Dodocool DA134 Hi-Res USB-C to 3.5mm - Unboxing & Review

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Alberto96

Recognized Developer
Feb 24, 2010
8,291
17,328
24
Modugno (BA)
This is the Dodocool DA134 Hi-Res USB-C to 3.5mm Sound Card.


DA134GY-1-ee91-0bMt.jpg



Unboxing


1LdAMxbl.jpg


RVy4u1pl.jpg



The item comes in a pretty small and slim packaging with no accessories at all, only an user manual and warranty card. I would have appreciated to see, at least, a Type-C to MicroUSB or to USB-A for PC and legacy devices support.


pBjRZwsl.jpg



As you can clearly notice, the whole device is packed in a rather nice aluminum body. It feels solid and premium, and also works as a sort of interference shield.


Vg2viTtl.jpg


ulF1TOsl.jpg
Syzajdql.jpg



Something that doesn't look premium at all is the internal board. For some weird reason, the USB cable has been soldered in a really bad way, and some wires are slightly scratched on the plastic side. I hope this is just a case, otherwise it is hard to define this board as durable.


wE4AnZ8l.jpg


ZFLnnGNl.jpg



The device appears to be using an AKM AK4430ET DAC with a Bravo SA9123 Audio Controller IC, datasheets linked below. I am not an audiophile, but based on my minor knowledge, this can be declared as a mid-range USB DAC, with decent components that could have been better (of course).

AK4430ET: https://www.akm.com/akm/en/product/datasheet1/?partno=AK4430ET
SA9123: http://archive.esmchina.com/forum.esm-cn.com/FORUM_POST_1000164011_1201276323_0.HTM


ZNAkOuLl.jpg



Built-in Multimedia Controls are working just fine, even on my PC, but they just handle the device's control, meaning that you can adjust the same controls (Play/Pause, Volume +/-) from the smartphone (or other device) directly. Personally i don't find them useful, but may be for someone else.


uFCBj8Jl.jpg




When it comes to compatibility, even though this is meant to be used with Type-C Android Devices, it works just fine on my PC using a Type-C to USB adapter, and even on Android Devices with a MicroUSB plug (using the adapter of course). Perfectly recognized, and working as should.

PC (Linux)

akEhIPil.png


Android (Mi Note 2)

cs4MR5Al.jpg



Sound Quality

As regards the audio quality, compared to my smartphone internal DAC, i can notice a slightly higher volume but, to be honest, not an huge difference. Nowadays most smartphones (excluding low-end ones) already come with a decent internal sound card, but the amplifier isn't that great most of the times.

Still, some extra punchiness to the sound is noticeable, even with low-end earphones known to have a pretty high resistance. Not impressive, but not disappoiting either.

If you know to have a device that provides a terrible sound quality via the headphone jack, then the difference will be really noticeable.


Conclusions

I always thought that an External DAC, even if not super high-end, would provide better sound quality compared to a generic sound source, but apparently this is not valid anymore nowadays.

Other than that, this is not a bad product, there is some room for improvements and the build quality is pretty decent (excluding the soldering issue) considering the price target.

For those who need a cheap workaround to a crappy built-in sound card, then this is a product that should be considered.


Pros:

- Premium Aluminum Chassis
- Decent Internal Components
- Excellent Compatibility (using an adapter)

Cons:

- No Adapters included
- Questionable internal soldering


Rating: 8.3

Packaging and Accessories: 6
Design and Materials: 8.5
Sound Quality: 9
Price: 9.5 (Amazon)


Official Website: https://www.dodocool.com/p-da134gy.html

You can find full-res images (I know, Quality isn't excellent) here: https://imgur.com/a/O2LdZ

You can buy it on many online shops. Official, and authorized, Retailers are listed in the Dodocool website.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kuko61

aaalexx

Member
Oct 19, 2011
40
5
Very interesting review.
I'm just looking for an external (and small) DAC for my phone Wich do not have jack.
I've found the GGMM A1 or this Dodocool to use instead of a cheap usb-c -> jack adapter.
Have you tried some other DAC to compare? Like Smsl or other
 
  • Like
Reactions: MaCkDoUbLe

Alberto96

Recognized Developer
Feb 24, 2010
8,291
17,328
24
Modugno (BA)
Very interesting review.
I'm just looking for an external (and small) DAC for my phone Wich do not have jack.
I've found the GGMM A1 or this Dodocool to use instead of a cheap usb-c -> jack adapter.
Have you tried some other DAC to compare? Like Smsl or other

This is the only DAC i have currently.
 

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  • 1
    This is the Dodocool DA134 Hi-Res USB-C to 3.5mm Sound Card.


    DA134GY-1-ee91-0bMt.jpg



    Unboxing


    1LdAMxbl.jpg


    RVy4u1pl.jpg



    The item comes in a pretty small and slim packaging with no accessories at all, only an user manual and warranty card. I would have appreciated to see, at least, a Type-C to MicroUSB or to USB-A for PC and legacy devices support.


    pBjRZwsl.jpg



    As you can clearly notice, the whole device is packed in a rather nice aluminum body. It feels solid and premium, and also works as a sort of interference shield.


    Vg2viTtl.jpg


    ulF1TOsl.jpg
    Syzajdql.jpg



    Something that doesn't look premium at all is the internal board. For some weird reason, the USB cable has been soldered in a really bad way, and some wires are slightly scratched on the plastic side. I hope this is just a case, otherwise it is hard to define this board as durable.


    wE4AnZ8l.jpg


    ZFLnnGNl.jpg



    The device appears to be using an AKM AK4430ET DAC with a Bravo SA9123 Audio Controller IC, datasheets linked below. I am not an audiophile, but based on my minor knowledge, this can be declared as a mid-range USB DAC, with decent components that could have been better (of course).

    AK4430ET: https://www.akm.com/akm/en/product/datasheet1/?partno=AK4430ET
    SA9123: http://archive.esmchina.com/forum.esm-cn.com/FORUM_POST_1000164011_1201276323_0.HTM


    ZNAkOuLl.jpg



    Built-in Multimedia Controls are working just fine, even on my PC, but they just handle the device's control, meaning that you can adjust the same controls (Play/Pause, Volume +/-) from the smartphone (or other device) directly. Personally i don't find them useful, but may be for someone else.


    uFCBj8Jl.jpg




    When it comes to compatibility, even though this is meant to be used with Type-C Android Devices, it works just fine on my PC using a Type-C to USB adapter, and even on Android Devices with a MicroUSB plug (using the adapter of course). Perfectly recognized, and working as should.

    PC (Linux)

    akEhIPil.png


    Android (Mi Note 2)

    cs4MR5Al.jpg



    Sound Quality

    As regards the audio quality, compared to my smartphone internal DAC, i can notice a slightly higher volume but, to be honest, not an huge difference. Nowadays most smartphones (excluding low-end ones) already come with a decent internal sound card, but the amplifier isn't that great most of the times.

    Still, some extra punchiness to the sound is noticeable, even with low-end earphones known to have a pretty high resistance. Not impressive, but not disappoiting either.

    If you know to have a device that provides a terrible sound quality via the headphone jack, then the difference will be really noticeable.


    Conclusions

    I always thought that an External DAC, even if not super high-end, would provide better sound quality compared to a generic sound source, but apparently this is not valid anymore nowadays.

    Other than that, this is not a bad product, there is some room for improvements and the build quality is pretty decent (excluding the soldering issue) considering the price target.

    For those who need a cheap workaround to a crappy built-in sound card, then this is a product that should be considered.


    Pros:

    - Premium Aluminum Chassis
    - Decent Internal Components
    - Excellent Compatibility (using an adapter)

    Cons:

    - No Adapters included
    - Questionable internal soldering


    Rating: 8.3

    Packaging and Accessories: 6
    Design and Materials: 8.5
    Sound Quality: 9
    Price: 9.5 (Amazon)


    Official Website: https://www.dodocool.com/p-da134gy.html

    You can find full-res images (I know, Quality isn't excellent) here: https://imgur.com/a/O2LdZ

    You can buy it on many online shops. Official, and authorized, Retailers are listed in the Dodocool website.
    1
    Very interesting review.
    I'm just looking for an external (and small) DAC for my phone Wich do not have jack.
    I've found the GGMM A1 or this Dodocool to use instead of a cheap usb-c -> jack adapter.
    Have you tried some other DAC to compare? Like Smsl or other
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