We revisit Periodic Audio, this time with their smart little DAC dongle. Let’s see what the Rhodium is capable of…
Periodic Audio have not paid or sponsored me for this review.
The views and opinions in this piece are unbiased and my own.
My thanks to Dan and the team at Periodic for being kind enough to send me out the Rhodium DAC dongle.
The Rhodium is priced at $49 as of this publication.
Review Gear and software:
Periodic Audio Rhodium.
Samsung Galaxy Note Ten+.
Meze Audio Rai Solo.
HIFIMAN HE400i 2020.
Custom Cans cable on the HD600 with 3.5mm pigtail.
Qobuz Studio Premier.
One of my growing demo playlists on Qobuz.
You can find the playlist here:-
What’s in the box:
USB-C to USB-A adaptor.
Frequency Response 2 Hz to 192 kHz, +0/-3 dB.
Dynamic Range 113 dB.
SNR 108 dB A wt.
THD Less than 0.007%.
Output Power 31 mW @ 32 Ohms.
Current Consumption 23 mA @ 1 mW output.
Cable Length 63mm.
Mass 4.4 grams.
Operational Temperature -20 to +50° C.
Operational Humidity 0-95% Relative Humidity.
Retention Force 1.8 Newtons.
Overall Length 117 mm.
Max Width 10.8 mm.
Max Thickness 6.9 mm.
Melting Point 2237 Kelvin.
Speed of Sound 4700 meters per second.
Young’s Modulus 380 Gigapascals.
Brinell Hardness 1100 Megapascals.
Build and finish:
Like the other three products from Periodic Audio I have reviewed, the Rhodium is well made.
It’s quite a basic piece externally, so there’s nothing much to really add to this section of the review.
However I will say that the Rhodium is very well put together and I like the nylon covered cable, it’s robust and stylish in a subtle way. I’d love to see Periodic Audio to use this cable in the future with their IEMs.
Setup of the Rhodium is something you can do with your eyes closed. Almost.
If you’re going to be using it with an android phone with USB-C, plug it in, and off you go.
No apps or messing about with software. It’s very much a case of plug n play!
If you’ll be using it with a Mac or Pc you’ll need to make sure it’s selected as your output device.
I tried it out with my iPad Pro ( USB-C ) and it worked fine, but with other iOS devices you will need to use the Apple camera kit cable.
During my time with the Rhodium, I tried it out with my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, iPad Pro and MacBook Pro.
It worked flawlessly with each device and I did notice an improvement in sound, especially when connected to my MacBook Pro.
Note: The Rhodium can be used in line with the Nickle amplifier.
I didn’t do this during this review as I wanted to test the Rhodium on it’s own and judge it for its own capabilities.
Although, this is something I intend on trying out very soon.
Tight and low sub bass is the first thing that grabs my attention, where the mid bass is textured and full. I’m pleasantly surprised at the amount of contol the Rhodium exerts over the various IEMs and headphones I tried out.
Mids to mid highs are clean and forward, with great detail.
The top end is super crisp with oodles of sparkle and pace.
Soundstage is focused and has good depth.
I found with headphones, especially open backed that the soundstage widened significantly.
Instrument separation is spot on.
I found in busier parts of tracks that the Rhodium had no issues in performing.
For $49 the Rhodium is a no brainer.
Whether your on a tight budget and looking for an entry level audiophile solution for your device or you already have other dongles and want to try out and add another to your collection…. The Rhodium is an excellent choice.
It’s extremely lightweight, has a small form factor and it’s built robustly making it a great choice for portable use.
Coupled with it’s surprising dynamic range, punchy and low bass, and fantastic mids and highs it truly is a superb little DAC at it’s very low price!
Would I recommend you get one? Do you even need to ask?
Of course I would.
In fact if my award badges were ready, the Rhodium would be sure to get The Audiophile Cafes “Highly Recommended On A Budget” badge!!!
Well done Periodic Audio for knocking it out of the park yet again and this time at a very low price point!
Thanks to my readers for your continuing support, you can’t begin to imagine how much I appreciate it.
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The Audiophile Cafe is kindly sponsored by STAX & Airpulse.