TempoTec recently announced three new devices at once. One of them is TempoTec Sonata E35, which we will talk about today. The Sonata E35 is a new USB DAC that was announced in January 2021. Two Cirrus Logic CS43131 chips are responsible for sound processing. The model is equipped with a USB chip SA9312, as well as a single 3.5mm headphone output. A little later, another version with a balanced output of 4.4mm and exactly the same filling will appear on sale (Sonata E44).
- DAC: Cirrus Logic CS43131 (two chips)
- Headphone amplifier: built into the DAC itself
- Output power: 80 mW / 32 ohms
- PCM: 384 kHz / 32 bit, DSD: DSD256 (Native), DSD 128 (DoP)
- DSD support: yes
- Volume control: built-in / device independent
- Dimensions: 185mm/21mm/7mm
- Body: aluminum
- OS support: iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux
- Output: 3.5mm
- Input: USB Type-C
- USB chip: SA9312
- THD + N: 113dB
- SNR: 128dB
TempoTec Sonata E35 comes in a small hardboard package. The cover shows the device itself, the back contains the manufacturer’s contact information (official website, Email). A black box with a magnetic fastening is hidden under a thin cover. DAC is located on the foam backing, a little to the left is a Type-C to USB adapter.
- TempoTec Sonata E35.
- Adapter for connecting to PC and laptop.
- Protective film.
- Hi-Res Audio sticker.
Declared compatibility with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. TempoTec Sonata E35 works with any of these versions without additional installation of drivers, everything works out of the box.
TempoTec Sonata E35 this a small rectangular bar with plastic inserts and a button for adjusting the volume. The inserts are initially protected with a transport foil (protection against scuffs and scratches). The central part is made of aluminum, the assembly is perfect, there is nothing to say about it. The board does not dangle, it is fixed perfectly. Dimensions: 185mm/21mm/7mm, weight of the whole structure: 15 grams.
All the filling is hidden in the central part. On one side, we see a metal USB Type-C block:
Next up is a 4-core 6N copper pigtail. Wire length from central unit to Type-C: 4cm, from central unit to 3.5mm jack: 5cm. The wire is cool, soft, reliable.
Volume control is implemented like a smartphone. A solid metal button is responsible for it. The adjustment step allows you to select the volume as accurately as possible, there are 32 steps in total.
The volume button does not wobble, it has a pleasant soft click. Slightly below the name of the TempoTec company is inscribed. The build quality is also affected by the integrity of the structure. There are no seams here, as a single piece is used.
Then there is a metal block with a 3.5mm jack. The surface here is nice, ribbed. For more convenient removal of the headphones, a knurling is provided. I also want to say that the TempoTec Sonata E35 does not recognize the headset. No access to microphone and control buttons.
Below we see the name and quality certificates. The delivery set includes two films, as well as a special cloth for removing dust.
On Windows 7, the DAC was detected automatically, the driver was not required. The situation is exactly the same with the more modern Windows 10. The volume is controlled only by the buttons and the application itself. You can choose the declared resolution according to the passport 32 bit / 384. TempoTec Sonata E35 is defined as “Sonata BHD”. This is not surprising, since the manufacturer has kept all the components of the previous version.
The sound is clear, clean, detailed. The overall presentation is close to neutral, with a slight bias towards the bright side. Headphones with a pronounced emphasis on low frequencies with this DAC sound a little brighter and more detailed. The DAC is sensitive to recording quality, if you play a well-recorded track with elaborate high frequencies, you can enjoy an airy and detailed presentation. Social media tracks will sound simpler. The tops are very extended, in length they surpass some of the more expensive solutions.
The scene is three-dimensional, with great detailing in width. The Sonata E35 is friendly with all genres of music, but does best with classical and instrumental styles. Working out small nuances at a high level. The mids are dense and transparent at the same time. LF are slightly dried. If you want bass and drive, we recommend purchasing headphones with accented low frequencies. Deep lows are in place, the sound is very lively and juicy.
The overall sound quality is quite high here. There were no noises and no interference in the pause. In terms of power, everything is in order here, enough to warm up almost any IEM in this price range, as well as some undemanding full-size models. In testing, we used the BQEYZ Summer headphones in conjunction with the TempoTec Sonata E35 proved to be just great.
Decent and versatile DAC. Pleases that there are no compatibility problems with the Windows operating system. There are no complaints about the assembly and sound. Nice presentation, balanced across all frequencies, with a wide and natural stage. At the moment, TempoTec Sonata E35 is priced at $69 on Aliexpress, which most likely, given the sound quality, justifies itself. Nice pumping for your smartphone or laptop.