Reviews by hellfire8888


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Dual Micro SD Card Slot, Solid build, Smooth interface, Premium Build quality, Smooth and warm sound signature, balance output, usb 3 interface,
Cons: Memory/USB port cover fits poorly and mar the overall look,
Disclaimer: The N5 I reviewed was a free loaner unit from Cayin, which will be returned to Cayin at the end of the review tour. I have not benefitted financially or materially from writing this review, with the tour unit provided in exchange for my true feeling and opinions towards the product. Cayin did not check review content prior to publication.
My first journey into portable hifi world started with a modest iphone 4. Then when i join this forum, i keep on reading how a good portable music player can improve or elevate the experience of listening to music. When Fiio launch X3, the price performance ratio is too tempting to be ignore and Imade my first purchase into hifi portable music player. True enough my whole listening experience changed. Then my lust for gear grow just like the hobbits lust for the ring in lords of the ring. I added many headphones/iem such as Beyerdynamic 880, T90 , T1 2nd gen, Vmoda M100, Sennheiser Momentum, Hifiman HE400i, Vjay, Logitech UE900, JVC FX850, Fiio EX1, Hifisound Wooduo and the list goes on... So what does it mean?? Well simple...the Fiio X3 or X3k can power some of these portable headphone/iem but for the power hungry monster, i have to get at least a portable amp to bring out its true potential.
Then my journey and search for a more powerful player continue..then Cayin N6 caught my attention cause of its marketing gimmick, a player which can cramp so many amp in fact 13 if i am not mistaken into a player. I research and hesitate for a while and then finally jump the gun again to purchase Cayin N6. Boy i was excited upon receiving it! It has everything i always wanted. A powerful player with stronger output which reduce the need for me to carry the portable amps. While I enjoy Cayin N6 very much, my only complaint is the size. I wanted something similar with smaller size just like Fiio X3. Then when the thread discussion for Cayin N5 pop up, i guess it generated a lot of interest because Cayin N6 has proven itself and everyone else is hoping this little monster can outdo its elder brother!
Thanks to Andy Kong i was given a chance to be a part of the Cayin N5 world tour.
The packaging!
Cayin opt for the minimalist design. Nothing too fancy and yet not simple with a slight touch of mysterious with black emblen on the box marked against the black packaging.
This is a pre production version and maybe the final product packaging may change.
It comes with a coaxial output cable, usb cable, screen protector, manual and of course the player itself. Something obvious was missing in this world tour unit which is the rubber silicon case for the Cayin N5. I was told that the final version may have the silicon protector included.
The looks and build!
I guess everyone first reaction is to compare the size of N6 and N5. Well as you can see it is much more smaller compare to N6. Well i would say it is around 20% from the looks of it. The build quality is awesome. Solid and craft to perfection but there is a flaw which is the rubber protector which is used to cover the microsd card slot which does not really jive in.
The back of the player still carry the DNA of its elder sibling. But i personally would prefer a brushmetal back plate but this is down to personal preference.
The scroll wheel is very usable and with as you can see, it is crafted with some groove to give it some grip with scrolling.
Overall build quality is top notch.
Here is a size comparison between, Cayin N6, Cayin N5, Fiio X3 and Fiio X3K. While it is smaller compare to Cayin N6 but is still a tad bigger compare to Fiio X3 or X3K
The line out and headout jack share the same port, It has a dedicated coaxial out and a balance out port. The power button is at the top too.
The bottom of the player housed two micro sd card slot and a USB port and reset button. I think the design of the micro SD card slot can be further improve because if you have long finger nails then you could potentially break it...(i mean your nail :) ) The rubber flab used to cover the port is not fitting well too and come off easily.
The sound!
Ok here comes the important part. The sound. I will skip the specification of this unit because it is all over the internet. I am not going to repeat it.
I am not a professional reviewer nor a graduate in audio engineering. I will try my best to describe the sound because it is not easy to describe sound as it sounds different to different ear and person.
Everyone perception of sound could be different. When i started my journey into hifi world, i notice everyone talk about hifi sound. So what exactly is hifi sound? After some soul searching i notice to some it simply means a sound signature which is giving the most accurate sound reproduce in the studio recording. Some describe hifi sound as having a neutral sound. I also come across some CD recordings which has been remastered to boost the mid and upper level of the frequency to give it the HIFI sound. ( so much of being neutral )
But does it mean having a warm sound signature is not HIFI sound? Well to me sound is art. There is not such thing as correct sound or wrong sound. Is either the sound is pleasing to your ears or not.
To me HIFI sound means the moment the frequency reach your ear and brain, I feel relax, calm and fun to listen. I want to enjoy my music and not becoming some mad scientist which keep on analyzing what is the best sound and whats wrong with sound signature.
Do I enjoy Cayin N5 vs let say the new Fiio X3k? I used a Fiio HS2 Headphone output switcher to do an AB test between these two players.
More power!!
A blind test with the same volume level set at 20 for both player would immediately let you get which player has more power! 
Set at high gain for both player, Cayin N5 is at least 50% more powerful than Fiio X3k. I will have to set the volume at Fiio X3k to 40 to match the Cayin N5 at 20.
So most of the time you dont even need a portable amp to enjoy the music.
Engaging Sound !!
Similar to X3K, it has a warm sound to it with higher level of detail retrieval and music separation. But during the AB test you hardly hear the difference if you are unfamiliar with the track and with volume match. But it does make a difference to picky ear! 
The track I used for the AB is from " Best of Vocal Works" - Kobayashi Mika
The Cayin N5 is what i describe as giving you the warm and smooth sound. Here is my take on the sound description:-
Bass: The player has certainly great amount of emphasize on bass and sub bass as well. It goes deep and hard. But not too overwhelming. 
Mid and high: The mid is engaging giving you the in the first row of the stage feel and smooth high. If you have headphone with peaky trebble like Beyerdynamic T90 then this player should tame it :)
I find it pair very well with my Hifiman HE-400i and FX850. The synergy is superb. I always like warm sound. The cymbal, string instrument is certainly there and it sound smooth and more refine.
Soundstage and Imaging: You could certainly visualized where the instruments are coming from because it has good imaging. But soundstage could be wider and deeper just like Cayin N6.
There is no hiss coming from this player as hiss can be annoying.
The solid build of Cayin N5, warm and smooth sound signature certainly put it on par with Fiio X5 range. Most important of all, i certainly enjoy using it over a week period. I feel that Cayin is moving towards the right direction in building a name in the HIFI world. I would highly recommend Cayin N6 as your first portable music player if your budget permits :)
(Note: I will come back and provide more details later when i am free and sorry if you are looking for a more analytical type of review. I am merely expressing my feedback as a consumer. Thanks for reading.)
Nice review without being too analytical. Thank you.
you are welcome swannie007


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: 1.Smooth Treble
2. Forward Mid
3. Bass is not bad for an earbud
4. Excellent build
Cons: 1. Soundstage is not as wide compare to other similar range earbud.
2. Not much really considering the price point vs performance ratio
About Me

I will keep the intro short to keep it real. I am not a paid reviewer as I don’t get paid or any crap like that. I am not a professional reviewer so don’t expect fancy graph or any technical analysis at all. Hmmm then what the hell am I going to write? Well… I am going to give my own personal opinion on the earbud and hopefully it helps others in choosing their right earbud. My impression of the bud could be not accurate because everybody hears thing differently. If you are old and have tinnitus, don’t expect everyone to hear the same thing as you. I am a treble sensitive guy, so any sibilance earphone, iem or headphone will go straight to the cold storage box. BTW I am a gamer too despite my lousy skill.

The Butt

I have to admit the main reason I get this earbud from NICEHCK is because of the rave review it is getting on forums and facebook. Most of the people vouch for this. Of course they are negative feedbacks but most of the feedback is positive. Being a curious guy, I jump the gun and order one from AE. And don’t screw me for mentioning the word NICEHCK. I have to because there are many DIY MX500 variant out there. Each variant of build will have an impact on the sound. Ok enough of the logical explanation on why I am getting the earbud. The reality of it is I am impulsive buyer who keeps on buying new earbuds/iem and I am a sucker for all white theme of this earbud



The NICEHCK DIY MX500 PKI Earbud build quality is good, simple but elegant. I bought the clear shell model because I like transparent shell. The Shell is identical to the one used in Monk SPC version. The cable unlike the other variant is not braided. It looks like SPC type and it is prone to microphonic. It is ok for me because I usually use earbud in quiet environment with little to no movement at all. The 3.5mm plug is made of metal and it looks good. It ain’t Oyaide but it looks good enough for this price point.

Overall, I like the build of this all white SPC transparent Shell variant of the DIY MX500.

2.jpg 3.jpg

First Blood

Right out of the box, this guy nail it! I usually test most of my earbud with Gundam! I mean Hiroyuki Sawano Gundam OST. Gundam Unicorn soundtrack especially 1ST MOV:BANSHEE is very busy with lots of instrument playing behind it. Is a god damn huge orchestra. Most of the bad earphone, iem or even headphone would fail this test. I tried with Monster Beats headphone before and omg What and the sound is congested, narrow and it feels like everything is mesh up into a fark up sound. All I hear is noise not music. Good music means I can hear every independent instruments, decent soundstage, good mid/vocal and enough bass/sub bass when the music demands it. So this lil earbud pass the first test.

Ok sorry I lied :p I don’t know about others but good music to me does not mean accurate sound or anything like that. Music mean a lot to me. Every time I suffer hardship, joy, success, failure, depression or any other events in my life, I will turn to music. Each specific music would remind me of a certain events in my life. In short, music bring backs memory. It is hard to explain but the same song played from different player or earbud will send different emotion to me if I listen to it. The sound I am looking for is not neutral, analytical nor accurate but more towards warm sound signature. Neutral with a hint of warm (slightly V shape) would be ideal. This earbud falls into this criteria. It don’t have a huge soundstage like Wong’s Blur earbud nor does it have super fine details like Beyerdynamic T1 mk2 / T90 but it is engaging enough to bring back memories to me.

This little guy has a soul!

Torture Chamber

In this review, I decided to pair it with AK Kann and the new Sony A45. Why not other DAP like Onkyo DP-X1 , Opus #1 which is still in my dry box? Well because new gadget always get all the attention. AK KANN and Sony A45 is the 2 new DAP which I have bought recently.

AK KANN is really a good all-rounder. Support micro SD and SD card, powerful amp but …it is freaking huge. Which is why I get the Sony A45. I don’t intend to bring the KANN when I am on the go. Eg jogging, going out for any active activities where I know I will not be doing any critical listening. Sorry I lie again. The real reason is because Sony is giving a good bundle promotion when you buy the new Sony WI-1000x noise cancelling hyrid IEM! Damn it why am I confessing to the entire world. Something is not right with me today.

4.jpg 5.jpg


No sibilance. Which is good news to me. I really really really hate sibilance sound. When pair with AK KANN I don’t expect harsh treble or anything like that. KANN is warm, therefore any treble happy earbud you pair with it will be tame. But don’t let this statement confuse you. The treble is smooth with enough extension.

Sony A45 is definitely a brighter player compare to KANN. But still you don’t get sibilance sound with you pair it with MX500.

This is all I ask for in treble. My requirement is bloody low right? One important thing to note is if you are the kind of person who like the “s” sound in every vocal track and love those bright treble then this earbud is not the bud for you.


Sony A45, the mid is definitely the forward type. It kind of give you the on stage feel.

(Aimer – Egao) Forward mid and engaging sound, you can hear the separate musical instrument, decent soundstage.

(Emi Fujita – Imagine) sound similar. Imagine all the people, living for good music…

On my AK KANN it sounds similar too. Definitely the forward mid type. Just to be sure I tried another song Rick Astley – When I Fall in Love. Damn it bring backs memory.


This earbud gives you enough bass but it is not a bass-head earbud. To be honest due to the design of earbud I don’t expect any miracle here. But this earbud is performing way beyond my expectation.

It does not matter if I pair this with A45 or KANN, the result is similar. The bass is control, sufficient not bleeding into the mid region. Bass do roll off significantly. If you are a headbanger, you are better off with Monster Beats.

(Linkin Park - Numb) Yes you hear bass on this earbud but it is not the thumping type. It ain’t weak but just nice.

(Madonna – Erotica) I don’t expect the same amount of bass compare to my JVC FX850 but like I say it is enough. Control bass it is….. ( imagine this words coming out from Master Yoda)


Wait, that’s all? No more analysis on the sound from MX500? Yes no more. I just point out the stuff which I think is important and I don’t intend to go and google all the nice bombastic jargon and put in this review to make it look professional but confusing at the same time.

To be honest , at the given price point, there is not much to complaint really. You get smooth treble, forward mid, decent bass and soundstage. Build quality is excellent too. It is good for various genre of sound due to the neutral warm or V-shape sound signature. Will I recommend it to others? Yes definitely.