Tempotec Sonata HD PRO - Reviews

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Tempotec sonata hd pro
Pros: great sound quality
well built
neutral sound signature
2vrms power output
capable cs43131 dac chip
can play dsd file
Cons: micro USB port
no dedicated amplifier chip
no manual gain control
Packaging :
Packaging was a nice experience for me . It came inside of a tin box. (now I'm using this tin box to store my eartips)
Inside the box, there is a micro USB to lighting cable, micro USB to type C cable, USB C to USB A cable, hi-res sticker and the sonata hd pro itself.

Build quality:
Build quality of the sonata hd pro is good, made of aluminum, painted black and there is two orange volume buttons (+ and -).
There is a 3.5mm jack on the top side and on the bottom side there is a micro USB port .
DSD logo on the back, and tempotec logo on the front.
so build quality is nice and sturdy. It won't break on you easily.

Technical specifications :
2vrms of power output
circus logic cs43131
32 bit /38khz
DSD 256 playback
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here is a trick,
It has two gain control,
but it's automatic, to trigger the high gain mode, you can use a simple 3.5mm female to male adaptor , and enjoy full 2vrms power.

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Sound :

Lows:

bass is fuller and tight, with a good amount of weight on it, no muddy or muffled bass. I'm not a bass head. so the bass it produced is enough for me. loud, tight, fast, energetic and enjoyable.

Mids:
Vocals are above avarage. Nothing extraordinary, yet enjoyable and soothing. Nothing distorted, everything is clean. In short, mids are more smooth than the texture.

Highs:
Slightly highlighted treble. But no sibilance or piercing highs. You'll love the guitar string sound coming form it.

Detailed analytical sound with good resolution. High gain mode sounds a bit better to me. For this price, you can't go wrong.

Tracks i mainly used
Metallica - nothing else matters
Europe - the final countdown
Guns and Roses - november rain, sweet child o' mine
Pink Floyd - comfortably numb
Linkin Park - lost in the eco, crawling, heavy
Eminem - recovery (full album)
Madona - papa don't preach, into the groove
Lady gaga - million reasons, marry the night, telephone

Attachments

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  • Pros: Small and light, good build.
    Doesn't heat up.
    Easily plug and playable, compatible with desktops/laptops, apple and android phones (with OTG cables/adaptors if needed).
    Very low output impedance.
    Excellent details, clarity, imaging, instrument separation.
    Quite neutral, with a slight tinge of warmth.
    Transparent and clean sound with black background, no hiss or clicking.
    Shuts down when not in use (battery saving when gear is detached from 3.5 mm connector).
    Not too battery hungry.
    Volume controller.
    Cons: Volume steps too far apart.
    Not compatible with mic/phone calls (only music mode)
    Can't juice up power hungry cans (but then again it isn't marketed for such as per the specs).
    Disclaimer:
    I bought the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro at my own expense at the recent Aliexpress sale.

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    Introduction:
    The Tempotec Sonata HD Pro is a DAC/AMP dongle, and it seems to be the OEM version of Hidizs S8 but at half the price. Some folks in the other audio threads have kindly opened and measured the two and they seem comparable internally and on measurements. The Hidizs S8 is very well regarded here on audiosciencereview: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...dizs-s8-usb-c-headphone-adapter-review.10823/

    Last year, I had purchased two of the predecessor of the Sonata HD Pro (the non Pro version), and while this non Pro version was above average in sound quality, the non Pro version had a bad hiss with highly sensitive IEMs, and it could cook an egg after use (it really generated a lot of heat!). There was some clicking with changing music tracks and it had no volume controller. The Sonata HD Pro promises to fix all these issues and for an affordable price of $40ish USD, so I was excited to purchase the Sonata HD Pro to check it out.

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    Specifications:
    Recommended Headphone Maximum Impedance: 32-50 Ohm
    Input Type: Micro-USB
    Body Material: Aluminum
    Dimensions (WxHxD): 1.85in x 0.66in x 0.31in
    PCM: Yes
    DAC Model: CS43131
    WIFI: No
    MIC INPUT: NO
    Built-in Battery: No
    DSD (Direct Stream Digital): Yes, DSD SUPPORT: DOP128 NATIVE 256
    Output Power: 60MW/32
    Signal To Noise Ratio: 126
    Bluetooth: No
    24bit/192kH: YES
    32bit/384kHz: YES
    DSD64: NATIVE & DOP
    DSD128: NATIVE & DOP
    DSD256: NATIVE
    SNR: 128dB
    DNR: 128dB
    USB DRIVER: YES
    ASIO: YES


    Packing:
    - 1x Sonata HD Pro dongle (the shops generally sell an Apple compatible version and an Android compatible one, or even a package that is compatible with both, so choose what you prefer).
    - 1x Adapter (female type-c to male USB-A).
    - 1x Hi-Res logo sticker.
    - 1x OTG cable (micro-usb to type-c).

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    Build:
    The Sonata HD Pro has a great sturdy build, yet it is very light, and comes in a small size that is very portable. All the necessary cables/adaptors come in the package, but if you want to use it with some micro USB smartphones, you might need to get some OTG cables/adaptors.

    It has a built in volume controller and the cables are pretty well braided. I think it should last a long time, definitely until the next hypetrain dongle DAC/AMP comes!


    Function:
    The Sonata HD Pro is a plug and play set, and is compatible with desktops/laptops, apple and android phones (with OTG cables/adaptors if needed). *please ask on the headfi or audio forums regarding compatibility of smartphones as there have been reports that certain android models are not compatible with the Sonata HD Pro. FWIW I have no issues with the Sonata HD Pro on a few variants of Samsung smartphones (Note 5, J1 ACE).

    The volume can be changed on the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro and/or at source (eg phone, desktop/laptop). Generally, most would agree to max out the volume at the source and do fine tuning on the dongle. Unfortunately, the volume steps on the Sonata HD Pro are pretty far apart, so for fine tuning, I prefer to do volume changes at the source.

    One good thing is that the Sonata HD Pro's in built volume controller remains at the last volume set even after it is disconnected. When nothing is connected to the Sonata HD Pro's 3.5mm port, the DAC turns off, thus saving battery life. Very ingenious and user friendly ideas were incorporated here!

    It doesn't eat that much battery from my smartphone usage, and it doesn't heat up at all compared to the non Pro predecessor.

    It can go up to 2V output but has an auto gain setting based on the impedance of the connected transducer. I ever almost blew up my ear drums with the non Pro version when I previously connected a highly sensitive IEM straight after a low sensitivity IEM (and I forgot to change the volume), so this is quite an innovative idea on the manufacturer's part with the Sonata HD Pro version.


    Technical aspects:
    The Sonata HD Pro can play DSD 256 natively with a sample rate till 32bits/384 kHz.

    The Sonata HD Pro sports a neutral sound signature (with a very slight tinge of warmth), with great improvement in dynamics, details and with low THD.

    I did not note any hiss nor clicking with changing tracks midway, and the sound is very transparent, clean and layered on a dark background.

    I like that I didn't detect any subbass roll off (unlike some other DAC/AMPs), and there is no colouration to the bass frequencies. Bass texture is improved with the Sonata HD Pro. Mids are clean and detailed, with good timbre. The Sonata HD Pro provides good treble extension, with no sibiliance. I definitely hear better resolution/clarity/details/separation/imaging with it, compared to just a low end smart phone source, and transients in music are quicker.

    Soundstage on the Sonata HD Pro is above average compared to a low end smartphone.

    The Sonata HD Pro has a very low output impedance. I usually struggle hard to find a good source pairing with the Audiosense T800 as this is one finicky IEM with a very low impedance of 9.2 ohms. The Sonata HD Pro drives it very well with no hiss at all. Perfect pairing!

    With very high impedance cans eg ~ 300 ohms, the Sonata HD Pro doesn't do the best job and stuff sounds a bit flat with lack of dynamics. Then again, the Sonata HD Pro wasn't marketed to power such gear as per the specs, so nothing I can fault the Sonata HD Pro as such in this area. It could power almost all of my IEMs with room to spare, maybe except for planar type IEMs which do need some juice.


    Comparisons:
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    As above, the Sonata HD Pro truly lives up to the "Pro" moniker, with better specs than the non Pro version. The Sonata HD Pro doesn't come with a mic and it cannot be used for phone calls, unlike certain flash versions of the non Pro version.

    Versus the non Pro, the Sonata HD Pro has:
    - Better subbass extension than non Pro
    - No hiss with highly sensitive IEMs, unlike non Pro
    - Does not heat up, unlike non Pro
    - No clicking when changing tracks, unlike non Pro
    - Volume controller, unlike non Pro
    - Better technicalities, compared to non Pro


    Conclusion:
    This is one versatile and great sounding DAC/AMP dongle I'm not gonna leave the house without. It provides a great upgrade in sound quality for smartphone and desktops for cheap. It has so many good points and the term "superb price to performance ratio" was created for this baby.

    I'm actually done chasing the "upgradiitis" bug for audio sources with this, but I'm so impressed with this set that I'm probably gonna get a second Sonata HD Pro during the upcoming Aliexpress sale! 10/10 for me!
    Pros: Neutral transparent sound, Smooth nuanced timbre, Natural tonality, Delicate treble, Clarity&low THD, Power output for its size, No battery&Low consumption, Price value
    Cons: Volume control step….dunno
    TEMPOTEC HD PRO REVIEW

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    SOUND: 9/10
    CONSTRUCTION&DESIGN: 8/10
    PACKAGING&ACCESSORIES: 9/10
    VALUE: 10/10
    Though quite unknown and mysterious for most people, TEMPOTEC isn’t newcomer into the audio industry and has more than 20 years of experience working in PC Audio technology. Having made their hands-on digital audio decoding hardware, they begin into HiFi audio as an audio designer and engineer for Hidizs creating Sonata DAC-AMP Serie which includes the well-received DH100 model which is now sold by Tempotec under the name ‘’Serenade IDSD Plus’’.


    It became more evident that Tempotec wants to trace their own road when they launch their own ultra-portable DAP call V1A. I review very positively this little do-it-all DAP last year and still think it’s one of the most fully packed 100$ DAP we can find nowadays.


    Now, it looks like Tempotec still wants to push the boundaries of high fidelity sound at a very affordable price by launching a new ultra-portable DAC-AMP call Sonata HD PRO. At less than 50$, these little things offer the must promising specs in terms of output power, DAC chip and signal-to-noise ratio. In fact, it looks too beautiful to be true, but I can spoil you already by saying it-is-truly-marvelous.


    Let’s see in this review if the HD PRO can be considered as nothing less than the best value ultra-portable DAC-AMP in the sub-100$ market.


    You can buy this product directly from the official Tempotec store HERE.

    INTERN

    Not a lot to write here, we only know the DAC part which is the Cirrus CS43131. It’s very possible that it uses no independent amping as this DAC have integrated amp that can push 30mW per channel at 32ohm. As well, it has an impressive 2V of power output. Dynamic range is really impressive at 121db SNR and total harmonic distortion is kept extremely low at 115db. As well, it can play a sample rate up to 32bi/384khz.

    PACKAGING

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    We are granted by a small metal box with all accessories that are vital for hooking this tiny DAC-Amp. For this price, it’s impressive to have nice braided cables like this which include one micro USB to USB-C, one micro USB to lightning and even a USB-C to 2.0 USB converter for laptop use. I review pricier DAC-AMP lately that do not include any cable apart from a long one for charging purpose more than portable purpose.


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    CONSTRUCTION

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    Not a lot to talk about this low profile DAC-AMP, it has a very minimalist design all made of metal. It’s a black parallelepiped with a + and – buttons for volume control and that’s it. The headphone jack is okay, nothing impressive as it’s the only plastic part with buttons. About buttons, they are not the most responsive ones due to thin space of pressing action but it does have the click noise and feel and work properly (I try to be snobbish here). I feel this thing is sturdy and can be dropped on the floor without worrying it will break easily.

    COMPATIBILITY

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    This device is plug and play marvel and work flawlessly without any disconnecting or clicking issue. Whatever I hook it to my laptop or any of my phones (LG G6, Samsung A50) it is recognized automatically and don’t need drivers or anything.


    You need to connect something to headphone output so the HD PRO get activated and recognize. As well, it memorizes the volume of last usage, so I suggest you to always lower volume before first listen. Talking about volume, it can be controlled with your phone too. Strangely, it bypass my laptop volume but not my phones.

    POWER OUTPUT

    The HD PRO is neither the must or the less powerful ultra portable DAC-AMP out there, but it has a solid 2volt of power output. To take full advantage of this power, you will need to connect a 3.5mm male to female cable, this way, it will bypass the gain adaptation. For example, when I do this I was able to drive at full potential my Final Audio E5000, but if I connect it directly, the dynamic will not be enough. This DAC-AMP is supposed to be able to deliver more than 64mW at 32ohm even if stated lower (60mW), I read it can go up to 110mW too, so this is unclear exact max power output it can deliver, one thing sure it’s among the highest one in its price range. On Audioscience, they stated it was able to drive properly the Hifiman HE400i, wich is incredible if true. Anyway, I confirm it can drive any IEM even low sensitivity hard to drive, it’s more powerful than any dongle as well as Audirect BEAM. Even at high volume their no distortion and sound stay clean. As well, no hiss problem with sensitive IEM as it have low impedance output, wich permit me to drive my capricious Audiosense T800 without any issue.


    Specs comparisons with SONATA HD (28$)


    NAME SONATA HD SONATA HD PRO
    TYPE INTEGRATED SPLIT
    DAC CHIP CS42L42 CS43131
    MICROPHONE YES NO
    24bit/192kHz YES YES
    32bit/384kHz NO YES
    DSD64 NO NATIVE & DOP
    DSD128 NO NATIVE & DOP
    DSD256 NO NATIVE
    SNR 114dB 128dB
    DNR 114dB 128dB
    USB DRIVER YES YES
    ASIO YES YES
    iPhone/iPad NO YES
    SOUND

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    The HD PRO has a very smooth yet engaging sound, perfectly neutral with high transparency and a wide manner of projecting music. Dynamic range is fully covered without any particular boost with the exception of perhaps just a little extra upper treble the permit to offer delicate high with a light touch of brilliance. No bass roll-off neither bass bump, no extra texture neither lacking any, it’s soft, natural slightly organic sound with excellent layering capability. As measure by Audioscience, the HD PRO (wich is find at twice the price under the name Hidizs S8) have extremly good SINAD (distortion+noise relative to our signal) of 114 dB, high Dynamic range and super low jitter, all this promising highly clean sound. Everything with the HD PRO sound effortless and cohesive, perhaps this will be boring for some, but for me it’s how I consider as ”reference sounding” a DAC-AMP as it never torture or disguise your music and it keep a completely black background so you can enjoy music with calm clarity.
    In 5 words: Smooth, transparent, delicate, refined and accurate.


    TIMBRE is soft, nuanced and natural. Free of grain or artificiality, with high level of transparency.


    TONALITY is a hint warm and liquid, cohesive and perfectly balanced.


    SOUNDSTAGE do gain in wideness and deepness as if the HD PRO inject air in the sound and improve panoramic rendering.


    IMAGING too is improved over more congested decoding of a lot of other DAC i try, it’s really how layers of sound flow naturally and never overshadow each other.


    BASS extends fully and is flat. It’s not boosted in punch or rumble but has a flexible articulation. Separation is clear, and when sub-bass occur, it is highly transparent and smooth.
    MIDS are wide and airy, they sound very open and natural. Vocal tends to sound more transparent and polished than with other DAC-AMP, so again, slightly liquid in timbre but never dull or lacking in detail.
    TREBLE is delicate, balanced, with a touch of beautiful brilliance to it. It never sounds too forwards and will tend to make bright iem less aggressive.


    PAIRING with smooth earphones like the Moondrop STARFIELD will expend the soundstage wide and dept but do not thicken timbre or give more authority to bass, so perhaps the result is a little too laid back, but for me, I tend to really enjoy it, especially if I use full amping potential which will give a more dynamic punch. The Final Audio E5000 became more liquid sounding and transparent, gaining in delicate details and vocal clarity, making this a good pairing. The Audiosense T800 is a marvelous paring and sound more balanced and airy, soundstage and imaging gaining in articulation and bass being less boomy and more controlled. Another great pairing is with DITA FEALTY wich can sound too bright with some DAP or DAC-AMP and ironically sound its best with a 40$ DAC-AMP, delivering same level of details with a smoother, more natural and balanced sound. Simply put, the HD PRO will pair better with bright or bassy iem that need to gain in balance and smoothness, as it soft definition edge and add transparency without taming attack, this tend to give a more musical and inoffensive sound as well as improving layering and tonal balance.

    COMPARISONS

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    VS AUDIRECT BEAM (100$)


    Sound difference is quite intense between those two, especially in tonal balance and attack, but in SOUNDSTAGE too which is notably wider and more spacious with the HD PRRO, making the BEAM sound overly congested and intimate in comparisons. BASS extends until 20hz with HD PRO while it feels it cut before that with the BEAM wich have a more aggressive boost in mid-bass, making it energic but not naturally extended. The whole sound is smoother and more relaxed with HD PRO, yet it’s more balanced and transparent too while we have some kind of W shape vivid treatment with the BEAM. MIDS is more present and vocal have wider rendering, while with the BEAM vocal feel compressed in the middle of bright bass and treble. TREBLE is delicate with smooth decay for the HD PRO while the BEAM has sharp vivid highs that feel overly forward. In terms of output impedance, the BEAM is rather high at 10ohm while the HD PRO is supposed to be lower than 1ohm, what I can confirm is that the BEAM unbalance the sound of very sensitive Audiosense T800 while the HD PRO is perfectly stable and flat. Harmonic distortion is lower to with HD PRO, making background free of any grain, unlike the BEAM.
    All in all, the Tempotec Sonata HD PRO has a more neutral, transparent, natural sound with greater sense of wide presence, as well it is more powerful in amping, have a cleaner background and lower impedance than the pricier Audirect BEAM.


    VS XDUOO XQ-25 (50$):
    This time it’s a Bluetooth DAC-AMP with the same ES9118P DAC chip than Audirect BEAM. For this comparison, I use the XQ-25 as a USB-DAC. This time SOUNDSTAGE is similar, but again slightly wider and better layered with the HD PRO. The XQ-25 is more grainy in texture timbre and lacks the beautiful transparency of HD PRO, making it more prompt to distortion or congestion with busy tracks at high volume. With only 32ohm of output power, again, the BASS sound dryer and lack the sub-bass extension of HD PRO. The whole sound of XQ25 feels more energic, punchy and snappy than more relaxed and neutral HD PRO, for some warm iem, the result will be more lively with XQ25, while too aggressive with bright iem, this makes the PRO more versatile and predictable. MIDS has more emphasis with the HD PRO and airy transparency to it, with the XQ25 it feels shadowed by mid-bass and whole treble, vocal is more enjoyable and natural with the HD PRO. TREBLE is notably crisper and faster in attack with the XQ-25, but less balanced and overly brilliant sometimes. Tonal balance is more refined and mature with the HD PRO, timbre is fuller even if smoother and bass and mids have better extension and presence.
    All in all, XQ-25 isn’t bad for its price and I still suggest it for people wanting ultra-affordable Bluetooth DAC-amp that deliver energic slightly analytical sound and plan to use it with easy to drive IEM. Still, HD PRO have a better tonal balance and more versatile musicality that while not being the most energic is fullfill with nuance that gently enrich an highly refined musicality.


    VS IKKO ZERDA ITM03 (100$)


    Using a higher-end cirrus CS43198 DAC, the ZERDA sound quite different than HD PRO. SOUNDSTAGE is not as wide and airy, but IMAGING is more edgy and sharp. The overall sound is less flat with ZERDA, which has thicker bass and less transparent sound. Timbre is more textured with Zerda but less natural too. MIDS are slightly more recessed due to bass boost so it does not sound as open as HD PRO. Treble is more forwards and dig more details with Zerda, but as well it feels less balanced and peaky. It looks like output impedance is higher too because sensitive IEM doesn’t do well with the Zerda as it will make distort my Audiosense T800 while the HD PRO doesn’t.
    All in all, Zerda is overpriced compared to more refined HD PRO performance.

    CONCLUSION

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    Being able to have this type of well-articulated, tonally flat and lively sound at such a low price wasn’t imaginable some years ago. The Tempotec Sonata HD PRO really push the bar higher in term of portable DAC-AMP value and is without a doubt the best one you can get at this budget-friendly price.


    Free of any distortion, black in the background, relatively high power output, low in impedance and high in signal-to-noise ratio, the HD PRO surpass by far my expectation and is a supreme recommendation from me.
    Pros: Excellent sound/price ratio.
    - Power.
    - Very low output impedance.
    - Remarkable neutrality with headphones connected.
    - Reduced size, possibility of different uses depending only on cables.
    - Solid construction.
    - Volume buttons: the device memorizes the last volume set.
    - Turns off when no headphones are connected.
    - Low consumption.
    - Smoother operation than its predecessor.
    - Does not heat up.
    - Native DSD file decoding.
    - Compatible with iPhone/iPad/Android/PC/MAC.
    - ASIO Drivers.
    Cons: The volume jumps could be smaller.
    - The automatic gain setting may not be suitable for low-sensitivity, high-impedance headphones.
    Introduction

    Recently, Tempotec has released the PRO version of its Sonata HD model. It mounts the CS43131 chip. It is a small aluminium box, which, on one side has a micro-USB connector and on the other, the 3.5mm headphone output. It also has integrated volume keys. Using the different cables, which come with the product, it can be used, both for PC/MAC, Android or Apple mobile phones. Of course, it already has the ability to play DSD natively, up to DSD256 and a resolution of 32bits/384 kHz. Throughout the review, I will delve into the rest of the issues, besides, of course, talking about the sound of the device.

    Tempotec Sonata HD Pro 01_resize.jpgTempotec Sonata HD Pro 02_resize.jpg

    Disclaimer

    I want to thank Tempotec, for offering me this device, in exchange for my humble opinion of it.

    Specifications

    Tempotec Sonata HD Pro.png

    Packaging, Content, Construction and Design

    The Pro version, comes in a very similar box to the previous model, but with a larger size, specifically 120x89x26mm. The screen printing on the box is in a more intense black. On the upper side, the model and the brand logo are shown. On the back, the brand, model, brand information and a bar code, in white. The box is also sealed with two circular and transparent stickers. Inside, there is a metal box with the model name and brand logo in black letters. On this occasion, the packaging is somewhat more complex. After lifting the lid, you can see a black cardboard, just like the packaging. Attached to it, on its back, there is a black foam. Once removed, you can see the dongle, a female USB adapter type C to USB male type A and another adapter, with cable, micro USB male type B to type C male. This cable is very similar to the Sonata HD, with metal connectors and, this time, with a thicker cable, also with 4 strands. Its total size is 95mm. In the unit supplied for this review, the cable for Apple devices did not come.

    The dongle is all metal and black. On its upper side, at the bottom, you can read the mark, in white letters. In the middle, there are the plus and minus buttons, they are made of semi-translucent plastic, red in color, but they do not light up. On the back, at the bottom, it is written "DSD" in white letters. The micro USB type B female connector is on the lower side, while the 3.5mm headphone output is on the upper side. The dimensions of the dongle are 48x17x8.5mm. The construction is simple and correct. It consists of two parts: a rectangular parallelepiped, whose edges are bevelled, and a cover, located on the back side. The set is solid, light and very practical.

    Tempotec Sonata HD Pro 03_resize.jpgTempotec Sonata HD Pro 04_resize.jpg

    Connectivity

    The Pro version does not have different firmwares as the old version and can only be used for music, once it is connected to the mobile, as it is not compatible with the microphone. The driver used for PC, is the same as for the non-Pro version. However, it is worth mentioning that this version reaches a resolution of 32bits/384 kHz.

    The device can be used, without problems, with the Tempotec V1/ V1-A DAP.

    Tempotec Sonata HD Pro 05_resize.jpgTempotec Sonata HD Pro 06_resize.jpg

    Measures


    Voltage (V) Power (mW)
    No-Load 2.01
    32 Ω 1.853 110
    100 Ω 1.992 39.68
    240 Ω 2.00 11.76
    320 Ω 2.00 12.5
    620 Ω 2.00 6.45

    The power of the Pro version is higher and its output impedance is still lower than 1Ω.

    The frequency response is completely flat, from 10Hz to 40kHz.

    A special feature of the Pro version is that it adapts the voltage to the output impedance. It is clear that with low impedances, for example, from 16Ω, the volume is much lower. In addition, the dongle does not work if there is no jack inserted in its audio output. This way, it neither consumes battery power nor is recognized by the PC as a USB device. Once a headset is connected, it works. In case you want to get the 2V, for headphones lower than 100Ω, my advice is to connect first, a 3.5mm male to 3.5mm female cable. This way, the dongle is activated by having a plug connected and, in addition, when detecting a high impedance, it will be configured in high gain mode. Then, any earphone can be connected and we will always have the maximum power.

    The volume, can be configured from the dongle and from the mobile or PC. It is important to point out that the dongle remembers the internal volume, which must be taken into account so as not to damage the headphones when starting to play, if it is configured at maximum.

    Tempotec Sonata HD Pro FR.png

    Sound

    The HD Pro version, for entry, offers a softer sound, but with more power and depth. The profile is very similar to the old version, but the quality is revealed in the better technicalities and resolution capabilities of this new Pro version. From the base, the sound is not so direct, its edges are smoother, there is more space, silence and refinement in the reproduction. The notes are played much more quietly, aware that they have a wider range and greater depth, so that they can be extended. The Pro version, still retains a good spoonful of immediacy, freshness and punch, but its sound is more dynamic and mature, embracing more space and reaching more remote confines and tiny nuances.

    The lower zone is deeper and more spacious than its predecessor, managing to extend into the sub-bass zone, in a more natural and realistic way, forming sound planes in a more orderly and coherent way, without suffering from colouring in the lower medium. The definition and the descriptive capacity, in the low zone, also feels increased, more mature and relaxed, with greater resolution and air.

    The central zone continues to present that colder aspect, with greater emphasis on the upper mids, which gives it greater clarity, but which, in turn, presents less warmth and a central zone with less body and density. The feeling of tension is no longer as high as in the old model, but the sound is still vivid and energetic in this section. The analysis capacity is improved and the sensation of dynamics is appreciated at first sight. But the perception of a faint thinness in the voices and instruments still lingers.

    Another step forward, compared to the HD version, is the treatment of the high zone: the higher resolution and dynamics, produces more effective, refined, defined and less abrupt trebles, more adapted to a harmonious and higher quality sound, showing off the "Pro" surname. In this sense, the HD Pro dongle proves to be much more reliable with the sound capabilities of each earphone, respecting its profile, based on the neutrality of the amplifier and its very low output impedance.

    In the same way, the ability to recreate the scene is closely linked to the virtues of each headphone, without minimizing its qualities, managing to offer a remarkably open sound for a device of its price. The level of separation, amount of detail and richness of nuance is surprising and scales the better the headphone is connected.

    Tempotec Sonata HD Pro 07_resize.jpgTempotec Sonata HD Pro 08_resize.jpg

    Conclusion

    From Sonata HD to Sonata HD Pro, there is a two-year difference and a fully justified price increase. The Pro version, with its CS43131 DAC, widely used in this type of devices, has undoubted specifications, in addition to 2V output, automatic gain control, depending on the connected load and integrated volume control. All this contributes to a minimum energy consumption. In addition, its automatic shutdown in the absence of connector, minimizes the waste of mobile battery. If you add to this a simple design, but very suitable and light, in addition to an excellent sound for its price, the Pro version becomes an interesting option, to buy, almost forced, for all those who look for a device like this, at the best price.

    Tempotec Sonata HD Pro 09_resize.jpgTempotec Sonata HD Pro 10_resize.jpg

    Headphones Used During Analysis

    • Ikko OH10
    • Soundmagic HP150
    • Dunu DM-480
    • NS Audio NS5 MKII Extra Bass
    • Magaosi V3
    • Shozy Neo BG
    • OurArt QJ21
    • Smabat M1
    • BGVP ArtMagic DH3
    • TFZ My Love III
    Tempotec Sonata HD Pro 11_resize.jpg

    Ratings

    • Construction and Design: 87
    • Accessories: 75
    • Connectivity: 90
    • Sound: 86
    • Quality/Price: 88

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