Pros: Sound & build Quality
Cons: Clunky Interface
I'll keep this simple as I would probably only duplicate what is said elsewhere anyway but on the principle that the number of reviews says as much as the reviews themselves here I go.
I already have the ubiquitous iPod and a Cowon X7. Increasingly I have been ripping my CDs to FLAC as I move to a more streaming oriented home set up and I have been looking for a way to make the most of these files when on the move. The Cowon is already full and the iPod is now limited to lower quality rips so I was looking for a small DAP to augment the Cowon and hold some favourite music to listen to on the move.
I found this DAP when browsing online and (helped no end by the reviews already posted) I decided to take the plunge. Not a very deep plunge given the price compared to some competitors but a plunge nonetheless on a brand I am completely unfamiliar with.
I ordered directly from Hisoundaudio and despite the non-Amazon experience the process was completely painfree. They are helpful and professional and the DAP turned up nicely packaged a week or so after making payment.
After charging and loading some files on micro SD cards that I had lying around from various mobile phone purchases I got to the important part. The listening.
Now I will say that the unit is still burning in. I anticipate improvements in the sound quality, particularly in the bass and this review is based on the experience to date and only a few hours listening. All my listening has been with the Beyerdynamic T50p headphones. However I can say immediately that this has made my iPod sound flat and lifeless from the off. Admittedly this is comparing FLAC to MP3 but they are cut at 320kb so not completely lame.
This unit sounds fantastic. I put the Beach Boys Pet Sounds on followed by Friends and the vocals were truly outstanding. Clear, to the front of the mix and you could follow the individual voices with ease. The instruments were further back than I am used to but I think this is probably a more realistic interpretation of the music than I have had with the iPod previously. Moving to Jean Michel Jarre Oxygene 30 and the swirl and whoosh of the spacey 70's synthesisers was impressive with clarity and focus in all areas. This wasn't fatiguing either with a nice, organic completeness in the sound. Nothing seemed overly promoted or repressed.
The One Armed Bandit set from Jaga Jazzist was also clear and captured the complex instrumentality well. There was no mush or fuzziness I could detect anywhere.
The only issue I have with this unit is the interface. The screen is small but perfectly readable, the navigation is not always intuitive but does not take long to master, the menu options are logical and easy to understand. The irritation is when you are listening to a long piece of music and you have to pause. Either the phone rings or someone wants to talk to you, an everyday occurence even when on the daily commute. At this point when you restart the music you cannot pick up where you left off. Or at least if you can I have been a complete failure at finding out how. Instead the unit either picks a random track from the internal memory or starts the track again from the beginning. You have to remember where you were, navigate to the track, and start that track all over again. Why can't the system pause rather than just stop? An obvious firmware improvement hopefully.
That really is my only gripe. Build quality is excellent even if the unit were many times the price. It does attract fingerprints on it's nice shiny surfaces but I am fighting the inner OCD to clean it all the time. The unit is slightly smaller than I imagined but by no means fiddly, even with my stubby digits. I have not tried the bundled headphones but I did get some Hisoundaudio Crystal phones when I bought the RoCoo P. These are still burning in so I cannot comment on them yet. The unit powers my T50p headphones with no apparent difficulty, the battery life is perfectly acceptable with a recharge after a few hours listening through the mini USB port.
It goes without saying that I am delighted so far with the Hisoundaudio RoCoo P. I do expect it to improve further with time and I look forward to many happy hours of audio bliss. I would recommend most heartily but please, please, please Hisoundaudio, fix the pause.
UPDATE: Have spent many hours listening to a variety of music on the RoCoo P now and have enjoyed the way the music has been presented. Vocals are to the front, clear and the depth is amazing. The only thing I have noticed is the presence of a slight background hiss. This has really only been accentuated since I bought a Colorfly C3 and everything the RoCoo does the Colorfly does. Only slightly better. The C3 has no hiss and just as clear a presentation. So whilst the RoCoo is still one of my favourite players it is now playing second fiddle to the C3.