Hidizs S9 Pro Plus Martha DAC is a Banging Value

Hidizs S9 Pro Plus with a phone

Hidizs S9 Pro Plus (tested at $89)

Buy Now
Sound 9
Build 9
Compatibility 9
Features 9
Value 10
  • Clean and precise sound
  • Neutral tonality
  • Not picky with earphone matching
  • Given the price - absolutly nothing

Hidizs S9 Pro brought wide success to the company three years ago, offering great sound at a very reasonable price. But time has passed, competition has grown, and inflation is very real… yet Hidizs is presenting us with the successor called S9 Pro Plus Martha which is even more affordable at just ninety dollars. So let’s see what kind of magic they can do this time.

Build and Features

The story is quite simple, Hidizs S9 Pro Plus Martha looks very much like a usual DAC dongle. The narrow body sides are made of aluminium, while the top and the bottom are some sort of stretch-resistant glass. We can find physical buttons on the side that let us control the volume level, and these are not independent of the volume on your phone.

When it comes to connectivity, there’s one USB-C digital input that also powers the device. Things are a bit more interesting on the analog output side where there’s a choice of single-ended and balanced out, which are in the form of 3.5mm and 4.4mm respectively.

Hidizs S9 Pro Plus side
Hidizs S9 Pro Plus front

The power rating is 138 mW on the SE out, while there’s a slightly higher 180 mW available on the BAL out. Both of these are rated into 32 Ohm. While this is not anything you would call a powerhouse, those are still respectable numbers having in mind the ultra-portable nature of the device. After all, there is a need for a relatively low power draw from your phone, as well as keeping the heat in check.

In the heart of the device, a well-known Sabre ES9038Q2M DAC chip is used. PCM Supports up to 32bit/768kHz, and native DSD supports up to 512. You can also choose among six different digital filters but the audible effect of changing them is very limited in my experience.


Hidizs S9 Pro Plus Martha sounds just as you would expect from a well-executed Sabre DAC to sound. Detail retrieval is very respectable, and that especially goes for how clean and crisp tones are. I was listening to some acoustic recordings, and I was very pleased with the clarity of acoustic guitars and cymbals. Their focus and clean separation from other tones like double bass and vocals were very satisfying. Extention on both sides of the frequency spectrum is good. The bassline is bold and sufficiently weighty, while the highs are well extended. There’s simply not much, if anything, to complain about when it comes to tonality. Just be aware that clean, precise, and focused sound is prioritized. Softness, roundness, or rich tone timbre are not.

Moving to the soundstaging it becomes clear that the S9 Pro Plus keeps things tight and focused at all times. All tones sound very precise and well-delineated. That said, if you’re looking for a big, airy, and simply spacious soundstage – that’s not something that this DAC excels at.

When it comes to dynamics – there’s a good drive, punch, and overall liveliness of the sound coming from the S9 Pro Plus. It sounds fast and snappy.


Hidizs XO is just a slightly more expensive DAC dongle with the same set of features plus some RGB LEDs if you’re into that. The difference is sonics is quickly noticeable. XO leans more on the open and airy presentation and wider soundstage too. Its bassline is somewhat softer and slightly less defined. S9 Pro Plus is more focused, with a better-defined bassline, but with a narrower and less airy soundstage. There is no clear winner hear, just different taste, so choose your poison.

Hidizs S9 Pro is now a several years old model that I don’t have with me anymore for a direct comparison. However, I can tell you this much – I always keep the best product at a certain tier, or price category if you will, so I can compare newcomers with it. S9 Pro was that product when it came to budget DACs for a while. Then Audirect Beam 3 Pro came along and sounded even better, with better layering and simply more clarity. Then Hidizs XO came along and matched Beam 3 Pro at a lower cost. And now the S9 Pro Plus is matching XO quality-wise but with a slightly different sound character. You can probably see where this is going – by using this line of references I can quite confidently say that the S9 Pro Plus is an upgrade to the old S9 Pro and it does sound cleaner and more precise. It does that at a thirty-three percent lower price (not accounting for inflation) so it’s a clear win for the newcomer here.

To get a noticeably better sound, you would have to go to something like Moondrop Moonriver 2Ti. You would then get a more roomy soundstage with a darker background and better layering. That however comes at more than twice the price.


With S9 Pro Plus Martha, Hidizs managed to bring a better-sounding product at a noticeably lower price. To be more precise, the quality of sound that was found in a good 150-dollar DAC some three years ago is now found in an 90-dollar one. Audiophiles with limited budgets rejoice – good sound is more and more affordable.


ES9038Q2M DAC Chip
PCM Supports Up to 32bit/768kHz
Native DSD Supports Up to 512
Physical Buttons for Volume Control & 6 Filter Options
4.4mm Balanced & 3.5mm Single-ended Output
138mW+138mW@32Ω 3.5mm SE / 180mW+180mW@32Ω 4.4mm BAL
Sampling Rate Indication RGB Lighting
Compatible with all platforms: Windows/Mac OS/iPad OS/Android/iOS/Harmony OS

Official product page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top