My full review at Head-Fi: http://www.head-fi.org/products/hifime-9018-asynchronous-high-resolution-usb-dac/reviews/12586
- Detailed sound
- Controlled (tight bass, clear highs)
- Instrument separation, even with busy recordings
- Limited output power
- 8 level volume control
- Plastic housing
- LED location
The HiFime 9018 is a definite improvement compared to the sound card of my MacBook Pro. I still recommend an amp to drive high impedance HFS like the HD650 and my pair of DT990 250Ohm. Maxed out it will drive the DT990 to a loud listening level but nothing more.
Android 5 native support works like a charm, really nice for those bedtime listening sessions :)
The LED indicator is on the bottom while connected to a laptop. Weird!
I compared the HiFime 9018 to the Fiio E10k. They are close with a slight edge towards the 9018s sound. Then again the Fiio has a more capable amp & high quality finish.
Quality DAC but limited amp for high impedance headphones. Technically superior to its predecessors although no longer the great bargain.
Hifime reply: Thanks for the feedback. We had to reduce the max output power so that the DAC would not be too loud with many normal headphones. The 9018D model with display and 255step volume control will have higher output----------------------------------------------------------------- 2 reviews merged ----------------------------------------------------------- @Alex, @HiFime: I also cannot alter the volume below 0db while listening to DSD files with Audirvana+ on Mac. Luckily for me this still is a listenable volume on my 250 Ohm HPS. I suspect the reason is that below 0db the digital signal going into the DAC chip is altered by the USB receiver's volume control. Is there a way around this? Will this also be the case with the 9018D's lossless volume control, I guess not? In any case native DSD128 files really show the true potential of the DAC. What an amazing sound! Hifime reply: Yes, volume level of DSD is not supported by the USB receiver. Not sure if any other USB receivers support this. The 9018D model will be able to change the volume on, as the volume level is adjusted in the DAC chip. You can take further discussion/replies here: http://hifimediy.com/news/announcing-new-dacs-hifime-9018-series.html
This is a preposterously good DAC. If you have an android phone and you want an upgrade from your current headphone out, please do yourself a favor and buy this one. I cannot recommend the smaller 9023 android dac, which made my JH Audio Roxannes sound muddy, but this 9018 one draws enough power to make my Roxannes sound quite good. I never listen to my android phone without this.
Upgraded from the HIFIMEDIY SABRE USB DAC ES9023 96KHZ/24BIT to HIFIME 9018 ASYNCHRONOUS HIGH RESOLUTION USB DAC - I stream Tidal>Windows 8.1>SSD HD>J River>silver interconects>Marantz MP6004>Celestion Ditton 44's(old but a great warm sound) and find a good increase in fidelity, detail, Bass/trebble definition and sound stage. Upped Bass and mid range by 3-5 db. Very pleased wit the results. My only hassle (which does not affect the end sound quality) is that I could not get ASIO to work so I output in WASAPI at 192/24 which is what the incoming signal is from Tidal. Overall very pleased with sound and well worth the price.
I've had this over a long weekend and I really like the sound. I am using it with a Motorola moto g, 1st
generation, which I thought, had a great sounding headphone out jack. This is at least 20 percent better sounding. Maybe more. I am piping the signal to a fiio e12 mont blanc amp, then out to my headphones, either my AKG K240 studio or hifiman RE-400. Both sound noticeably better. I am streaming Tidal flac with no problems. No driver download, just plug and play. Nice.
works great with my raspberry pi 2 running openelec 5.0.3/kodi 14.1. clean, beautiful sound over network storage. alsa picks it right up as 'sa9023 usb audio, analog'. big fan of the led on the front of the unit only lighting up with it's receiving an audio signal.
good dac but I have a problem to listen SACD files on a computer with foodbar. There is no possibility to adjust the volume : listen with headphones is impossible. Do you have a solution to allow foodbar to adjust volume on SACD files (ISO, DSF...) ?
Not a good experience for me. I received my unit badly scratched and blemished--it clearly had belonged to someone else before me. It may have been one returned previously, I'm not sure. Improvement in sound quality was negligible to undiscernible going from an S3 straight to headphones. While I was evaluating the product and weighing the pros and cons of returning it (having to ship back to China), the "generous" 7 day window for returns had elapsed. Not recommended.
Hifime reply: We are actually not that strict on the 7 day return window and we plan to change it to 14 days. Contact us if you'd like to return it. We can also receive returns to UK and Oregon, USA.
We get the cases we use for the DAC's from a supplier in China and they arrive like this, they all have minor marks and scratches unfortunately.
Not as transparent as my audioengine D1. Sound stage wide but voices sound fairly thin. Also seems to be slightly deficient in the subwoofer range frequencies. Very good for the price but can't expect more than what you paid for.
If you have a dying motherboard and can literally hear the hiss/fuzz difference between different USB ports, then this is for you
Does as advertised
I have paired this DAC with my HTC One M8 (Android Lollipop), which has a rather noisy headphone out for sensitive IEMs - this is especially noticeable at low volumes. Using the DAC I get a very clean sound and no audible noise! Great value for the money!
Received in good order. Have not yet applied power as I have a fitment concern. When put in place atop the Pi on the pins, a soldered pin for an audio jack bears on the Pi's capacitor (the capacitor near the power plug, between C3 and C6 on the Pi board.) This causes the ES9023 I2S DAC to sit at an angle, plus I'm worried about shorting something when I power up. Will the audio jack short to the case of the capacitor?
Was looking for a DAC for my Nexus 7 1st gen model from 2012. Saw a lot of expensive products, $100 or more. But I wasn't sure if I wanted to take a chance on it not being that great of an improvement. I remembered that HiFiMeDIY had some more affordable alternatives.I ordered the sabre android DAC from the US distributor and had it in hand in like 3 days.works fine with the Nexus 7 2012 tablet as long as you get the USB Audio Pro Player app.
EVERYTHING sounds better, better soundstage, better separation between channels, more detail, etc. It took my desktop set up to another level.I have Audio Technica atx700s and I don't get ear blasting volume unless I turn up the pre-amp/EQ volume on the USB Pro Audio player.
When this is plugged into your tablet you cannot charge it, so it sucks battery and you will need to work out charging versus playing music.For $30 you get a nice introduction to the world of DAC audio, and to my ear it's totally worth it.
I purchased this particular DAC with the dedicated power supply (PS-M3) to form the stack. I use it to drive Shure SRH 440s which aren't the lowest impedance. I was very pleased with the output from a Mac Mini via this DAC to my headphones. Seems lively and clarity is great. I am going to let the DAC burn in so that it can open up more.
I was considering a Schiit Modi/Magni combo instead of this unit. I must say (without hearing the Schiit gear) that is a very good unit and for a starter in this area a must.
I needed an adapter for the MYTEK STERE96 ADC converter which only has S/PDIF and TOSLINK outputs.
HIFIMEDIY UX1 SABRE USB DAC+SPDIF/USB CONVERTER does precisely this: it takes optical TOSLINK signal and sends it to USB.
It actually seems the only device of a kind for this purpose: TOSLINK input disappeares from recent motherboards, while most (all?) external USB soundcards require proprietary drivers.
Just like the product description says, on Linux, I did not need to worry about any drivers.
The product also works as an external DAC, conveniently showing the bitrate.
The only important issue was that I needed to use a USB 2.0 quality cable to connect the adapter to my laptop.
The device works flawlessly. Thank you, HIFIMEDIY!
Great DAC for great music, really worth the price.
I bought it after stunning blind tests with one I borrowed.
Thank you for this piece of hardware!
(note: on the very first use on MS Windows just wait a moment for the OS to install the drivers, it can take 1-2 mn on some PC, after that no delay on plug-in)