Nillkin, a renowned accessories brand in the industry, released its affordable Type-C to 3.5mm mini-jack with DAC and Amplifier in both Pro and non-Pro models recently. We have the Pro model here at Picky Beast for the past two weeks, and here is our full review and some suggestions and opinions.
What is a DAC?
Most of our readers don’t have a good idea about DACs or AMPs. Even we are not good at this. But for having a basic idea, DAC simply converts a digital signal into an analog one so that your headphones can make sound output. But they come with different qualities and capabilities. We have inbuilt DAC in our smartphones, Laptops, music players, etc. If the DAC quality is low, it may produce static noise or making the output somewhat crappy with lower sample rates and lacking details. So if you are interested in high-quality music, you should invest in good quality DACs.
If you have fabulous sounding headphones or IEMs, you can either plug it into your smartphone or Hi-Res Music players. If you are serious about sound quality and if your smartphone has a standalone DAC that couldn’t properly use your earphones potential, carrying nearly smartphones sized Hi-Res music players is not the right way to go. Instead, now we have portable DAC in a Type-C to 3.5mm adapter formats, which can drastically improve your music listening experience.
Nowadays, modern smartphones don’t come with 3.5mm headphones jack, and brands refuse to ship a normal Type-C to 3.5mm adapters to promote their sale of TWS earphones. Many people have existing wired earphones, which usually have better sound quality compared to wireless solutions. So when we search for an excellent type-C to 3.5mm adapters, most of the options out there have a low build quality and probably will last for 2-3 months. If we search for standard adapters from known brands, we have to pay around 350-600 Rupees, and we don’t think it is reasonable to ask such an amount for just a regular wire.
Instead, we believe it is better to spend money on adapters with DAC, which starts around $10 mark(~700₹), which produces Hi-Res sound output and goes up to 5K rupees. So which one should you buy? We are trying to answer this question and our full review of one of the cheapest ones out there, the Nillkin Type-C to 3.5mm mini-jack with DAC and Amplifier Pro.
How much various Type-C to 3.5mm Adapters with DAC costs?
The generic adapters from unknown brands with DACs cost around 700 to 1500 rupees. If we consider renowned brands, the cheapest one is the $10 VE Odyssey HD Type-C to 3.5mm DAC dongle from Venture Electronics, which is a famous brand for their amazing $5 VE monk Plus. But due to covid-19, their official store on the official website or AliExpress doesn’t ship to India now. The next cheapest options are from Nillkin, which sells for $13 earlier and now if hiked to $19. If we go for more popular ones we have DC02 and DC01(2.5mm port) from iBasso, the very popular HIDIZS Sonata II from HIDIZS and Meizu Hifi Audio Pro and non-Pro models, etc
We purchased this Nillkin Type-C to 3.5mm DAC Amplifier Pro from a third party AliExpress seller for around $16.75+ Shipping ($2.67) to India. Earlier, we planned to buy it from Nillkin’s official website or their official store in AliExpress, but there is no shipping method to India due to current situations.
Build and Design
The Nillkin Type-C HiFi DAC is built like a tank. They used premium materials to make this, and we are quite sure it will last for a while due to its excellent durability, and the nylon woven wires wrap over the high-density copper core to make it anti-bending and, in short, it is top-notch. For reference, the non-Pro model differs massively from the Pro model in design with its more conventional braided cable design.
They haven’t specified the particular DAC they used in both these models, which means it is not the superior DACs scene in more expensive models. But this DAC still offers the highest bit rate out there 32bit/384Khz, a distortion rate of ≤0.001%, Dynamic range of >100dB, and sound to noise ratio of 100dB. It also supports voice calls, and they tuned it for bass sounds and bright mid-tone.
Is it Good?
First of all, I am not an audiophile. But I always go for high-quality music. I tested this Nillikin Type-C to 3.5mm DAC adapter with my trusty 1More triple driver in various smartphones and laptops. It produces sounds with a noticeable improvement irrespective of the streaming quality and streaming platform. But as the streaming quality improves, the sound gets more detailed, which is obvious. It is capable to brings out the best from your earphones or headphones. Unlike typical Type-C adapters that don’t work with smartphones having a 3.5mm audio jack, I also noticed that this one works well without any issues
I am quite impressed with its sound quality. It produces balanced, and natural sound output with crisp clarify and detailing. It is an easy recommendation at its selling price. But I think DAC in the more expensive Adaptors like Ibasso DC02 may produce better sound output than this one based on what I heard from other audiophiles out there.
Should you by this? or buy any adapters with DAC or go with standard adapters?
Let me answer this in some points.
- If you have some budget (below 30 dollars), earphones or headphones, you probably didn’t need to go for any DAC or AMPs, because most likely, they aren’t capable of producing Hi-Res outputs.
- Flagships devices from LG usually have excellent DACs or even many flagships like the Xiaomi Mi series, Redmi K series( POCO), and some others have good reliable DAC than usual DACs comes with Processors like OnePlus devices. So if you have Good DAC, you may not see a big difference in sound quality. But if you are very serious about music, then you can go for more expensive ones.
- If you have a good pair of headphones or earphones or IEMs, you can go for a budget or more expensive higher sound quality ones based on your needs.
- Nowadays, a good quality standard Type-C to 3.5mm adaptors cost around 300 to 600 Rupees(5-10$). I think it is better to go for DACs that have better build quality and durability and produce much better sound output with slightly more bucks.
How to buy these?
We are giving some of our recommend standard Type-C to 3.5mm Adapters and Adapters with Hi-Res DAC with links to make your purchase decision simple. ( Some of them are affiliate links, so it will help us to make more good quality content)
Best quality Standard Type-C to 3.5mm Adapters available in India
- OnePlus Type-C to 3.5mm adapter at Rs.390 – Buy Now
- Baseus Type-C Male to 3.5mm Female Adapter L54 at Rs.549 – Buy Now
- Baseus 2-in-1 Type-C Male to Type-C & 3.5mm Female Adapter L60 at Rs.699 – Buy Now
- KAPAVER® Digital Hi-Res DAC Type-C to 3.5 mm Adapter(1 Pack) at Rs.399( In truth they don’t have any DACs) – Buy Now
- KAPAVER® Digital Hi-Res DAC Type-C to 3.5 mm Adapter(2 Pack) at Rs.699(In truth they don’t have any DACs) – Buy Now
Recommended Type-C to 3.5mm adapters with Hi-Res DAC
- iBasso – DC02 at Rs.4999 – Buy Now
Worldwide: HIFIGO | Amazon.com
- HIDIZS Sonata II at Rs.3999 – Buy Now
Worldwide: official site | Aliexpress | HifiGo
- Meizu HiFi Audio Pro
Worldwide: HifiGo | Aliexpress | Giztop
- Nillkin Type-C to 3.5mm HiFi DAC Decoding Amplifier Pro
Worldwide: official website | Aliexpress(we purchased from this)
- Nillkin Type-C to 3.5mm HiFi DAC Decoding Amplifier
Worldwide: official website
- Soditer Pixel 2 Headphone Adapter- Buy Now
Worldwide: Amazon.com | official website
- VE Odyssey HD Type-C to 3.5mm DAC dongle
Worldwide: official website
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