Hidiz S9 PRO and Mermaid MM2 Combined Review
Jun 28, 2022
Hidizs has made its name on delivering outstanding sound quality for less. Today, we’re looking at an exciting pair of products that, together, create a portable hi-fi system small enough to carry in your pocket. The first half of this equation is the S9 PRO, a tiny yet high-spec dongle DAC/amp hybrid that pulls audio processing completely out of your phone. The second is the Mermaid MM2 IEMs, an exciting set of earphones with a unique look, swappable tuning filters, and a one-two punch of magnetostatic and dynamic drivers.
Hidizs S9 PRO Specifications
The Hidizs S9 PRO is a tiny hybrid DAC/amp designed to connect to your smartphone and PC. Its job is simple: take all of the 1s and 0s that make up digital audio and convert it into an analog signal able to be played out of headphones. It pairs that with additional amplification (volume), so it’s able to drive everything from in-ear headphones to full-size over-ears that require a bit more juice. Of course, that’s all true of other dongles DACs, and the S9 PRO sets itself apart in a number of important ways.
Rather than use mystery parts like your average dongle DAC, the S9 PRO opts for top-tier audio components and an aluminum body for durability and a more premium finish. It utilizes a pair of ESS9038Q2M DAC chips for all of its audio processing. This dual DAC design gives each earpiece its own audio chip, reducing crosstalk and improving clarity. The more important part, rather than simply having two of them, is that these chips open the door to outstanding compatibility and sound quality.
The S9 PRO is able to reproduce audio at up to 32-bit/768kHz in PCM. That’s high enough that most users won’t be able to hear any loss in quality, even when listening to an MP3. Of course, it also supports playback of lossless FLAC files too, as well as DSD512, so you won’t be limited when it comes to quality. If you’re more interested in streaming, it supports Tidal’s MQA Master Quality tracks and Apple Lossless Audio. Depending on what you’re listening to, the illuminated Hidiz logo on the device’s face will change color so you can tell at a glance what resolution is being passed through.
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