MUSE HiFi M1
DAC Chip: Realtek ALC5686
PCM 32bit – 384kHz, DNR: -110db, Power: 1 Vrms, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE, Metal Chassis, Cable-Less
- I don't do measurements, I just describe what I hear, from my own POV.
- I don't use EQ.
- Ultimately, my reviews are purely subjective and biased to my personal preference in sound.
- Xiaomi Mi 9T (USB 2.0 Port)
- Sony Xperia X Compact (USB 2.0 Port)
- Windows 10 with Native USB Drivers
- HiBy Audio Player USB Exclusive Mode with FLAC files
- Kinera Idun Golden (Triple BA)
- FOSTEX T40RP MK3
- Etymotic ER4SR (Single BA)
- VE Monk GO SPC
- LETSHUOER D13
- LETSHUOER Z12
- Crisp balanced neutral and natural timbre, mild vibrancy
- Coherent dynamics, full bodied with smooth presentation
- Well nuanced Micro and Macro details, good transparency
- Balanced Mids with detailed textures and definition, naturally toned Male/Female vocals
- Sparkly Treble with crisp smooth decays, good extensions
- Smooth impactful Mid-Bass, tight, fast with crisp decays
- Sub-Bass with good seismic responses, natural decays.
- Crisp and vivid guitars, piano, percussions (chimes, bells) and drums and taps
- Holographic spatial imaging with sharp precise placement/layers
- Good speed and dexterity for complex passages and transients
- Silent background, zero floor noises
- Clean layers and well-defined separation lines
- Drives Magnetic Planars and BA at 80/100 volume, great fidelity
- Excellent synergy with many type of IEMs/HPs
- Forgiving on Lo-Fi and lower quality sources
- Low battery drain on the host
- Does not heat up easily
- Very compact cable-less form factor (really nice!)
- Driving power for great fidelity maxed out below 100Ω and with no less than 90db sensitivity.
- No volume adjuster
MUSE HiFi M1 is simply another great small DAC/Amp that can satisfy for most casual audio indulgence. The usage of Realtek ALC5686 proved to be the right choice. M1 reminds me a lot to Avani and JCally JM04Pro – both of which I personally like and both running identical chips to M1.
While not exactly a powerhouse, M1 proved to be powerful enough for pairing even with my stubborn magnetic planar of Fostex T40RP MK3 (running on HiBy Music App in USB Exclusive mode, bypassing Android SRC). The output was satisfyingly good – but of course not as dense with overall texture and depth as how it would be sounding when partnered with more powerful dongles. But then what’s more important, M1 does not buckle or distort even when the volume were cranked almost to the max at 90/100.
When paired sensibly with more power efficient partners, especially with the likes of Kinera Idun Golden or LETSHUOER D13, I find M1 to be thoroughly sufficient for quality listening on the go. The dynamics being vibrant yet organically neutral – never attempting to emit any unsavory metallic sound or pinna glare. Perhaps for those preferring brighter signature would consider M1 being subdued, but to me being organic is what I prefer more and for this reasons I regard M1 as a great unit. The resolution does not get impacted by the “warmer” presentation, the transparency as good as can be expected of an ultra-compact DAC/Amp
Last but not least, perhaps the most endearing feature of M1, the super compact build which feels premium and thoughtful. While most dongles will have dangling cables attached, M1 proved to be quite usable with the form factor of providing 3.5mm SE port directly.
All things considered, for the segment of ultra-compact DAC/Amp, MUSE HiFi M1 offers great value for features and sound quality. Not many in this segment would be comparable to M1.