Cozoy Takt C

General Information

Technical Specifications:
>Advanced Sabre DAC ES9018Q2C
>PCM Decoding up to 32-Bit/384kHz
>Native DSD support up to DSD256-11.2MHz
>4-Layers reinforced gold-plated PCB
>TCXO Crystal Oscillator
>Output Power: 28mW @ 32 ohms per channel
>USB Type-C Input
>Output Port: 3.5mm TRS Headphone jack
>Cable Length: 10CM
>CNC 6063 Aluminium Alloy Body
>Low Power Consumption Design

Cozoy TAKT C is a portable USB Type-C DAC/AMP that you can use easily with your smartphones, PC, Laptops, Digital Audio Players and more, the DAC/AMP is powered by a powerful DAC Chip from ESS Sabre technologies, the ES9018Q2C. The DAC offers high-grade audiophile quality sound output with crisp clarity.

Premium Internal Components:
The Cozoy TAKT C is loaded with premium quality components, a powerful DAC from Sabre technologies, ES9018Q2C, which is paired with 4 layers of gold-plated PCB, TCXO Crystal oscillators, collectively these premium components provide a noise-free, crystal clear sound output with crisp details. The DAC can decode PCM unto 32-Bit/384kHz, and DSD up to DSD256 natively, with great precision and great output quality.

The Sabre DAC features time-domain jitter eliminator technology which provides the users with noise and jitter-free sound output with a wider dynamic range and ultra-low distortion with a Signal to Noise ratio of 120dB.

CNC 6063 Aluminium Alloy:
The Cozoy TAKT C body is made up of CNC 6063 aircraft grade Aluminium Alloy, it doesn’t only provides a lightweight form factor to the DAC/AMP, but also gives a classy and elegant look to it. The Cozoy TAKT C has a strong and tough build. It is very small and lightweight you can easily carry it around with your smartphone in your pocket. The DAC/AMP has a screw less structure which gives it a premium and rich look.

Clean Circuit and Regulated Power Design:
The Cozoy TAKT C itself has no battery and an ultra-low power consumption design implemented in its DAC chip, it draws power through the source device and gives a cleaner and powerful sound output while keeping the power consumption low.

Audiophile Grade Sound Quality Anytime Anywhere:
The Cozoy TAKT C provides you with audiophile-grade premium sound quality anytime anywhere, you can just plug it into your smartphone while traveling and get lost into the world of premium hi-fi sound experience.

Package Contents:
>One Cozoy TAKT C DAC
>One User Guide

Latest reviews

Pros: great sound
convenient control
quite large power reserve
compact size
Cons: high price
strong heat
weak wire
Cozoy takt c.
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Hello everyone, I recently started to get acquainted with hi-fi sound.
I got acquainted with this device thanks to the HiFiGo store.
Appearance and equipment.
The oblong box is white.
Inside the device itself and a brief instruction in the form of a card.
The DAC itself is made of aluminum, it is quite compact, it contains:
Play button
Volume buttons.
All this adds convenience when using.
But the wire is thin and looks flimsy, unfortunately not disconnected, it will not work easily.
photo_2020-06-22_21-21-55 (2).jpg


In general, there are no complaints about the sound, here the engineers tried.
Low frequencies have good punch and subbass, there is no echo.
Mid frequencies are well-designed, good instrumental separation, vocals sound very lively.
Treble have a slight accent. They have a good length, decent resolution, better than even the already "popular" Esynic DAC, but the cost is not comparable.
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Conclusion: a rather convenient "whistle" with a very decent sound, in the cold winter it can warm well, as it is very hot.
There is also one factor that can scare away the buyer - the price, the device is not cheap, there are enough competitors in the market for the same or even lower price. Here it is up to everyone.
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Pros: Excellent value, High-quality build and connectors, Dynamic and refined sound with great driving power, Black background, Low output impedance
Cons: Doesn’t pass through mic or remote, Lightning version is more expensive
TLDR –

The Takt-C is a winning combination of great sound and unobtrusive form factor, now priced for all to enjoy.

Introduction –

Cozoy is a Hong Kong-based company with a vision for ultimate sonic performance and leading design. Though you’ll see very similar sentiments on just about every other company’s website, here, there is a lot of truth to be found. Cozoy has pursued some of the most unique and stunning designs in the industry. And yet, the Takt Pro defied this, while also representing everything the company stands for. This was a hyper-portable DAC/AMP with a gorgeous CNC aluminium design and excellent sound quality. Furthermore, it made no compromise in usability or price in the process. The Takt-C arrives hot on its heels, possessing identical same specifications but with a hard-wired USB-C cable as opposed to flexible micro-USB input. This comes alongside a substantial price cut with an RRP of $115 USD, less than half the price of its forebearer. You can read all about the Takt-C on Cozoy’s website and purchase one for yourself at HifiGO.



Disclaimer –

I would like to thank Nappoler from HifiGO very much for his quick communication and for providing me with the Takt-C for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the dongle free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.



Tech Specs –

DAC: SABRE 9018Q2C with time-domain jitter eliminator

TCO crystal oscillators inside

File support: Master file decoding up to 32bit 384KHz, native decoding DSD256-11, 289, 600 (11.2MHz)

Output power: 1.5V RMS@32Ω per channel, 28mW @ 32 ohms per channel

Housing material: 6063 Aluminium Alloy

Input power: depend on device

Input: USB Type-C

Output connector: 3.5mm TRS Stereo earphone

SNR: 120dB

Cable length: 10cm

Power supply design, without built-in battery



The Pitch –

Power supply


Cozoy have demonstrated themselves to be masters when it comes to power supply circuitry which is an often overlooked aspect of source design as it is hard to quantify on the spec sheet. When it comes to a device that is externally powered, such expertise is more important than ever. The Takt-C features a 4-layer PCB with gold-plated traces. It has a custom PSU with low ripple, asynchronous clock and six discreet voltage regulation circuits. This translates to a clean, low-distortion sound and greater isolation from noise generated by the source, especially in conjunction with its shielded aluminium housing.



Design –

The Takt Pro assumes the same design as its predecessor, so all positive comments made in that review translate here too. The Takt-C is just as compact, with a slender and unobtrusive form factor. The CNC milled 6063 aluminium housings feels relentless in the hand while maintaining an impossibly lightweight construction. The satin finish is immaculate, unmarred by screws and complimented by smooth and tapered transitions. The Takt-C logo is now laser engraved as opposed to printed, contributing to greater scratch resistance. There is but one key difference here besides a lighter coloured coat, the micro-USB port has been replaced with a fixed 6cm USB-C cable.

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As it’s fixed, it’s imperative that the cable itself has a solid construction and Cozoy deliver; with a smooth jacket, high-flexibility and just a little springiness. The strain relief on the type-C plug is excellent, identical to Cozoy’s expensive audiophile interconnect cables, while the connector itself assumes a high-quality extruded, gold-plated design. This ensures a more reliable connection than the majority that implement cheap, pressed metal connectors. Obvious consideration has gone into the design of the Takt-C to optimise both aesthetics, practicality and longevity.



Usability –

As above, the Takt-C is also functionally very identical to the Takt Pro before it but will be limited to USB-C devices in addition to USB-A with an adapter (not included). Functionality is straight-forward and intuitive, plug and play on both my Google Pixel 4 and Gigabyte Aero 15 running Windows 10. The dongle is powered by the source device and draws a fair amount of power. Though smartphones tend to be pickier in this regard, I had no issues with my Pixel, Samsung and HTC devices on hand. As the Takt-C does not pass through remote commands from the attached earphone, it employs physical controls on the dongle itself. All are metal, suiting its premium aesthetic with tactile action. The use of a volume rocker also aids easy identification of each button when in a pocket. I found that all buttons worked well on both Android and Windows apps such as Spotify and Foobar in my testing.

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Though most smartphone’s limit their output to 44.1KHz over USB, it is possible to take advantage of the Takt-C’s expanded decoding ability via third-party apps such as Poweramp. I experienced no dropouts and a stable connection with the dongle connected to my phone, even when placed in my pocket during commute. As such, the Takt-C is slightly less finicky than the Takt Pro as there are fewer variables to interrupt the connection. I experienced no pops when plugging in and unplugging the dongle with earphones connected. Background noise also wasn’t affected by CPU utilisation or radio activity when connected to my smartphone or laptop suggesting that it’s a well shielded and isolated design. Much like the Pro, the Takt-C’s higher power draw and small metal housings do permeate quite a bit of heat, though this never becomes uncomfortable to the hand or pocket.



Sound –

Small or large, there are fundamentals we expect from a good quality audiophile source, that being a linear frequency response, low output-impedance and an absence of hiss and interference. I’ll be analysing the performance of this dongle in isolation, then by comparison to competitors in its price and form factor to better establish price/performance and its best use cases.



Frequency Response –

Testing Methodology:
RMAA via Startech External Sound Card

Takt-C FR

The Cozoy Takt-C has a perfectly linear frequency response with no bass roll-off or other oddities. This suggests that it represents audio with great fidelity. Due to the quality of my sound card, I am unable to reliably test other measures such as distortion and crosstalk so they will be used as a personal reference only. Qualities here can also impact the sound as I will detail via subjective listening.



Output Impedance & Hiss –

Testing Methodology:
SPL volume matched comparison through an inline splitter to JDS Labs Atom + Khadas tone board to Campfire Audio Andromeda

The Cozoy Takt-C, like the Pro before it, has a sub-1.5-ohm output impedance given that I was not able to detect or measure any deviation in sound signature between the Atom and Takt-C with the highly source sensitive Campfire Audio Andromeda. This is an excellent result which ensures that the DAC/AMP will drive low-impedance multi-driver IEMs faithfully and without colouration. With regards to noise, Cozoy’s efforts with power supply have paid off in spades. There is zero hiss, even on the Andromeda which is especially prone in this regard too. I also didn’t note hiss scaling with volume or noise from the source such as EMI interference. Low volume listeners sensitive to background noise will love the Takt-C for its black background and this design is perfect for even the most sensitive IEMs.



Subjective –

While you can achieve excellent fidelity from even a modestly priced desktop setup, I don’t get such a generally positive impression from portable sources that tend to be less transparent about their specifications for good reason. That was not my impression with the Takt Pro and, luckily, the Takt-C follows suite. It’s simply a nice, clean sounding source. As always, this being a source with low output impedance and a linear frequency response, my sound analysis comments will be referring to the minutiae that cannot be compared to the differences between different earphones per say.

Testing Methodology: SPL volume matched comparison through an inline splitter to JDS Labs Atom + Khadas tone board to Custom Art Fibae 7 (flat impedance). Powered by Pixel 4 with Poweramp Pro via high-resolution output.

The Takt-C is a clean, transparent and delightfully musical portable source. ABing from reference sources such as the Atom setup and iBasso DX200 with AMP5 reveals very minimal colouration. Bass has excellent depth and drive for a dongle but does lack a hint of sub-bass weight compared to the aforementioned sources. Meanwhile, there’s a hint of warmth and fullness in the mid-bass, just a touch, that imbues a full, punchy and musical character. Despite a slightly warm leaning tone, both control and separation remain excellent and notes are highly defined. I attribute this to the Takt-C’s concise note attack alongside natural decay that contributes to excellent pace and timing and grants bass convincing dynamics and solidity.

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Such character continues through the midrange which extends linearly from the bass. Timbre is very accurate with realistic vocal size and positioning. There’s an uptick of both body and density to be observed counterbalanced by a clean tone that retains a high level of clarity and definition. The result is a gorgeous smooth and refined midrange presentation with great coherence and wholly resolved notes. I am especially enamoured by this presentation as dongles and small DAC/AMP combo devices rarely provide such a natural and resolving sound here. Even without scrutinising the minutiae, the Takt-C is simply an enjoyable listen.

The high-end keeps character with clean transients and an insightful lower-treble. Detail retrieval is strong with a slight crispness paired with smooth note attack which takes any sharpness out of its presentation. The result is slightly less micro-detail retrieval than more aggressive sources in return for a natural and well-textured image that still upholds a good level of energy and engagement. Instruments have ample body and texture with accurate shimmer and decay. Treble extends linearly before rolling off into the upper-treble. A clean transient response alongside a black noise floor permits an immaculate background which aids the directionality and dimension of its presentation. There isn’t quite the resolution, sparkle and background detail retrieval of a larger high-end source, but impressive balance between timbre and technical performance with none of the 9018Q2X fallibilities of earlier models.

And, as suggested, these qualities work much to the benefit of the Takt-C’s staging properties, boasting outstanding dimensions for its size. Again, the Takt-C doesn’t have quite the resolution of higher-end sources, but instruments fall away naturally to its dark, clean background, creating a sense of space that immerses if not enthrals. Meanwhile, a clean transient response and linear sound signature aid impressively stable imaging.



Driving Power–

NX Ears Opera (106dB, 18ohm):
A sensitive IEM with phase-coherent crossover producing excellent imaging. The Takt-C provided great bass kick with good drive and excellent pace. I hear an uptick of bass body paired with concise attack and excellent control enabling high definition overall. Mids are natural and linear, not too full-bodied despite the Opera already being warm leaning. Highs are well detailed, the slightly more energetic foreground is welcome given the Opera’s more laid-back image. Meanwhile, the background is jet black immaculate. The soundstage isn’t huge but has very immersive imaging, holographic with quick, highly clean transients. Zero hiss.

Final E5000 (93dB, 14ohm): This earphone requires a lot of power as it is a warm, bassy earphone with low-efficiency. My desktop setup provides a slightly quicker, cleaner low end with more information in the sub-bass. Still, the Takt-C provides great depth and solid slam if not the highest definition at the very bottom. Mid-bass remains very well-controlled and well-defined, bass is dynamic and tactile overall. Vocals are a touch warmer, but coherent and well-resolved. Highs are slightly smoother but retain good attack and detail retrieval. The background is black and well-extended fading into an expansive soundstage if lacking a little background detail. Imaging is sharp and precise while separation is slightly reduced due to increased warmth. Zero hiss.

Hifiman Sundara (94dB, 37ohm): The Sundara requires a good amount of volume but mostly a stable current output and low impedance as it’s a planar magnetic headphone. The Takt-C is surprisingly balanced here. As usual, I did miss a bit of sub-bass power and definition compared to my desktop setup, but there is solidity beyond most of my BT receivers and small DAPs. Furthermore, the mid-bass is well-controlled with both good presence and definition. This translates to a clean and linear midrange that is natural and resolving. The high-end also demonstrates good control with clean transients and defined layering. The desktop setup does yield noticeably more resolution here, with a bit more foreground detail retrieval and greater air. That said, the soundstage expansion is very good for a portable source and the dynamic range is very impressive on a whole. Zero hiss.

Suggested Pair-ups

HifiGO quote a power output of 28mW per channel into a 32-ohm load. That may sound paltry compared to a dedicated DAP, but it’s higher than most portable DAC/AMPs and receivers, easily substantial enough to drive basically any IEM in addition to portable headphones. Also note that this is a per-channel specification so it is almost double the power offered by most products in its class. Of course, the Takt-C was never intended to drive full-size headphones, though here too, the results may surprise you. There isn’t the drive of a desktop amp but convincing dynamics and balance remains. The Takt-C likely won’t leave you wanting on either power or volume for any earphone or portable headphone and will do in a pinch for larger gear if not representing the absolute ideal in that regard.



Comparisons –

DD TC35B ($40):
The TC35B is a fine sounding source in its own right but invariably focusses more on form factor and accessible pricing over outright sound quality. The Takt-C is a more focussed device, boasting a lower noise floor and output impedance and bringing immediately greater dynamic range. Both are surely very balanced yet, even from flat-impedance earphones, I perceive the Takt-C as more linear, transparent and resolving throughout.

There’s better drive to the low-end with more sub-bass extension and definition; these qualities also continue through the midrange where there is better note resolution. Meanwhile, the top-end is more detailed with better extension and resolution, producing a much cleaner background and a larger soundstage. Altogether, a grander and more involving sound yet one that is never artificially enhanced in any way.

Zorloo ZuperDAC-S ($89): Slightly cheaper and sharing the same DAC chip, the ZuperDAC-S also sports a minute form factor but with micro-USB input like the pricier Takt Pro. Both the Takt-C and ZuperDAC-S have very linear, resolving presentations, an essentially black noise floor and a low output impedance so they are fundamentally very good options at this price range. I hear a touch more sub-bass weight from the Zorloo granting it slightly thicker bass notes while the Takt-C is cleaner and more defined. The Takt-C has smoother note attack while the Zorloo is more aggressive and harder hitting.

The Takt-C has a slightly more refined midrange, it is denser and more tonally transparent where the Zorloo has a hint of warmth but also a touch less note resolution. The high-end tells a similar story, the Zorloo being slightly more aggressive and crisp but also thinner, the Takt-C being more smoothly articulated but also more natural in timbre. The Takt-C also has noticeably better extension with more resolution and background detail. This works to the benefit of its similarly larger soundstage.

Cozoy Takt Pro ($289): At a considerable price premium, the Takt Pro has identical specifications with the only difference being the design. I would also suggest that there aren’t any sonic changes as, when volume matched through an in-line splitter, I could not detect even the slightest difference between the two. The Takt-C brings the same refined, musical and resolving sound at less than half the price. To my ear, the Takt-C also punches above its price class so spending more for the Takt-Pro does not necessarily make it a poor value investment.

Still, it only makes sense if you don’t have a USB-C device or want one DAC/AMP that will interface with multiple devices. The Takt-C very much supersedes the Pro with its considerably more aggressive pricing and it’s very good to see that Cozoy haven’t diluted the listening experience in the process.

JDS Labs Atom + Khadas Tone Board (~$200): The desktop setup provides excellent value, both boasting outstanding measurements that are confirmed by a transparent and dynamic real world listen. The setup provides more sub-bass extension and power but also higher control with more bass note definition and higher separation. The presentation isn’t bassier, instead, there is simply more bass as it is deeper reaching.

The midrange presentation is actually quite similar, there’s a slightly cleaner tone on the desktop setup in addition to a hair more note resolution. Up top, the comparison reflects the bass, with the desktop setup being more detailed, albeit similarly articulated which makes the Takt-C a very convincing listen on its own. That said, the desktop stack has notably more resolution and background detail, boasting greater soundstage expansion and more involving imaging.

Fiio M7 ($129): I think it’s also important to keep in mind that, for just $10 more, Fiio are offering a full DAP package with the same ESS DAC chip and full Android touchscreen interface. There are obviously clear distinctions between the use cases for both devices that will be up to the buyer such as wanting a dedicated device for the car/workout or wanting to save battery life on your smartphone. The M7 also supports USB audio out so it can serve as a UI to a better audio implementation. But from a sonic standpoint, the results do intrigue. Both sport a low output impedance and low noise floor.

Both sound very similar. Sub-bass extends identically and both have a close presentation. The Takt-C has a slightly fuller note structure through the mid-bass and more concise attack making it a bit more defined and detailed. Through the midrange, this character continues, both are quite tonally transparent, the Takt-C is a touch fuller and warmer while the M7 is instead denser. The Takt-C has slightly higher note resolution. Up top, the M7 is crisper and less extended while the Takt-C is smoother and more natural with a darker background and higher resolution. The M7 has a touch more soundstage width while the Takt-C has more depth. The Takt-C comes across as a bit more refined and musical, the imaging is a bit more stable too.



Verdict –

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I was a big fan of the Takt Pro, even at its substantially higher price tag. However, that was a few years ago and the market has since come far. Though I am not one to live and die by measurements, I do admire how they have empowered buyers/reviewers in such a way that manufacturers can no longer get away with subpar products. As such, the vast majority perform to a good standard. So, instead of reinventing the wheel here, Cozoy has instead reinvented their pricing and to great effect. At just 37% of the Pro’s price, the Takt-C brings an identical sonic performance. That means versatile driving power, a refined, resolving sound with great musicality and a stunning form factor that is easily among the most premium on the market. I’m sure some may have concerns over a fixed cable while others may argue that a full player could be had for little more. Still, the Takt-C is a winning combination of great sound in an unobtrusive form factor perfect to invigorate a pre-existing portable audio setup, and it is now priced for all to enjoy.

The Takt-C is available from on HifiGo (International) for $109 USD at the time of writing. I am not affiliated with HiFiGO or Cozoy and receive no earnings from purchases through this link.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed my review, please see my website for more just like it!
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Pros: Fairly neutral, detailed signature; somewhat cold though – Clean background with sensitive iems – Attractive design with impressive fit and finish
Cons: Flimsy cable – Gets uncomfortably hot – Tiny volume rocker leads to lots of mispresses; not nice to interact with – Not sure about value
Greetings,

Today we’re tackling another unit in the growing dongle army, this time from Cozoy, the Takt C.

Cozoy was founded in 2014, making a name for themselves through the offering of distinctively designed products with performance that matched their bold look. The Takt lineup has actually been around for a couple years now and was initially composed of the Apple Lightning equipped Takt, and more universal Takt Pro. The Takt C is the newest member of the family, sharing its DNA/specifications with the Takt Pro, but for the Takt C Cozoy replaced the micro-USB port for a fixed Type-C cable. They also priced the Takt C much more competitively at 115 USD versus the 289 USD of the Takt Pro.

I’ve been testing this device for the past few weeks and have some words to share about it. Let’s stop wasting time and dive right in…

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Packaging …to the most important part, the packaging!!!! This is everyone’s favourite section and probably the most important part of any review, so I made sure to put it right at the beginning.

The Takt C comes in a bright white, elongated lift top box. On the front is an image of the device with the brand name and some product info, such as support for DSD and that it is for use with USB Type-C devices. On either side of the lid you find the Takt C model name. Flipping to the back you find a paragraph telling you about the device, some bullet points with products highlights, and a simple specifications table. Lifting off the lid reveals the Takt C set tightly within a foam insert and a user manual in the form of a small card (English on one side, Mandarine on the other).

And that’s it. About as basic and straightforward as it gets.

Build and Ergonomics The Takt C is made from AL6063 aircraft-grade aluminum and features the edgy, modern styling we have come to expect from the Cozoy brand. All writing is laser etched into the body of the device so you won’t have to worry about it rubbing off. Extra attention was given to the model name on the back which is highly reflective, looking pretty snazzy when it catches the light. The machining quality is excellent with smooth edges and a neat, uniform finish. All the buttons fit into their respective slots with impressive precision and depress with a satisfying, tactile “snick”. There is no wiggling or slop to worry about. That said, despite having average sized hands, I found the buttons too small, particularly the volume rocker. It is only about 12mm long and 1.5mm wide meaning it is very easy to press both buttons at the same time.

The cable is refreshingly well-relieved for a product of this type, both at the main body of the Takt C and leading to the Type C plug. The cable itself is quite flexible though with a plush feeling sheath that ends up bending sharply and kinking at the strain relief if you let it dangle. This puts extra strain on the Type C plug at the phone as well as the Takt’s cable, so I really don’t expect it to last very long the way most people treat their gear. Less of an issue when paired to a laptop where the Takt C is laying on the table beside it, but when going portable with a phone or DAP I’m not a fan.

Another area of concern is with how hot the Takt C gets. The XDuoo Link and Radsone HUD100 develop some warmth, but nothing quite like the Cozoy. If I opt to avoid the potential cable longevity issues that come with letting it stick out of my pocket, I instead have to deal with a sweaty leg and overly warm phone since it’s now tucked into a confined, insulated area with a miniature heater. Thank goodness the Takt C is aluminum, I can only imagine how warm it would get if made from a material less effective at dispersing heat.

Overall, good looking with a nicely built shell and questionable cable, along with subpar ergonomics and potential heat issues. As something to accommodate a phone or DAP, I can’t help but be disappointed with the way the Takt C handles. Fine for pairing with a laptop or tablet though.

Note: I ran into the occasional glitch where when reducing the volume, the Takt C would randomly crank the volume in the left channel and reduce it in the right to being barely audible. Fixing this required unplugging it and plugging it back in. Not fun when you are someone that typically listens at very low volumes.

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Sound Contained within the Takt C is Sabre’s ES9018Q2C DAC. I’m sure that’ll excite someone, but frankly I don’t care what’s inside as long as it doesn’t sound like dirt. Physical shortcomings aside, the Takt C performs well and sounds great, if not a tad cold and clinical at times.

I found end-to-end extension to be excellent. There was no dearth of sub-bass when pairing the Takt C with something like the Shozy Form 1.4 or Campfire Audio Cascade, nor was the excellent treble extension of the TinHifi P1 or Hifiman RE800 Gold restrained.

Texture and clarity were also strengths where notes were very well defined with good space between them. They sounded plenty crisp and retained excellent control. It was so good it actually managed to reign in the mild splashiness heard on something like the KB EAR Diamond, though it won’t fix something as loose as the piezo driver in the NiceHCK NX7. This also lead into great layering and separation qualities which enabled the Takt C to showcase the large sound stages found on products like the TFZ Exclusive 3 and Campfire Audio Andromeda.

Where the Takt C lost me occasionally was in the warmth, or lack thereof, in it’s presentation. It’s general sound is slightly cool and sterile with just a bit of heat being injected into the mids and upper bass. Male vocals are fine but female vocals really benefit and end up sounding like the more natural of the two. Everything else has a somewhat hard, digital edge to it that is great for highlighting detail and other technical aspects.

Overall I find the Takt C a very capable device. It does a great job with detail and clarity, element separation and definition, and with end-to-end extension. It’s just not the most organic and natural sounding device, reproducing music in a somewhat cold, sterile way.

Select Comparisons

XDuoo Link (49.99 USD): The Takt C is a much nicer sounding Type C dongle than the Link in my opinion. It has a more balanced sound with less warmth thanks to the extra midbass the Link adds. That is exaggerated further by less end-to-end extension than the Takt C that draws focus to mid and upper bass regions. The Takt C also provides more texture to your bass making the Link sound smeared in comparison. The Cozoy’s midrange isn’t as smooth or natural, but clarity and detail are superior when compared to the Link. Treble sound superior out of the Takt C as well thanks to a leaner presentation with greater note separation that also happens to broaden and deepen the sound stage. The Link ends up feeling a little compressed in comparison.

Build and usability are where the Link earns its keep compared to the Takt C. The main body of the device is also made from aluminum and while not as stylish, is just as well constructed. The Link’s button are larger and more prominent, especially the volume rocker which is much longer (~19mm) with better differentiated ends. Mispresses on the Link are very rare. The Link’s cable is are superior in my opinion. It is thicker and less flexible, bending evenly and without the questionable kinks the Cozoy produces at the entrance to the strain relief. Lastly, while the Link does get a little warm, it is nowhere near a hot as the Cozoy and as a result isn’t uncomfortable to have sitting in your pocket.

When it comes to features, the two go tit for tat. They provide the same physical controls. They have very comparable specs and offer the same sample rate support. The Link is ever so slightly more power but at the expense of background noise. They are about the same size and weight. I tried to measure approximate power consumption but that went nowhere thanks to my own shortcomings. I don’t think it’s a negative on either though since I never found myself charging source devices more often; ex. once every two days with my LG Q70.

While the Takt C is unquestionably the better sounding device of the two, it is not enough to overcome the price premium (over double), the delicate cable, the poor physical controls, or the intense heat generation, in my opinion. The Link sounds good enough, and is nicer to use. If all you care about is sound quality, then obviously go for the Takt C, but for everyone else the Link at around or under 50 USD is a great buy.

Radsone Earstudio HUD100 (169.99 USD): The Takt-C has the benefit of being half the size and a DAC/amp with volume and basic media controls. Both are very well-built with durable aluminum shells, but the removable cables that come with the HUD100 feel like they were made to a higher standard than the fixed cable of the Takt-C. The fact that they are removable also enables greater versatility and longevity for the HUD100.

The Takt-C provides nowhere near the driving power of the HUD100, unable to push the same high impedance, low sensitivity products as well. As such it is best suited to earphones and portable headphones. While the Takt-C has an impressively black background that matches the HUD100’s standard output (besting the high-output port in noise), the sound quality is a noticeable step up on the HUD100.

The Takt-C keeps up with the HUD100 in terms of clarity and detail with near equal as impressive end-to-end extension, but it sounds somewhat cold, sterile, and artificial after a/b’ing them. The Takt-C also lacks the high-output mode and sound profiles/filters of the HUD100.

In terms of extras the Takt-C includes nothing while the HUD100 gives you multiple cables and a protective case. In my opinion, the 54 USD premium the HUD100 demands (going off the MSRP for each) goes a long way, giving you a slew of useful features and handy accessories. It feels even better knowing that to get a removable cable option with the Takt lineup you need to step up to the also well-reviewed Takt Pro. It is virtually identical to the Takt-C minus the removable cable and a 174 USD price jump to 289 USD.

LG Q70 (565.00 CAD): Since people rarely compare dongles to their smart phone, I figured I’d toss out some fast and loose thoughts. Obviously I’m not going to discussion features and build, etc. since one is a USB accessory and the other a feature rich smartphone.

In terms of signature the two pretty much mirror each other. The Q70 has the same, slightly cold presentation style with some warmth injected via a fairly mild midbass bump. The big difference comes in refinement. Everything sounds a tad rough and almost grainy straight out of the Q70 when compared to the Takt C. Treble isn’t quite a well controlled either, bring with it a bit more splash from the Q70. Bass is pretty even though, with both reproducing deep notes with aplomb.

Driving power is another area the Takt C makes sense. While I don’t find it great with really hard to drive gear, you need less notches on the volume dial to get the Takt C up to volume compared to the Q70. That does bring to mind a minor issue I have with the Cozoy, which is low volume listening. With a lot of my earphones the lowest volume is still a bit too loud when I’m listening in quiet areas. Not a problem for most people.

Is the Takt C worth buying if you’re just going to pair it with a smartphone like the Q70? For most people, probably not. But then again, products like this aren’t for just anybody. If you want to improve the sound out of your smartphone, it’s very likely the Takt C will offer exactly what you need, even if the improvements aren’t stratospheric.

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Final Thoughts If you’ve read the review and made it this far, you’ll know why I have mixed feelings about the Takt C. If you just skipped to this section for a basic rundown, well here it is.

On the upside the Takt C is a small, well built device with a great sound signature and a black background that makes pairing it with sensitive earphones a reality. I love how it looks and I enjoy how it sounds. On the downside, the volume rocker is far too small, the device gets uncomfortably hot, and I suspect the somewhat flimsy cable will give out fairly quickly if you’re not careful. While these may sound like minor qualms, I’ve been using the thing nearly everyday for a month and those minor qualms haven’t gotten any less qualmy over time.

From a value proposition it doesn’t make a strong case for me either. The XDuoo Link is less than half the price and sure, it doesn’t sound as good, but it sounds good enough and is much more pleasant to use. The Radsone HUD100 is ~55 USD more than the Cozoy but it sounds better and is a more flexible product due to the twin 3.5mm outputs with differing power outputs. The implementation of a removable cable is also nice, something you have to pay a massive premium for in the Takt lineup. The absence of physical controls on the HUD100 isn’t much of a loss either since most DAPs and phones have external controls located in basically the same spot as you’ll find the Takt when using it; your pocket or that general vicinity. Plus you’ll need to take your source out of your pocket to change tracks with either of these DAC/amps anyway since you don’t get anything more advanced than play/pause (on the Takt and Link, nothing on the HUD100).

Unlike others I don’t put sound on a pedestal so high that it overrides all other flaws. Sound is just one of many aspects that I find important. So while overall I like the Takt C and think it’s a good device, I simply find it a hard sell. Its cons aren’t fully outweighed by its pros. If all you care about is getting the best sound for your dollar and everything else is incidental, then absolutely check it out. You’ll have a great time. If you want more out of your device than that, save a few bucks for a slightly worse sound but a much better user experience with the Link, or spend a bit more for the (imo) far superior HUD100 and its improved sound and plethora of useful features.

Thanks for reading!

– B9

Disclaimer A big thanks to Nappoler with Hifigo for asking if I would be interested in covering the Takt C, and for sending a copy for the purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are my subjective opinions based on almost a month of use, and do not represent Cozoy, Hifigo, or any other entity. At the time of writing the Takt C was retailing for 115 USD but could be picked up on sale for 109.25 USD: https://hifigo.com/products/cozoy-takt-c-portable-headphone-amp-32bit-384khz-dsd-hifi-decoder

Devices Used For Testing Asus FX53V, LG Q70, Shanling M0, Shozy Form 1.4, Tinhfi P1, Hifiman RE800, Hifiman Sundara, Campfire Audio Cascade, KB EAR Diamond, NiceHCK NX7

Specifications
– Advanced Sabre DAC ES9018Q2C
– PCM Decoding up to 32-Bit/384kHz
– Native DSD support up to DSD256-11.2MHz
– 4-Layers reinforced gold-plated PCB
– TCXO Crystal Oscillator
– Output Power: 28mW @ 32 ohms per channel
– USB Type-C Input
– Output Port: 3.5mm TRS Headphone jack
– Cable Length: 10cm
– CNC 6063 Aluminum Alloy Body
– Low Power Consumption Design

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