ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 Review featured image

ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 Review

In this feature, Meldrick reviews the ddHiFi TC44Pro E2, which is an affordable balanced 4.4mm USB Dongle DAC equipped with a dual CS43131 DAC. It is priced at $99.99.

Disclaimer: This is a sample that was sent to me in exchange for my honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links. Many thanks to ddHiFi for their support

You can read about previous ddHiFi products we have previously featured on Headfonics here.

Note, that this article follows our latest scoring guidelines which you can read up on here.

ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 Review featured image
ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 Review
The ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 is a versatile USB dongle DAC with a neutral sound signature, a very good level of resolution, and satisfying level of note weight and texture.
Sound Quality
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Very Good Resolution
Premium Build
Increased Power Output
Large for a Dongle
Lack of Features for the Price
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Today, we review the latest balanced 4.4mm dongle from ddHiFi, the TC44pro E2. ddHiFi is no longer a novice in this space, having previously released the TC44A and this unit’s predecessor, the original TC44Pro.

Coming in at $99, the TC44Pro E2 is at the top of ddHiFi’s dongle lineup as the brand’s flagship. Read our sound impressions and comparisons below to see if it justifies its increased price tag and size.

ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 paired with MOONDROP Blessing 3

Tech Highlights

Similar to other dongles within the price range such as the Moondrop Dawn Pro and the original TC44Pro, the TC44Pro E2 houses a pair of Cirrus Logic CS43131 DAC chips, enabling the dongle to playback files up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256 natively.

The TC44Pro E2 also uses a pair of ES9603Q opamps with an impressive power output of 250mW into 32Ω. This power output level is overkill for most main-stream Chi-Fi IEMs and could power easier-to-drive full-size headphones.

Aside from the internals, you will get a durable attached cable constructed out of silver cables, the same material used in ddHiFi’s line of data cables.

It also comes with either a USB-C or Lightning Termination, with both variations equipped with gold-plated connectors to ensure signal integrity throughout the chain.

ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 design


As with the TC35Pro Eye2, the TC44Pro E2 has a separate dongle body and input connector, joined together by a 9cm attached cable.

If you’ve read my previous reviews of ddHiFi’s dongles, I may sound like a broken record. However, as always, the design, build quality, fit, and finish of the TC44 Pro E2 is excellent.

The E2 is crafted from a sturdy aluminum alloy, giving the dongle a dense yet refined feel. The meticulous machining of both the top and bottom halves gives it a sleek ergonomic contour, coming together to form an elongated “eye” shape.

The gold color of the 4.4mm jack and the housing of the lightning termination complement the silver aluminum finish quite well.

The included leather snake knot strap is a nice aesthetic touch, contrasting well with the all-metal construction of the unit.

The leather strap does make the unit more compact when storing the dongle in a case, but it isn’t as useful in shrinking the dongle when plugged into a source device.

With dimensions of 60x20x10 mm, plus its 9cm built-in cable, it’s notably bulkier and less portable compared to its forerunner and other similar dongles like the 7Hz SEVENHERTZ 71.

Aside from the VE Megatron, this is the largest dongle I’ve tested, making it less convenient for pocket usage when compared to its predecessor.

Coming in at 20.7g, the unit is quite light given its size. Throughout my on-the-go usage, the unit’s weight was never bothersome even when in my hand or my pocket.

ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 headphone jack port


The ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 is as straightforward as it gets for I/O. The device features no buttons or knobs, making it easy to set up without the need for any drivers or software.

However, this simplicity also means there’s no volume or gain control on the device, requiring you to adjust the volume either on your source computer, phone, or tablet.

The Lightning connector at the top of the dongle serves as its sole input, while the 4.4mm balanced connector serves as its sole output. The unit we have for testing comes with the lightning input, however, a USB-C input option is also available.

The indicator light shines blue when PCM files are being played back and shines green when DSD files are being played back. The light is dim enough to not be a distraction even in indoor late-night listening while being bright enough to display when the unit is in use.

The connectivity options of the unit are quite spartan, but if its input and output options fall in line with your existing gear, it does a good job of letting you start listening to music with as few steps as necessary.

ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 accessories

Packaging & Accessories

The barebones minimalistic design of the TC44Pro E2 carries into the spartan packaging. The unit comes in a small cardboard box with a white background, a picture of the dongles in front, and the stylized ddHifi logo at the bottom right.

Opening up the box shows the dongle with a pre-attached leather band affixed through the unit’s lanyard loop.

An additional leather strap is included, alongside a QR code that leads to an instructional video on the ddHiFi CEO’s Facebook page, demonstrating how to tie a snake knot.

Sound Impressions

All testing and comparisons were done through 2 pairs of IEMS, namely the Moondrop Blessing 3 and Hidizs MP145, as well as 2 pairs of full-sized headphones: the Sennheiser HD580 Precision and Modhouse Argon Mk3


With its balanced design, The TC44Pro E2 is a potent dongle DAC with class-leading resolving capabilities, particularly in complex treble arrangements and textured bass-synth combinations.

It maintains a neutral tonality with little to no coloration, yet it excels in emphasizing details and resolution in the higher frequencies.

In simpler arrangements, the E2 tends to play back both male and female vocals in a more forward manner. Its staging performance may be a little lacking given the listed power output, but it makes up for it with its pinpoint imaging.


The TC44Pro E2 has an energetic timber that leans towards the cold and analytical side but manages to incorporate a satisfying amount of note weight and rumble in the low end.

When listening to the E2, it never comes off as sibilant and harsh, it merely presents cymbals and chime instruments with more energy and resolution compared to other dongles I’ve tried.

The volume of the treble region never stood out, but the air and sparkle introduced by the E2 automatically draw the listener’s ears towards the upper frequencies.

The sheer resolution improvement of the E2 compared to other dongles is evident across the board, but it is most evident when comparing the decay in Hi-Hats and Crash drums.

The difference is significant enough wherein I could differentiate between the TC44Pro E2 and its predecessor without the direct A-B switching I usually do for my testing.

Bass drums and other low-end percussive instruments experience an increase in texture through the E2. Similar to the improved resolution on the top end, the sheer texture improvement within the bass region does tend to draw the listener’s attention as well, especially during A-B comparisons with other dongles.

Both Male and Female vocals are presented in a forward manner. In acoustic and stripped-pop ballads, the E2 consistently emphasized the vocals to a greater degree than the other dongles I compared it against.

Its neutral and resolving tonality, especially on the bass and treble region, does lead to it being less relaxing than other dongle DACs, but I find this to be an acceptable trade-off given the sheer improvement in instrument clarity and weight.

Staging and Dynamics

The unit has a narrow soundstage, even compared to its predecessor. I would not consider the more intimate sound stage worse or better.

In more balladic tracks, the more intimate sound stage of the E2 further amplified the emotion and musicality in the vocalists’ voices. However, it is not able to play back grand senses of scale to the same degree as its predecessor.

Its imaging, on the other hand, is very good. Helped by the unit’s good resolving capabilities, all instruments are easily placed within space. The panning of instruments in complex arrangements as they decay is expertly played back by the TC44Pro E2.

Its dynamics are quite good. It is not too much of a step up from the original TC44pro, but comparing the E2 with other SE dongles highlights the more musical dynamics of the unit.

ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 paired with Hidizs MP145



The TC44Pro E2 boasts a rated power output of 250mW into 32Ω. From a numerical perspective alone, this is an impressively large jump from its predecessor and should be more than sufficient to power demanding IEMs like the Moondrop Blessing 3, or planar IEMs like the Hidizs MP145.

However, the more than double increase in power output listed on the spec sheet doesn’t quite translate to actual listening. When directly comparing the TC44Pro and TC44Pro E2, the E2 did have a bit more power, but nowhere close to a 100% or even 50% increase.

It does come close to driving harder-to-handle full-sized headphones such as my HD580 Precision. When driving the 580s to a reasonable listening level, the resolution and sound stage are not quite at the same level as that of my full-sized amplifiers, but it is the best I’ve experienced on a dongle.

Unfortunately, wind percussive instruments and chime instruments tended to distort on the high end, but this is still a large improvement over its predecessor.

Its low SNR also makes it ideal for sensitive IEMs. In my experience, instances of hissing when connecting IEMs to the 4.4mm outputs of DAC/AMPs like the VE Megatron were not observed with the TC44Pro E2.

ddHiFi TC44Pro E2 paired with Sennheiser HD 580


I found that the TC44Pro E2 paired best with harder-to-drive IEMs that had a desirable tonality out of the box but could improve from improvements in resolution and dynamics. Amongst the IEMs I tested, I found that the Blessing 3 fit this bill the most.

The Blessing 3 has a natural neutral tonality that I did not want to be colored, and I was consistently impressed with how much treble energy the TC44Pro E2 added without coming off as sibilant.

Additionally, the planar magnetic MP145 paired well with the TC44Proe E2. The dongle had more than enough headroom to power the MP145s and added to the already impressive technicalities of the IEM.

In a pinch, I could see myself driving the HD580 precision with the TC44Pro, but it is simply unable to replicate the same level of resolution, staging, and tone weight of the HD580 being fed through a desktop amplifier.

Click on page 2 below for my selected comparisons.

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