Industry titan for certifying that audio meets a certain criteria. Thx is bringing their expertise and audio to the mobile market, taking everything they’ve learned and using a third party certification. The new thx onyx is a cross platform dac amp that can deliver high fidelity audio from a mobile device, with mqa studio quality streaming and is priced at two hundred dollars. So how does the thx onyx perform for the price? Well, let’s check it out thanks for watching nine to five toys be sure to like subscribe and enable notifications with the bell icon. So you don’t miss any upcoming videos: hey everyone: i’m, jordan, with nine to five toys. So, first off, what exactly is the thx onyx? In an extremely simplified synopsis, onyx is a dac or a digital analog converter amp for taking a digital signal from a source and converting it to analog to send to a pair of headphones or even powered speakers through its 3.5 millimeter jack. As a part of that conversion, onyx can also decode mqa or master quality authenticated tracks. These tracks pack, some extra information into the file and when decoded with a compatible device, produces playback that is studio quality like you’re sitting in the studio with a recording artist. Onyx. Also works to play and improve any other audio as well and provides plenty of power thanks to the thx aaa mobile amplifier, alright, so that’s a very brief overview, but let’s check out some of the details on this.
So from the design point, as you can see here, it is housed in mostly black but does have a couple of really nice accents. The thx logo is machined and polished and is simple, but really eye catching as well as some polished accents on the connectors as well. The 3.5 millimeter jack also supports mic input which enables the use of headsets to take calls or play games and communicate with teammates using onyx and onyx also incorporates three led lights. That can signify a few different things when first installed, the leds will flash a pattern while initializing and then, when media is played through, the leds will signal the quality of the file coming through blue signifies 44.1 or 48 kilohertz pcm, which is standard quality and then Yellow is higher than 48 kilohertz pcm orange is a dsd direct stream signal and magenta represents a mqa file which plays at the best quality and one other quick handy feature on the design side of things here. If you fold it back over itself, there is a magnet on here. So with this magnetic connection, it can work to organize some cables or some headphones. So just another nice little feature that makes this a little bit more portable and a little bit easier to use. Not surprisingly setup with the thx onyx is super simple as well uh. As you can see here, it does have a usbc port on the one end, so with compatible devices.
This will just plug right in, but depending on what device you’re using you might need an adapter as well. Th thxx includes a usbc to usba adapter in the box, so this will obviously enable it to work with computers. But if you have an apple device with a lightning port, you will need an additional adapter, so the one that thx recommends is this lightning to usb a adapter, obviously just plugs in here and when that is all set up, it does make for quite the cumbersome Dongle on here quite a bit it’s about 13 inches overall, so adds you know quite a bit to your to your mobile audio setup, but what’s great about this. Is you know, even with all these adapters, the cross compatibility of the thx onyx? It works on pretty much any device. You know: pc mac, uh ios device, anything with the usbc port, any android device, so that makes it super versatile and can work in a lot of different situations. But once you have the right configurations of adapters, you just plug it in and that’s all you have to do for setup. Your device should recognize it and should be easy to play back audio through the onyx. At the heart of the onyx is a thx aaa amplifier, with five times the power as similar usb dac amps. It can put out a ton of power but keeps things clean with ultra low distortion and noise. These thx aaa amplifiers have been used in many other products as well, namely the drop panda from last year, and so they already have made a pretty good name for themselves when it comes to mobile audio.
But this is the first time that the thx aaa 78 has been used in a mobile device like this, and it delivers ultra low noise with incredible power. Onyx also features an ess es9281 pro dac for rendering studio sound quality. Since thx is in the business of certifying audio devices with a certain quality level, it didn’t really make sense for them to certify themselves. Onyx has been independently tested and certified by mqa’s engineers to ensure that it preserves audio quality throughout the signal range with high quality and the maximum resolution and furthering that relationship with mqa. The onyx is also capable of playing mqa encoded files from the thx press kit. Mqa is a breakthrough technology that enables music fans to stream the original master recording into their home car or on their mobile device. These files will work on any device, but to take advantage of the extra quality packed into mqa tracks. A device with an mqa decoder is required, like the thx onyx. A very basic explanation of what mqa is doing to streaming media. To make it better than cd quality. Is that the mqa process cleans up an audio track to remove distortion and noise, which makes it easier to pick out individual instruments and voices and then packages that information into a file by folding in extra data that can only be decoded by an mqa compliant device? It’S more complicated and impressive than that really brief synopsis. But if you do want to read a little bit more about mqa in their process, i’ll link some information down in the description.
You can check that out because it’s pretty cool what they can do to pack extra information into a smaller file, so it’s not making a huge file, but it renders an incredibly detailed version of some of your favorite music. And while there are a few different sources that you can get, these mqa files and tracks from one of the easiest to do is by using a streaming service called title titles master tracks which are a part of their hi fi membership for 20 a month all Feature this mqa certification, these tracks are mqa guaranteed recordings that are directly from the master source, instead of going through a distributor like spotify or apple music’s, music. Rendering. This ensures that the audio that’s found on a master track is exactly what the recording artist intended. The music to actually sound like so how does it sound? Well, no matter what kind of file you’re listening to the onyx gets incredibly loud, even right from opening the box, there is a little warning that says: warning high volume, and then they have some instructions on how to ensure that when you start playback from the onyx For the first time that it won’t blow your ears out from your device, basically just make sure that, after you plug this, in be sure to turn your volume down a little bit before you start playing any music or you might risk some ear damage. And then, when you are listening to here, when you are listening to an mqa file, one of the main things that you want to listen for is clarity, so the ability to pick out different separate instruments and voices and really place them throughout the sound stage.
Thanks to that work that mqa does to reduce distortion and clean up the tracks that actually makes it a lot easier to pick out different instruments and voices. I did most of my listening through the philips fidelio x3, which, though, despite they are lint magnets um, are an incredible sounding pair of headphones and they might not be the best fit for a you know. Actual dedicated mobile rig mobile audio rig because they are open back. So you can hear other sounds coming through the headphones, and you can also hear uh whatever i’m listening to on here as well. But they are a great sounding pair of headphones and because of their incredibly wide sound stage, i think they’re really good mix a really good fit for the thx onyx compared to a standard apple, lightning, 3.5, millimeter adapter. Listening to how do you sleep by sam smith? On the onyx rendered a noticeable difference that made it easier to pick out intricate vocal lines. I could always hear these vocal lines kind of in the harmony uh throughout the song, but with the onyx i was able to actually pick them out a little bit better and distinguish in between the different voices and so it’s just a great addition. It makes listening to music a lot more fun. Likewise simmer by haley williams revealed even more detail than i had previously heard. Thanks to that, onyx mqa combo it’s been a really fun way to go back and listen to some of my favorite tracks and hear a little bit more clarity, a little bit more detail than what i’ve heard with other mobile audio setups.
Music also sounds fuller and more vivid, that might be thanks to thx’s, claimed improved dynamic range. But back to how do you sleep by sam smith? The low end sounded more impactful and clear than when using the standard apple adapter, and when my wife compared the two. She stated that the thx onyx was a treat to listen to also noting a noticeable increase in clarity beyond just music, though thx also touts the performance of the onyx for gaming and watching and listening to other media as well. I tried the onyx when playing call of duty warzone and while it does sound great, it sounds good. It wasn’t that noticeable of a difference. For me, i typically use a behringer euphoria um2 when i am gaming, uh powering my phillips fidelio x3 that’s. What i usually use when i’m gaming as well and the onyx didn’t, really provide that much of a difference. It wasn’t really that noticeable to me. So it still sounds great, but it wasn’t a huge noticeable improvement. So, overall, wrapping up here, the thx onyx isn’t, the first mobile deck amp and it isn’t the first device to be able to decode mqa either. But its combination of technology makes it stand out in the crowd, it’s cross platform functionality with that powerful thx, aaa amp and compatibility with headphones and headsets makes it ready for almost any application. Combine that with the incredible detail found in mqa tracks like those streaming from title, and it is an incredible way to listen to music from a mobile device sure it might not be as convenient as wireless options like the drop panda or you know, other bluetooth headphones.
But if you are looking for the utmost in audio quality, the thx onyx, plus a good sounding pair of headphones, has been some of the best that i’ve listened to in a mobile audio setup and that’ll. Do it for our review of the thx onyx. Let us know what you think about it down in the comments below thanks for watching. If you enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up and consider subscribing.