Violectric Chronos Review

Mids

Mid-range is very clean sounding with the Chronos, with very nice transparency and clarity. The resolution in this area is even better than the bass to me. The definition is quite good, and the mid-range overall has good and natural tonality. The Chronos reproduces the mids effortlessly, without any congestion so I can say it plays spacious and relaxed in there.

Character-wise I think mids are neutral. There’s no colouration, so it has a reference-like presentation here. The timbre is quite realistic, although I would’ve liked a bit more body with instruments. But for a USB dongle, it’s certainly quite impressive.

The instrument separation and level of detail are also very well. There’s good resolution and mids are not recessed at all. Like I remarked, the Chronos is more like a piece of studio equipment since it plays the music lean and realistic with a technical approach. Only in the bass area is slightly boosted, mid-bass in particular. And that’s it.

Treble

High frequencies are the same as the mids in terms of presentation. There’s no addition, just the way it is. This is the most striking factor of the Chronos. Most USB dongles I’ve tried add a presentation of their own and colour the music. The Chronos doesn’t do that at tall. That also makes it a nice piece of equipment for evaluating recordings and IEMs.

Violectric Chronos

Treble is nicely defined with great resolution and extension as well as separation. It sounds very natural in this area and I can’t find a weakness in terms of extension, articulation and resolution. This is a tiny USB device after all.

Highs are nicely separated with a clean background, so it’s very easy to pick up the details in the music. There’s excellent clarity here once again, with great definition and detail for a USB device.

Technical Performance

The sound stage of the Chronos is holographic with good layering and positioning. Although it’s not incredibly wide and deep like mid-fi DAPs, it’s still quite capable. Stereo imaging is excellent for a USB dongle as it separates the instruments nicely and cleanly. Since it has good transparency and resolution as well, overall imaging quality is quite good.

Violectric Chronos

The Chronos is a very controlled sounding device as nothing sounds boosted or recessed. So the presentation is nicely coherent with good consistency and balance. The device also has a very good background performance with good blackness. The separation is excellent with a studio-like presentation, so you can even do some critical listening with it.

The layering performance in particular is very impressive though if I have to repeat. Power-wise the Chronos packs good power to drive over-ear headphones such as Hifiman Deva Pro, HD660S and Sendy Peacock. Of course, those headphones really shine with a proper amplifier, but you can still listen to those kinds of gear on the go.

Violectric Chronos

Conclusion

Violectric Chronos is the best USB dongle I’ve ever listened to. As the first-ever portable product from Violectric, this is quite a success. The Chronos has excellent build quality, simple operation, and a minimalistic design with elegance.

The sound quality is excellent and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a tiny laptop/smartphone DAC/Amp companion on the go. The price is a bit steep compared to other USB dongles, but I’m sure you’ll be surprised by the sound when you try it with your phone/PC.

If you don’t like to carry an additional DAP with you, you can get the Chronos and have an almost entry-level DAP performance in a miniature chassis.

5/5 - (8 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 the same. 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 favorite Jazz recordings.

11 Comments

  • Reply November 28, 2021

    Booker

    Just a heads up that the link to page 2 goes to a 404 page – there’s an extra space in the url “/ 2” instead of “/2”).

    As for the Chronos – I agree it’s fantastic, probably my favorite dongle out of those I’ve heard so far. Some others have a fuller bodied sound, but the Chronos’ clarity and naturalness in the mids and treble really is impressive. Doesn’t drain too much power on the phone either, so makes it a nice portable solution.

  • Reply November 28, 2021

    Berkhan

    Big thanks for the heads up. I fixed the link.

    I agree with your impressions.

    • Reply November 28, 2021

      Frank

      LP W2 vs Chronos which is better for you ?

  • Reply November 30, 2021

    Marc

    Hi. I am looking for a good dongle DAC for my iPhone, Apple Music and my Sennheiser ie900. This looks very promising. Would you recommend the Chronos or another dongle DAC in my case?

    Thank you

  • Reply December 6, 2021

    Victor Yu

    Hi how would you compare this with the THX Onyx and Dragonfly Cobalt? In terms of sound quality

  • Reply January 2, 2022

    Fabio

    Hello Berkhan, my compliments for reviewing! I know you heard also Cozoy takt c and I’m owner of this product (yes, I trusted your review 😊) so in your opinion Violectric Chronos could be a step up from Cozoy Takt C?

  • Reply January 2, 2022

    Berkhan

    Hello Fabio,

    It’s miles better than Takt C.

    Thanks!

  • Reply January 2, 2022

    Berkhan

    Go with the Chronos. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Reply January 11, 2022

    Laurent

    In the conclusion you wrote that the sound quality is excellent (your favorite dongle), and then continue to write that with the Chronos you’ll get almost entry-level DAP performance. How can I understand this? Is entry-level DAP performance something you would describe as excellent, VS high-end level which is superb, or how can I understand this? Thanks for clearing up my misunderstanding

  • Reply January 12, 2022

    Berkhan

    Hello Laurent,

    The device has excellent sound performance for a USB dongle, and it performs similar to an entry-level DAP.

    However, the “excellent” word here means just for the market of USB dongles, not for High End DAPs.

    High End DAPs perform on a much different league.

  • Reply January 12, 2022

    Berkhan

    I wouldn’t recommend anything different.

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