Sunday, 7 April 2019

The Hidizs Sonata HD is the best USB-C audio dongle

One of the frustrations of my job is the difficulty of convincingly communicating differences in sound quality. If I want to inform you of a great new camera, such as the Huawei P30 Pro’s low-light heroics, I can post side-by-side photos and demonstrate exactly how much of an upgrade the latest tech is. A great new display can also be photographed to show off its strengths. New video game with awesome graphics? More visual evidence can be provided. But if I want to tell you about an amazing pair of headphones, all I have is words. So I suppose you’ll have to just trust me when I say that a $28 USB-C audio dongle by an obscure company called Hidizs is the best you can buy.
It’s 2019 and the issue of headphone dongles is very much still with us. Most people buying new headphones these days are looking to get a wireless pair, but the majority of headphones and earphones that we already own tend to have a wire terminating in a 3.5mm connector. As of right now, if you want a headphone jack on your phone, you have a choice between either getting an LG flagship, which offers easily the best sound quality in any smartphone with its quad-DAC audio setup, a Samsung Galaxy device, or a mid-ranger from some other company (such as Huawei’s P30, for instance, which sits just below the top P30 Pro model). Or you can buy a separate dongle.
The Hidizs Sonata HD is my favorite audio dongle, surpassing the quality of all the (mostly mediocre) audio adapters bundled in the box with various smartphones. The great thing about this USB-C adapter, which happens to also be a DAC and amplifier, is that it’s characterless. It doesn’t tinge your music in any direction, it doesn’t boost or deaden any frequencies, just plays things straight. It also gets plenty loud enough, which is not something that every USB-C dongle can claim.
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