Dethonray Listening M1 Review

 

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Comparisons

The Shanling EH3 is a good option for a complete desktop DAC/Amp solution without breaking the bank. It is also much more versatile in terms of inputs and outputs, offering many connection types, including four different headphone outs on the front. However, it’s much heavier and larger than the M1, so if you don’t need all of those connection options, and if the M1 covers your specific needs, you can go with the M1 with much more space on your desk.

In the sound department, the EH3 falls short by a large margin against the M1. The biggest differences are dynamics, transient response, and sound-stage magnitude. Especially when you connect a high-grade full-size can, the difference is so obvious right from the start. Of course, the EH3 is significantly cheaper, but instead of adding a pricey amplifier to the EH3 to enhance performance, you might consider getting the M1 as a complete package with a much superior sound and be done with it.

Switching to the FIIO R9, it has no rivals in terms of versatility, as it’s the king of that department by a long shot. It takes up a bit more space in terms of height but is similar in width and depth. It comes with a remote controller and much more impressive packaging. The M1 looks like an audiophile tool rather than a full device like the R9.

You can use the R9 in many scenarios, and it does have an optical input as a plus. That doesn’t prevent you from using the M1 with a TV or console, but it doesn’t have a remote either. So the R9 is much better in terms of TVs, not to mention its HDMI inputs including the HDMI ARC. 

However, when it comes to pure sound quality, the M1 is superior without a doubt. The R9 is an impressive unit and there’s a reason that it’s in our recommendations, but the M1 is on a higher level by a considerable margin. 

Conclusion

The Dethonray Listening M1 stands out as a remarkable addition to the audiophile landscape, showcasing Anson’s commitment to innovation and excellence. With its versatility, robustness, and high-performance capabilities, the M1 delivers exceptional sound characterized by its natural, immersive, and technically proficient qualities. Its compact design further enhances its appeal. You can save a lot of space if you’re not willing to spend $3-5K on a desktop rig containing a full-size amp.

The M1 fills a crucial niche in the DAC/Amp market and is a new recommendation in the Best DAC/Amps category. It bridges the gap between mid-range options like the FIIO K9 Pro ESS and high-end offerings such as the Violectric DHA V590 in our list. Anson’s achievement with the M1 is commendable. We congratulate him on the creation of this compact yet powerful and capable unit.

Summary

Pros:

  • Aesthetics
  • Build Quality
  • Versatility
  • Compact size
  • Musical, immersive sound
  • Great dynamics and control
  • Good soundstage

Cons:

  • No optical input
  • Power switch on the back side
  • No skids underneath to prevent sliding
  • Volume control fuzzy before installing the latest firmware

Page 1: About Dethonray & Listening M1, Design, Build, User Experience

Page 2: Sound Quality

4.2/5 - (127 votes)
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A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full-frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level as audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews are the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favourite Jazz recordings.

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