Android Redmi K20 Pro blew me away with the DAC/ amp capabilities!!

rdst_1

Well-Known Member
Veteran
How do you guys go back to using a somewhat inferior product when you have a better one in your collection.
I am not someone who has an extensive collection because I just can't use other products when i have other ones available. For example, I have the top of the line CCA C16(parent company of KZ) which i bought last year for around 5k and I really liked their sound and used them extensively for a few months. However, in January this year I finally got a portable DAC/AMP for my HD650 which was powerful enough from them and since that day, I have only used the C16 only for calls as they have a mic. I just can't go back to them as they will never sound as good as my HD650.
So everytime something amazing like the Blons pops up, I get enticed but have to stop myself as I know they will just lie around my house.
 

Rockfella

WFM blues ...
Section Mod
How do you guys go back to using a somewhat inferior product when you have a better one in your collection.
I am not someone who has an extensive collection because I just can't use other products when i have other ones available. For example, I have the top of the line CCA C16(parent company of KZ) which i bought last year for around 5k and I really liked their sound and used them extensively for a few months. However, in January this year I finally got a portable DAC/AMP for my HD650 which was powerful enough from them and since that day, I have only used the C16 only for calls as they have a mic. I just can't go back to them as they will never sound as good as my HD650.
So everytime something amazing like the Blons pops up, I get enticed but have to stop myself as I know they will just lie around my house.
I sometimes do the same. One can't really be at bleeding edge of tech all the time .. it's expensive and can get exhaustive.
 
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red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
For me, it's kind of opposite. I have got rid of most of the expensive headphones and IEMs.
To my ears, the bl03s sound considerably better than Shure 535, ie80 ( except the exceptional soundstage)
It absolutely crushes all the KZs I had ( ZS10 pro was possibly the last one I bought). I didn't have the original T2 ,couldn't find it and settled with the newer plus version, which sounded good but was too flat ( perfect for monitoring/ tracking) and lacked the engaging fun tuning of the bl03s.
In all honesty, if I didn't know the price and if it came with nice eartips and cables in a fancy box ( like ie800) would thought it's some boutique high end TOTL IEM.
It sounds like I'm riding the hype train blindly, but people at my age ( 43!!) usually don't get this excited ( specially who has spent thousands on IEMs, headphones over last 15 years) over a sub 50 EUR IEM.
Few of the local audio enthusiasts were blown away by some Soundmagic IEM and LG phones couple of years back. It was very good, but certainly not great ( my old fiio DAP with ie800 sounded MUCH better)
However it's not the bl03, but the K20 which knocked me over. I didn't know anything about this phone and was expecting rubbish from the 3.5mm audio out ( OnePlus 7 pro sounds like hot poop with usb c to 3.5mm passive dongles)
And I still can't find any proper review of this phone with emphasis on the audio. It's very very close to LG's quad DAC ( whatever **** that is...quad DAC!!) and deserves a lot more attention.
 

Rockfella

WFM blues ...
Section Mod
For me, it's kind of opposite. I have got rid of most of the expensive headphones and IEMs.
To my ears, the bl03s sound considerably better than Shure 535, ie80 ( except the exceptional soundstage)
It absolutely crushes all the KZs I had ( ZS10 pro was possibly the last one I bought). I didn't have the original T2 ,couldn't find it and settled with the newer plus version, which sounded good but was too flat ( perfect for monitoring/ tracking) and lacked the engaging fun tuning of the bl03s.
In all honesty, if I didn't know the price and if it came with nice eartips and cables in a fancy box ( like ie800) would thought it's some boutique high end TOTL IEM.
It sounds like I'm riding the hype train blindly, but people at my age ( 43!!) usually don't get this excited ( specially who has spent thousands on IEMs, headphones over last 15 years) over a sub 50 EUR IEM.
Few of the local audio enthusiasts were blown away by some Soundmagic IEM and LG phones couple of years back. It was very good, but certainly not great ( my old fiio DAP with ie800 sounded MUCH better)
However it's not the bl03, but the K20 which knocked me over. I didn't know anything about this phone and was expecting rubbish from the 3.5mm audio out ( OnePlus 7 pro sounds like hot poop with usb c to 3.5mm passive dongles)
And I still can't find any proper review of this phone with emphasis on the audio. It's very very close to LG's quad DAC ( whatever **** that is...quad DAC!!) and deserves a lot more attention.
Mi phones are the most balanced imho. Blon hype is real. T2s are boring, don't bother buying it. This thread is dope! Hahaha.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Blon hype is probably the only real hype amongst audiophiles and it's still going strong after a year.
Think about the cheap hyped earphones/ headphones of past.
KZs were probably the most hyped chi-fi IEM ( they were never really comparable or even close to big brand competition, hybrid/ pure BA driver set ups are very difficult to tune and requires significant R&D, they did bring cheap multi BA drivers IEM for the masses with fairly decent sound)
Then came T2, nothing came this close to a neutral signature at that insane price point.
Finally the bl03, I am pretty sure they got this insane tuning by accident. It's very easy to get drawn to a V shaped sound for dynamic drivers. It's still V shaped, but honestly I never ever heard something this detailed with such a strong impactful fast bass at the same time ( yes, I've wasted close to 1000 USD for a single pair of iem, which is better than bl03 by 10-15 % at most!!...truth)
 

Rockfella

WFM blues ...
Section Mod
Blon hype is probably the only real hype amongst audiophiles and it's still going strong after a year.
Think about the cheap hyped earphones/ headphones of past.
KZs were probably the most hyped chi-fi IEM ( they were never really comparable or even close to big brand competition, hybrid/ pure BA driver set ups are very difficult to tune and requires significant R&D, they did bring cheap multi BA drivers IEM for the masses with fairly decent sound)
Then came T2, nothing came this close to a neutral signature at that insane price point.
Finally the bl03, I am pretty sure they got this insane tuning by accident. It's very easy to get drawn to a V shaped sound for dynamic drivers. It's still V shaped, but honestly I never ever heard something this detailed with such a strong impactful fast bass at the same time ( yes, I've wasted close to 1000 USD for a single pair of iem, which is better than bl03 by 10-15 % at most!!...truth)
No wonder one YouTuber can't stop talking about it. I actually have to really listen to them for long hours to know what they really are. I'm yet to do that.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Though very easy to drive HD598, they never really sound good with Note 10 lite (specially the majestic soundstage disappears, despite having a pretty good width and depth, they sound strange from most mobile phones) K20 pro drives them like a champ when the HD audio is turned on, it even drives the Sundaras adequately ( but this headphones scales superbly and keeps on getting better with more power, with PSA Sprout or something similar it`s in a completely different league, much better than Sennheiser HD6XX/600, Beyer`s DT880/990, even non audiophiles can hear the difference)
I am still searching for the DAC/Amp used in K20.
Wish I knew about this gem of a phone earlier.
A word of caution, though I have not flashed any custom ROMs yet, but according to my research, one will possibly loose the DAC (and fall back on the mediocre SD855 onboard DAC) with AOSP based ROMs , as there is possibly no option to turn hd audio on (at least no one talks about it, possibly most people even did not notice that option buried deep in the menu of the stock ROM)
I am sure the HD audio isn`t a software trick (as in Samsung phones) as you can not turn it on while using an active wireless can in wired mode ( as the DAC in the headphone is taking over the signal processing)
 

Julian

om nom nom
Veteran
In screen fingerprints are slow in general. Its not irritating or anything, just not as snappy as normal ones.
That's like reducing PC boot time by say 10 seconds.

How does it matter if the unlock takes one freaking second more?

I wouldn't not buy a phone because of that one variable. Something else maybe.
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Mi phones are the most balanced imho. Blon hype is real. T2s are boring, don't bother buying it. This thread is dope! Hahaha.
The redmi range (at least till the 5 is what i know) has average amps which can't really drive high impedance headphones. Dunno about the actual MI phone lineup.
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I am still searching for the DAC/Amp used in K20.

Qualcomm Aqstic WCD9340


The non pro k20 has the Qualcomm Aqstic WCD9375




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Very strange that the K20 seems to have a better DAC than the pro version
 
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red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
I'm not good with DAC naming schemes but are those the " golden ear" tested DACs?
9375 is possibly older than 9340/41...these are rarely used DAC
Could you find the amp section of these phones?
One plus 7 pros audio output is considerably worse than k20 Pro, I'm pretty sure of it. But LG's amp section is more powerful, sourced a V30 yesterday to test.
LG is definitely better. But can't find any other Xiaomi phones to compare, it's so rare here.
 

Julian

om nom nom
Veteran
There's an article linked in the first reddit link i posted.


Couldn't find exact details on the amp but it seems to either be developed in-house by xiaomi and/or NXP Semiconductors.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Since it's QC chip, custom ROMs should have the drivers, it's difficult to live with MiUi, is it possible too flash a custom ROM and relock the bootloader?
I'm not worried about warranty but don't want to leak information from the phone.
 

rdst_1

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Since it's QC chip, custom ROMs should have the drivers, it's difficult to live with MiUi, is it possible too flash a custom ROM and relock the bootloader?
I'm not worried about warranty but don't want to leak information from the phone.
Have you debloated MIUI yet. Even I thought it was impossible to live with MIUI. I was so much against it that I didn't allow my brother to buy any phone with MIUI. However, for a specific reason I ended up with a Redmi Note 9 Pro and the guys in the TE whatsapp group linked me to the debloater. I just uninstalled as much stuff as I can (with the help of google and a couple of pages where others have listed what apps are safe to remove) and installed Nova Launcher and since then I haven't been troubled one bit since then. I can't even tell I am running MIUI anymore.
 

Rockfella

WFM blues ...
Section Mod
Since it's QC chip, custom ROMs should have the drivers, it's difficult to live with MiUi, is it possible too flash a custom ROM and relock the bootloader?
I'm not worried about warranty but don't want to leak information from the phone.
Try nova bro. Just try. It's almost a parmanent solution. Works on all androids.
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Have you debloated MIUI yet. Even I thought it was impossible to live with MIUI. I was so much against it that I didn't allow my brother to buy any phone with MIUI. However, for a specific reason I ended up with a Redmi Note 9 Pro and the guys in the TE whatsapp group linked me to the debloater. I just uninstalled as much stuff as I can (with the help of google and a couple of pages where others have listed what apps are safe to remove) and installed Nova Launcher and since then I haven't been troubled one bit since then. I can't even tell I am running MIUI anymore.
Can you link us up to that info. I might be missing something. These days uninstalling useless crap is key for optimal performance/usage of phones and PCs.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
I just de-bloated it..took some time to turn off the stupid notifications. Actually bought Nova years ago, forgot about it.
Yes, it looks normal now. Thanks a lot!!
If it's still not leaking through some backdoors, it's very much usable now.
Can't thank you all enough, really didn't want to unlock the bootloader and go through all the hassle..from my previous experience, custom ROMs always have some bugs and affect battery life. But those were YEARS ago.
MiUi is not slow but have too many things..
 

Rockfella

WFM blues ...
Section Mod
I just de-bloated it..took some time to turn off the stupid notifications. Actually bought Nova years ago, forgot about it.
Yes, it looks normal now. Thanks a lot!!
If it's still not leaking through some backdoors, it's very much usable now.
Can't thank you all enough, really didn't want to unlock the bootloader and go through all the hassle..from my previous experience, custom ROMs always have some bugs and affect battery life. But those were YEARS ago.
MiUi is not slow but have too many things..
In the search option in Nova type "hide" and hide all useless apps that you won't use. Even not seeing those apps makes the phone looks better . Use lock feature to lock icons too.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
A purple bl03 is still available @ hifinage, if anyone here buys but genuinely doesn't like it ( after appropriate tip rolling +/- cable swap) I will happily pay 2.5k to that member.
You guys have helped me in so many ways over the years with gadgets (and helped saving a lot of money), this much I can do for a member.
But please be honest with your opinion about the IEM.
Wow!! Nova has so many features!! Absolutely insane, installed it on the Note lite also. This is the Android I love!!
 
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Julian

om nom nom
Veteran
Can you link us up to that info. I might be missing something. These days uninstalling useless crap is key for optimal performance/usage of phones and PCs.

 

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