Untainted- Tempotec Sonata HD Pro Review
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Sound Review by machinegod
Disclaimer: Tempotec has graciously provided us with this sample unit in exchange for an honest review. The views discussed below are a reflection of Project A3's thoughts surrounding the product. The sample has been run-in for at least 50 hours prior to reviewing in order to achieve an accurate representation of the product.
Tempotec Corporation has 3 main series of products in their arsenal: The Sonata Series, The Serenade Series and The Fantasia Series. While the Fantasia and Serenade series of products are dedicated for the stationary audiophile, The Sonata Series are dedicated for the audiophile on the go. The Sonata HD series is a regularly updated iteration of Tempotec's portable dongle DAC/AMP. The latest iteration of the series, Tempotec Sonata HD Pro has two variants: Android and Android+iOS variants. Today we are going to take a look at the Android Variant which currently as of writing this review retails for 37$ on their AliExpress
The unboxing experience is a pleasant surprise given its price range. It comes in a sizeable metal box nestled in which is the dongle and its cable along with the USB A adaptor, and you get a separate Hi-Res sticker. The metal box is sturdy enough for storing and carrying the dongle without any worry. You can even store other portable equipment if you remove the slotted foam layer. Thumbs up to Tempotec for the nice metal box.
It is made entirely out of Aluminum and it feels like a tank in the hand. There is no sign of flex or cheapness in its build which is always good news. The cable is relatively well made and is flexible in its own part. The dongle has beveled edges so the edges are smooth and rounded. I do wish it came in other colors to stand out in the market of black dongles.
The unit which is being reviewed is the Android version. Tempotec also sells an Android+iOS version which comes at a 3$ price premium at this time of writing this review. Kudos to Tempotec for not leaving out the iOS users. Coming on to the buttons, you get the standard + and - and one must note that they are not bound to the hardware volume keys. You do get best results when you max out the volume on your hardware (phone/laptop/PC) and then adjust the volume through the Sonata HD Pro. The buttons are tactile and require a moderate amount of pressure to be registered. I do wish the size of the buttons were bigger and/or were raised higher further for easier registering.
The Tempotec Sonata HD Pro has a sound signature that is rare and unseen in the dongle world. It's sound signature is natural and the timbre is "correct" which is felt the moment you connect them. It best synergizes with balanced sounding IEMs/Headphones. Technicality wise, not the best in the market but at 38$, a good recommendation!
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*All ratings are accurate as of date of publication. Changes in price, newer models may affect Project A3's views on the performance and value of the reviewed product.