Lotoo PAW S1 Portable USB DAC-Amp
Supported Format: PCM 32K-384KHz DSD64/DSD128
Max Output: 3.5mm:70mW/ch @32Ω
HP Port: 3.5mm Unbalanced
Freq. range: 3.5mm: 20-20KHz..+0/-0.017dB
USB Port: USB Type C
Noise Level: 3.5mm: -118dBu
Screen: OLED 128x32
THD+N.. Low gain: -106dB(0.0005%)
High gain: -108dB(0.0004%)
S/N: 3.5mm: 123dB
Firmware Update: Supported
The all-new peerless PAW S1, which inherits the same prestigious DAP architecture from the Lotoo PAW Lineup, aims to raise the bar again in the field of Portable USB DACs. Much more than a rocket in your pocket, the PAW S1 is the revolutionary game-changer that will ignite your Multi-Media Entertainment experience like never before!
Title: Beyond Comparison
Known for its top-of-the-line DAPs, Lotoo decided to add a DAC-Amp to its PAW Line-up to satisfy the needs of ultra-portable audio lovers. It goes way beyond the conventional boundaries of the performance a DAC is expected to have. At a fraction of a cost of its prestigious DAP siblings, what Lotoo introduces to the market is a pocket powerhouse built upon the same DNA as the rest of the PAW family line. The PAW S1 uses the same architecture Lotoo employs in its DAPs (namely PAW Gold Touch and PAW6000), so you can consider it to be an ultra-small DAP without storage.
Why isn’t the PAW S1 just another USB DAC?
I am very happy with the design and build quality of this little DAC-Amp. It provides much more realistic, musical sound than my computer, and offers good value for the price. You may not appreciate the realism or subtleties this DAC-Amp can produce, however, unless you are using fairly efficient, audiophile level headphones.
Not sure if it’s Dac integration or amp integration but this little thing sounds amazing. Brings out the dynamic range in your headphones and makes music very enjoyable that you’ve listen to 1000 times
Simply put DAC’s should get out of the way of the music and add as little color as possible without crushing frequency this little thing does it very well.
Honestly if one had the ability to bypass the Amp you’d be hard to find something better.
Finally If you want something portable works flawless with both android and IOS you’d be hard press to find anything close to go along with IEMs
I was looking for a connection to Apple devices, like my Macs and iPhones. I recently got a pair of Sendy Audio Aiva planar headphones from MusicTeck. Andrew was very helpful with suggestions about how to connect and amplify the awesome Aiva to my sources.
The PAW S1 is a special fit for my setup because it has the 4.4 balanced output. Lotoo nailed this balanced output option. The dongle is still a handy size, with enough room to provide two outputs, a small but not too small display, and whatever genius internals convert the bits and bites to impressive quality sound.
I haven't done a side-by-side to my desktop xDuoo TA-10R DAC/amp. I have run the PAW S1 for hours streaming on Tidal Hifi to my Aiva, and my Thie Legacy 3 and KZ ASX IEMs. The digital conversion is great, and it shows off the strengths (and weaknesses) of my equipment.
I did a side-by-side today from my work MacBook Pro, running iTunes streaming files. I had Thinksound Rain3 IEMs handy for the test. They are decent little performers, with wood enclosures. The outputs were the MacBook 3.5mm jack (they still exist on some Apple laptops!), a tiny ddHifi TC35B USB C to 3.5 adapter, and the PAW S1. Both the MacBook jack and the ddHiFi sounded clear enough, but the soundstage was cramped, separation wasn't great and they just didn't sound as lively. I know those 3.5 options didn't sound as good, because the PAW S1 sounds a lot better: more open and lively, with more separation.
I can definitely recommend the PAW S1. The sound is fantastic.
If you want to stream MQA, there is a firmware update from Lotoo that works like a charm. If you want to run from an iPhone, get the Lotoo lightning to USB C cable. I tried an Anker lightning to USB C; it didn't work.
The Lotoo PAW S1 packs some serious audio quality into a tiny package. The sound is lively and dynamic. It easily drives IEMs and even the Abyss Diana Phi. Highly recommended!