Colorfly CDA-M1P Review
The Colorfly CDA-M1P, a DAC/AMP combination device, is equipped with both 4.4mm balanced and 3.5 mm single-ended outputs, and an AK4493SEQ DAC chip. It is priced at $79.99. This review is based on a unit provided by ShenzhenAudio.
The Colorfly CDA-M1P was tested using the following headphones:
- Moondrop S8
- Moondrop Para
- Dunu Vulkan
- Truthear Nova
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:
The Colorfly CDA-M1P is packaged in a square black cardboard box with a black slipcover. The device is securely nestled in a foam mounting sheet inside the box. The package also includes a USB-C to USB-C cable and a user manual.
DESIGN AND CONTROLS:
The Colorfly CDA-M1P is sleek but heavy, weighing in at 45.16 grams. It has physical volume controls. A short press of both volume buttons swaps between low and high resistance modes, while a long press switches between the six selectable digital filters. Swapping between filters 1–5 produces a single flash of the CDA-M1P’s LED indicator. When the user reaches filter 6, the LED indicator flashes twice. This is an elegant solution to inform the user what filter is active in the absence of a display.
The Colorfly CDA-M1P does not support headset controls or pause on headphone disconnect functionality, and it does not relay connector status to the host device.
POWER USAGE AND HEAT MANAGEMENT:
Power consumption was measured using an IEC-711 clone microphone and a WITRN U2 USB power meter, with the CDA-M1P connected to a Windows PC and the system volume set to 27/100. The test involved playing a -10 dBV 1 kHz test tone from REW through the Moondrop S8, achieving an SPL of approximately 94.1 dB.
This represents a slightly higher power consumption than the Moondrop Dawn Pro.
The CDA-M1P does not seem to have an idle mode.
The high resistance mode draws slightly more power to reach 94 dB but requires a lower Windows system volume setting (18/100) to do so.
The CDA-M1P gets quite warm with prolonged use.
With the Moondrop S8 connected to the Colorfly CDA-M1P’s 4.4mm balanced output, I reached my typical listening volume at a Windows system volume setting of 12/100. When I played a -10 dB full-range pink random noise signal at this volume setting, my clone IEC microphone indicated a dB level of roughly 83.8 dB. Please note that the dB reading of my microphone has not been calibrated using an external SPL monitor. To reach a perceptually similar volume with the Moondrop Para using the 4.4mm balanced output, I increased the system volume to 20/100.
Note: The following observations were made while switching back and forth between the Colorfly CDA-M1P and the Moondrop Dawn Pro under sighted conditions. There was a delay of several seconds when switching between devices. The two devices were volume-matched to within .2 dB. The Moondrop S8 was used as the transducer for this comparison. In most cases, any differences between competently designed sources are infinitesimal and not necessarily apparent under uncontrolled testing conditions.
In addition, I made the following observations with a system-wide -4 dB pre-amp setting as suggested here. While I recommend using this pre-amp setting to preserve fidelity, it does reduce the headroom of all connected source devices.
The CDA-M1P is more resolving than the Moondrop Dawn Pro, with slighter better treble detail and greater vocal clarity. There is more separation between instruments and the bass is more textured. The CDA-M1P also seems to do a better job of conveying dynamic swings.
The impressive sound quality of the Colorfly CDA-M1P was a pleasant surprise when compared head to head against the Moondrop Dawn Pro. However, the power consumption of the CDA-M1P is notably higher than the most efficient dual-output dongles currently available, and I would recommend pairing it with a dedicated portable transport device or using it with a laptop or desktop.
The Colorfly CDA-M1P is available for purchase at the link below:
COLORFLY CDA-M1P AK4493SEQ Portable USB DAC/AMP (shenzhenaudio.com)