Hidizs XO MQA Dongle

We’re back once again with a review of some stellar personal audio equipment from Hidizs.

We recently reviewed the Hidizs S9 Pro DAC AMP dongle “capable of decoding up to 768kHz/32bits PCM audio file, native DSD512 in hardware and ISO, which, to the layperson means it’ll make a shit sound nicer!”. This time round we’re looking at the next level in audio dongles – the Hidizs XO MQA dongle (releasing 15th December from the Hidizs Website.

Hidizs XO MQA Dongle provided for review purposes

“Disco, you crazy tech nerd, what does MQA stand for???” I hear you cry.

What is MQA? The abbreviation stands for Master Quality Authenticated is an audio codec which uses lossy compression and file authentication, intended for high quality audio streaming and download. The codec was created by Bob Stuart in 2014 and uses unique information packaging to retain all the detail from the studio recording.

Again, if you want that in layman’s terms – MQA delivers the audio right from the source.

You can read more about why Hidizs are putting their efforts into MQA here.

XO MQA Dongle

One very distinct addition from the previous dongle is the stylish RGB LED lighting built into the dongle. The “O” button features a tasteful glow, however the sides of the dongle casing can glow (lots of tiny “H” shaped holes) with any of the 15+ colours and patterns on offer. I opted for a “breathing style” slow pulse.

As with the previous dongle, the light from the “O” button also indicates the sampling rate in real time and the button itself is used to switch between the 3 EQ presets.

The dongle is around the size of a standard USB memory stick and weighs 11 grams. The casing is made from a high-density aluminium alloy shell, pictured here in a stylish Rose Gold.

The XO MQA dongle powers 8-250Ω headphones, and also performs well when paired with 300Ω high-impedance headphones meaning audiophiles everywhere can rejoice in their snobbery! The dongle supports single-ended 3.5mm and balanced 2.5mm jack ports on one end and a USB C port on the other.

The process of delivering the information involves unfolding the MQA files to deliver fantastic sound quality (as long as your chosen source or music service supports the MQA audio decoding process).

Tech Specs

MQA 16X
ESS SABRE ES9219C * 2
Stylish RGB LED Light – Hidizs Patented Innovation
Physical Button for EQ Switch
Single-ended 3.5mm + Balanced 2.5mm
Sampling Rate Indicator Light
Hi-Res Audio & MQA certified

MODEL: HIDIZS XO
NET WEIGHT: 11g.
DIMENSIONS: 55 x 24.5 x 9.35mm
DAC/AMP CHIP: ESS ES9219C
OUTPUT(S): 3.5mm TRS + 2.5mm TRRS
FREQUENCY RANGE: 20Hz – 40kHz
THD+N: 0.0015% (3.5mm), 0.0005 (2.5mm)
SNR: 118dB (PO), 119dB (BAL)
CROSSTALK: 76dB (PO), 118dB (BAL)
OUTPUT POWER: 78mW 32Ohms(3.5mm)/ 195mW 32Ohms(2.5mm BAL)

What’s In The Box?

Hidizs XO Dongle
USB C to USB C cable
USB A to USB C adapter
User manual
Warranty Card

Conclusion

The Hidizs XO dongle is very much the definition of plug and play. It takes around a second or 2 for your source and output to shake hands and make the magic happen, but for me that’s not an issue. The outcome is beautiful rendering of the crystal clear audio delivery.

The Hidizs XO Single-ended & Balanced MQA Dongle supports apps like TIDAL and HiBy Music to allow for MQA playback. For people not making use of these platforms it still provides a fantastically clean and amplified playback.

I found the best use for the dongle when plugged in via USB C to my phone.

The dongle is available from Hidizs for around $99.

You can learn more about the Hidizs XO MQA dongle here.

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