August 15, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The phrase that keeps sticking in my head is “an everyman sound with dollops of detail”. Make sense? It does if you enjoy a wide range of genres and it most certainly applies if you err towards the slightly smoother, euphonic or even-harmonic tone in playback. If you enjoy the wetter side of things, hate the dry, the splashy or the analytical then the A01 motherboard will appeal.
But before you lie back and dream of colorful lush overtones, let me shake you from that potential aural meme by telling you that the A01’s dynamic range performance is strong. The amplification stage in the N6ii’s motherboard is an excellent performer and produces enough power and clarity to dispel any notion that the N6ii/A01 combo is a leisurely romantic stroll. It is forgiving with a ‘bit of soul’ but not without some excellent levels of detail.”
August 8, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The FiiO M11 came in an attractive black magnetic clasp box with a slip-on black outer picture sleeve. Inside was the M11 in a heavy clear plastic skin with a 7H tempered glass screen protector pre-applied at the factory. The unit is black with a gold-colored tactile volume control and a faux carbon-fiber textured glass back. Size-wise, it is the same as the X7 Mark II and X5III though it is shaped slightly different so it might not fit in the same cases. (It is beveled on both edges, making it a slight challenge to get in and out of the plastic skin.)
There are two tactile buttons along with the volume control (pause/play switch and FF/RW toggle) on the left edge and the two micro-SD card slot on the right. On the bottom, you will find the 4.4mm and 2.5mm balanced outputs next to each other on the left, the USB Type-C connection in the middle and the 3.5mm (single-ended/coaxial digital/line output) output on the right. The power button is on the right top.”
July 12, 2019 § Leave a comment
“The NW-A45 is more natural, precise and convincing through the treble and midrange, but the iPod just edges it for dynamic punch, momentum and timing as we listen to Zimmer’s synth-layered drum fills. Put simply, the Sony offers a hi-fi sound in the best possible way, but the Apple product sounds marginally more fun on occasion.
It comes down to what you want from a player. If you’re looking for a personal music player (PMP) that has wireless internet support for Deezer, Tidal, Spotify streaming and the like, then go for the iPod Touch. If you want something that requires a bit more work, but lets you listen to hi-res PCM and DSD files on the fly with optional noise-cancelling, then this Walkman is for you.
But the Sony has one other advantage over the iPod Touch: it doubles up as a DAC, so can upscale the sound quality of your laptop. Simply plug the Walkman into your computer’s USB port and select the DAC function from the device’s home screen. The signal is then processed by the Sony’s DAC, levelling-up your computer’s inbuilt digital-analogue-converter.”
July 9, 2019 § Leave a comment
“A discriminating DAP buyer, given the means, could easily spend two, three, or more times the Fiio M7’s price, yet only modestly outpace its sonic performance. I found the M7 to be an outstanding value that had a quick and intuitive user-friendly interface and sonically valued detail and transparency. In A/B comparisons to DAPs three times its price, the M7’s presentation was perhaps a bit too forward and bright, but compared to DAPs of equal or slightly higher price, Fiio’s M7 proved a sonic heavyweight to be reckoned with. For an example of the open transparency I came to associate with the M7, listen to the Gary Bartz’s opening saxophone on “Love Ballad” from the 1977 jazz-fusion classic Music Is My Sanctuary [Capitol]. The effortless detail and space around Gary’s saxophone immediately let you know the M7 is worth every penny. For $199 you are going to have a tough time finding better bang for your buck.”