Hidizs S8 HiFi decoding amplifier — the most universal

10% discount for any item at Hidizs store using our promocode: ZMCR10

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Following few succesfull tries in extra-portable HiFi audio converters, Hidizs have just released their new and more powerful tiny HiRes device — S8 HiFi Decoder. This is trully portable and universal audio decoder that supports most of the popular types of operating systems, HiRes certified and capable of decoding 32bit/384kHz PCM & DSD256 (natively). In contrary to previous and popular series of Sonata HD cable decoders, Hidizs has developed a new firmware that doesn’t require to take a decision on the forced mode of resulting audio quality by uploading different FW. S8 can be used «as it is», supporting any types of audio streams and giving out the best quality it is capable of with no extra steps required from a user.


Hidizs S8 technical specifications:

  • DAC: CS43131
  • DSD: 64/128/256 HW
  • PCM: 32bit/384kHz
  • Output: 30mW + 30mW @ 32Ω
  • FR respone: 20-50kHz
  • THD+N: 0.002% @ 1kHz
  • SNR: 120dB
  • Channel Separation: 120dB @ 32Ω
  • Output impedance: <1Ω
  • Recommended resistance: 8-150Ω
  • Buttons: Volume +/-
  • Audio jack: SE 3.5mm /mic supported
  • Connecting cables: Lightning/Type-C/Micro-USB/USB Type-A
  • Device port: Micro-USB
  • Weight: 9g
  • Material: aluminum-alloy + glass

Official S8 page and store: LINK

20%OFF for any order at Hidizs store: http://bit.ly/20offHidizs

For those who are familizar with previous Sonata HD converters, S8 has quite different design and architecture. It has larger dimensions and should be considered as an extra device connected to your smartphone rather than just a cable with DAC chip. S8 is still a tiny DAC and weights only 9g. Moreover, it features micro-USB port instead of having an integrated cable.


There were some complaints from the user of prior Sonata series about the possibility to exchange the integrated cable… No problems with that anymore. Volume buttons add to the overall ease of use as well. Although, there is still no LED indicators or other elements that would signal that the device is in use or powered.


Design wise, S8 feels very sturdy and elegant. Modern combination of one-piece aluminum shell and glass on the back with additional curved and shaped corners. Just a few elements on the case — volume buttons raising above the surface, 3.5mm SE audio output at the top edge and micro-USB at the bottom edge. No power button — S8 powers up automatically when connected to any audio source.


The purpose of S8 has not changed — turning any audio source equipped with USB A|Type-C|Micro-USB|Lightning ports into HiRes audio device capable of native reproduction of PCM 32bit|384kHz / DSD256 format by the means of a tiny adapter that would not consume excessive space in your pocket. Furthermore, pro-level DAC chip and extra output power would create more potential to drive most of the headphones or IEMs than bare output of a smartphone|laptop or other portable and universal devices. As we asll know, some laptops and tablets would not even come close to what we mean by a term «HiRes audio».


Their outputs are weak, don’t have enough driving power, don’t have enough volume and the sound is evidently blurred. This is exactly where Hidizs S8 converter might come to a rescue — the best way to upgrade the resulting audio quality. It is small, universal, doesn’t require additional power supply, doesn’t consume additional space — just an adapter between your device and headphones.


One of the main features of this product is its box contents. S8 comes with 4 types of cables:

  • Lightning -> micro-USB
  • micro-USB -> micro-USB
  • micro-USB -> USB Type-C
  • micro USB -> USB A

those connectivity options should cover most of the usage case scenarios. Moreover, S8 supports iOS, MacOS, Windows and Android. No drivers needed. All of the operating systems would recognize S8 as an audio output device and would allow to use all of its features. I have personally tried to use it with Windows 10 laptop and Android 8 smartphone. In both cases it was natively recognized by OS and allowed up to 32bit|384kHz PCM stream. The only note from Hidizs is to connect headphones to S8 prior to connecting it to the source device. Otherwise, S8 might not be recognized correctly.


Hidizs has also mentioned that the FW in S8 might be upgraded in future but has not explained the process. Hope to see such instructions and furter FW in the nearest future. Although, there is no necessaity to upgrade right now as S8 works perfectly with no observable glitches.


Sound quality:

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 3.5mm own output VS S8 adapter connected to micro-USB:

The pure winner is S8.

Original Xiaomi audio output is muted and have some tube feel. Its power is low and not enough to drive 48Ohms Audio-Technica ATH M50 studio monitor headphones. Volume is low. Sound gets distorted at higher volume levels.


With Hidizs S8 connected the sound gets much juicy: volume gets higher, driving potential allows more mid bass tightness. Lows would get more contoured, tube feel would go away. Good improvement is apparent in in crispness and resolution of higher frequencies. More details and scene depth would get apparent. For this usage scenario, S8 is a way better than the regular audio output of this smartphone.

Lenovo Y500 (Intel HD audio integrated sound card) VS Hidizs S8 connected to USB A:

The winner is Hidizs S8.

The difference in the audio quality is still apparent, although not that impressive. S8 is able to deliver more resolution, details and more driving ability to full-sized headphones. Sound is more crisp and bright. Although, this laptop audio output is much closer to S8 in nature than Xiaomi smartphone. But still lacking power and looses out some details.



Creating HiRes audio adapters is trending now. While smartphone and laptop manufacturers remove 3.5mm audio outputs — there is a growing demand from people who still want to have the best audio quality on the go. If having the additional HiRes DAP is not an option — the only possible solution is devices like Hidizs S8. Taking into the consideration previous and quite successfull attempts by Hidizs in a form of Sonata HD cable — this method really works. Some additional features, better DAC ship and more friendly operation makes Hidizs S8 more attracting and almost ideal. Furthermore, the final audio quality is really outperforming bare smartphone & laptop outputs and prove that S8 trully serves its main purpose.

10% discount for any item at Hidizs store using our promocode: ZMCR10

Official S8 page and store: LINK

Official Hidizs Amazon store: LINK

Thank you for reading.

Stay tuned, more reviews to come!

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