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  1. crabdog
    Good sound at a low price
    Written by crabdog
    Published Aug 23, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Price. Bidirectional Bluetooth. Snappy UI.
    Cons - Sharp corners. Plastic screen cover.
    DSC_0041.jpg

    I've owned several Benjie DAPs and I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a bit of a fanboi when it comes to their music players. Not only do they sound good for such a low price item but I also have a respect for their longevity, implementing what I would consider standard functions (breakpoint resume etc) and solid battery life. Recently they released a new model the Benjie T6. This time around there's Bluetooth added along with low and high gain modes. Is it a worthy upgrade from their previous offerings? Hopefully this review can help you decide.

    Disclaimer
    This sample was sent to me for the purpose of an honest review. I have no affiliation with the company and all observations and opinions here are my own, based on my experience with the product.

    The Benjie T6 costs $49.90 and is available from Penon Audio.

    Packaging and accessories

    First things first, there's another one of those black, textured cardboard boxes that have been popping up lately, a different approach from previous Benjie packaging. The box is bare except for the Benjie logo on the front.

    20170711_210843.jpg

    Opening it up we find the player nestled in a black foam cutout.

    20170711_211009.jpg

    Underneath the foam slab are the rest of the accessories which include a User Manual, USB to Micro USB cable and some earphones.

    20170711_211121.jpg

    The included earbuds are actually not just a throwaway addition. They're really quite good and you could do a lot worse than to be stuck with these.

    DSC_0029.jpg

    Build and functionality

    A single CNC metal molding is used for the T6's chassis. The size and shape are almost identical to some of their previous models ie: K9 and X1, with and elongated shape and portrait oriented screen.

    The player has a nice feel to it, with decent weight that feels good in your hand but the corners on the unit are excessively sharp which is a little annoying but not a deal breaker.

    The back side of the player has what feels like a glass backing, which I find quite strange considering the screen is just a thin plastic.

    On the front, just under the screen is a 4-directional D-Pad style control with an additional central button. I really like this method of navigating the menus but it would be so much better with an additional dedicated back/return button.

    20170711_211215.jpg 20170711_211244.jpg

    Moving to the bottom edge, there's the Micro USB port for charging and data transfers and the 3.5 mm headphone out.

    DSC_0004.jpg

    The left side contains the power button which also acts as the screen lock and the Micro SD card slot.

    DSC_0006.jpg

    On the right side are the volume control buttons.

    DSC_0005.jpg

    Overall I like the button layout of the T6. Controlling volume is really simple, even when the player is in your pocket. I do wish that there was a dedicated lock switch though because it's easy to hit the volume and power buttons by accident when they're in a tight pocket.

    The 1.8 inch TFT screen displays album art nicely but just like the Benjie K6 and X1 (same display) text gets truncated and makes it difficult to navigate folders because everything is so narrow. Also just like the aforementioned models the screen on the T6 is not glass but a thin plastic that get scratched very easily. I really hope to see Benjie upgrade their screens in future models.

    Similar to previous models the T6 has a very good breakpoint resume function built in and it now also supports true gapless playback that worked flawlessly during testing. Even a lot of the much more expensive DAPs out there still can't get gapless right so it's a real achievement on Benjie's part that they've done it so well in a budget offering.

    Navigating the menus has improved over the older models but it's still a little awkward because there's no "back" button. So for example if you are on the Now Playing screen and want to go to the previous screen you first need to press Down on the D-pad which takes you back to the menu and from there if you want to go back again you press Left on the D-Pad. It's not a deal breaker although it is a little frustrating but you get used to it fairly quickly once you start using the player on a regular basis.

    The UI has Benjie's usual snappy responsiveness which is one of the things I've always loved about their DAPs. When you press a button the corresponding action triggers immediately, with no signs of sluggishness or delay.

    There's a ten band equalizer which has several presets and a custom setting. I tend not to use EQ but I know many people do so it's always good to have.

    There's no built in storage but it supports Micro SD cards up to at least 128 GB in size.

    Let's have a quick look at the main menu screen before we move onto the sound.

    Going clockwise from top to bottom there is:
    • Podcast
    • Bluetooth
    • Albums
    • Playlists
    • Music
    • Settings
    • Artists
    • Folder View
    • Now Playing
    DSC_0010.jpg DSC_0032.jpg DSC_0033.jpg DSC_0036.jpg DSC_0031.jpg DSC_0035.jpg

    Sound

    DAC duties are handled by the Cirrus Logic CS42L51. The T6 sounds quite similar to many of the budget DAPs that I've reviewed with a bit of a warm tilt and a little extra bass bump. However it seems to be a little more resolving and adds a touch more air to treble notes than the competition. There are no pops or hissing in the sound in both low and high gain modes. For testing I mostly left the player on high gain even though I was predominantly pairing with low impedance IEMs.

    Soundstage on this little player is impressive too as is separation and layering, with the end result being really impressive for such a low cost item.

    Battery life
    The 600mAh battery seems to last around 8-10 hours depending on playback volume and file format. If you're using the Bluetooth feature expect it to be a bit less again.

    Bluetooth
    Bluetooth on the T6 is bidirectional which is something I've only seen in higher priced DAPs previously. So you can connect the player to some Bluetooth headphones or you can alternatively connect to an external Bluetooth device like a smartphone and use the T6's DAC to play files from your phone.

    Connecting is really simple and range is good with no noticeable cutouts or issues. Very solid.

    DSC_0038.jpg

    Comparisons

    RUIZU A50 ($55 USD)

    When it comes to build quality the RUIZU A50 wins hands down. The chassis is more complex with smoother, rounded edges and a real glass screen that's much harder to scratch. The UI is also superior on the A50, being a little clearer with easier to read text. Navigating the menus/folders is easier on the RUIZU too because of the dedicated Back button and scroll wheel/button.

    For the best sound I would give that claim to the T6. Although both are fairly close in audio quality the T6 has better treble extension and because of this has a better sense of air and shimmer in the high frequencies. Then there's the Bluetooth feature which could be a major feature that users want depending on their intended use for the device.

    There's no clear winner here, it really depends which features and characteristics are more important to you.

    Mrobo C5 V2 ($49.90 USD)

    This is a rather interesting comparison as the two players are priced exactly the same. Build quality is drastically better on the C5 with its finely crafted chassis but the screen has a very low resolution and album art is so small it's hardly worth even having. Navigation is slightly more intuitive on the C5 but the button layout makes it more cumbersome to use than the T6. The biggest and best feature of the C5, in my opinion is its massive battery life of over 50 hours of continuous playback time.

    Sound quality is very similar between these players with no clear winner, so just like with the A50 the best choice for anyone choosing would likely come down to which features are more important to them.

    Conclusion

    Once again Benjie have produced a fantastic DAP with loads of features and great sound. Bidirectional Bluetooth in a $49 player - are you serious? The company's trademark snappy UI is present again, as is their superior support for varying album art formats. It has PCM: 24BIT/192KHZ and native DSD support...

    Granted, it's not perfect. The plastic screen cover is rubbish and the UI navigation is far from perfect. I've been waiting a long time for Benjie to make a new DAP with an upgraded display with a higher resolution and better text readability so it was disappointing to say the least when the T6 carried over the same old, tired one from their previous ultra-budget models. But you know what? I don't really care. This thing sounds good. Really darn good. And it costs $49.

    If you've been wondering why people buy DAPs instead of just using their smartphones and have been interested but hesitant to spend big money to find out, then I suggest you go for a cheap little player like this. If you do, I doubt you'll ever want to play music from your phone again.
      trellus, Hercules40k, voxdub and 5 others like this.
  2. ngoshawk
    An affordable first-DAP, worth a look.
    Written by ngoshawk
    Published Jul 2, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Affordable. Revised build, which makes it easy to handle. Slightly above average sound qualities. Portable. Fairly intuitive UI.
    Cons - Longevity of buttons coming into question. Screen-while decent, not of the highest quality. No shortcut back to current playing song
    AGPTEK Rocker v2-4.125 stars

    A small DAP, which retails for $149, cut to $89. Given to me for an honest review. I would have it no other way.


    [​IMG]


    Intro:

    I am older. I am happy that I have rediscovered the joy of music, through personal listening devices. Through this opportunity, I have become exposed to some wonderful kit. Much I now own, much I covet. Much I would never purchase, for various reasons.

    My listening style has changed somewhat over the years…from old time Rock-n-Roll to the Blues to Reggae, to Bluegrass. I cut my teeth on Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, The Who, Santana, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Bob Marley, and Pink Floyd. But the music I hold dearest and nearest my soul, is Stevie Ray Vaughan. I was lucky enough to see him perform four times…twice in open air venues, followed by (that evening each time!!!) smoky blues bars, where intimate would be an understatement. Each holds a very special place in my psyche, and I can almost remember the whole of each concert in their entirety…

    I enjoy a warmer signature in my equipment, and listening, with a good bass line (but not basshead), complimented by outstanding vocals. Combine the sweetness of SRV’s guitar and Billy Holiday’s voice, and you get my musical grove.


    A couple of strange happenings have occurred to me over the last month. I say strange, because they were unexpected, and quite good. Strange, because this has not happened to me before now. AGPTEK contacted me asking if I would be interested in testing one of their higher end DAP’s after reading one of my Head-Fi reviews. To say that I was humbled, would be an understatement. After conversing with the company regarding details of their updated Rocker v2 (that is what I am calling it…), I agreed to review the unit. Their only requests were that an honest review be posted on Head-Fi as well as their right to use all or parts of the review as they saw fit, including Amazon. I agreed, and the unit was ordered. A short two days later, and I had the unit in hand. I will say, that I was disappointed with the way the unit was packed via Amazon, and will be lodging a complaint. Thankfully, the unit did not suffer any harm. This was of no fault by AGPTEK.



    Opening the device to assure myself that the unit was in working order, I was met with a tasteful textured hard cardboard box in all black. Lifting the lid, the DAP was well protected in a soft plastic sleeve, and foam insert. Underneath was the charging cable and instruction manual. Nothing else, but that was quite enough.

    [​IMG]

    Turning on the unit, the battery showed a full charge. But how close to full, I did not know. As a result, I ran the unit as is, garnering about six total hours, before the battery monitor went red. Charging the unit to full, I will run this round until the unit dies completely, to ascertain how long the unit will run (Approximately 7 hours, as advertised by AGPTEK, is what I found).



    Sometimes I have a hard time getting a “felling” for a device I am testing. Other times I understand the device right away. And sometimes, it isn’t until I am writing the finale of my review, when I “get it.” I cannot quite understand this device right now. It is a hard critter to pin down…some of the time it sounds quite good (Trees from twenty one pilots Vessel, for instance). Sometimes it can sound middling at best (U2’s One Tree Hill). This could be due to the recording process, or possibly the synergy provided by the devices at hand…


    After a brief search of Amazon, I did find out that 13 of AGPTEK’s lower priced DAP’s are on Amazon’s top 100 selling list, with the previous Rocker version clocking in at #71. Tall shoes to fill indeed, with this updated version. An excellent selling point is the 4.0 CSR Bluetooth connectivity, with which I successfully connected my Mixcder MS-301 (which has BT 4.2). Providing a pretty decent combination, this can be had for less than two Ben Franklin’s. I was starting to understand the appeal…at least monetarily.



    Specs (from the company website and Amazon):

    Firmware Version 1.2

    [​IMG]

    • SHUFFLE&FAST FORWARD/BACKWARD WITH BLUETOOTH 4.0 CSR, Compatible with most Bluetooth output device, support playlist under Bluetooth status, enjoy your high-fidelity stereo music with your wireless earphone. For better compatibility, please use AGPTEK Bluetooth earphone (Not included).
    • THE SMALLEST AUDIOPHILE PLAYER IN THE WORLD: SUPPORT ALL MAJOR LOSSLESS MUSIC FORMATS: AAC/ Aif/ Apple lossless/ Ape/ Flac/ Ogg/ Wave/ Wma lossless/ M4a/ MP3/ WMA, at up to 192kHz/32bit( Not support Audible and DRM WMA, more details please check the last image on this page.)
    • GAPLESS PLAYBACK CONTROL&AUDIO GAIN SETTING, retaining all the benefits of portable Hi-Fi audio. Great for listening to live albums, classical works, or anything that sounds best when it is played continuously.
    • EQUIPPED WITH A HIGH-QUALITY CIRRUS LOGIC CS42L51 STEREO DAC, faithfully reproduce 24bit high-resolution original studio-quality audio without distortion or loss of sound.
    • EXPANDABLE UP TO 256GB SD CARD (Not included), maximum hold 15000 songs. Please note that the player do not have internal storage.


    Package include:

    • 1x AGPTEK ROCKER Player
    • 1x English Manual
    • 1x USB Cable
    • Note: Earphone is not included.


    [​IMG]



    Devices compared/tested:



    Hidizs AP-60 ($89)

    Shanling M1 ($149)



    Audioquest Nightowl

    Unique Melody Martian

    Mixcder MS-301 (Bluetooth)

    thinksound ON-2

    Vibro Labs Aria

    Lend Me UR ears FLC8S

    Tennmak Pro



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    Functionality:



    As a small touch-button based DAP, the AGPTEK functions reasonably well. Quick to start, and turn off, there is virtually no lag either way. When turned on, the AGPTEK logo comes on, fades then comes on again, to be quickly replaced by the main operating screen. No big deal, it opens quickly. With nine widgets with which to choose, one is presented with everything from a Podcast option (not tested), to the Bluetooth functions, to Albums, Artists, Settings and Music (not in that order). Clicking on the Now Playing widget, takes you to the current song playing (if already in operation), and as far as I can tell there is no shortcut back to that menu, if you are in say the Settings menu. An unfortunate but minor annoyance.



    Clicking the “up” arrow, when in the current playing screen, will bring you back a screen where you can quickly adjust music settings such as EQ, Play Mode and Add to Favorites, My Likes or Bookmark if you wish. Be careful, though as there is a delete button at the bottom of this menu. I wish that the Low/High Gain setting was also listed on this screen, as a quick “burst” of volume would be handy with two clicks, as opposed to using the volume buttons. Again, not really a big deal, and one you can easily learn to manipulate around.

    [​IMG]

    Many other functions are derived from the various widgets, almost too numerous to mention here, but easily found either by trial or from the pretty detailed instruction manual included with your purchase. For a full demo, see my video. I demonstrate all nine screens and basic functions within those screens.


    Below the screen, is a four-arrowed circle, with the main play/pause circular button in the center. Going back a screen from the playing screen is accomplished utilizing the up arrow, and then the center button. Not that bad to be honest. From that menu, one CAN quickly return to the playing screen by clicking on the LEFT ARROW. A nice shortcut back to the play screen. Using the four arrows and the center circle, one can control the entire functionality of the DAP, save volume. The +/- volume buttons grace the right side. There are no other buttons on that side, which to me is a nice isolating feature making my decisions easy…and sometimes I just need that!


    The left side houses the power button up top, with the micro SD slot below. Capable of 256gb cards, one can bring along a good bit of music. Capable of reading up to 15,000 songs, there are limits; but using more than one SD card really isn’t that big of a deal to me. There is no internal memory, so when using a card for the first time (as in you changed cards), it must be scanned again. You do not need to do that, if the card is the same from your last visit. Scanning quickly, you are happily listening within a minute, unless you have a very large library.

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    Made of an aluminum alloy frame with plastic front and back, the fit and finish is quite good. A high-gloss back does smudge quite easily, but adds a nice touch to the all-black motif. A protective plastic cover overlays the screen, and can push a bit. Not the most rigid, but not really a worry. Some mentioned the sharp corners as a downgrading aspect, but I found the corners to be rounded and of good help in the grip area. This does offset the somewhat slippery glossy-back. But for this price, one cannot be entirely picky, nor judgmental. A pleasantly nice shape and handling experience, overall.



    I found manipulating the buttons, and screens fairly easy. A bit dated, and clunky compared to more expensive, more advanced DAP’s, but functionality is not what this DAP is really all about. A lack of backlit arrow/center-buttons does make it somewhat difficult to operate in low light (unlike the Hidizs AP-60, which has a backlit function button area), but again I’m not really interested in how the critter works. I will say, that as nice as it is to have that backlit button area on the Hidizs, it is an extremely small area with which to work. Even with my average-sized hands, I often found myself pushing the wrong buttons repeatedly…a real annoyance.

    No such problem existed with the Rocker v2, and I was thankful. Speaking of these two equally priced DAP’s, several things stand out to differentiate them (most of which I will detail below…). Size is a bragging point for the Rocker v2, stating that it is the “Smallest Audiophile Player in the World.” As you can see, the Hidizs is in fact smaller, and does play music…so…I do welcome that extra length when using the AGPTEK though, as it makes in-hand use easier.

    [​IMG]

    The second function that stands out between the two is the screen. Slightly smaller than the Hidizs, the AGPTEK has a MUCH better viewing angle. If you are off direct viewing at all with the Hidizs, then forget about it! You cannot make out anything…While the color does change a bit with the AGPTEK, you can still read the screen, and determine what you need. A definite plus for the Rocker v2. Neither screen will win resolution awards, but the whole idea is to be able to SEE the screen, quite often in less than ideal circumstances…Advantage to the AGPTEK, here.


    Something, which may eventually make it into this sector (and would be nice) is the ability to control more than the volume, when the screen is off. To pause, one needs click the power button to “wake” the DAP, then hit the center circle to pause. A minor annoyance, but addressed in higher DAP’s with the functionality to do that when the screen is off. Again, not that important at this price point, but a technology, which will eventually trickle down to this level.

    [​IMG]

    As for the Shanling M1 functionality, a rolling wheel with clicks functions as the manipulating “tool” used to maneuver around the DAP. At almost twice the price of both, one would expect it to function much better, and be of an easier to use aspect. Mostly, it does. The UI is more intuitive to use than either, while the screen is LEAGUES better than the cheaper alternatives. As it should be. As for sound, I will admit up front, that the M1 is the standard by which I gauge a low-fi (lower priced) DAP. And rightly so, in my mind (OK, M2s, N3 lovers can throw either of those in, but the M1 was around before either of those…so…).


    Bluetooth:

    The Bluetooth of all three functioned perfectly. No glitches at all with connection, other than with the Mixcder MS301 functionality. I had to “clear” the search for connectivity in each menu, but once this was accomplished, connecting was quick and easy. And, this was due to maneuvering between DAP’s and my iPhone 6+. If I stayed with one DAP., then Bluetooth connected immediately upon turning that function on.

    [​IMG]

    Once one learns the tricks, trials and shortcomings of the Rocker v2, you move on the important item…the sound!

    [​IMG]


    Sound:

    One has a certain obligation when called upon to do a review, regardless of whether it is a tour, an audition or at the request of a company. Those obligations are to be thorough, honest and did I mention thorough? Some will go out of their way to gush over devices, which may or may not deserve those accolades. I think those that might, do a tremendous disservice to what others write. Thankfully, that is not a common occurrence, and one, which does not apply here. This is a very decent little device. One that should be considered for those who are looking at either their first portable DAP, first foray away from a Smartphone, first commuting DAP, or one that can be used at the gym without fear of sacrificing not only sound but portability and loss. The last in case you drop the device, etc…



    As experience would have it recently, I dropped the Rocker v2 twice today on the treadmill…both times thinking you DOLT! Watch what you are doing!!!


    [​IMG] [​IMG]



    None the worse for the wear, the AGPTEK simply allowed me to pick it back up, and reconnect my IEM’s of the moment, the fine Tennmak Pro. A nice bouncy-bassy combination; the two played well together for my “vigorous” treadmill workout. Better than I handling the Rocker…

    [​IMG]

    What can be heard from the Rocker v2 is a fairly even sound; with no one range crowding out the other. None perform well above the other, nor do they suffer too much from each other. Even is how I would describe the overall sound, with a definite rolling off of the treble (even to my tired, treble-hearing-loss ears…). This can be a good thing, as sometimes (from my experience) the trebles are pushed in lower priced DAP’s, giving that false sense of “quality sound.” Thankfully, AGPTEK did not take that approach, letting the overall unobtrusive qualities take center stage. A very nice, pleasant approach and sound was heard through everything I played. Whether it was my UM Martian’s, the Vibro Aria’s, the FLC8S, or yes the Audioquest Nightowl one could describe the sound as pleasant.


    Only with the Nightowl, did the sound suffer from not being as full as one might expect. Rather thin and weak, the sound while tolerant was not what I would have liked. That said how often would one use that combination? Not very often. Not bad, mind you, but not the set up one would expect here.


    Conversely, when I hooked up my Martian’s, the sound was much better. More full, deeper reach of bass and a good slightly forward vocal presentation. I did find this combination more intimate. While the excellent sound stage of the NO really sings, the Martian intimacy is simply superb. A very good combination, this setup was my first choice most of the time during this review.

    [​IMG]

    My favorite setup though, was when I hooked the Tennmak Pro’s up. “Better” bass than the Martian or the Nightowl, the Tennmak is simply put, a stunning IEM for $21 USD. When you think that this combination can happily be your commuter combo, and for less than $115, you just have to smile and appreciate how far audio has come. The last three or four reviews I have done, I do mention the marvel I hold at how devices of such humble prices can provide a very good listening pleasure. And I amongst the many, who already know this, am happy. I am happy to share those thoughts with you, too. The Tennmak is known for its bass reach and quality, and in this combination it does not disappoint. I found myself working that little bit harder, that little bit extra to the thump of Ziggy Marley’s bass through the two. That little bit extra loft in my step so to speak, because of this combination. I would happily keep this set up for the gym, knowing it is a good sound, and worthy of gym-bag-abuse. Rugged and versatile.



    Using the Bluetooth capabilities of the Mixcder MS-301 was also easy to do. Other than the minor hiccups of connectivity, the two functioned without a glitch. Once I figured out that with each use of a DAP, sprinkled between my iPhone 6+; I had to clear the known devices on each DAP (the Rocker and the Hidizs), hooking up to BT was quick and painless. With nary a glitch, hiccup or bump the Bluetooth combination worked seamlessly. With an even near-neutral sound signature, the Mixcder provided a good wide sound stage to compliment the AGPTEK’s sound. With near-Nightowl sound stage qualities, you are presented with a nice fairly open sounding listening involvement. This too, would be an excellent commuting combination, and with a price south of $200 USD (for both), one could easily purchase a micro-SD card and be content.



    Of all the combinations, the Rocker/FLC8S combination presented me with the best bass. Running the black, red, gunmetal filters the bass is stunning coming from the FLC8S. A sound I do not listen to enough, what with my other options. I will often sub in the FLC’s into my workout queue, simply so I can listen to them! Not the best way to treat a $300 IEM, but so far they have responded well. But that is another story. The focus of the Rocker/FLC combo is definitely bass-oriented. Vocals are also pushed quite forward yielding another good option for commuting and general “in your face” listening. Not shouting, but a good jump-up-and-move type of sound combination. This would be my “clean the house” set up, and in fact was during the review period. Tucking the Rocker neatly into a front pocket, with the IEM cable close to your chest, you could happily clean to your desires content!

    [​IMG]

    If I had to boil the sound signature of the v2 down, I would consider it a worthy alternative to your Smartphone music apps. With a near-neutral sound, pushing the mids and vocal “up” above the centerline, the sound is almost intimate. Having one of the smaller sound stages of anything I have heard, I found myself listening song after song to make sure it was not an illusion. It was not. I do not fault the DAP for that higher-than-center sound, but I was not really used to it.



    With a somewhat quirky UI, I would downgrade the lack of a “quick touch back to the song playing” option. While on many DAP’s, including the Hidizs one can long press and be back to the song playing (or twice in the case of the Hidizs), you cannot do that with the v2. There is an almost Blackberry-esque feeling to its UI. Logical to use, but arcane. You are presented with the nine widgets on the home screen with which to manipulate and maneuver, but it takes effort. One I cannot really fault due to the price point. And, one while I find acceptable since most of my listening is in full on shuffle mode a minor quirk non-the-less.


    [​IMG]




    Comparisons:



    AGPTEK Rocker v2 ($89) v Hidizs AP-60 ($89)



    This is the most logical comparison to me (and besides the fact it is all I have at this price point!!), but others have compared the v1 to a Rockboxed SanDisk. I have no experience with the SanDisk, though. Touted as the “Smallest Audiophile DAP” in the world, the AGPTEK is in fact taller than the Hidizs. Thinner and narrower though, it does also tout a smaller (but better overall) screen.



    As mentioned above, the screen of the v2 is better, with more viewing angles. Functionally, the two approach their respective UI’s quite differently. With only four options, which to choose on the home menu screen; you are presented with fewer menus. Packing more into each widget, the Hidizs is harder to tailor to ones musical needs. I do appreciate the fewer sub-menu items on the v2 widgets, even if it means manipulating through more widgets. And while I do appreciate the backlit toggle “switches,” I cannot operate them smoothly. Even after a full two weeks, I still have trouble pushing the correct area of the Hidizs. Frustrating would be a polite way to put it…



    [​IMG]


    Sound wise, the Hidizs provides a darker signature with a more rolled off treble. It is almost like Hidizs wanted a darker signature, but didn’t want it to show any distortion. I garnered a more full sound signature, too and one with less detail. One with a bit better bass reach, and vocals more towards that imaginary midline; exhibited a mild high-gain distortion on some songs. Instrument separation suffered as a result of trying to please all those sound characteristics, though. Not congested by any means, but one where most of the sound was competing to be heard. All could be heard, but there wasn’t much support. Almost resembling a shouting match, like a fifth grade band class at the beginning of the hour, with all playing at the same time…just to be heard. That said, songs such as twenty one pilots Car Radio complimented that sound, and complimented it well. A very busy song, which benefits from that “all-together” sound.



    Conversely, the v2 separates each tone and instrument better. One can clearly hear Josh’s cymbal taps, and snare punches. Tyler’s vocals are clearly defined. A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan’s, Love Struck Baby, sung by Robert Cray defines that separation nicely. His vocals are very forward anyway, almost punching through your ears, but I do believe the Sound Engineer got this one right, toning it back a bit so that the support instrumentation could be heard. Much more cleanly, than the Hidizs, in my opinion. Don’t get me too wrong, though. The AP-60 has its merits, but is overshadowed by the AGPTEK’s detail, separation and instrumentation in my mind.

    [​IMG]



    AGPTEK Rocker v2 ($89) v Shanling M1 ($149)



    Almost an unfair fight, this is…but one in which I thought valid. Valid, because one should evaluate not only the level at which you are looking, but what one-step (or a couple) up might be like. Kind of like going car shopping… You look at the Toyota Corolla, but also might take a Camry out for a test drive just to make sure you get the one you want. The AGPTEK would be the base Corolla, and the M1 a midline Camry. Nothing wrong with either vehicle, just different classes and tastes.



    I will admit up front, that the Shanling house sound has me. I am enveloped by it. I almost dream of it, when listening to other DAP’s. I judge by it. I like others, too but it is that Shanling house sound by which I judge all comers. And the M1 is better. Unabashedly better. Better detail, better sound stage, better separation. But, not a complete smashing, though. As quirky (again, Blackberry quirky) as the v2’s UI is, in some ways it is easier to operate. While I like the Shanling signature wheel operation, it can be quite cumbersome to operate on the go. This is where the AGPTEK manipulates better. But, as I said I mainly listen in shuffle mode, so this is a draw.



    Where the Rocker v2 is brighter of signature, the M1 is more “mature.” The M1 is also more detailed, with better bass punch, and vocal representation. With less treble roll off, the M1 also does a better job up top. Mids, in conjunction with the vocals is simply superb for this price level.


    [​IMG]


    What I found with the Rocker v2 was a versatile affordable DAP, with a few quirks. One that was and is not afraid to come along for the ride, and as such the v2 is worth a look. A small portable DAP, which while inexpensive, sounds like a good upgrade to your Smartphone music. Using the IEM/buds/headphone of your choice, you could surely find a satisfactory sound signature. Using the EQ you could then tailor the sound to your personal preference, and be content.



    Finale:



    The Rocker received mixed reviews on Amazon, as I read; but an underlying theme was present in most reviews…that this was a very good priced DAP, which functioned well and had enough pleasing sound characteristics to offset any flaws those reviewers saw/heard/felt. I would agree, but I would go one step further; this is not only a very good replacement for your Smartphone music, but a good first step into the world of DAP’s. Competing with the Hidizs AP-60, the two present their versions of what a lower-priced DAP should be; but for the same price. One has a backlit button area, good UI which is fairly easy to manipulate and the possibility to be used OTG or as a stand alone DAC (Hidizs). The other has better sound characteristics (to me), slightly more power and a MUCH better screen-viewing-angle (AGPTEK). While the actual screen quality of the AP-60 is better than the Rocker v2, you can only view it head-on. Otherwise, it becomes like those old original digital TV’s, where viewing angle was an actual thought in your purchase. Personally, I would take a variety of viewing angles to a “better quality” screen all day long. Especially since portability is an advertised aspect of both…

    [​IMG]

    Much of the criticism of the Rocker was aimed at the internal ability to read music, low battery life and not crash. From my readings, a larger libraried micro-SD card would bog down, or crash the device. I’m happy to say that this concern has been addressed. I had no problem loading my 8000-song card, although it did take a bit of time (which is to be expected at many levels…). The Rocker v2 functioned flawlessly, and with nary a hiccup. Lately though, it has taken a bit sometimes to push the center wheel to either start/select/pause whatever you are doing. Longevity of the device may come into play in that regard. If I should develop a problem, I will update as needed. But as I said, I had and continue to have no problems with this fine, affordable little device….and isn’t that one of the main things we ask of our devices? That they function so that we can enjoy our music? It is certainly one of my main priorities and AGPTEK has succeeded. Give it a listen, it is worth it.

    My video review will be up tomorrow.

    I thank AGPTEK for the wonderful opportunity they presented to me. This is a nice affordable first DAP, or replacement to Smartphone music. Well done!
  3. laevi
    Nice little player that still needs some improvements
    Written by laevi
    Published Mar 13, 2017
    2.5/5,
    Pros - Solid build, expandable storage, FLAC support, Unicode support, fast charge, easy navigation
    Cons - Minor quirks in the interface, poor quality LCD display, mediocre audio quality
    Disclosure: I received a free AGPTek Rocker audio player at the DC area Head-Fi meet.
     
    I used my Koss KSC-75 ear clip headphones to review this audio player. I compared it against the audio output of my Samsung Galaxy S7 audio output using USB Audio Player Pro and my venerable Sony Walkman NWZ-S736F audio player. I used FLAC files for my S7 and the AGPTek Rocker that were ripped from CD. My Sony doesn't support FLAC, so 320kbps CBR MP3 files were used instead. No equalization was used during the review. I only had a free 8GB microSD card on hand, so I wasn't able to test the Rocker with a large library of songs.
     
    PRO's of the AGPTek Rocker:
    -very solid block of metal
    -buttons provide good tactile response
    -user interface is adequately responsive
    -easy song navigation by artists, albums, genres, folders, etc
    -10 band equalizer
    -supports album art
    -supports Unicode in the metadata tags
     
    CON's:
    -high noise floor, resulting in grainy/coarse audio quality, especially in female vocals and lack of background blackness.
    -difficult to hear into the recording because audio sounded congested or unclear
    -only volume buttons function after screen turns off. To turn on screen while music is playing, you need to press the power button. As a result, you cannot pause, rewind, fast forward, skip next/previous after screen has shut off.
    -if the player is inactive (not playing music), the player will enter standby mode. Resume from standby mode IS NOT instantaneous. This is very inconvenient.
    -English language in the user manual and user interface lack the polish required for mass distribution in the US.
    -LCD resolution is disappointingly low, leading to grainy album art. LCD color is also washed out. Text displaying song information while playing is obviously blurry due to low resolution.
     
    I did not test the Bluetooth function of the AGPTek Rocker. Hopefully, RockBox will come to the Rocker with full source-code available. I feel uncomfortable syncing unfamiliar foreign devices to my car or mobile devices for fear of malware/spyware.
     
    If I had to rank the audio quality of the devices used in this review, it would be:
    Sony Walkman = Samsung S7 > AGPTek Rocker
      hqssui likes this.
    1. hqssui
      Thanks for the review.
      hqssui, Mar 13, 2017
  4. PJABBER
    AGPtek Rocker / Shenzhen Benjie BJ-T6
    Written by PJABBER
    Published Mar 9, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Extremely sturdy build quality, full lossless file compatibility, regular firmware enhancements/updates, 256GB w/microSD, excellent Bluetooth 4.0 CSR
    Cons - Low resolution TFT screen, some listeners are hearing a bit of a noise floor


    The Shenzhen Benjie BJ-T6 / AGPtek Rocker is a full featured digital audio player that offers lossless (FLAC, DSD, etc.) file playback at one of the lowest retail price points in the global market (US$60/EUR50/JP¥6,890.) With a solid and compact metal case, a capable Bluetooth 4.0 CSR implementation, up to 256GB swappable microSD storage capacity and a relatively long lived battery life, the Rocker/T6 is an attractive option for the audiophile seeking an inexpensive portable player with Rockbox capability and but a few compromises.

    Please note that this review was originally written for the Version 1.0 DAP and a slightly updated version 2.0 has been released to manufacturing and distribution.

    The internal hardware and specifications of Versions 1.0 and 2.0 are exactly the same. The only difference between the two versions is that the AGPtek released newer Rocker version has more rounded edges on the metal casing and has updated the firmware to Version 1.2. Owners of Version 1.0 can do an easy firmware update to achieve the same level of functionality as the latest version out of manufacturing.

    Hardware

    SoC: Ingenic X1000 w/32MB integrated LPDDR (http://www.ingenic.com/en/?product/id/9.html)
    Bluetooth: CSR 8811 F1C81 AVRCP\A2DP\HID (http://www.csr.com/sites/default/files/csr8811.pdf)
    Power Management: AXP192 (http://www.s-manuals.com/pdf/datasheet/a/x/axp192_x-powers.pdf)
    Codec: Cirrus CS42L51_F2 (https://www.cirrus.com/en/pubs/proDatasheet/CS42L51_F2.pdf)
    Flash: SPI NAND ATO25D1GA (http://www.atosolution.com/product/product01.html#con7)

    Partial Performance Parameters for Headphone Output

    Output Power 1: 25mW/32Ω
    Output Power 2: 46mW/16Ω
    Output Impedance: 16-32Ω
    SNR: 97db
    THD+N: 0.007%
    MAX output voltage: 1V
    MAX output current: 25mA

    Software

    The T6/Rocker incorporates the highly rated Hiby player app in firmware. This app is also used by Cayin, Shanling, Eros, Questyle, Hidizs and Tempotec in some of their devices.

    http://www.hiby.cd/

    The app's feature set includes:

    1. All lossless audio formats decoding, including DSF, DFF, ISO, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, M4A, AAC, MP3, OGG
    2. CUE sheets also supported
    3. High precision decoding with 32 bit output, 64 bit float point and 128 bit internal calculating.
    4. External USB DAC is supported with DXD/DoP output for Native DSD or 384KHZ 32 bit audio stream.
    5. Gapless playing is supported.
    6. 10 band graphic EQ supported.

    Manufacturer

    Shenzhen Benjie BJ-T6 - http://www.benjie-tx.com/MP3HiFiPlayer/224.html

    Shenzhen Benjie Technology Co., Ltd. is a Chinese high-new technology manufacturer specializing in R&D, production, sales and service of digital products. Their main products are MP3 players, HiFi Players, sports earphones and digital voice recorders. Shenzhen Benjie has a 2000 square meter plant, 7 production lines, 5 engineers and 10 staff in QC. About 10 to 15 new models can be launched from Benjie every year. They claim advanced production equipment, experienced and qualified engineers and workers, recognized quality control systems, a friendly and professional sales team for to-the-trade pre-sales and after-sales support for prompt production, good quality and reasonable pricing.

    Benjie is selling the BJ-T6 in China through their reseller network on AliExpress as well as through various global retailers. You can contact the Benjie support team at the links found here - http://www.benjie-tx.com/contactus.html - to let them know of a problem. As this is a Chinese company, it might be faster to use the Tencent messaging app WeChat, see the bottom of the linked contact page to add them as a contact.

    AGPtek

    AGPtek Rocker - http://www.agptek.com/AGPtEK-ROCKER...solution-Lossless-Music-Player-966-126-1.html

    AGPtek is offering the "Rocker" through their global Amazon storefronts. As of 2/23/2017, the Rocker is available via AGPtek Amazon storefronts in the US, Japan, UK, France, Italy, Spain and elsewhere. Pre- and post-sales support from AGPtek can be located here - http://www.agptek.com/support/about-us.html

    AGPtek has generally offered online availability for user installable firmware updates, product manuals and the like. Their current manufacturing firmware is Version 1.2, which was also made available for user download and installation on November 1, 2017.

    User Manual

    The AGPtek user manual for their "Rocker" may be viewed/downloaded here:

    http://images.agptek.us/image/RockerUserManual.pdf

    I highly recommend looking at this manual for additional specifications, features and supported file formats as AGPtek seems to be updating it as updated firmware is released.

    Firmware

    The best firmware for your T6/Rocker is likely going to be the one provided by the company that sold you their product, simply because it will be supported by that vendor in case you have an issue - Shenzhen Benjie in China and AGPtek in the rest of the world as it stands right now.

    The hardware is the same, you can choose to update and use either company's firmware without issue.

    AGPtek has their firmware V.1.2 currently installed on the latest Rocker V. 2 for international distribution and Benjie has their V1.04Beta (later manufacturing may have further updated firmware) for Chinese distribution.

    AGPtek Version 1.2 firmware was made available for user updating as of November 1, 2017.

    The AGPtek Rocker's firmware versions look more polished, use a more compact font for more displayed data and use multiple colors to distinguish selected functions in the menu, compared to Benjie firmware. The Benjie firmware that I have has a grayscale menu and is more of a developer version before any eye candy is incorporated. Both Benjie and AGPtek firmware seem to have equivalent audio performance but the AGPtek firmware has an enhanced user interface that makes using the Rocker a more pleasant experience.

    Please note that the use of the word "Beta" in the naming scheme does not mean you have a pre-retail release version of the firmware. The use of the word "Beta" has meant that AGPtek/Benjie intends to continue firmware development and refinement coding is still in process until the device reaches end of life in the product cycle. At some point the firmware will likely not include the word Beta, probably meaning that further firmware coding is no longer in process by Benjie or AGPtek.

    In comparison, the pre-release firmware version was simply named V1.0 and identified the device as a K1, the manufacturer's working model nomenclature. You can see this in the initial photos I have attached to this thread. If you somehow have a V1.0 firmware installed on your T6/Rocker, then you really should do a firmware update to access the full range of file formats the DAP is capable of playing, as well as some language/menu enhancements.

    Firmware Updating

    Updating or swapping firmware on the T6/Rocker is easy but you should have a copy of your original firmware to revert to in case your update fails. While I have personally installed and used all of these firmware versions on my BJ-T6 and AGPtek Rocker devices without incident, I make no claim or warranty that they will load to or work on your device. Using these files is entirely at your own risk! But if you do decide to try them out, post some comments! :wink:

    How to update Benjie BJ-T6/AGPtek firmware

    To update firmware, simply copy the update.upt file you have onto a properly formatted (exFAT) microSD card, insert the card into your powered off DAP, power it on, go to the Settings Menu, scroll to Firmware Update and then activate the Firmware Update function. It will take a minute or so and then the DAP will power off and then power on again with the new firmware installed.

    It doesn't matter that you have any other files on the microSD card, I just use the same card that I keep music on.

    The T6/Rocker "Firmware Update" function looks for whatever "update.upt" file that you have on the card to do the update. The "update.upt" file name is generic for ALL updates, be sure to have only the one you want to use on the card when you do the update.

    I formatted my microSD card using the T6/Rocker's own "Format the Card" function in Settings. If you opt to format your microSD card with anything else, choose exFAT for best compatibility.

    I personally use and recommend installing AGPtek's Version 1.2 firmware if you do not have a newer Rocker (or BJ-T6) with firmware Version 1.2 already installed in manufacturing -

    You can find AGPtek Version 1.2 Firmware Update 11/01/2017 for download here -

    http://www.agptek.com/blog/?p=1246

    Prior Firmware Versions

    http://www.agptek.com/blog/?cat=9

    AGPtek ROCKER UPT 1.06Beta Firmware Update 4/12/2017 (not the latest downloadable firmware, but tested and recommended if for whatever reason you cannot get AGPtek Version 1.2)

    1. Enables quick search of music or music file by alphabetic sequence under All Songs/Artists/Genres/Albums by holding the right button in music list interface
    2. Relocate playlists created by users to Favorite Lists in the main interface and Music>>Favorite Lists
    3. Allows playlist file such as .m3u and .m3u8 to be added under Music>>Playlists by music management software such as Media Go (.m3u and .m3u8 file can not be deleted in the player)
    4. Strings modified

    AGPtek ROCKER 1.0 5 Beta Firmware Update 04/05/2017 (NOT current version, provided for reference info only)

    1. Update bookmark list and the quantity limit of M3U list(maximum bookmark list: 200; maximum M3U list: 1000)
    2. Update progress bar and wrong time of songs in bookmark after switch songs manually or automatically when songs are playing from the start
    3. Update: Keep playing after playing all songs once (Former version: When choose shuffle all songs, all songs will only play once and then stop playing.)
    4. Update the languages of player for different countries
    5. Hold the up arrow button to back to the main menu when it is in music playing interface
    6. Update: the player can not be operated when the screen is off. (Former version: when the screen is off in the list interface, you can press the up/down arrow buttons to scroll up/down)
    7. In 12-hour mode, 12:00 pm will shown as 0:00 instead of 12:00
    8. Add “All Songs” option under the “Add to Artists/Album List”
    9. Support DTS encoding (Note: prior updated firmware had DSD support, this one might extend the type of DSD files supported.)

    Download Link for AGPtek Rocker V1.1 Firmware (NOT the latest version, provided for reference only)

    http://www.agptek.com/support/download.html (This is the AGPtek Support download page for manuals and firmware updates, it will always be the go-to location for any AGPtek device updates.)

    Detail on the V1.1 firmware dated 03/06/2017 -

    http://www.agptek.com/blog/?p=1246
    • Modify the problem that the player cannot scan the memory card automatically in Japanese language
    • Decrease the font size for English language
    • Add the built-in idle shutdown function(Power off automatically for over 2 minutes without operation, not allowed to adjust)
    • Add “Language” under each of the language option(except English)
    • Optimize the wrong display of song sequence in music playing interface
    Shenzhen Benjie Firmware

    The following is a download link for Shenzhen Benjie BJ-T6 V1.04Beta Firmware (NOT the best version, just the last Shenzen Benjie firmware update that I have. Provided for reference only, in case you are curious about Benjie's original manufacturing release)

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/4sel0j3p7ve7vpb/update.upt

    Rockbox

    One of the fun features of the T6/Rocker is that you can install a dual booting BETA version of a Rockbox "firmware as an app" port. I have come to prefer the Rockbox firmware app for the great controls and feature set that it offers.

    While this is a good tradeoff for enthusiasts that want to get much greater control in how the T6/Rocker functions, the Rockbox app implementation is definitely a work in progress, some features are not enabled and stability is not guaranteed.

    Rockbox developers continue to work on this app port for the AGPtek Rocker. You can can get lots of great technical info on the T6/Rocker here -

    https://www.rockbox.org/wiki/AgptekRocker

    Enthusiasts might want to check out the Rockbox forums to see what further refinements are in process. The relevant Rockbox technical discussion can be found here -

    http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php/topic,51653.0.html

    Rockbox developer wodz was kind enough to host the original work he had done on GitHub, kicking off further work on an eventual Rockbox implementation - https://github.com/wodz/rockbox-wodz/tree/agptek-rocker

    It has taken a while for this app to come to fruition. Unfortunately, AGPtek initially did not deliver required kernel sources, violating GPL, which somewhat delayed development activity. This is not surprising as the kernel is proprietary to the OEM, Shenzhen Benjie, but it was disappointing as many enthusiasts are in the market for a new Rockbox capable player.

    AGPtek subsequently followed through by releasing a BETA version of a Rockbox "firmware as an app" implementation that you can try out.

    Here are the two files necessary to install Rockbox on the T6/Rocker:

    rockbox.zip

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LI1Xnd-JzHFih3JIkVV3RRnhg62dY5zX/view

    update_rb.upt

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wKUaxM4Zxs2850x5jeVBLI4DvbtbQTCJ/view

    Instructions for install:

    Extract rockbox.zip.

    Take the folder named ".rockbox" and then copy it directly to your Micro SD card.

    Next, copy the file update_rb.upt to your Micro SD card as well, and, once in there, rename it to update.upt (Important Note: ALL T6/Rocker firmware updates use this same file name, so if you play around with firmware updates you need to keep track of what version update.upt you have on your Micro SD card.)

    You'll now need to choose the Update Firmware menu option in AGPek Rocker Settings. It should upgrade and then you'll have a choice of either Rockbox or the OEM AGPtek Rocker firmware and will have access to some tools, games, etc. as well.

    Please Note:

    While the following review is for the Version 1 DAP, a slightly updated version 2.0 has been released to manufacturing. The newer Rocker 2.0 version has more rounded edges on the metal casing and has updated firmware to Version 1.2. The internal hardware components, the audio quality and the feature set remains the same in both versions.


    Look Alike Devices

    Benjie manufactures several devices that look the same as the BJ-T6 in that they use the same case, display and five-way rocker switch. The T-series, specifically the BJ-T6/Rocker that is the topic of this thread, is considered their audiophile device and is designed for hi-fi/hi-rez, lossless format playback, including FLAC and DSD. The T-series does not have E-book reading, voice recording, FM radio, built-in memory or a built-in speaker. If the device you are considering has one or more of those features, you are looking at one of their consumer grade recorder/players at a lower price point and with a different chip/PCB solution.

    Personal Review

    As I have been commenting and answering questions about the Shenzhen Benjie BJ-T6/AGPtek Rocker in both the "Obscure Chinese DAPs" and "Benjie S5" threads, I thought it worthwhile to start a new thread that will allow specific comments and critiques from other users as well - http://www.head-fi.org/t/834797/the-shenzhen-benjie-bj-t6-agptek-rocker

    I am not an official representative of Shenzhen Benjie or AGPtek, just an early buyer of the BJ-T6 directly from Shenzhen Benjie in China in December, 2016. I have stayed in touch with them for firmware updates that have now enabled the full feature set of this DAP.




















    Shenzhen Benjie BJ-T6 - http://www.benjie-tx.com/MP3HiFiPlayer/224.html

    AGPtek Rocker - http://www.agptek.com/AGPtEK-ROCKER...solution-Lossless-Music-Player-966-126-1.html

    The T6/Rocker DAP is now available in the global market and sells for around US$60/EUR50/JP¥6,890. My early units came with only a micro-USB cord - no charger or earphones. Retail packaging includes a user manual.

    The DAP has a very solid metal case with some heft and absolutely no flex. This is a device than can survive drop impacts with no more than a paint scratch. You could probably drive a car over it and the case would not deform.

    Unfortunately, as solid as the metal casing is, it has notably sharp edges and corners, making the T6/Rocker less than comfortable in the hand and likely to be a wear point in pants or shirt pockets. A case that looks this sharp but that also is sharp is ultimately a poor design choice for a portable music player.

    (NOTE: A newer Version 2 AGPtek Rocker has been released that has more rounded case edges, so sharp edges are no longer an issue. Comment retained for reference only.)


    The unit has no rattles when shaken, the PCB is well anchored internally. The physical function buttons are easy to push and have a positive click. The metal case is finished semi-matte with a choice of black or silver finish, both look classy and would not be out of place on an executive's desk.

    The T6/Rocker has an on-off button and microSD slot on the left side, up and down volume buttons on the right side, micro-USB port and headphone/AUX jack on the bottom, nothing on the top or rear of the unit. The front has the TFT screen and a five way click selection pad.

    The TFT screen has a 128x160 resolution, which really is the low point of this otherwise capable hardware package. The hardware/software can drive a much higher resolution and a broad color gamut (24-bit color plus alpha channels) but the screen can't take advantage of that capability. The screen itself is smooth and shows reflections but that is not really a distraction in use. While the screen is backlit with adjustable brightness, off-axis viewing is washed out. Direct viewing is OK under most lighting conditions.

    While the metal casing is solid, the TFT screen material is made of a flexible plastic that bends when pressed, making it somewhat vulnerable to compression damage. The flexibility and bending strength of the screen means that it isn't going to shatter in a drop, but pushing hard on it will possibly damage both the screen and the PCB. Most people damage portable devices by dropping or sitting on them and the construction of the T6/Rocker really minimizes the likelihood of damage from those instances, but it would not be a good idea to carry the Rocker in a back pocket that also has keys in it.

    A TFT screen upgrade is the first thing I would recommend for a T6/Rocker successor build. It may be that this screen configuration was selected for a lower power draw, but I would prefer a few minutes less battery life and a nicer visual presentation, particularly as the DAP displays album art.

    High resolution visual displays are not what drives most of us to buy high fidelity audio equipment, it is all about the sound!

    I auditioned the T6 with Philips Fidelio L2, Grado SR225 and Sony MDR-CD1700 headphones, no IEMs. These headphones are all quite efficient and the T6 drove each of them to acceptable volume levels with no apparent distortion with both Hi and Low Gain settings. I also use Fostex PM-1 MkII monitors that are room EQ corrected and balanced through a Roland/Edirol M-16DX digital mixer for analytical listening and two separate Paradigm and Klipsch 5.1 setups that are EQ corrected and balanced with Audyssey MultEQ though a Denon AVR-2309CI receiver. I generally use a Fluance Fi50 for Bluetooth listening.

    No EQ was applied in my initial listening sessions but the T6 has a 10 band customizable EQ as well as eight EQ presets to adapt the output to your preferred sound profile. I am showing 34, 63, 125, 250, 500, 1K, 2K, 4K, 8K, 15K Hz frequency bands and a 6+/- dB adjustment range with V1.04Beta firmware.

    Playing well recorded 24BIT/96kHz FLAC and DSD files only, and in comparison with a non-Rockboxed Sansa Clip+ that was being used at the same time, also with no EQ, the sound seemed just a tiny bit rolled off in treble sparkle, bass was more detailed, mids more or less equivalent. I would describe the sound as detailed and neutral but not clinical.

    No hiss or noise floor perceived at all in my audition. However, one Head-Fi member and one teenager that I gifted with a BJ-T6 did mention that they heard a noise floor when a track is played and the volume is turned to zero. The noise was not heard when a file was not playing. This may indicate that the amp is turned on only when the unit is playing, thus preserving battery life but also indicating that the amp stage is not sufficiently isolated. Another owner commented that there is a soft "plopping" noise in switching between tracks. These observations have subsequently been confirmed by a few others, so please take that into consideration if you have "golden ears." [​IMG]


    Audio Format
    PCM
    DSD

    AAC
    AIF(AIFF)
    APPLE LOSSLESS
    APE
    FLAC
    OGG
    MP3
    WAVE
    WMA
    WMA LOSSLESS
    M4A
    DSF
    DSDIFF
    Bit Depth(bit)
    16
    16~24
    16~24
    16~24
    16~24
    16
    16
    16~2 4
    16~24
    16~24
    16~24
    1
    1
    Sample Frequency
    8~48K Hz
    8~192K Hz
    8~192KH
    z
    8~192 KHz
    8~192 KHz
    8~48 KHz
    8~48 KHz
    8~19 2KHz
    8~96K Hz
    8~96KHz
    8~192 KHz
    8KHz~ 2.8MHz
    8KHz~ 2.8MHz
    Supported Sample
    Frequency
    PCM Track: 8KHz~192KHz
    DSD Track: DSD64 Software Unlock
    Unsupported Format
    APE: Extra high up to 96K, insane not supported
    WAV: DTS 5.1 soundtrack not supported
    Not Support for ALL 64KHZ Sample Frequency



    1. 1.8 inch 128x160 resolution TFT screen (Note: A 128x160 color TFT screen is not a particularly high resolution. Considering how much capability there is in the hardware/software package, it is too bad the screen is so limited. It does show album art and scrolling file names. Adjustable for brightness, washes out with off-axis viewing but modestly legible in daylight.)

    2. Full zinc alloy die casting (Note: The case is very solid but corners and edges are sharp rather than rounded off, meaning it might wear pockets out and it is not particularly comfortable in hand. Think of it as a mini black monolith from "2001: A Space Odyssey."

    3. Supports 256GB external storage, no built-in memory (Note: Formatted and tested OK with 64GB SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC UHS-I) - Claimed capacity - 15,000 songs, 50 Playlists

    4. Bidirectional Bluetooth 4.0 CSR: receive and transmit (Note: Paired quickly with a couple of Bluetooth speakers that I have. Bi-directional Bluetooth is supported, tested Bluetooth streaming music from a Nexus 5X phone running Android 7.1.1 to a BJ-T6 running V1.04Beta firmware. However, could not stream from the T6 to the Nexus phone as the T6 defaults to a static BT connect screen and controls are not accessible.)

    5. Supports DSD format (Tested OK with Stereo DSD 64 2.8224Mbit/s)

    6. Lossless playback (AAC / AIF / Apple Lossless / APE / FLAC / OGG / WAVE / WMA Lossless / M4a / MP3 / WMA, at up to 192kHz/32bit) (Note: Tested OK with FLAC 24BIT/96kHz files.)

    7. Supports CUE and gapless playback (Note: Did not test yet.)

    8. Supports AUX OUT and 3.5mm earphone output (Note: Really solid physical connect with headphone jacks, did not try AUX IN)

    9. Battery capacity: 3.7V/600mAh, charging time: 2 hours, playing time around 40 hours by earphone (Note: Used only FLAC files driving several types of headphones, not IEMs or buds, and they have gone through only a couple of charging cycles, so I don't have a conclusion on battery life or efficiency as of yet, but showing close to 10 hours playback capability. Expect less if you are really driving this DAP with hard to decode files and lots of screen-on time, claimed 7 hours with Bluetooth play.)

    10. USB 2.0 high speed transfer slot (Note: Tested functional but don't have transfer rate at the moment.)

    11. Synchronous lyrics display (Note: Not tested for lyrics. Current firmware shows Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Japanese, English, French, German, Spanish, Russian and Italian language options, new firmware releases are adding languages.)

    12. IC solution: Ingenic X1000 (Note: Menu responsiveness and file loading of even large files is very quick. Specs can be found here - http://www.ingenic.com/en/?product/id/9.html)

    13. Size: 85*38*10mm / 3.37*1.58*0.4 inches

    14. Item Weight: 80g / 2.82 ounces

    At a US$50-60 price point the Shenzhen Benjie BJ-T6 is more than competitive in terms of component hardware and build quality. It is a compact powerhouse that offers excellent value for money spent.

    At the moment I can directly compare the T6 with a Fiio X3II, an xDuoo X2 and the SanDisk Sansa Clip+. All auditioned music files were in a variety of FLAC and 24bit mp3 formats saved on a 64GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card. I use 2L's HiRes Test Bench selections for consistency - http://www.2l.no/hires/ - but also have a further variety of favorite classical, jazz and EDM selections in FLAC for reference listening.

    OK, in comparison to some other DAPs -

    I recently purchased a Fiio X3II which I then updated to firmware V2.0. The Fiio is certainly a more sophisticated unit with mature firmware, albeit twice the size and weight and more than three times the price of the Benjie. No contest, the Fiio has a much more comprehensive and detailed UI. The Benjie's current UI is primitive in comparison, though it does have file organization essentials (Folders, Albums, Songs, Playlists, Genres, Artists, Favorites, Bookmarks, Recent,) a ten band EQ, high and low gain settings, etc. The T6 has Bluetooth, the Fiio does not. Without any EQing, the sound of the Fiio is more transparent/airy. I really appreciate the Fiio's quality and flexibility to adjust output but have thus far not opted for EQing in daily listening. Winner for classical and jazz - Fiio, pop and EDM - tied. The Fiio X3II really is at least two steps above the T6 overall, three if a solid UI is valued. However, with the T6 firmware update the sound quality might only be one level better with the Fiio, which would make the T6 quite the better value with the significant price differential. Time will tell as I need more of an opportunity to compare these or rather I need a teenager with better ears than I to let me know what he hears!

    I am just starting to listen critically to an xDuoo X2. Unlike the Fiio X3II, this DAP is more directly comparable to the T6 in relative size, UI simplicity and feature set. Ease of use is about the same for the two but the T6 can show album art, where the X2 cannot. No Bluetooth for the X2 either. The size, weight, rounded form factor and buttons of the X2 are better than the T6 for daily carry. The xDuoo is really a fun player and, un-EQ'd, I have grown to prefer it's bolder (higher amp'd) sound to the Sansa Clip+, but I now prefer the T6 with updated firmware in place. The X2 is also not directly comparable to the Fiio, I find the Fiio is better for classical, jazz and critical listening while I go to the xDuoo for EDM, house and the like. The T6 is somewhere in the middle in terms of sound definition. The T6 would definitely be at least a step upgrade to the xDuoo X2 at around the same price.

    The 8GB Sansa Clip+ is the lightest, most portable DAP I have and the most convenient for travel. It holds its own for features and a very simple and clear UI, but I now prefer to use the other DAPs when I don't care about extreme portability. The Sansa has an FM radio, which I do not use for music but found very useful in the past when there was breaking news, so you might find a benefit there as well. The Sansa does not have Bluetooth either. I have used the Clip+ for a number of years and it has always had great battery life and reliability. In comparison to the smooth contours of the Clip+ and even the xDuoo X2, the T6 has a very solid metal body with sharp edges which you will feel in hand or a pants pocket. Soundwise, the Sansa Clip+ comes in last in this comparison, the amping is weaker and this shows even when paired with the highly efficient IEMs and headphones that I use.

    Price, shape, weight and size notwithstanding, I would first choose the Fiio X3II for reasonably portable critical listening, then the current firmware version Benjie, then the xDuoo, and trailed by the Sansa Clip+.

    Other User Reviews (will add as I become aware of them):

    Lebellium (France) - http://www.tellementnomade.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=38&p=481279 Interesting comments about user interface and power to drive high impedence headphones. Reviewer also made extensive and excellent recommendations on having accurate/descriptive French language for the device menu in the Rockbox forums. Those recommendations are now under review by AGPtek and last word is that his translation will be incorporated in the next firmware release! Merci beaucoup!

    cqtek (Spain) - http://reproductormp3.net/index.php/topic,26101.30.html - compares the Rocker with AGPtek H1/Aigo MP3-108

    Amazon.com - With AGPtek selling the Rocker through a wide range of Amazon sites throughout the world (with the exception of China,) we are now seeing a number of generally positive user reviews posted. The U.S. Amazon site has the greatest number of user reviews in English.

    Request For Further Evaluations

    While I am not set up to do bench testing of the Benjie T6/AGPtek Rocker, I do hope someone on Head-Fi is and will eventually test the T6 to validate, clarify and amplify listener observations. I do rely on and recommend sites like RAA for this type of careful analysis. RAA is starting to evaluate current Benjie DAPs and though they have not committed to testing the Benjie BJ-T6 yet, do keep an eye out for when they might. In the meantime you can check out their currently tested devices here to have a baseline understanding of some of the DAPs I mention in my comments above -

    http://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/report/dac.php[/color]
      larry piencenaves and NeonHD like this.
    1. PJABBER
      PJABBER, Mar 17, 2017
      Markfm likes this.