The sound quality is great. The amp is only good with IEMs. The sound quality is not so good with philips X2 directly plugged. However, the sound quality is excellent when I pair the 9018 DAC with a Fiio E12 amp. The sound stage is not very big, but it feels like listening live concert in a room. The resolution is high and you can hear every detail with accurate position. The DAC is definitely worth the price. A good amp is a must if you use a headphone instead of an IEM.
I bought this a couple of days ago from Amazon (UK) and can only repeat the other comments - good and bad. The sound quality and amp are of a very high standard and astonishing for the price but the USB cable/connection is really poor and feels flimsy - the build quality is much worse than the Android mini DAC I also own.
How to resume my impresssion!!!
forget the 9023.
Using this one, i discovered a new time all my music and i find it even better that the asynchronous 9018.
The sound stage is so detailled.
I'm french and with the help of this one, i can now catch so easily nearly every english word unless it was so hard before with the Dragonfly or the 9023.
I use it on my raspberry pi with an iphone 1A power(the 5V source with lowest noise i found) using mopidy and the experience is so good now that i can't imagine something sounding better.
I have this great little DAC for a week now and the sound is simply great. I use it with a vintage amp and my self designed and build speakers, a tree-way (Visaton RHT12S, Dynaudio D54, Vifa 21wp250) large floor standing speaker. I have no experience with high level DAC's because i used my Sony H855TV dac.
The improvement is huge and the sound, witch already was good, is of a other level. The sound became more alive, dynamic with a deep soundstage and lots of tonal detail, separation and musicality. Good recordings sound great, less good recordings more flat then before. My wife thought i was using other equipment ;-) and i showed this little simple black box and she was stunned about the difference. Great job, Hifimediy guy's, thanks for the great product!
Moved up from the Fiio K1 to this....... I cant believe i wasted my time with that. This makes the K1 look like a toy. Hifime did an amazing job with this. Seriously, this beats my desktop dac/amp combo... bottom line I am a happy customer :)