The Real Portable HiFi

A Review On: Colorfly CK4

Colorfly CK4

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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Battery Life
User Interface
Purchased on:
Price paid: $200.00
Posted · 8755 Views · 6 Comments

Pros: Sound quality, line out, used material (metal frame), 24bit/192kHz support

Cons: Bugs in the software, only wav supports high resolution, no cue support

The sound quality is very good from the line out.

I think one of the best sounding DAP here, but for sure in the top 5!



The sound is balanced/neutral and detailed, the music background is really black (! later).

I can feel real atmosphere, the instruments are in right positions, not "in the face".

The bass goes to deep enough without any eq, and dynamic too. (with IEM: Audio-Technica ATH-CKM55)


The headphone out can drive low imp headphones, but I can feel the bass rolloff on 56Ohm, and the volume is not enough at all. (with: SUPERLUX HD668B)

I feel sometimes that the sound maybe a bit weak (not energetic).


With Headstage Arrow 12HE (3G) the sound perfect (!)


The real drawbacks:

- some clicking noise during high resolution playback

  like static discharge or playback of vinyl rip

  nearly every 10 sec is at least one...and it seems on higher resolution worse)

  maybe firmware bug?

  I translated with google the C4 firmware release log, and found this: "revised WAV format compatibility issues"

- only wav supported for high resolution playback (>48kHz/16bit) ->

  hard to fit in the 8GB+uSD (I have 8GB uSD in my phone, but thinking on 16/32GB too)

  There is a need for Flac too. -> 32GB uSD is works for me.

- no cover art during playback

- the big screen is without touch technology (i dont care)

- user interface, I mean really simple, and the keys at the top with strange order, but I can still use it, and can learn after a while. At least it is responsive and works fine

- the Line Out can be changed by Volume control

- maybe the battery life only average (but at least >8hours)

- somebody cannot use the EQ funtion


Tested: mp3/flac(44.1/16 48/16 44.1/24 48/24 88.2/24 96/24 192/24)/wav (same)

Not tested: wma/ogg/ape..., video playback (I don't really care about this)


I already tried to contact with the Chinese support for firmware update.

They told they are working on that and expected in 2011 may.


So basically. If I play 24-bit 96-KHz FLAC files from HD-Tracks, there would be an issue. Must I have to convert the files to WAV in order to take advantage of the DAC specs of the CK4. The reason I ask is because I have been thinking about the Colorfly C4 and CK4 for some time now and didn't purchase because I have heard a great deal of mix reviews about the sampling resolution of the digital audio player. Good review. Hope to hear more about this player in the coming months

Yes, you are right. Only wav.
I just purchased mine a few days ago, due in a few days and did not do enough research on it...didn't realize until just now it was not a touch player. Totally my fault for assuming it was.
"the Line Out can be changed by Volume control"
Do you mean fully variable? If so, what's the diff. between it and HO?
Yes, fully variable, but it is recommended to use on full output. It is big dufference on different impedance earphones in volume, because cannot drive. In terms of sound quality it seems the Line out more clear, crisp, detailed.
I get this answer from Colorfly (on 31.03.2011):
- the Line Out can be changed by Volume control (should be fixed)
Re: Yes, when changed volume the Line out output will be controled.
So,If you want to use the Line Out,you must set maximum volume,This was the best.
Line Out is a direct output for LPF circuit of DAC ,this can not be fixed."
After much experimentation, I found LO at MAX vol. not best. One or two steps below max leads to subtle but noteworthy improvements, IMO! See more about this in the CK4 thread.