HIDIZS SD2 Review - Ichos

HIDIZS SD2 Review - Ichos

The Hidizs SD2 is equipped with the brand new ES9270 DAC chip by ESS that features a patented 32-bit HyperStreamII QUAD DACTM architecture. The chip supports PCM up to 384kHz/DSD128 decoding and has an integrated headphone amplifier that delivers up to 70mW+70mW@32Ω. The SD2 is compatible with Android, Windows, Mac OS, iPad OS and HarmonyOS with zero delay so it is suitable for movie watching and gaming. Furthermore the SD2 bypasses the integrated audio processing of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

The power output of the Hidizs SD2 is 70mW/32Ω, quite high and better than similar, compact sized USB DAC dongles that are equipped with one DAC chip. For the sake of comparison, the FiiO KA1 is rated at 45mW/32Ω and the ddHiFi TC35PRO at 65mW/32Ω. The SD2 is also quite efficient, I have measured power consumption at 0.02A/0.12W when idling and 0.07A/0.37W at full throttle. The SD2 runs cool during use and is dead silent without audible noise. The SD2 doesn't support hardware volume control and you get 15 steps of volume adjustment through your phone.

The bass is fast, tight and controlled with good definition and layering. The SD2 is dynamic and impactful as long as you use efficient and not difficult to drive earphones. The texture is not that visceral and weighty but you wouldn't call it lean or dry either. Mid-range clarity and presence are very good, the sound is open and spacious with excellent articulation. The timbre is quite natural and realistic with plenty of harmonic variety and without sharp edges or any kind of shoutines. This ES9270 DAC chip by ESS seems to be well designed and produces sound without any severe artificiality and digital glare. The SD2 is not as warm or organic, like the iFi Go link but it is certainly not sterile or lifeless. The SD2 is fast, energetic, luminous and just a bit treble forward but thankfully not aggressive, bright or harsh.

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