Sound Card&DAC - The sound card or DAC hardware and technology
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  • In February 2019, China's Jihai Year of the pig is coming, and Soomal's annual insights and recommendations were updated today. There are recommendations of 2018 after the audio, phone and camera insights. In 2019, Soomal also celebrated its tenth anniversary after reopening, thanking the netizens for their long support.
    The audio performance of Samsung had been quite normal till S8 series. Under the support of Qualcomm¡¯s solution, the audio performance of S8 series makes a great improvement, reaching at the first level among smartphones without separated DAC chip. And not surprisingly, Galaxy Note8 should have a similar or even better performance.
    Although Apple is not the first one in removing the headphone jack, there are still a lot number of manufacturers following because of Apple's market volume and influence. We care about both the influence of this change on audio and the trend of industry changes. Does it really affects wireless headphone market? Does it give an impetus for headphone change?
    Q1 Mark II is the more attracting product among FiiO latest products released in the conference this year, compact design, budget price, and their experience. It adopts AKM entering level AK4452 DAC chip, XMOS USB audio interface for DSD256 and PCM 384kHz decoding, 2.5mm TRRS balanced headphone output, and supports analog audio input.
    It has been a long time since we reviewed HTC smartphone last time, because they are not outstanding in all aspects, not that unique, not popular in China mainland, and we are poor. This time, the U11 ranks the first in DxOMark, and removed the 3.5mm headphone jack, which attracts our attention.
    Edifier S880 is a 2.0 active speaker system that will be released in China soon. If just look at this name, you may consider that it has a similar market positioning with the S1000, and it is also sold at RMB 1198 (about 160 USD). However, S880 has a much smaller size than S1000/S2000 series, and it is more suitable to be placed on bookshelf.
    In 2016, we released 687 articles in Chinese, 180 of those are reviews, 30 are comments. We reviewed 34 earphones, 17 of those are in-ear phones, and the rest are headphones. Ten earphones are Chinese brand, and 5 of them attached special functions. We reviewed 12 speakers, 9 of them are able to connected to the internet or to speak.
    Here is our first annual report in English. Audio, which is our most concerning, comes first. The headset market is about to usher a upgradition. What will Chinese manufacturers do?
    Chord is an UK manufacturer of high-end audio products. Hugo is a mobile DAC and headphone amplifier of unrivalled quality, and sold at about RMB 12500. It is a mobile DAC and headphone amplifier, and can be used both on-the-go with up to three pairs of headphones.
    The design of LG G5 seems like a kind of Google Project Ara, you can change the module to achieve different functions, such as better camera, battery or audio performance. G5 SE is a simplified G5, with Qualcomm Snapdragon 652, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and a QHD display screen.
    K1 is a USB DAC device released by FiiO, weighing only 11.3 grams (includes the belt clip). This is the slightest and smallest one among USB DACs that we have reviewed before.
    FIIO K1 is an ultra portable USB DAC. The K1 needs no batteries, running on power from your computer or your smartphone. The little 11.3g, 2 by 0.3 by 0.8-inch device looks like a thumb drive, and can be used as an portable DAC. It utilizing BRAVO SA9023A USB receiver to decode USB audio.
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