Against my better judgment and inspired by Ron Damon‘s post over at NBBA (No BS Budget Audiophile) Facebook group, I’ve created a tracker to track all new IEM releases in one place.
ddHifi’s TC35B is a beautifully crafted dongle DAC. It’s housing is made of 316 stainless steel and it’s possibly as small as a dongle DAC can get.
Here are it’s published specifications:
USB CODEC: ALC5686
Output Power: 30mW@32Ω
THD+N: <-92dB; DNR: >110dB; SNR: >120dB
Drive Ability: 16~200Ω
Frequency Response: 20Hz~20kHz
PCM Sampling Rate Supported Up to: 32bit/384kHz
Weight: 6g; Dimensions: 18.8*11.2*10.2mm (exclusive of Type-C plug)
Very interesting and insightful interview with Moondrop’s “boss” where he talks about their house sound among other things (turn on English captions):
If you’re looking at buying a Sony MH755, you already know why it’s special, so I won’t get into that here. Let’s dive right in and look at all the options you have for buying a genuine one. I’ll be focusing on India but some of these may apply to other countries as well.
Sony SBH56 and SBH24
The most risk-free way to get an original Sony MH755 is to buy the Sony SBH56 or Sony SBH24. These are Bluetooth headsets that the Sony MH755 comes bundled with. This is how I got my first one (I think I got the last listed one at Croma.com). You can still (as of February 2020) find them in authorized Sony Centers in Mumbai and very likely in other parts of India. I have also walked into smaller shops selling mobile phones and electronics and found them (as of February 2020). I also occasionally find them online, for e.g., I’ve seen them on TataCliq.com as recently as February 2020.
This is obviously an expensive option (compared to the next one) because you’re also paying for the Bluetooth receiver (SBH56 is Bluetooth 4 and SBH24 is Bluetooth 4.2, and both only supports SBC and AAC) but you can find them on discount and even negotiate a cheaper rate in some places.
Standalone MH755 (OEM Version)
If you just want the standalone MH755 (OEM version) and have searched online, you will come across this list of confirmed genuine Sony MH755 eBay sellers that is a great starting point (though not all of them ship to India). I’ve bought MH755s from the following three sellers from that list and can confirm the units I got were legit:
Note 1: I have ordered many white units from kanoya and they were all legit but the one and only black unit I got from them was not, and they promptly issued a refund and unlisted the black one after realizing it wasn’t legit. So there’s still a chance you could get fake ones (I’ll be making another post soon about how to detect fake ones).
Note 2: The tips of the OEM version are slightly different from the ones you get with SBH56/SBH24 and there is a very very minor difference in the sound quality because of it (I’ll talk about this in another post soon) but the difference is so minor that it shouldn’t be of concern for most people and the OEM version is just as good as the one that comes with the Sony Bluetooth headsets.
If you’ve done your research on the MH755, you’ll know that it was meant to be used with Bluetooth headsets and therefore has a very short J-cable, i.e., the right-side cable above the y-split is longer than the left-side (designed to wear around the back of your head which was (is?) apparently popular in Japan). This makes them very inconvenient and annoying. Most people generally end up modding it (I’ll be doing a separate post on the different ways in which you can mod the MH755).
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of modding it yourself, you can find people that sell pre-modded MH755s online. I’ve bought a pre-modded MMCX MH755 from mh755seller on ebay and can vouch for the one I received. He has many options that also include upgrade cables.
Lastly, you can try asking in the Pre Loved Gear for Sale – by The Indian Audiophile Forum (or similar selling and trading groups in your country), to see if someone wants to part ways with their MH755.
And… that’s all I got. If you know of any other way to buy a legit Sony MH755, let me know in the comments. Happy listening.
Thanks to someone from the Indian Audiophile community, I got to try the Sony MDR-EX800ST/MDR7550 for about 20 min and really loved them.
Here are my quick and dirty notes:
- Treble was rolled off and I was missing some treble detail.
- Bass was slower compared to my ER2XR (couldn’t A/B) but in general the bass (had punch but didn’t sound boomy) and especially the sub-bass was such a treat.
- The sense of space, air and the natural timbre gave me goosebumps on some songs.
- The cable wouldn’t sit on my ear (twists away from the ear) but it didn’t affect the fit as much and overall the fit was not bad.
- BLON03 is more efficient than MH755
- I experience driver flex on both of them
- I get slightly better isolation on MH755
- BLON03 is more brighter than MH755
- MH755 has more sub-bass/rumble and feels more viseral
- BLON03 is more punchy/boomy than MH755 and sounds more “fun”
- Bass is slightly faster on MH755
- Vocals sound slightly veiled on MH755
- String instruments, high hats and cymbals sound more natural and have more detail on MH755
Let’s begin our journey down the rabbit-hole of portable audio.