ESS chip.

The S9 PRO is in the USD 100-$150 selection of DAC/amp dongles, going from the cheapest price tier. At the least, in some recoverable format, the more considerable output energy and healthy output look to leap in price beneficial compared to lesser models.

The evidence (as they say) is in the pudding. Tuck in your napkin, seize a scoop and get in.

Business Overview

Hidizs (pronounced ‘hid-is’) was started in 2009 in Guangdong Province, China, by a small grouping of technicians with HiFi sound study and progress experience. They aimed “to make a remarkable and affordable pocket HiFi sound device.”

This season they began investigating the worldwide HiFi sound market, and they officially finished their group in 2012. The AP100, introduced in 2014, was the first audio player created by Hidizs. In 2017, they financed the AP200 DAP through Kickstarter. 2018 found the discharge of the AP80 DAP, and in 2019 the Hidizs group branched out and produced the Mermaid MS4 IEMs.

Today the Hidizs company presents many different DAPs, IEMs, Bluetooth adventures, DACs, amplifiers, and accessories.

Technical Specifications

  • Form: Portable DAC/amp
  • Relationship: USB Type-C
  • Structure Help: Around 32Bit/768kHz PCM, Indigenous DSD512
  • Productivity Energy: 100mW@32Ω SE, 200mW@32Ω Healthy
  • Volume Response: 20Hz-50kHz
  • SNR: 120dB SE, 119 Healthy
  • Channel Divorce: 80dB SE, 118dB Healthy @32 Ohms
  • THD+N: 0.0012% SE, 0.0006% Healthy @32 Ohms


Hidizs knows the steps to make desirable and helpful packaging. The merchandise photograph and name are placed on the leading of the dark cardboard field, while the trunk protects and lists the requirements in tiny gold letters. Hush you, I don’t require studying glasses. Ahem.

Lift off the lid, and the S9 PRO is situated in paper-lined dark foam, with a handy little bow to raise it out. Underneath, a small paper door grants the usage of the involved accessories.

  • In the field
  • Hidizs S9 PRO
  • Gold Type-C to Type-C cable (145mm)
  • Type-C to USB-A adapter
  • Translucent plastic clip
  • Consumer Manual
  • Serial number card
  • Quality get a grip on document
  • Hidizs 10% off e-gift card

2 Hi-Res Audio brand stickers

It’s nearly a fantastic couple of accessories, but keeping Hi-Res sound images to incapable devices is enjoyable. Inactive analogue move field? Today it’s a Hi-Res fixed move field! Coincidentally my turntable now represents Hi-Res vinyl. It’s like magic, I tell you.

As noted, there is no lightning to USB-c OTG cable involved (good fortune to you obtaining one that works). Also, I am figuring out how to use the clip-on plastic event because the S9 PRO has to be within 10cm or so of one’s phone if you use the involved cable, severely limiting your cutting options.


The S9 PRO is a small (approximately 60x18x8mm) aluminium rectangle with one glassy area that lists its name (misspelt? Ack) and decoding capabilities. One other part has the Hidizs brand, which changes shade to show the file format presently playing. One of many small stops has the 2.5 + 3.5mm outputs (and a bump to accommodate them), and one other has the USB-c socket. The headset outputs are observed too closely together to permit simultaneous usage.

Simple. But it works.

The S9 PRO is available equally in really dark and blown gold finishes. It resembles (and weighs comparable to) an old-fashioned pack of stay gum if that gum pack was CNC machined from solid aluminium.

The number of bodily links suggests the foundation device regulates all play and quantity adjustments. The number of fine quantity adjustments is limited by your source device, which might create a limited practical selection with really painful and sensitive IEMs. Things can ramp up to ‘too noisy quickly.

Battery living

DAC/amp dongles do not need internal batteries, which is undoubtedly one of their most excellent defining elements. They must siphon energy from the foundation device they are plugged into to operate. For more considerable output energy, a bargain must be produced in the form of an increased battery draw: the more energy output, the more battery drain.

The S9 PRO is a strong dongle with the voracious battery appetite to prove it. My not-young iPhone X problems with battery living at the best of situations and utilizing the S9 PRO melt away the battery reserves at a much quicker rate (about 30+% quicker by my most good reckoning).

The friendly folks at have submitted their sizes of battery strain for numerous dongles. As a place of research, they evaluate the fundamental Apple 3.5mm dongle strain as 159 mAh following 3 hours (the most helpful singer on the list). Audioquest Dragonflies rate between 350-480 mAh.

The worst offender on the list may be the S9 PRO at 854 mAh (more than 5 situations larger use than the Apple dongle!). That measurement was performed in a single-ended setting, and a healthy environment was not shown. However, it is secure to suppose the healthy connection consumes much more battery because of its immense output power.

LED active bitrate signal

The S9 PRO employs the flagship Sabre ESS9038Q2M mobile chipset. Burson Audio uses these chips in their TOTL Conductor Guide desktop components to place that in perception. That chipset is capable of class-leading performance.

That explains the S9 PRO compatibility with the most excellent bitrate files (32/768 PCM and DSD 512), high channel divorce (80dB SE, 118dB healthy @32 Ohms), and low distortion (0.0012% SE, 0.0006% healthy @32 Ohms) numbers.

As mentioned, energy is abundant for a dongle (100mW@32Ω SE, 200mW@32Ω balanced). That is just about 2 volts SE, and 4 volts healthy, which can be ample to operate a vehicle with the most averagely demanding headphones and IEMs. Evaluate that to the 62mW@32Ω of the recently reviewed Audirect Atom 2 dongle.

Hidizs S9 PRO Sound

Because the Audirect Atom 2 and the S9 PRO are generally sitting on my table, much of my hearing was done as an immediate comparison involving the two. I essentially did my evaluation with the brand new gold colourway 1MORE Multiple Driver over-ear headphones.

The Multiple Driver headphones are valued in a similar selection because the dongles have a rated impedance of 32 Ohms and a sensitivity of 104 dB. Their rated optimum energy is 50mW, which can be an ideal match for Atom 2’s 62mW@32Ω energy output rating.

The audible variations between the two dongles are typically discernible. Where the Atom 2 has a warmer, mid-bass raised, overall better noise, the S9 PRO is crisper. The Atom 2 results in having a larger low-end, while the S9 appears quicker and more defined. Personal records and percussion tend to be more discreetly distinguishable, and facts leap from the music.

The S9 PRO method is more diagnostic and lean. It is spotless and fast; there is no recognizable noise ground nor hiss with efficient IEMs. The noise trademark appears similar between the two outputs, with just a power leap with all the 2.5mm healthy jack. Energy is ample to operate a vehicle, and the 300 Ohm Sennheiser HD650 full-sized headphones are to noisy quantity degrees with acceptable fidelity.

As with much of sound, whether you enjoy the S9 PRO presentation is a subject of taste. It’s more flat, linear, and more precise than my preferred. That’s saying you can only find some important weaknesses or issues. It gives clean noise, with fewer warm harmonics that provoke feeling and tickle my eardrums so pleasantly.

Where you can Buy

  1. Formal Keep
  2. Amazon
  3. HiFi


A dongle is mainly for use on the go, so I price simplicity, portability, and low battery strain over output power. I am likely to couple a dongle with easy-to-drive IEMs for portable usage. I’ve plenty of desktop rev energy at home to operate a vehicle with inefficient full-sized cans.

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