Huawei CM21 DAC/Amplifier Review


Sound Quality

Rated at 31mW @ 32Ω on the 3.5mm single-ended output, the output power is similar to that of many smartphones in the market. What this means is that, if you are using any earphones which are challenging to power on your smartphone, you are unlikely to gain any headway with the CM21.

Huawei CM21 DAC Amplifier

The CM21 has a Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) of 120dB, which explains why the CM21 exhibits a darker background with lower distortion.

At the low-end, the CM21 is energetic with plenty of punch, however, the energy was let down by the lack of resolution and details, ensuring a low-end experience that is lacking in clarity.

The CM21 exhibits a neutral mid-range, vocals, however, exhibit a lack of coherence. Attributable to the lack of in details and form, which has made the mid-range experience a rather grainy one.

Similar to the mid-range, the high-end exhibits a rather grainy experience. The lack of details and resolution ensures the absence of extensions and decay at the high-end.

The soundstage of the CM21 is one that is rather average, the lack of details and resolution across from low-end to high-end translate into poor sound imaging particularly instruments and vocals.

Part 1: Introduction, Design and Build
Part 2: Usability
Part 3: Sound Quality
Part 4: Product Specifications
Part 5: Review Ratings, Summary


  • Goh Beng Yeow, the Founder / Editor at Porta-Fi™, is a recipient of the IT Youth Award in Singapore. Twice nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Beng Yeow has previously founded startups such as, Coded Pixels Consultants and was a Tech writer for TODAY, a national daily newspaper under MediaCorp. Since 2017, he has been writing, editing and producing commentaries, interviews, news and reviews on Porta-Fi™. In 2019, Beng Yeow was appointed Advisor to LHDC™, the industry's latest low latency and high-definition Bluetooth audio codec.

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