S8 Review - ZMarketChangers

S8 Review - ZMarketChangers

Following few succesfull tries in extra-portable HiFi audio converters, Hidizs have just released their new and more powerful tiny HiRes device — S8 HiFi Decoder. This is trully portable and universal audio decoder that supports most of the popular types of operating systems, HiRes certified and capable of decoding 32bit/384kHz PCM & DSD256 (natively). In contrary to previous and popular series of Sonata HD cable decoders, Hidizs has developed a new firmware that doesn’t require to take a decision on the forced mode of resulting audio quality by uploading different FW. S8 can be used «as it is», supporting any types of audio streams and giving out the best quality it is capable of with no extra steps required from a user.

Hidizs S8 technical specifications:

DAC: CS43131
DSD: 64/128/256 HW
PCM: 32bit/384kHz
Output: 30mW + 30mW @ 32Ω
FR respone: 20-50kHz
THD+N: 0.002% @ 1kHz
SNR: 120dB
Channel Separation: 120dB @ 32Ω
Output impedance: <1Ω
Recommended resistance: 8-150Ω
Buttons: Volume +/-
Audio jack: SE 3.5mm /mic supported
Connecting cables: Lightning/Type-C/Micro-USB/USB Type-A
Device port: Micro-USB
Weight: 9g
Material: aluminum-alloy + glass

For those who are familizar with previous Sonata HD converters, S8 has quite different design and architecture. It has larger dimensions and should be considered as an extra device connected to your smartphone rather than just a cable with DAC chip. S8 is still a tiny DAC and weights only 9g. Moreover, it features micro-USB port instead of having an integrated cable.

There were some complaints from the user of prior Sonata series about the possibility to exchange the integrated cable… No problems with that anymore. Volume buttons add to the overall ease of use as well. Although, there is still no LED indicators or other elements that would signal that the device is in use or powered.

Design wise, S8 feels very sturdy and elegant. Modern combination of one-piece aluminum shell and glass on the back with additional curved and shaped corners. Just a few elements on the case — volume buttons raising above the surface, 3.5mm SE audio output at the top edge and micro-USB at the bottom edge. No power button — S8 powers up automatically when connected to any audio source.

The purpose of S8 has not changed — turning any audio source equipped with USB A|Type-C|Micro-USB|Lightning ports into HiRes audio device capable of native reproduction of PCM 32bit|384kHz / DSD256 format by the means of a tiny adapter that would not consume excessive space in your pocket. Furthermore, pro-level DAC chip and extra output power would create more potential to drive most of the headphones or IEMs than bare output of a smartphone|laptop or other portable and universal devices. As we asll know, some laptops and tablets would not even come close to what we mean by a term «HiRes audio».

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