The Hifime S2 is a very high-performance 32 Bit stereo DAC featuring the patented 32-bit HyperStream II DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator. t’s more powerful with 49mW of output to 32 ohm and can drive most headphones and also line level loads (preamps and amplifiers).
Exchangeable Cable (NOT INCLUDED, ADD to CART separately below)
We have constructed this DAC to use interchangeable cables so that you can use it with any device without adaptors. The DAC has a microUSB female connector, and we have available cables to connect to:
- Regular USB Type-A (computers any most devices)
- USB-C (newer phones and computers)
- MicroUSB (older Android phones)
- Lightning (iPhone) – unfortunately the lightning connection requires a proprietary Apple chip to be included inside the cable, which makes it quite expensive. Still it’s a great way to be able get use this ES9038q2m DAC with iDevices.
- The S2 also works with the original Apple Lightning cable ($29 from Apple), then you’ll also need a type-A cable to connect to the lightning cable
Optical SP/DIF input
The optical input can be used with devices such as TV’s, Chromecast Audio, routers like Apple Airport express, CD players and many other devices. The optical input accepts all sample rates up to 192kHz/24 bit. When the optical input is used you need to connect power through the USB port with a microUSB cable. Power can be provided from any normal USB port, a USB charger or a dedicated USB power supply. It only needs 30-50mA.
The optical input uses 3.5mm connector. We can supply a cable with 3.5mm in one end and TOSLINK in the other. Additionally a TOSLINK to 3.5mm connector can be used in case your source device also uses 3.5mm connector and you’ll need 3.5mm in both ends.
There are 2 LED lights that indicates Power and Signal lock.
USB input accept all sample rates up to 96kHz and 24 bit and works without drivers on most computer system. Android devices works but Android support depends on the actual phone model and the Android OS software version. We have tweaked the settings on this version so that iPhones doesn’t (incorrectly) believes that it requires too much power. We have also tested the different cables with many phones.
If both optical and usb is connected at the same time then optical input will take priority and USB is only used for power only.
You can Add cables to CART separately here:
MicroUSB to Type-A USB Cable Click to ADD to CART
MicroUSB to Type-C USB Cable Click to ADD to CART
MicroUSB to Lightning (iPhone/iPad) Click to ADD to CART
MicroUSB (older Android phones) Click to ADD to CART
- ESS Sabre ES9038Q2M DAC chip and SABRE9602 output stage driver. SA9023 USB receiver chip
- THD compensation – minimizes distortion from external components
- USB input accepts 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz and 96kHz input files @16 and 24 bit.
- Optical SPDIF input accepts: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176kHz and 196kHz inputs @16, 24 and 32 bit.
- Adaptive asynchronous USB mode (adaptive USB transfer mode with DAC clocked by dedicated oscillator)
- USB input volume controlled by computer vol +/- keys
- Low power usage ideal for mobile: 30-50 mA depending on sample rate and volume
- Dimensions:5.5 x 3.5 x 1.8 cm (without cable)
- Weight 20g (excl. cable)
- THD% 0.00087
- SNR 114dB
- THD+N = 0.001%
- 49mW to 32ohm
- 6.7mW) to 600ohm
Manual available here
audio constantly cuts out, item received looks used and was just in a loose box.
Hi, please contact us for troubleshooting or replacement. Not sure what happened with this unit, they should come in their dedicated packaging.
William V. –
Having been an owner of multiple Sabre 9018’s in the past, the S2 was a nice change of pace, allowing the user to attach their own USB cable. I have found out first hand that cables make a HUGE difference in sound quality, even down to the gain of the signal. Upgrading from a cheapo micro USB cell phone charge cable to something substantial like a monolith cable made a huge difference and I really started to notice how great this DAC is. Sound is huge, clear, and natural, without being obviously tilted towards warm or bright. I am using AKG K240 S headphones which sound terrific paired with the S2. The timing, detail, and effortless clarity are such an improvement over the E10K and 9018 that it’s pitiful. The DAC is very revealing… if there is a lot of compression or artifacts in the treble, tracks will not be terribly fun to listen to. If the DAC has not been used for a while, it may sound a little colder for 10 minutes, but it will begin to sound natural, wide, and juicy after a few minutes of being connected to power.
I am impressed over the high-quality sound of S2 DAC, I got a crystal clear and detailed sound with wider soundstage from the very first play. I confirm the volume is higher than older DACs like UAE23 and my impression is that the same is true for “the sound pressure” coming out from my Bose speakers. This DAC represents a very flexible solution and is suitable for both listening at home via an amplifier and mobility listening from Android devices or your PC. The only suggestion I would give to HiFiMe Team is making a new S2-based DAC with a different case, like the very nice UDA38Pro, for the on who are searching for an better-looking DAC for their Hi-Fi system at home with different output connections and switching between USB and optical inputs.
I ordered this as a short term solution before ordering the UDA38Pro. I’m impressed over the sound. Especially when running uncompressed from MBP over USB. In my ears, the USB input sound a bit better than the optical. On Macbook Pro, please be sure to set the output to 24bit/96 to get the best out of it. Also works with apple camera connetion kit on iPhoneX. Even though the limitation in output power from the iX limits the performance a bit. I also have the Hifime 9018 but this one sound even better and have a wider soundstage with a "darker" background. Very versatile device and for the bucks this is really to recommend. Have now ordered the UDA39PRo based on reviews on the forum and really looking forward to it. Running on Beolab Penta, AKG K550 and AKG N40.
Very crisp sound from PC, I like it.
But not recognizied from iOS 12.4.1 iPhone X(I tested hifime Micro B to lighting and Apple Camera USB adapter). HIFIME reply: We just found that the 12.4.1 iOS update broke compatibility with the lightning cable. We will update it to work with 12.4.1. You can contact us to exchange the one you have.
joti sidhu –
A very good DAC .. great quality and soundstage .. highly recommended !
Upgrading from the 9018 this has more power and cleaner detail retrieval. One of the most underrated audio products i’ve ever found.
Paul Lieberman –
This is superior to the old 9018. Wow! Throw away your old and buy this one. Deeper cleaner base, extended highs, better soundstage with the slight harshness of the 9018 gone. I totally agree with the previous review.
I must admit that i did not notice an increase in volume. I would need to A/B with old to notice if it is indeed louder. —-merged reviews—- To Mr.Azza
Please return your device because it is obviously defective. I myself have had a harsh 9018 and had to return it for a replacement. Both the review by Simon and myself noticed a significant difference in sound quality in every aspect. The device also has 20% greater volume than the 9018.
My son just bought it and also noticed the superior sound and increased volume vs. the 9018 immediately.
Not really impressed with this one. I owned the ES9018, sounding more warmer and vibrant. The S2 sounds a bit harsh and honestly prefer the onboard sound of my XPS 13 to this one..
Moved up from the previous ES9018 based model and was expecting a slight improvement, but wow. It is a step change. A far wider 3D soundstage, and much more melodic – foot tapping in fact. Some slight harshness has reduced whilst detail level has improved, such that the texture of instruments and voices can be heard. A warmer, more neutral sound across the frequency range, more similar to my Chord than Arcam (DAC). Brings a real intimate experience that is probably equal to my old Lg V20.