At present, in the “most portable walkman” solution, the non-mobile phone plus TWS true wireless headphone is none other. However, although convenient, the sound quality of TWS headphones is not enough to cross the Hi-Fi threshold. Even the TWS headphones of major brand Hi-Fi headphone manufacturers are not as good as wired headphones that are only a quarter of the price. Sennheiser.
If it is necessary to be portable and to ensure Hi-Fi-level sound quality, then the mobile phone with DAC decoding amp (or mini USB sound card) is the best solution at present. One is that the current mobile phone battery capacity has increased, the power output capacity has become stronger, and the output power of the DAC decoding amp has increased, which can be used with multi-unit armature or some large headphones; the second is that the Android system has opened an exclusive mode with some professional The App can play professional Hi-Res Audio format audio sources such as DSD and MQA, so the gap between the decoding root and traditional players is further narrowed.
I personally feel that the mini USB sound card is still very suitable for entry-level enthusiasts. It is more cost-effective when the price is not high, and it is easier to attract players’ attention, expand the spread and the market, and thus form positive feedback to the entire industry. This time I received Hilidac Beam2, which is a very cost-effective DAC decoding amp. It is a mid-level positioning product. It has Hi-Res Audio certification, supports DSD and MQA formats, and is equipped with 2.5mm balance and 3.5mm single The end headphone jack meets the needs of some high-end headphone enthusiasts.
Hilidac is an audio company that focuses on mini DAC decoding amps. From the official website, it can be seen that the products on sale are basically decoding amps and cables, which belong to a specialized manufacturer. As a product with good sales, Beam 2 has been on the market for some time, and its packaging has also been changed. This time we received a new version of the packaging, which is translucent.
The product information is printed on the back. The version I received is the foreign trade version, the introduction is in English, and it has Hi-Res Audio and MQA certifications.
Hilidac Beam 2 has a variety of colors to choose from, including red, black, blue, and silver. The one I received was blue.
The lower layer is the connection line, including C to L and C to C, corresponding to Android and Apple iOS system devices, and the C to A adapter can be connected to devices such as PC and MAC.
Speaking of, in order to lower the price, some manufacturers will sell the C to L line separately, and Beam 2 will be directly and generously included. It is worth mentioning that these two wires are woven and wrapped, with moderate flexibility and good tensile resistance. The tail plug is also made of metal.
The C to L line of Hilidac Beam 2 has good compatibility. Both iPhones and iPads with the latest iOS14.3 system did not show the pop-up prompting “device incompatibility”.
Beam 2 is a relatively compact type in decoding amps, especially the thickness, which is thinner than some 3.5mm plugs and will be lighter to use.
The body is made of aluminum alloy, anodized and colored, and under the hididac logo in the upper middle is an indicator light, which can display different colors to enhance the user’s current decoding status. In addition to the MQA logo on the back, it is also printed with a decoding capability that supports PCM 384kHz and DSD 64/128 (DoP mode), and supports BAL balanced headphone jack.
Regarding compatibility, Apple’s iOS devices are basically plug-and-play; for Android, it depends on whether the device has the OTG function enabled. Xiaomi phones are basically no problem and are automatically recognized. Some devices need to manually turn on OTG in the settings; for PCs, Windows 10 is plug-and-play, driver-free, and Windows 7 does not support it; MAC is also driver-free, but you need to manually select Hilidac Beam 2 as the sound card output in the settings.
In short, the compatibility of Beam 2 is the best among decoding amps. If it is not compatible, most Android phones limit the OTG audio function. Beam 2 uses the ESS9281C Pro chip, a chip designed specifically for decoding amps. It combines DAC and OPA. It has a small size, low power supply requirements, adjustable DSP, and excellent overall performance. In addition, BAL is a true balanced output, with two independent op amp drivers, the driving force is significantly greater, not the pseudo-balanced port of low-end products.
Regarding the function of decoding the amp, it simply acts as an external sound card to provide better sound quality, similar to the use of a discrete graphics card in a gaming computer. Generally speaking, decoding amp has an immediate effect on the improvement of mobile phones. Hilidac Beam 2 is the most obvious in terms of resolution and low-frequency atmosphere. The improvement in resolution is actually an overall improvement in the sense of hearing, just like the improvement of the picture quality from 480P to 1080P full HD.
Take Xiaomi Mi 10 as an example. After matching with Beam 2, the sounds of different instruments in the song are clearly separated, the positioning feels obvious, and the vocals are closer to the ear and closer. The test resolution recommends the use of live recorded band tracks, because their instruments and vocals are clearly positioned, and there are references for live restoration. Many enthusiasts choose “California Hotel” for this reason. In terms of low frequency, many novices will consider whether the drum sound is strong enough. In fact, this is just a sense of volume. In Hi-Fi, there is a texture that cannot be ignored, that is, whether the texture of the sound is restored, such as drums or not drums. , For a very common example before, the sound of some equipment is not like beating a drum, but a wooden board.
Hilidac Beam 2 not only provides ample sense of volume, but also has a very good texture. Taking 《鼓诗》 as an example, there are obvious differences in the sound of different drums. Can be distinguished easily. In fact, for most people, they listen to pan-pop songs dominated by human voices. Beam 2’s mid-range is slightly thicker, typical ESS style, the vocals are a bit warm and not much, no matter the male or female voices, the overall is comfortable and durable, and ACG tracks are not too problematic. There is no excessive processing in the high frequency and high frequency, but the tendency is to restore it. The sound of the violin is transparent, the lines are obvious, not thorny or stuffy, and it is slightly darkened. For some ACG tracks with a strong rhythm and a stimulating soundtrack Very friendly, not tired after listening. The BAL balanced earphone jack of Hilidac Beam 2 supports 2.5mm balanced earphones. It is a true balanced port and is driven by two independent op amps. Therefore, the driving force in the balanced mode is greater and the sound field is also improved.
In general, although Hilidac Beam 2 is an intermediate position in decoding amps, its sound quality is very high, which can reach or exceed many thousand-yuan entry players, and its driving force is also very large, plus 2.5mm balanced headphone jack, The playability is very high. In addition to listening to music, video and game scenes are also very suitable. It is a very cost-effective product.
Hilidac Audirect Beam2 Beam 2 2021 Portable Headphone Amplifier USB DAC MQA ESS9281C Pro True Balanced 2.5mm 3.5mm Output AMP