🔷 Holo Audio May

So I can’t be arsed to watch the entire z video (50 minutes of rambling with no substance), but basically he can’t tell the difference between any of them correct? That’s really quite confusing, it’s one thing to think something isn’t worth the money but hear some sort of difference between other dacs, vs not being able to tell them apart whatsoever. If you look around regarding this specific dac, you see generally positive feedback about it, and if there is negative feedback, they feel it’s not worth the money or have some sort of sonic gripe, but seldom have I seen anyone not be able to tell a difference between this dac and the other it was being compared or referenced against.

Even if the setup z used is extremely sub par and totally unsuited to review such a dac (which it is), he should still be able to hear something different regardless of his thoughts on it in the end. The fact that he can’t is really still impressive almost to me. Now if it will sound “better” or higher preforming depends on the rest of your setup, the chain is only as good as the weakest link, but again, even with a terrible chain, you should at least be able to tell something sounds different

A quick note on high end dacs as well, things don’t scale linearly as amps do, most of the budget dacs sound marginally different or different takes on the same thing where you really don’t get much variation, but once you step up to some of the higher end dacs, they start to much more radically differ from each other and make a much more notable difference overall (again if that difference is worthwhile or not is a different story)

To get into the review side itself, z has expressed he can’t tell a difference between dacs many times, so it’s quite interesting he’s decided to review a higher end dac. Typically people that feel dacs are overly similar tend to be stuck in the budget or entry level midrange section of dacs where they are mainly marginally different, so most would assume a higher end dac upgrade is also marginal when it’s not. The midrange to entry level range also happens to be the majority of z’s audience, and most haven’t really experienced high end in general, which is something that one can take advantage of when making a review. Now this is more just me being an asshole here and making assumptions that hopefully are not true, but what a great way to strengthen your core audience by bashing a high end dac. That reaffirms people to stick in the budget or midrange section and continue to consume the content you are most popular for, it appeals to people’s desire of “better or equal for less” strengthening the message that is constantly pushed in reviews, and it also makes people feel “more knowledgeable and experienced” than those that “foolishly bought a high end dac” which makes people feel good about their choices. All things that would really benefit a reviewer in it for money and growth, but oh well surely that can’t be the case. Also he can’t push affiliate links for a holo may lol

To stop looking at this from a more cynical manner, I could go on and complain about the rest of the source gear and the method used to test, but there’s not much point. I’ve never really agreed with anything z has put out with anything regarding high end, so it’s better to just disagree and move on for me. The main reason I am even commenting is just the part above about not being able to tell the difference, I really wouldn’t have cared if he came to the conclusion that it sounded different and not better, but the fact that he can’t even say it sounded different is the part that just confuses me to even make this post. This is a pretty garbage review from any way you can take it regardless if you agree with his findings or not (if you can even call it a review at this point)


To strip any Focal of their mids is a pretty impressive feat of failure, lmao.


A 50 minute “review” that is 40 minutes of rambling about whatever may aswel be sponsored by Raycon.


It’s sponsored by mogomi cables.


Funny how Z says dacs above $1,000 aren’t worth it and a rip off when only a few weeks ago Z was praising the Musician Pegasus R2R, which ironically costs $1000 (and $300 more than the Denafrips Ares II DAC, the DAC it is a reverse engineered clone of, but with even worse inner components).

If that isn’t a shining example of a hypocritical and ethically challenged recommendation, then I don’t know what is…

Funny how one has an affiliate link and the other doesn’t. Hmm?..


Coming from my Hugo TT2 and micro idsd blacklabel. The differences between them and how their implementation makes everything sound is like night and day. The balance between ranges and detail is significantly higher on the TT2 over the black label. TT2 just sounds better in a total way While I have to run xbass and 3d on my micro to even sound remotely pleasant and not flat. And this is someone who uses the black label 4x as much because of portability.

So I’ve never understood the “i dont hear a difference argument” tbh. Something in his chain is bottlenecking it imo

Also I don’t trust that switchbox


My understanding is that the may is so precise it does sound more similar to a delta sigma dac then lower quality r2r. If the thx does indeed flatten stage, then there’s the compounding issue.

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It’s really hard to compare r2r to sigma delta especially in the high end as they all can sound wildly different, you can have dry analytical intimate r2r, smoother more warm rich and wide r2r, and whatever inbetween, same goes for sigma delta. The sound of the tech itself is hard to nail down tbh. I also wouldn’t associate sigma delta with precision either, I’ve heard equally precise sigma delta and r2r dacs, it all depends on the implementation and specific dac at hand. This being said, the may does not really sound like most of the sigma delta dacs in it’s price bracket and more sounds like other r2r competitors imo, specifically in the time domain so things like spatial recreation, microdynamics, and timbre. You are right though that some of the budget r2r like the airist can sound a bit dirty and unrefined but fun in comparison to some of the competing sigma delta, but it’s hard to make a case for budget r2r mainly being like that because there’s like 1-2 other options I can think of that are r2r under 500 compared to the flood of sigma delta in that range


Times in the past where zeos could hear DAC differences that I remember:

Zeos’ Erish review. Jump to 7:05 in the video.

Or the Aune X8 video where Zeos rolled op amps (jump to 8:55):

But yeah guys DACs don’t make a difference duh. :stuck_out_tongue:


I’m drunk and unsure but I’m sure he stated that he couldn’t tell the difference between the aune and the enog. I’m not sure he stated whether he could tell the difference between them and the holo may. But I’m drunk and can’t be arsed to watch it all again. Basically watching zee is entertaining, treat it as such and make your own opinions when you can what something. God dam I’m drunk. Hit 50 today


This is the most accurate review of all Zeos reviews I’ve ever seen.

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Happy Birthday dude. Cheers.


Congratulations! 50 is when you realize there’s more life behind you than there in in front of you, so make sure to enjoy the rest of the show.

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Would a music service like Qobuz sound good on the Holo May? Would it do any good if I had a good chain but that as my source? That’s mainly what I use. I thought 48khz was pretty good.

“Brings popcorn”

Personally I up sample on my Spring 2 in NOS mode and hear a pretty big difference. It helps make sure timing being missed from source → DAC don’t affect the quality very much. I use Amazon HD a lot and it sounds pretty good which is similar to the qobuz HD streaming options. Obviously, some recordings you REALLY want higher quality music sources for it to make a significant difference.

Also please keep in mind that your amp and headphone have good synergy to make use of that detail.

This kinda DAC should be used with proper speakers and amps, not with entry-level Sennheisers etc. Would probably pair very well with Mcintosh and some La Scalas

Piggy backing off of @WaveTheory’s piggyback, I think measurements do matter. But. I don’t think we’re measuring all the right things and we don’t yet know what all the things to measure are. Someone who’s telling you that they’ve simulated your hearing apparatus and auditory nervous system with THD and SINAD measurements is an idiot at best and gaslighting you at worst.


@Mon, you couldn’t have written it better. :+1: :v: :love_you_gesture:

I watched the video for a few minutes and thought oh God you can’t test it like that.
For me personally, there were too many devices at once.
If I wanted to test the neutral, I would have had to switch every time, even if it was annoying.
And then I drew a conclusion, which is what most people do in the shop or in demo videos on You tube.
I currently have the Sennheiser Hd 600 here and don’t do it any differently, unplug the other headphones and then the Hd 600 and find out whether I like it or not.

I don’t think you can tell the difference with this cable wirr warr. It’s enough if a chain is connected incorrectly or is “bad”.
Like this switch box for example, which was a thorn in my side, or even the Raspberry pi, which is not exactly ideal as a source.

I’m even pretty sure that Holo Springs and Magnahifi, the official sellers, see it the same way.

The other question then is did Z have a bad day where he didn’t hear well, or shot his ears, or does he want to save us from buying unnecessary expensive stuff? Because the differences are really minimal.

But you got to the point and of course criticism is part of it, even if it’s bad.
The only product I really enjoyed was the Fostex Hp A3.
Where he gave a good and objective review. But everything else I had looked at and bought because it was so great, was in reality a washout.
I prefer to go to other sources, preferably from someone who has had one or the other in their hands, like here in this forum.

If we take a look at the various recommendations that take place here on a daily basis, most people are satisfied with the material they have ordered, regardless of the price.
Surely most of them would rather buy a decent complete set-up for the money.
fThan just investing in a Dac alone.
Than just investing in a Dac alone.
I’m sure if there were a handful of people who bought them, you’d hear something very different from what you hear in the video.

Not to kiss ass, but I agree with you, you should have heard a difference. So don’t worry, just because you see it that way doesn’t mean you’re an ass. It’s a refreshing statement for a change without starting the hype train. :smiley:


I’ve yet to see anyone point to a graph that shows me depth, width and height of stage presence. Or better yet, instrument separation.