Received mine and while it´s still in breaking-in period (48h for now) the results are very promising and possitive.
I completely agree with Corley, for this task (Dac+integrated amp), this approach and implementation is very smart and the results are quite remarkable. The amp is VERY powerful and capable, it drives even difficult headhpones like my AKG K701 on the go with an astonishing ease but with headphones like AKG Y50 this dac really excels offering huge amounts of deep, controlled bass with detailed and transparent highs without any harshness.
Perhaps the only complaint to mention is that I would have preferred that the USB plug had been directly soldered to the board like all the others similar DACs. The integrated usb cable seems to be quite standard (WBT silver soldering? surely not...) instead of a direct, soldered connection perhaps would help even more to get a more quality sound removing the cord.
I'll compare the Asynchronous 9018 and this one, the Adaptive 9018. I find the Adaptive model is a little more efficient with its amp and more dynamic in the balance between bass and treble at the expense of accuracy. The Async model is still better, but it depends on the purpose. I use the Async as a desktop converter mostly, since I then Amp it separately with a hybrid valve setup. Where this model shines for me is being able to drive my 600 OHM Beyer T1 headphones really well by itself. They can both do it, but the extra dynamic power from this model allows volume, dynamics, deep bass, crystal clear transparency and silky smooth trebles without needing anything else but my phone and this converter. I think the Async model has a more accurate soundstage, I think of the Adaptive as fun and energetic. They are both miles above the excellent 9023 models. There seems to be a logical problem with it sometimes dropping out every few seconds until you stop and start it again, then it's ok.
Good price and sound. Died after 2 years of using.
I compared the T1 to an elderly Yamaha A1 and a few other t-amps. The A1 was particularly interesting since it is a massive device from the 1980's (or slightly earlier), which was very expensive at the time. It sounds perfectly good in isolation, but the T1 somehow just sounds rather dramatically better. This is a bit annoying, because it means I keep having to run my outfit through a patchwork circuit board and power supply, which is a lot less impressive to look at than the A1. However I'm probably stuck with it since the other t-amps aren't quite as good as the T1 either - and they also come in boxes.
So, rating: stellar.
The greatest and best DAC I've ever received till date. Guys do check out headfi and audio forum reviews about this DAC I'm sure all those reviews up there and the reviews here will be fully convincing to your ears.
A history of all DAC's I own till date:
Trasam HA2+ (Dissapointing, beaten by my phone built-in DAC)
My phone MI Note with ESS Sabre DAC (Good)
UH-1... best DAC ever owned without a question. Extremely revealing DAC with clarity (never miss a beat in complex musics), a little sharp (like most ESS dac's sound signature) but otherwise it is/or sound extremely close to neutral harmony.
Wonderful and prompt customer support from Cindy, whom immediately shipped a DAC after informing her the previous one was sent to wrong country due to an honest mistake.
I'm all for supporting small reputable audio businesses, using UH-1 with my AN speakers and sonic t amp, none ever disappoint me being amazing value for money. Your money will be safe here @ hifime, shop wisely everyone!
Really good product ! The sound is really clear with good details. I have the Sabre ES9023 too, but I didn't take the time to make a real side/side comparison since the ES9023 is in my car 'home made' installation... But this 9018 sounds to be a great update ! Works well with Linux, and Android Nexus 7 (2013 model - Marshmallow CyanogenMod based)...
HiFiMeDIY PLEASE LISTEN..I LOVE this DAC!!!Please,Drop the headphone circuit,drop the Coax Out & ADD Optical Input!!!
Very kind service, Thank you! Very nice product. Sound is satisfying me.
The power supply worked fine and have no problems on the power, it does state in the description that these are used. I would just say if your making a Audio project that you want to sell or give a away I wouldn't use this PSU as its it a scruffy and does look USED, specially with black tape over the IBM logo as well. To recap fine for personal use but wouldn't give it or sell
Nice DAC too bad my unit the header for the micro USB came off while plugged in and not moved around :(
I don't know if it is covered under warranty or what.
Oh well been using my on-board for the two Months or more since. Why do people insist on using micro USB headers on devices that don't need to use them is beyond me
I received my item 10 days after placing an order....very fast delivery from HK to Croatia! :)
Comparing this DAC to Realtek ALC269 chip in my Lenovo Z580....the sound at 50% Windows volume is louder, the bass is deeper and punchier at the same time....also more details are present. No need for an amplifier using my Audio Technica ATH-SJ33 (48 ohm). The case is smaller than I thought it would be. Highly recommended as the first DAC solution and entry into the HiFi world. Best buy for sure! :)
Really love the sound quality on the HiFimeDIY UX1.
Problem: Doesn't work after upgrade to OS X El Capitan.
Please help. Hifime reply: You could try to clean audio caches with a program like ONYX. Please contact us for support.
Works on Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 very well, tested on Spotify operate for volume and equalizer. On the player the system operates but no equalizer just the volume. The sound quality a little better than the jack. I think the best idea would be to connect more amplifier.
I have had my DAC for nearly 12 months and all I can say is, (It's Great). Sound is pure, and unlike others here I have had no sound issues with it.On the odd occasion my Windows 7 hasn't recognised it on startup but remove and re-inserting has fixed the problem.It is in use 12 hours a day, I would recommend it to everyone.
An almost perfect product in terms of hardware for anyone seeking Hifi on an Android device!
Ther is one thing I changed and this could be easily included: For many pohnes if the plug would be one with a 90 degree angle corner between the socket and the cable it would be more convenient to keep the card pluged in when putting it into a pocket etc.
Maybe one could include that in a future revision.