Colorfly CDA-M2 is a high-performance dongle DAC designed with dual CS43198 flagship-level DAC chips. The DAC offers good sonic performance with class-leading THD+N and SNR performance. Colorfly has designed the CDA-M2 with its in-house developed U-Audio Framework that they implement in flagship-level audio players.
Colorfly CDA-M2 comes with a solid Ribbon-style single-crystal copper silver-plated connector cable.
Colorfly CDA M2 is designed with a revolutionary Audio framework based on Colorfly’s flagship audio player architecture. The M2’s internal circuitry features a 6-layer gold-plated PCB, strategically isolating digital and analog circuits for optimal audio signal processing. Operating in ASYNC mode, it meticulously restructures data, enabling audio signal transmission to bypass USB clock and SRC interferences.
Colorfly CDA M2 features dual headphone output ports with independent XR2001 operational amplification chips. Each chip here independently powers the 3.5mm and 4.4mm output ports and provides the users with a strong and dynamic audio listening experience. The CDA M2 has an output power rating of 250mW per channel through the 4.4mm port and 125mW per channel through the 3.5mm port. Colorfly CDA M2 also supports SPDIF Coaxial output through the 3.5mm port.
The dongle DAC features five digital filter options that enable the users to customize the output to their liking. This includes Fast LL, Fast PC, Slow LL, Slow PC, and Non OS (Non Oversampling Filter).
Colorfly CDA M2 is compatible with different gaming consoles including Nintendo Switch and PS5 as it supports UAC1.0 operating mode. It can be used as a high-resolution decoder for gaming consoles.
Flagship Dual-DAC Arrangement (2 x CS43198).
PCM 32-bit/768kHz and Native DSD512 Decoding.
Two-Level Gain Switching.
Colorfly Premium Player Architecture.
OLED Display Screen.
3.5mm+4.4mm Dual Headphone Outputs.
SPDIF Coaxial Output(via 3.5mm).
Multiple Digital Filters.
Premium Zinc-Alloy Electroplated Chassis.
Upgraded Ribbon Design Detachable USB connector cable.
I would like to thank Shenzhenaudio for providing me with the review sample of Colorfly CDA-M2.
Head to head with the previous model CDA-M1P, the new model CDA-M2 easily takes the edge with better texture and cleaner lows whilst listening at high volume. It’s precise and dynamic, so bad recordings are not welcome, as the experience will turn out for the worst. There are small improvements here and there, without any real downsize, better dynamics overall, better bass control, and improved high-mids.
The Colorfly CDA-M2 sounds very neutral, with a wide sound stage and very good layering. With the right headphones/earphones, you can spot each instrument and each singer with ease and there is no channel imbalance to ruin the experience. Better dynamic range, and a blacker background, with the same level of clarity and accuracy, which makes it a far better choice for IEMs users. On top of that, and as promised in the product sheet, the Colorfly CDA-M2 is dead silent, even with sensitive IEMs.
The dual CS43198 DAC chipset ensures a clean, distortion-free sound that is faithful to the original recording. The technical capability is nearly on par with bigger boys on the market. I found the amplitude levels sufficient for most IEMs.
The bass is rich and deep without being overpowering, providing a solid foundation for the overall sound. Colorfly has nailed the low end on their last models and the Colorfly CDA-M2 beats all of its predecessors in that regard. It never lost composure and always offered a tight, fast bass. The 4.4mm Pentaconn output pushes things on a superior level. There is no shallow echo or dragging sensation.
Mids are open and linear. The mids are clear and well-defined, allowing vocals and instruments to shine through with impressive clarity. Vocals and acoustic tracks were an easy job for the Colorfly CDA-M2, even more so once paired with a good IEM. The sound stage is wide and voices glide easily into my ears.
The Colorfly CDA-M2 shows an ever so slight upper-mid boost, as all Cirrus-Logic DACs usually display. If that gives a sensation of precision, it can also lead to some sibilant on sensible headphones, but fortunately, none of that was found on this dongle DAC, and even when I pushed the volume up to unsafe levels, I never encountered any issue. The treble is crisp and bright, adding a sparkling finish to the sound without any hint of harshness.
Colorfly CDA-M2 offers a good tonal balance, clarity, and a spacious presentation on top of these. It sounds coherent, and linear across the frequency spectrum. No overlapping, no dips, no peaks, no saturation. And I liked the volume memory function (the DAC remembers the last volume level on every gear it is plugged into).
Anything else? Yes, there are some cheaper alternatives on the market, but it all comes to taste in the end. Both in sound and design.