Khadas Tea DAC Bluetooth Headphone Amplifier Evaluation – A slim MagSafe geared up DAC for iPhone customers | Byte Tech

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Khadas Tea DAC Bluetooth Headphone Amplifier Evaluation

Abstract

The Khadas Tea is nice for the typical iPhone proprietor in search of higher audio high quality. Though it could possibly be significantly better. Hopefully when the app is launched this may enhance the product considerably, fixing minor complaints and hopefully including a a lot wanted equalizer.

benefit

  • Slim design with MagSafe connection is good for iPhone customers who want a conveyable DAC
  • LDAC over Bluetooth gives a lift in sound high quality
  • The nice and cozy sound profile ought to go well with most individuals’s tastes

cons

  • Connectivity points when utilizing a wired connection on Android
  • Top quality LDAC vulnerable to popping/interference
  • A bit heat sound for audiophiles.
  • No app (but)

Khadas’ Tea is a superb new ultra-slim Hello-Res headphone amp designed to work seamlessly with an iPhone 12 or increased.

Specification

  • Sort: USB DAC + Headphone Amplifier + Bluetooth
  • Mannequin: Khadas
  • Chipset: Saber ESS ES9281AC Professional
  • Bluetooth: Qualcomm QCC5125
  • Amplifier: RT6863D amplifier (buffer stage)
  • Frequency vary: 20 – 40,000 Hz
  • Compatibility: PCM as much as 32bit/768kHz – DSD as much as DSD512
  • SNR: 112dB / 116dB
  • THD: <0.0007%
  • Output Impedance: <0.3dB
  • Battery: 1160mAh lithium polymer battery
  • Battery life: as much as 8h
  • Dimension: 95.5mm (L) x 63.8mm (W) x 6.25mm (t-min) / 7.95mm (t-max)
  • Weight: 73.5g
  • Plug: USB-C

Design

The Tea is a glossy blue metal system that’s simply 6.25mm thick. Its minimalist aesthetic matches completely with the iPhone for which it’s designed. I say this as a result of Tea carries the Made for Apple badge, which suggests it is explicitly designed to attach with these merchandise. It may be related on to any Apple system geared up with its MagSafe know-how.

Someway Khadas managed to squeeze a 1160mAh battery contained in the Tea. This permits for a formidable 8 hours of playback time, sufficient to get you thru a busy workday.

As a part of its spectacular design, the Tea can mechanically regulate to the resistance of the headphones you are utilizing. So you may all the time get the suitable energy and ideal sound out of your headphones.

I used to be just a little unhappy to see that there is no such thing as a app to accompany the tea. The boards affirm that Khadas is at the moment growing an app, and in August, they claimed to be testing the app. Nonetheless, as I write this in late October, there may be nonetheless no signal of it.

A companion app can be supplied for a fancy audio system like this. It may assist customers fine-tune the sound they love with an equalizer and even permit customization of the {hardware} buttons current. (I’ve seen all of those options include smaller, cheaper units.)

connectivity

Although its function could also be obscured at first look by its distinctive profile, which could resemble some pharmaceutical scales or a sci-fi police notepad. The Tea is an ultra-thin, high-resolution headphone amplifier that helps bit-perfect MQA and lossless audio playback.

Khadas’ Tea will be related to a tool of your selection utilizing one in all two strategies. A direct Bluetooth connection or a wired connection, with one of many two 10 cm cables supplied. Suitable with Android and Apple units by way of USB Sort-C or Lightning cable.

Throughout the Bluetooth settings on the related system, customers can change between two LDAC playback settings: “Optimized for High quality” and “Connection High quality and Balanced Audio”. Sadly, I discovered the final choice to be the one viable setup. The connection was simply distorted when utilizing “Optimized High quality Settings”. I attempted this in an space with low wifi site visitors and wifi disabled on the related system. I envision this setup as a non-starter in a house with a number of wifi-enabled units.

Utilizing a wired connection, customers can use some further options of Tea. When related by way of USB Sort-C cable, customers can cost the Tea by way of the host system; This function is sadly not supported when utilizing the lightning cable. The Tea can even show which audio format of the lossless music you’re listening to by way of the LED.

Sadly, I could not check the Tea’s wired connection completely because of heavy crackling distortion, which sounded spontaneously at seemingly unprovoked moments. That is probably an issue with my Huawei telephone. Android units can typically be temperamental with this kind of connection. It’s attainable that this drawback is said to the firmware, and when the applying lastly begins, this may occasionally resolve the issue by way of an replace.

Throughout the temporary alternative I had with the wired connection, I discovered improved sound high quality and a marginal improve in readability. Nonetheless, I do not assume that was a big sufficient improve to justify the inconvenience of getting the Tea related on to my telephone: the Bluetooth connection is surprisingly good.

Controls and feedback

On the perimeters of the Tea there are three buttons to manage the system and an LED to indicate suggestions to the consumer within the decrease proper entrance. On the left is a single sensible button, answerable for turning on, off, answering and rejecting calls, hears Siri and reconnects Bluetooth. It will also be used along with the opposing buttons, which predominantly perform as a quantity rocker change.

The quantity up and quantity down buttons will be modified to rewind and skip buttons, respectively, by holding down the sensible button and the amount up button for one second. Alternatively, the consumer can flip the sensible charging function on or off by holding down the sensible button and the amount down button.

I discover having to carry down two buttons to alter the music skip mode is overkill and impractical. Moreover, the method turns into more and more irritating because of the lack of audio suggestions that Tea presents.

The one suggestions sounds the Tea makes are to announce that Bluetooth has related or disconnected from a tool. Moreover, Tea gives data on energy on, energy off, low battery, and Bluetooth pairing mode by way of the small LED on the entrance of the system. The Tea is designed to be mounted on the again of customers’ telephones, making it an attention-grabbing design selection, to make sure.

The system is not going to let you know when it should flip off; it should merely gently flash crimson after which sink into silence after an undisclosed period of time. Additionally, it mechanically turns off after being paused for some time, and it will not let you know both.

Worth and different choices

The Khadas Tea is that can be purchased now on Amazon, priced at slightly below £200.

This places it a bit increased than the favored iFi GO Blu, which at the moment prices round £175, or the Qudelix-5K at round £170.

The primary benefit of Khadas Tea is the general design, type issue, and MagSafe connectivity.

Sound

Initially, I wish to be clear and say that I’m not an knowledgeable in audio know-how. Nonetheless, as a median client to whom this product is directed, I can provide my opinion.

I discovered that the Tea has a bias in the direction of low frequencies and bass. Usually this is able to not trouble me as a low sound accompanies my ordinary style in music. Nonetheless, to get essentially the most out of the ESS ES9281AC Professional DAC, I listened to quite a lot of different genres showcasing different facets of the sound produced.

At first, I discovered it very low, which appeared to bleed into the mids, making a muddy sound. On some complicated songs, I discovered this extra prevalent. I additionally thought it had a slight high-end roll-off, presenting a barely veiled sound. Principally which means the excessive finish appears muted or lowered. I used to be solely in a position to establish this by evaluating two completely different DAC units. For a median listener, I feel that is fully acceptable.

Additionally, I discovered that the Tea lacked good sound staging, making every thing sound very a lot the identical, as in case you had been in a field. This, mixed with the dearth of readability within the excessive finish, makes for a reasonably thick sound.

One of many nice advantages of this transportable DAC is the flexibility to drive nearly any IEM with a most output of 165mW into 32 ohms. It must also have the ability to drive some much less demanding headphones.

remaining ideas

Generally, I do not take care of Khadas tea. Maybe if I had an iPhone 12 or increased, I’d have tailored higher to the system. Nonetheless, what it does, it does fairly effectively.

The sound profile it produces may be very heat and probably unbalanced. Your common iPhone consumer who needs to immerse themselves in high-end audio will in all probability love the sound, however individuals with a extra analytical ear with a impartial desire could also be disenchanted.

I feel this DAC would drastically profit from an software with an equalizer, permitting customers to regulate the audio to their desire.

Final up to date on 2022-10-22 / Affiliate Hyperlinks / Amazon Product Promoting API Pictures

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Khadas Tea DAC Bluetooth Headphone Amplifier Review – A slim MagSafe equipped DAC for iPhone users

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