Well I have been having a little 4-way DAP-bang on my Hidition NT6, which for those who do not know them, are top tier ciems slightly on the bright side. The DAPs used are 901 with balanced card (I will try the iem card later), the X5, the Tera Player (Super Duper jack) and Sony ZX1.
Well the first good news is: the NT6 sounds awesome on all of them. If I get a bit more into details:
- The Tera has the typical Tera sounds, ultra smooth and analog but keeping nice punch and dynamics. The stage is a bit more intimate than the ZX1 of course, but the ZX1 will be also a bit more fatiguing
- The ZX1 has ultimate clarity and space. The stage is wide, deep and airy. the sound echoes in a vibrant way. As the NT6 is slightly bright, and the ZX1 quite cold sounding, sound may be a little harsh or fatiguing on certain recordings
- The 901 balanced is neutral with a little warmth and smoothness, but also with great detail, but most of all awesome power and authority. The sound is spacious yet full bodied.
- The X5 is very slightly less warm and smooth than the 901, more neutral still. Works very well with the NT6. The sound is closer to the 901 than the other two in terms of sig. I still think the 901 has the edge in technical terms and overal pleasure. The X5 performs awesomely, at this price or at any price. I stand by what I said when I said it performed is at 90% of 901 sound quality. However, 10% is something at this level, so if you are an audiophile, it IS STILL WORTH IT OWNING THE 901. I will not sell my 901 to get a X5, but if I could have only one, I might get the X5.
My conclusion at this stage:
- If you want a great overall package and top SQ, get the X5.
- If you like neutral yet organic sound and want reference sound, get the 901.
- If you like space, clarity, details, a great design and an awesome UI, get the ZX1
- The Tera well...you have to fall in love with the unique analog sound and the simplicity. But it does pair wonderfully with the NT6
All i gotta say is that the X5 is the bang for ur bucks!!!
best purchase thus far for 2014