Dodocool DA106 review: HiFi audio on a budget


Dodocool are a maker that gets talked about quite a lot here at GizChina. The company is best known for its handy yet affordable gadgetry that almost anyone with a credit card can purchase.

You probably didn’t know this before, but Dodocool also do a HiFi music player. Interestingly, almost the entire HiFi music player space is owned by Chinese players, many of which are super niche. We’ve tried a bunch of them before, and while it’s hard to classify oneself as an audiophile, we’ll take a quick look over the Dodocool DA106, which is probably one of the most affordable players that can do 192kHz/24-bit audio playback.

Learn more about it here.

First things first — this is an extremely affordable piece of kit (selling at around the $40 mark), so you need to keep that in mind when making a judgement of the product. So let’s get started.

First, let us quickly tell you all that it has under its sleeve. The DA106 can play high-res audio, can record good quality audio and also features FM radio. The addition of FM radio is super awkward (or rather, uncommon) because that usually doesn’t happen in items in this category.

Moving on, the device has an on-board storage of 8GB, which is expandable via the microSD card slot that it features. You will most likely need to keep the slot engaged, because high-res lossless audio files can often take a lot of extra space compared to compressed MP3 files that we’ve grown used to. Speaking of, it will be a good idea to get a class 10 microSD card to give the device super-high access speeds, which might be required in many cases.

Moving on to audio, we’d say you get what you pay for… which is almost always the case. The DA106 doesn’t feature any of the high-end audio chips that you see on higher-priced competitors; which means audio is quite good but it doesn’t blow your mind.

While reviewing the DA106, we happened to chance upon the VE Monks+ earphones and thought they made a great combo. To put things into context, you can get both, the DA106 and the Monks+ for under $50, shipped to your doorstep anywhere in the world!

What we realized with the Monks+ was that you really needed an above-average source to drive them well enough, and the DA106 does exactly that. In the end, they make a great combo… which is super light on the pocket.

The audio that the DA106 produces isn’t bass-heavy at all. There’s a higher focus on the mids and highs, which to some might sound a bit shrill at times. It’s also extremely important to use high-quality music files, for the DA106 can make a compressed file sound like crap (which we think is a good thing).

We also tested the DA106 with some high-impedance Xiaomi headphones, and the device drove them no problems without the need for an external amp.

Like every other device that does decent to good audio (basically, every other DAP), the UI on this one is absolutely horrendous too. It will take you a lot of time and a bit of pain to get used to how things work on the DA106. Interestingly, it features a dial that you can use to navigate between list items and the native homepage UI.

One super annoying this about the player is that you will need to first turn the screen on (by pressing the power button up top) to be able to navigate between music files or even change the volume. This is super elementary and something that should’ve definitely been taken care of.

About other aspects of the player — build, battery, etc., we’re rather impressed. It’s interesting what you can get out of just $45 in this day and age. The DA106 has a great build, and a battery life that you will definitely want to have on other gadgets of yours. It charges via a micro USB port, so you can use your power banks et al to give it a juice top up.

All in all, we’d recommend the DA106 to audio newbies (like myself). As said before, the DA106 makes a great pair with the VE Monks+.

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15 Comments

  1. Michael Livote
    October 15, 2017

    Um, it looks like no one is actually selling this anywhere….pity, looked decent for the cash 🙁

    • Luis Bastos
      October 16, 2017

      I own a Xduoo X3 and boy, this has so much power in it!!
      It has the same hardware as the Fioo X1 2°generation, and if you install RockBox (cause the native UI not only suck’s but also it doesn’t have any kind of options in terms of sound to improve its quality) the sound is just WOW
      I bought it in OLX for around 58 Euros and, seriously, this is incredible for such a small price!!!
      If you want to give it a try!
      I recommend you to use it with some MEMT X5 since I’ve tried some earphones and this ones are just amazing quality vs price!
      Hope it helped!

      • Giovanni
        December 18, 2017

        Luis, is it really possible to install the RockBox firmware on the Dodocool DA106?
        I can not find anywhere the specs to check that the DA106 has the same hardware than than FiiO X1 2nd generation. Furthermore, the RockBox official website doesn’t show any of the FiiO players as officially supported.
        Did you actually try to flash RockBox to Dodocool DA106? Which version did you flash? Does it work? Is it “dual boot” with the original firmware? Will it be possible to re-flash the original firmware?
        Many Thanks. Regards.

        • Giovanni
          December 18, 2017

          Luis, I double checked your post and I think I had a misunderstanding. Maybe you just wrote you installed RockBox on the Xduoo X3…

          • Luis Bastos
            December 18, 2017

            Well yeah, I was trying to say that this one was not really worth it since the one that has that kind of specs is the Xduoo X3, plus it has Rockbox wich is just amazing, so much to play with..
            Really cool!
            I totally recommend the MP3, but JUST if you install RockBox, otherwise it sucks big time 🙊

  2. Michael Livote
    October 15, 2017

    Um, it looks like no one is actually selling this anywhere….pity, looked decent for the cash 🙁

    • Luis Bastos
      October 16, 2017

      I own a Xduoo X3 and boy, this has so much power in it!!
      It has the same hardware as the Fioo X1 2°generation, and if you install RockBox (cause the native UI not only suck’s but also it doesn’t have any kind of options in terms of sound to improve its quality) the sound is just WOW
      I bought it in EBAY for around 58 Euros and, seriously, this is incredible for such a small price!!!
      If you want to give it a try!
      I recommend you to use it with some MEMT X5 since I’ve tried some earphones and this ones are just amazing quality vs price!
      Hope it helped!

    • Giovanni
      December 18, 2017

      Luis, is it really possible to install the RockBox firmware on the Dodocool DA106?
      I can not find anywhere the specs to check that the DA106 has the same hardware than than FiiO X1 2nd generation. Furthermore, the RockBox official website doesn’t show any of the FiiO players as officially supported.
      Did you actually try to flash RockBox to Dodocool DA106? Which version did you flash? Does it work? Is it “dual boot” with the original firmware? Will it be possible to re-flash the original firmware?
      Many Thanks. Regards.

    • Giovanni
      December 18, 2017

      Luis, I double checked your post and I think I had a misunderstanding. Maybe you just wrote you installed RockBox on the Xduoo X3…

    • Luis Bastos
      December 18, 2017

      Well yeah, I was trying to say that this one was not really worth it since the one that has that kind of specs is the Xduoo X3, plus it has Rockbox wich is just amazing, so much to play with..
      Really cool!
      I totally recommend the MP3, but JUST if you install RockBox, otherwise it sucks big time 🙊

  3. orangitto
    October 20, 2017

    Bought from amazon.co.uk they have delivered in 20 days
    All is ok with this player but from SD card it cannot read library and if you want to play something you need to go via file manager directly to song.

  4. Guest
    October 20, 2017

    Bought from

  5. Guest
    October 20, 2017

    they have delivered in 20 days
    All is ok with this player but from SD card it cannot read library and if you want to play something you need to go via file manager directly to song.