After a successful launch of its MOONRIVER 2 portable DAC/amplifier (review coming up on TechPowerUp), MOONDROP announced a cut-down version using the same dual Cirrus Logic CS43131 DAC chips and dual crystal oscillators, but in a dongle form factor. Making the DAWN quite novel in the dongle market is the output adopting a 4.4 mm balanced TRRS connector rather than the usual 3.5 mm audio jack, meaning you will have to get adapters or go with headphones/earphones that use 4.4 mm cables. In return, this fully balanced connection provides some truly excellent and independently verified metrics including an SNR of 132 dB and THD+N 0.00017% with up to 4 Vrms output in high gain that translates to an output power of 230 mW@32 Ω and 54 mW@300 Ω to easily drive the vast majority of consumer headphones even, let alone earphones/IEMs. The MOONDROP DAWN with its aluminium alloy shell weighs under 14 g, measures 120 x 16.4 mm, can decode PCM playback up to 32-bit/768 kHz and native DSD256, and costs $70 from the likes of HiFiGo and SHENZHENAUDIO for those interested.

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