Cyrus One HD

Maelob

1000+ Head-Fier
Great All-rounder for Speakers and Headphones
Pros: Way above average speaker and headphone amp
Balanced sound
Good Dynamics
Value punch above class
Cons: Volume control resets to 0 when turning off
No remote - There is an app for that
Small source indicators (there is an app for that too)
Bright LEDs
I guess now is its my turn for a review on the Cyrus One HD. Thanks to Robert from Amerricahifi for the opportunity to review this unit. This was a good experience for me since this is my first review of anything. I would like to say that I don't really envy the job of reviewers it is definitely tougher than i thought. Also now I understand the whole pain of packaging and the condition of boxes. The poor box will probably be unrecognizable when it gets back to America HIFI.

As far as the review goes, I won’t go into details of specs, usually people will do their own research for specs. But what people wants to find out is how it sounds.

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Bottom line upfront- The unit sounds great with both Headphones and Speakers in a desktop environment. This will definitely be a great all around unit for somebody looking for a one box solution. Now, I honestly feel like i really wasted lot of money in getting a 5k Tube amp. Now I understand all the craziness in this hobby where we keep spending and spending and at the end what you gain is minimal.

Equipment - I mainly used the ONE in a desktop set up connected to a Schiit Bitfrost 2 DAC via SE connection. I compared the unit to an LTA Z-10 (5K USD) integrated tube amp.
Source - TIDAL -IMAC- IFI I galvanic - bitfrost 2 - ONE
I compared to the Z-10 also conected to the Bitfrost via XLR.
Headphones - ZMF VERITE, and Sony ZIR
Speakers - Mark Sota Cesti MB bookshelf speakers

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Build Quality -Ergonomics
I love the look of the amp with the half size, always been a fan of Cyrus since i started reading Brit HIFI MAGS such as Hifi Choice and What HIFI - Cyrus products would always get great reviews. Nice heft and solid chassis. Not a big fan of the glossed face since the led reflects on it making it hard to see. I can hardly see the inputs on my desk but to be honest i am not switching outputs so no big deal. Also I didn’t use the remote app. Overall seems like good quality.

Music - These are some of the tracks and records I used - Bill Friselll (You only Live Twice), Billie Eilish (No time to Die), Peter Frampton Comes Alive (Do you feel like I do), Gogo Pinguin (Murmurs), Henri Texier Les La-bas, Beethoven The Symphonies Ricardo Chailly -Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - some modern pop indie, Twenty One Pilots, Saint Motel and Green Day (Brain Stew) - plus many more

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Sound Impressions - Based on this experience I think sometimes in this hobby reviewers dont really highlight that sometimes differences in equipment are really really minimal especially when referring to amps. So dont expect to hear destroy, or night and day thing.

After listening for two weeks to the ONE and the LTA-Z10 I was shocked about how little difference between these two amps, I was not expecting this to be honest. The LTA is 5K and I am still paying my credit card.

HEADPHONE AMP - The main reason I bought the LTA amp was because of the great headphone amp performance with great reviews. I alway wanted a high end Tube amp and I bought it blind. Moving to the ONE not kidding I was in shock, the tonality of both amps were very very close. Didn’t notice any major changes in soundstage, I kept going back and forth and I could not believe it. By the way I have really good hearing had my ears tested a year ago.

I would call the ONE headphone amp really well rounded balanced sound, good detail, good punch quiet background. But nothing overly done. Like i said when using my LTA as a reference, they are very close. I wrote on my notes, that i would probably would have a hard time doing a blind testing between the two amps. It is that good in my opinion. Good overall balance sound. Dont think this amp gets in the way of the headphones. Both the ZMF and Sony sounded really good. The only thing that LTA did better was the 3d sense, slightly more tactile and natural like been there feeling but like i said very very minimal. I am questioning why I needed to spend all that money. Unless you are planning to get the most inefficient headphones out there, this is a great solution. I would be happy with this unit to drive my current headphones.

SPEAKER AMP -

Since I am using in a desktop set up, I am a fan of nothing overly done that can get tiring. Thats what I like about the Cesti MB speakers they are somewhat little recessed non fatiguing but great imaging and soundstage and a warmish tonality. As a background I've have used over the years Mini Maggies, Audience The One and ATC speakers. For amps I have used over the years include - BEL CANTO, Emotiva, Mcintosh, PS audio S-300. Most recently the LTA Z-10 (only 14 watts) but I really like it, very detailed but non fatiguing sound, natural sounding.

Shifting to the ONE, the differences were more noticeable than the headphone amp. I found the ONE to also have very good balanced sound, good punch, nothing overly done. Highs were detailed and had more splash than the LTA amp but still within the non fatiguing sound. Really good detail on the bass and faster than the LTA, very well controlled. This is one of the weakness of the LTA amp, as far as midrange the ONE was really great. Very good vocal clarity. I was really impressed with Vocals - also imaging was really good and good soundstage. The LTA has a somewhat more delicate sound and the 3d tactile aspect was more noticeable on the LTA but again not really a night a day type of thing. If i had only the ONE i would not even care honestly.

In closing, If i had to do it all over again the ONE would be in my top 3 list for a good all around one and done one box solution. This is great overall performer, highly recommended.
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adydula
adydula
"Sound Impressions - Based on this experience I think sometimes in this hobby reviewers dont really highlight that sometimes differences in equipment are really really minimal especially when referring to amps. So dont expect to hear destroy, or night and day thing.

After listening for two weeks to the ONE and the LTA-Z10 I was shocked about how little difference between these two amps, I was not expecting this to be honest. The LTA is 5K and I am still paying my credit card."

Gosh this SO! refreshing to hear absolutely agree here.....so little differences in amps......unless your on the extreme edges and totally mismatched in impedance etc.

tutetibiimperes

100+ Head-Fier
Versatile and compelling, with unfortunate flaws
Pros: Excellent performance as speaker amp
Better than expected performance as headphone amp
Versatile with many inputs
Great build quality
Well-thought-out app
Easy to use
Cons: Syncing/Clock issue when paired with streaming and Bluesound Node 2i
No physical remote control
No balanced inputs or balanced headphone output
Lack of power to drive current-hungry headphones
Creates an audible popping sound in speakers when turned on
Dimensions are awkward
Lack of balance control on headphone output
Questionable value compared to the Cyrus One and Cyrus One Cast
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First of all thank you to American HiFi for sponsoring this product tour.


Source Gear
  • Bluesound Node 2i with Apple Music and FLAC rips on USB (source for both chains)
  • RME ADI-2 DAC (headphone chain)
  • MiniDSP DDRC-22D Dirac Processor (speaker chain)
  • Emotiva PT-100 Preamp (speaker chain)
Comparison Gear
  • MassDrop THX AAA 789 Headphone Amp (headphone chain)
  • Crown XLS 1502 Speaker Amp (speaker chain)
Speakers
  • Infinity Intermezzo 4.1t
Headphones Tested With Cyrus OneHD
  • Beyerdynamic T1.2
  • ZMF Auteur Wenge
  • Audeze LCD-3
  • Audeze EL-8 Titanium
  • Hifiman HE6se
  • Grado PS1000e
  • Sony MDR-MA900

Overview

As someone who runs a speaker setup and a headphone setup in the same room the possibility of reducing clutter and finding a 'one device to rule them all' solution is always compelling. In many ways the Cyrus OneHD comes close to being that device, and performance in many ways exceeded my expectations. However, a number of usability issues, bugs, and shortcomings ultimately means this isn't the device to do that for me.

With a powerful speaker amp section, a wide variety of inputs (both analog and digital), and an innovative take on headphone amplification from an integrated amp that allows the full power of the speaker amp power supply to be directed into a separate Class AB headphone amp there are many things to like about the Cyrus OneHD.

Build

Solidly build out of metal with two large knobs and high-quality feeling binding posts, the OneHD feels like a high quality product. It comes packed extremely well - double boxed with form-fitting inserts to keep it from jostling on its way to your door.

The dimensions are a bit odd - it's very narrow while also being very deep. Because of that it hung over both the back and front of my audio rack (see photo below) and because of the narrow dimensions the inputs on the rear are closer together than would be preferred for ease of use in connecting/disconnecting gear (though in a non-review setting that likely wouldn't be an issue as you'd 'set it and forget it').

Making the unit wider-but-shallower would also allow for space to include XLR inputs on the rear and an XLR headphone jack on the front, potentially with more power to be able to drive more power-hungry headphones.

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Speaker Amp Performance

My favorite thing about the Cyrus OneHD was it's excellent performance as a speaker amp. It's powerful, punchy, has an incredibly low noise floor, and easily trounced my Crown XLS 1502 in terms of audio quality. I hadn't realized how much my XLS 1502 was holding my speakers back until I hooked up the OneHD - it was a revelation how much clearer the sound became and how imaging and soundstage improved. Despite having considerably less wattage than the Crown amp, I found that at even 50% of the volume knob my Infinitys were much louder than I'd ever need in my listening room. I can heartily recommend the Cyrus OneHD as a speaker amp.

Headphone Amp Performance

Most receivers and integrated amps with headphone jacks just include one as an afterthought with very little time spent optimizing the quality of the experience for headphones. It's clear that the Cyrus team went above and beyond there, however, building-in a dedicated Class AB headphone amp that pulls power from the main transformer that normally drives the speaker taps.

I found that the OneHD performed best with high-impedance dynamic headphones. There's a certain warmth and richness to the sound, though it's thankfully not syrupy or blurred as one might get from an inexpensive tube amp or tube hybrid. I've never heard my Beyerdynamic T1.2s sound as good as they did from the OneHD - the stellar imaging that the T1.2s are known for was in full effect, with an extremely natural tone devoid of any sibilance or harshness in the treble. Likewise my ZMF Auteurs loved the OneHD, with strong meaty bass, powerful transient attacks, and an open natural sound.

Lower impedance dynamic headphones like the Sony MDR-MA900 and Grado PS1000e didn't seem to gain as much from the OneHD as the aforementioned ones, but they still sounded as good as they do from my THX 789.

Where it didn't stack up well was with power-hungry planars. While the LCD-3 is relatively high efficiency for a planar, the OneHD didn't seem to be able to drive it with the same quick attacks and slam as the THX 789, and the Hifiman HE6se fell apart on the Cyrus - with a sound that was loose and muddy. The Audeze EL-8s, however, which are designed to be run from mobile sources, worked extremely well with the Cyrus OneHD, sounding considerably better than they do running off of my iPhone, with deeper and more pronounced bass and a more present and lifelike midrange.

Usability Issues

This is ultimately where the unit didn't live up to what I'd want for something I'd purchase myself. While the Cyrus app works very well, it's nowhere near as convenient as a physical remote control that can be operated without having to pick up the phone or tablet or switch screens/apps while using other apps while listening. Strangely, both the lower-model in the One series, the Cyrus One, and the one above this, the Cyrus One Cast, both come with physical remote controls. The choice by Cyrus not to include one with the OneHD is baffling makes usability suffer.

On a positive note, the app does allow you to change the brightness of the front-facing LEDs (the default value is eye-searingly bright, unfortunately), as well as to quickly change inputs. I like the idea of an app to delve into deeper settings, but a basic remote that allows for volume and input changes should be included.

I ran into an issue with the built-in DAC while using my Bluesound Node 2i with Apple Music. When connected to the Cyrus OneHD via the coaxial digital input the OneHD would seem to lose sync whenever a new album would begin, and sometimes in the middle of an album, resulting in the sound stuttering and cutting in and out for 30 seconds or so before eventually beginning to play smoothly. Oddly this did not happen when using the Node 2i to play FLAC rips off of a USB stick plugged into the back of it. This behavior isn't present in either my RME ADI-2 DAC or the built-in-DAC in the Emotiva PT-100. I do not have any other devices with ESS DACs, so I don't know if it's an issue endemic to ESS or just Cyrus's implementation of it. Once it did 'sync' and begin to play freely the built-in DAC did sound lovely, however.

Upon connecting the app to the unit with a headphone plugged in you will be greeted by a message stating that balance control is not available on the headphone output. Again, this is a baffling omission as being able to adjust balance is even more important on headphones than speakers - being able to correct for slight channel imbalances in headphones (or for one's own hearing) would be a welcome addition.

The unit also creates a 'pop' or 'thud' sound in the connected speakers every time it's turned on - even if headphones are connected first before the unit is powered on. Some sort of soft-power-on feature would be much appreciated as it's disconcerting to hear one's speakers pop every time you turn on the amp.

Comparisons

vs Crown XLS 1502


There's really no comparison here, the OneHD is a far superior speaker amp to the Crown, there was absolutely no area of sound where the OneHD wasn't notably audibly superior.

vs Massdrop THX AAA 789

This is a tougher comparison as the OneHD beats the 789 in terms of 'organic' or 'natural' sound, but lacks the same amount of power that the THX AAA 789 has. Head-to-head I'd say that the THX 789 has more overall detail and more pronounced treble articulation, but there was a certain je ne sais quoi to the sound of the OneHD when driving the T1.2 or Auteur that made me clearly prefer it to the THX 789 for those headphones. For headphones that can benefit from copious amounts of power, however (or for those that demand it) the THX 789 took the lead.

Conclusions

My time spent with the Cyrus OneHD was both enlightening and frustrating. There are things about the OneHD that I absolutely loved (speaker amp capability, sound of the headphone amp with the cans that worked well with it), things that made me wonder why they weren't addressed in the development process (balance control for headphones, the popping sound when powered on, the lack of a remote), and things that made me want to start pulling my hair out (the syncing issue when using the internal DAC from my Node2i as a streaming source).

Ultimately while the performance was above expectations for the things it does well, the usability concerns would make it a no-go for me. The step-up unit Cyrus One Cast would seem to be the more compelling option - with integrated support for a number of streaming services without having to resort to lossy Bluetooth and with a physical remote it would solve two big issues, though as someone with a variety of headphones, some of which need more power than the unit can produce, I believe it would still ultimately fall short. Perhaps in the future Cyrus may want to offer a unit that can redirect the full power of the speaker amps through the headphone jack (preferably with an XLR connection) similar to what Schiit does with the Ragnarok.

ngoshawk

Headphoneus Supremus
Cyrus Audio ONE HD: A multi-versed masterpiece
Pros: Build
Functionality
Affordable
Sound is at or near the top of class
Cons: Not well known?
Volume contro9l returns to zero upon turning back on (not a bad thing)
Lights on source and volume are too bright, rendering them useless
volume control is not evenly spaced, more like exponential

Cyrus Audio ONE HD ($1499): A multi-versed masterpiece​




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AmericaHiFi Cyrus ONE HD

Intro:
AmericaHiFi is an authorized North American reseller for Cyrus Audio components and put out a call for reviewers on Head-Fi. I was one of the lucky six chosen (congrats to all!). All that was asked is for an honest review and to use the Cyrus ONE HD in as many configurations as possible. I was able to include my Linn Sondek Axis turntable as part of the review, which was a nice change from DAP’s. Upon completion, the unit will be carefully repacked and sent on to the next lucky participant.

To say this is a versatile unit would be an understatement. This can essentially replace your home amp set up, except for the video aspect. Used at the office, or in a dedicated listening center, this could very well be the perfect unit. The One HD is capable of powering front speakers (2 x 100W, but I did not try this), and includes a large toroidal transformer to power a class AB headphone amplifier (up to 700mA output, so plenty) as part of the package. With the ability to hook up your turntable (convertor in unit), as well as speakers and other goodies; the unit is indeed diverse.


Specs:

INPUTS
· Asynchronous USB 2.0 input – up to 32/192 signals, and DSD 64 and DSD 128
· Optical Toslink digital input – up to 24/192 signals
· Coaxial SPDIF digital input – up to 24/192 signals
· RCA input to built-in MM phono stage
· aptX® HD compatible Bluetooth audio
· 3 x line level inputs – including AV integration option

SPECIFICATION
· Pre outputs – connect to additional power amplifiers
· High power, high voltage class AB headphone amplifier
· Bi-wire compatible speaker binding posts
· User upgradeable firmware
· Bluetooth control app
· Cyrus 4th generation Hybrid Class D amplifier
· Outputs 2 x 100W (into 6 Ω at 0.1% THD+N)
· SID – Speaker Impedance Detection
· Linear power supply



Headphone specification:

SNR 128dBA
1300V/us Slew Rate
700mA max output current (per channel)
2x 1W max output power
Recommended headphone impedance 16 – 1200 Ohm

WEIGHTS AND DIMS
· Dimensions (H X W X D) – 85 x 220 x 390mm
· Weight – 5.6kg



Technical info:

FEATURES:


Bluetooth Enabled – aptX®HD:

aptX® HD compatible Bluetooth enables you to stream better than CD quality music from your phone/tablet or computer via a wireless Bluetooth connection, providing maximum flexibility without the need for a home network or any complicated set up. This allows everyone in the family to enjoy their music from their portable devices quickly and easily.

High-power Amplifier:

2 x 100W gives class-leading power output that will drive most loudspeakers regardless of their size. All that power enables Cyrus ONE HD to present your music with a huge dynamic range, giving 3D detail and bags of energy without the need to buy big, bulky, inefficient amplifier boxes.

MM Phono Stage:

Cyrus ONE HD features a built-in phono stage that is compatible with all Moving Magnet cartridges and requires no adjustment or extra set up, enabling you to play all your favourite vinyl from most turntables.

Digital and analogue inputs:

Asynchronous USB, optical and SPDIF inputs enable you to connect your PC, TV, Games Console, CD player, indeed virtually any source, directly to the Cyrus ONE HD. Four analogue inputs include RCA terminals for a turntable and an AV input that can be set to fixed gain in order to integrate with a separate AV amplifier.

Class AB Headphone Amplifier:

Uniquely, when headphones are connected, the large toroidal transformer is switched to power just the headphone section. These huge reserves of power result in a high power, high voltage class AB headphone amplifier that will drive almost all headphones with ease. The resulting musical performance is on a par with most standalone headphone amplifiers.

Speaker Impedance Adjustment:

SID – Speaker Impedance Detection automatically matches the amplifier’s output response to the electrical load of the loudspeakers. This means that matching Cyrus ONE HD to any brand of loudspeaker has suddenly been made so much easier.


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In The Box:

Cyrus ONE HD unit
Power unit
Instruction manual


  • Comparisons/Gear used:

  • MacBook Pro
  • Shanling M6 Pro
  • Cayin N6ii (E01 motherboard)

  • Cayin C9 ($2200)
  • iFi iDSD/iCAN ($2200 each)
  • XDuoo TA-30 ($710)
  • Teac UD-05 ($1699)

  • Audeze LCD-3
  • ZMF Eikon
  • Kennerton Magni (V2)
  • Empire Ears Hero (PW Helix Initiale cable)
  • Empire Ears Legend X (Eletech Socrates cable)
DDHiFi adapters as needed
Linn Sondek Axis turntable



Unboxing:

I opened the big box to find a smaller box inside. Opening that I was met with form fitting Styrofoam (in plastic protection), which held the unit firmly in place. The unit is fairly big, and fairly heavy. When looking at how well it was protected, I expected a larger unit. Overly protecting a unit is a good thing.


Controls:

Back: As listed above, there are a plethora of input options on the back, from USB connectivity to MM turntable to APEX BT. I mainly focused on the USB and RCA SPDIF options for testing through my MBP and Shanling/Cayin DAP’s mentioned above.

Front: Dominating the glossy front are two very large knobs (too big to me). The left one controls the inputs, clicking near-silently through your options. The right knob controls the volume, and as @Dramlin excellently tested, each “click” is not equivalent to an LCD light “step” on the dial. While I appreciate the incremental adjustment ability, not having the LED’s move in an equivalent manner leads you to much turning of the knob. Also mentioned is how there is only a memory for the input device, not the volume. Adding in a memory for volume would be appreciated or at the least a lowering should you turn the unit off with extreme volume levels.

Under the knobs are the on/off button to the left and a single 6.35mm headphone jack on the right. I found that using adapters put the cables in the way of the knob, so this area also needs a bit of work. Plus, offering a 4.4bal jack might have been an option, but not knowing the necessary internal changes needed, I was OK with the single jack. Plus, it sounded so good that I did not miss the balanced option.

With a small footprint, the ONE HD will take up little space on your desk or shelf. It is rather deep, but I find this to be OK, as it means the cables could be closer to the back of a shelf, as opposed to running onto the shelf.


Build:

Top notch, with no visible flaws, as one would expect.


Usability:

With the ability to run all of your device options, it used to be that something suffered. Either the sound of a device, or some part was an afterthought or used a cheaper component. Staring with (to me) the excellent iFi duo of iDSD Pro and iCAN, this rapidly changed to utilizing quality connections options across the spectrum. There are hook ups I shall most likely never use on my iFi duo, but I am glad they are included, nonetheless. The Cyrus takes that back a bit and all of the connections are from the most popular and most likely will be used in the homeowners set up. It is as simple as switching using the left knob and you can quickly move to BT from your Smartphone through speakers or headphones. Most companies have this option now, which is appreciated. Ideally a remote would be included, which would run both input and volume controls. Something with which to think.


Internals:

I shall leave that to those better versed than I in such things.


Connectivity/Source:

As stated above, I used the ONE HD mainly with my MBP and the two DAP’s listed. I shall provide cross-sectional sound musings throughout.

Summary:

The ONE HD comes across as clean and clear, with enough air between notes to provide a spacious listening environment. Near neutral, without coloring the sound or making the quality antiseptic, or without body, the ONE HD presents an open cleanliness to the sound, which is refreshing. Separation is very good as a result, which can sometimes lead to a thinning quality of sound. Not here. While not holographic, the soundstage fills in wonderfully with precision and accuracy towards placement and harmonics. What I hear is true, clean and detailed. Hooking up a less than neutral DAP, such as the Shanling M6 Pro or the Cayin N6ii E01 shows the source sound through cleanly. That warm, richness of each source is not culled going through the Cyrus. If the source is rich, the sound emanating from within is rich as well. Don’t take this as the ONE HD is colored at all, but because it is near-neutral, allows that character of the presentation to come through, and cleanly.

More:

First and foremost, I used the MBP/USB connection, while streaming Tidal. Using all manners of headphones and IEM’s, I found the sound quite stunning; on par with many of the best I have heard of late such as the Teac UD-505 and my iFi duo. As mentioned above, the ONE HD provides stunning clarity to your music, with I will add a tinge of bass push. Nothing like an added bass, but the tuning to me while near-neutral adds some rich texture to the low-end. And the speed of this is good. Not such a fast decay that the sound becomes analytical, but that richness is afforded the stage.

The mids are quite good, as is the overall character. I find it hard to differentiate individual sections here and will not separate them out much. There is ample air between notes, which also affords the sound to come through with a clean detailed presentation. Vocals such as Adele are superb. Aretha Franklin is sublime in her rich character tone, with a bit of that low-down gut, which makes for a wonderful listen. Throwing on Billie Holiday after that and you really have to just sit back and enjoy. One of if not the finest voice the western world has ever known, her vocals sublimely slip through the ONE HD to your gray matter. The world stops for those brief instances and you simply enjoy.
With not equalization settings, you are left to your own devices; literally. And much like I do not miss the extras on the E01 motherboard inside the N6ii, I do not miss the tinkering here. Switching to the EE Legend X/Eletech Socrates, from the Hero/PW combination, I am rewarded with deeper reach of bass and a less forward treble. The ability of the Cyrus to cross listening devices is very, very good. Switching to Bluetooth on my iPhone XS Max and Damian Marley’s Looks Are Deceiving gives bass that is divine. While it does not have the clarity of other sources, the ability for that quick BT listen is well worth it.

Alex Fox through Tidal and the Audeze LCD3’s sound superb. Succinct guitar strokes highlight a vibrant tonality, which comes across as clean and full of detailed clarity as most high dollar amps I have heard. This is not meant to put color into your sound, but rather let you experience the sound directly from the source. Hence my previous verbiage regarding the sound from the Shanling & Cayin DAP’s. Sometimes coloring your sound (or EQing to your tastes) is good, but when you already may have a colored sound DAP such as those I list, then it is refreshing to hear that come through perfectly. This is one fine unit.

Moving to a closed-back unit such as my ZMF Eikon reveals yet again what can happen when you send a clean, clear stream of bits and bite through electrical current. Having more bass than the Atticus, the Eikon is a wonderful complement to the LCD3. Providing excellent separation and bass response provides me with a good judge of the differences between the LCD3. A bit harder to drive, I had to push the volume up one LED to match the volume (seat of the pants). What I found was a bit more intimate than the Audeze, but that is to be expected due to the closed-back nature. I will add that with each finger pluck of the strings, I received an excellent sense of placement and depth from this combination.

It seems whatever the listening device, the sound comes across as it is meant to be. The EE Legend X provides that deep rich bass note. The EE Hero does as well with more push of the treble. And the full-sized headphones are exactly as expected. Sublime in presentation.

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Comparisons:

Cyrus Audio ONE HD ($1499) v Cayin C9 ($2200):

In house as well, the C9 is most likely the finest portable amp IO have tested. That includes my vaunted iFi micro Black Label. Superbly defined with either a push of tube-like sound, or not; the C9 is powerful and a true masterpiece. Costing roughly ½ again what the ONE HD does, the user will need to decide how they want to proceed. I know that given the option and funds, the C9 would go with me everywhere. If we talk about versatility, then hands down the Cyrus wins. But it is meant to, what with all of the connectivity options. If we look strictly at sound, the C9 can definitely hold its own with the ability to full in/out balanced through the 4.4bal connections. I was stunned by how good it is to be honest. A dream amp for me, it would be, and it would replace all of my others.


Cyrus Audio ONE HD ($1499) v iFi iDSD/iCAN ($2200 each):

When I tested both iFi models a few years ago, I ended up purchasing the iDSD because of its superior DAC capabilities. It has sufficient power for me as well, driving everything I could throw at it. And do so with a warmth & richness I crave. Coming upon a used iCAN, I jumped to complete my system. This is my pinnacle, with all of the connectivity options of the ONE HD except for phono. And strictly speaking, the iFi duo is meant for headphones and IEM’s. The Bass Boost+ and 3D options are wonderful as well, adding in bass to the Cayin Fantasy when I auditioned that not too long ago. This is one powerful, rich, vibrant set up.

If you want a richness to your sound, with the on the fly options to change filters and the bass/3D then the iFi is the way to go, even singularly. It is a warm sound, which will not appeal to all, but fits my bill perfectly. If on the other hand, you want all of that connectivity without the adjustments, and a near neutral sound, which will give you what you desire from your source. Had I not already had the iFi duo, I would seriously consider purchasing the ONE HD as my all-in-one go-to amp, even without all of the adjustability’s.


Cyrus Audio ONE HD ($1499) v XDuoo TA-30 ($710):

The TA-30 came my way after a fellow reviewer loaned his. I contacted my vendor almost immediately and purchased one. I do not regret it, even with the iFi duo above. The XDuoo is insanely powerful and provides all the options I would need for connectivity, except phono. I did change tubes upon my friend’s recommendation and when I need a kick on from other items, the TA-30 is often my choice to rejuvenate my listening. At roughly ½ the price, it is an excellent “bargain” even if it does not have all of the connecting options of the Cyrus. But it does, except for a couple.

Not as clean as the Cyrus, nonetheless, the TA-30 is very vibrant in tone. Not overly bright, but with the ability to change the tone simply by changing tubes, it is more versatile in that regard. And did I mention it is insanely powerful? I do not know a headphone on the planet that it cannot drive and drive well. Coming with only an 6.35mm jack as well as the Cyrus is no bother as well.


Cyrus Audio ONE HD ($1499) v Teac UD-05 ($1699):

On another tour, the Teac came my way, and I did not regret it. From my finale: “Lately, I have shied away from actually coming out and saying, “GO BUY THIS!” Because, it really should be your choice, and your alone. I can tell you what I like and what I do not like, which can help but short of listening you are pressed to read the reviews. And here, I can tell you that if you value detail, clarity and a good air of note between then the Teac might just be a good fit for you. While some might balk at the cost, others may just say that this is an excellent value for it can run in my home system (as a pre-amp) and desktop, easily hooking up my portable DAP from the commute as well. That “value” of services cannot be underestimated, nor should it be overlooked.”

In other words, you could justify this unit for its multi-dimensional use (just like the Cyrus) and abilities. From memory, the airiness between notes is a bit better with the Teac, but slightly colored. If you do not mind that, the Teac is an excellent unit (another reviewer I respect VERY much has an older model), if you prefer a cleaner “less-colored,” parenthetically speaking; then the Cyrus is an excellent choice here.

Phono stage: Time constraints kept me from this aspect, one in which I was looking forward to very much.


Finale:

Two weeks is a good long time to audition a unit. Unfortunately, “things” got in my way and I was only able to dedicate about 25 hours to the unit. I wish I had spent longer nights auditioning the unit, but even with that “short” 25 hours, I figured out the positives of the ONE HD. It did not take long for me to come and appreciate its cleanliness and lack of coloration (I have used that a lot, but it works…). Its ability to play across many sources and do so easily. Its ability to play powerful notes when called upon and be used across your home system, including vinyl (!) without hindering the source is a true positive. This is an excellent unit, even with the quirks mentioned above regarding the too large volume knobs, lack of volume memory and numerous rotations needed upon the volume wheel. At least with that last aspect, the volume does continue to raise or lower with each click.

The Cyrus ONE HD is an excellent unit, and one in which you can literally throw all your eggs into one basket, except video. That can be accommodated by hooking it up as a pre-amp and through speakers. But, to use this in a dedicated listening room or your office (that would be nice…) shows off the true merits and uses of the Cyrus. This is the unit, which allows you to separate yourself from the daily chores, in its own realm and across many devices at once. Had I not already purchased others; I might have come home with one due to its versatility. And that is about the highest praise I can give it.

I thank AmericaHiFi and Robert for the inclusion on this fantastic tour. The ONE HD is a superb unit and carries on (from what I hear) the excellent sensory options and listening’s of their other products. Best of luck to Cyrus and please continue making such fine devices as the ONE HD.

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J
Jimmyblues1959
Excellent and thorough review! Thanks for taking the time to write it. 😊
ngoshawk
ngoshawk
Thank you for the kind words.😎

Wiljen

Headphoneus Supremus
Cyrus One HD - Jack of all trades
Pros: Tons of function in a small package, Good power, App works well to control
Cons: Jack of all trades, master….
disclaimer: I have owned and enjoyed an original Cyrus One in the past so was interested in trying the OneHD when the tour was formed. I received the Cyrus One HD as part of the review tour and have no financial interest in Cyrus or any of its distributors. I spent two weeks with the One HD as my daily driver before sending it on to the next reviewer in line and received no compensation of any form for this review. If you have an interest in the One HD or other Cyrus products, please see their website or their USA distributor AmericaHifi. Retail price of the Cyrus One HD is $1499.



Packaging:

The One HD is a large unit and as such comes packed for travel and not for a retail shelf. The unit was well packed in form-fitted foam blocks with the manual, driver CD, and power cable all well packed into a separate box in the shipping container to avoid contact with the unit and scratches that might occur as a result. If purchasing the One HD know that no interconnects are provided with the unit so sets of RCA cables, a USB, optical or coax cable for inputs, and a set of speaker cables will be needed to complete the installation. The unit does not ship with a remote either, but does have an app available on the Google Play Store and the Apple Store for use with the unit.



Build:

Again, this is a fairly plain looking amp. It is rougly half width and full depth when compared to most full-sized audio components with a well built metal chassis. The two halves of the chassis are held together by hex-nuts with a pair on the lead edge of the sides that also lock the faceplate into position and a single hex-nut at the rear of each side. The faceplate lifts out of slots in the metal frame and is connected to the main board by ribbon cable which makes the chassis easy to open for cleaning or should maintenance be required. The faceplate itself is plastic and high gloss while the remaining shell is powder coated and a more matte satin finish. There are two large knobs on the front that each have a partial circle of LEDs surrounding them. The left knob is the selector and the right is volume control. the power button is tucked beneath the left knob while the headphone jack is at the far right beneath the volume adjustment. At the rear, speaker binding posts (dual type banana/spade) occupy both outside edges with power connection and inputs occupying the middle space. The Unit has USB, coaxial, and optical digital inputs as well as 3 RCA inputs, a MM phono stage input with ground connector, and a single pair of RCA outputs. The other prominent feature in looking at the unit is a single heavy bolt through the center bottom of the chassis that mounts the monster sized torodial transformer that is the heart of the linear power supply used in the One and One HD.

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Internals:

This is the hardest section to write for this unit as the One HD has a lot going on. It starts with the previously mentioned large toroidal transformer that feeds the power circuitry and feeds everything else hiding inside. The digital inputs feed a Burr Brown 17xx series dac chip which allows the USB input to handle up to 32 bit data at up to 192kHz. The Coaxial and Optical inputs are able to handle up to 24/192 as well. In addition the OneHD also supports bluetooth input using AptX HD. Three sets of analog inputs in addition to the Moving Magnet phono stage round out the input options. Other than an AM/FM tuner, the One HD covers pretty much all the possible bases. Regardless of which input you choose, they are fed to class D power amplifiers circuits of Cyrus own design if using the speaker outputs or to a class A/B amplifier if using the headphone jack. The speaker taps also utilize an impedance sensing mechanism. This can be thought of as a feedback loop where a micro-controller analyzes the high frequency impedance of the connected speaker and adjusts to match the impedance the speaker needs to perform well. This is one of the things often criticized with class-D amplification, the reconstruction filters in class-D tend to cause impedance mismatches and deviations. That mismatch is why speakers like my Magnepans recommend against using a class D amplifier to power them. The One HD although a little light on power at a 100W per channel, can indeed be used safely with the Magnepans and actually drove them a bit better than I expected it would.

Even a computer controlled impedance matching system has its limits though and with speakers generally ranging between 4 and 16 Ohms, its not realistic to expect that same circuit to be optimized for headphone use. So instead of even trying to tune the class D system to handle 600Ω AKGs, or 300Ω Sennheisers the One HD instead redirects the power to a class A/B headphone amplifier that is more suited to the task at hand.

The One HD also has a mini-USB connector on the rear for servicing or updates so as improvements to the micro-controllers code become available, the One HD can take full advantage rather than becoming obsolete.

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Controls / Bluetooth:

This is where we part ways with what I thought I knew about the Cryus One HD. The older model came with a remote that was fairly simple and uncluttered but gave the user quick access to switch sources or adjust volume. With the One HD gaining Bluetooth input, it makes perfect sense that the remote would be migrated to an app for your smartphone or tablet and that is exactly what has happened. The App is titled the Cyrus One Remote in the Google and Apple stores and gives the user the same ability as was found in the earlier generation remote. The remote is still simple with options to adjust which source is in use, adjust volume and set maximum volume, adjust balance, LED brightness, and mute.

I found pairing the One HD very straight forward and connectivity was quite good once established. With my LG phone using AptX HD latency was minimal and I only lost connection to the One HD when line of sight was lost and obstacles blocked the signal. Pairing a new source was equally easy once the connection from the previous source was dropped.



Sound:

(Speaker Taps)

Having owned an earlier model Cyrus One, I had some expectations going in as to what I would hear and for the most part I was correct in my assumptions. The One HD has good resolution and power as long as not matched with something too far outside its comfort zone. Although I did try it with my Magnepans, I did my critical listening with a pair of Klipsch Heresy IIs that it is more suited to driving. The One HD has a very clean detailed sound with good texture and enough body to give vocals a natural weight to them. The nicest thing is the One HD does seem to vanish into the background and picking out any coloration that is contributed to the sound by the amp was difficult. The other nice feature was the signature does not seem to change appreciably when switching between optical, coaxial, and USB as can sometimes be the case as well. If there is one knock here, it is that the OneHD does not have the dynamic range that something like my big Levinson can deliver, but remembering the price point of the One HD and the fact that the One HD is also a pre-amp, a dac, and a headphone amp, this is hardly a stumbling block.

(Headphones)

When switching to the headphone amp, many of those same qualities come through. Detail is very good with lots of texture and nuance to the sound although there is a touch more coloration here than in the speaker amp. Here the One HD does show a slight upper-mid lift that translates into female vocals being slightly in front of their male counterparts. I didn’t find the lift distracting though as it is fairly small and if anything it does make the One HD a better listen for vocal music and choral arrangements as they really stand out nicely. There is plenty of headroom here and dynamic range so the issue seen on the speaker taps may be more my choice of speaker than anything inherent to the One HD.



Interestingly, The One HD shares the same DAC family with both my Bel Canto DAC in my home system and with the Ifi iDSD Neo that I recently reviewed and still have access to. Although all three share a dac, the Bel Canto sounds more analytical and has less coloration than either the One HD or the Neo which both sport a similar lift in the upper mids. The One HD splits the difference in clarity between the Neo which loses a little detail to musicality and the Bel Canto that is a bit more revealing but also a bit less forgiving.



Conclusions:

The Cyrus One HD has to be looked at holistically to be fully appreciated. The amp alone is quite good, but not quite as good as some at the $1500 price point. Likewise, the phono stage is good, but can be bettered by other stand alone pre-amps. The Headphone amp is impressive but again at $1500 is should be fairly good. When we take all of those things into consideration though, the One HD comes into its own. None of those devices that I mentioned out-doing the One HD have the feature set to compete with it, and all would require a lot more space and interconnects. What the One HD brings to the party is a small, all-in-one package that offers solid performance in multiple categories rather than dedicating its efforts to be the best at only part of the equation. The One HD would make a great office companion or in a den or bedroom where space is limited. Those looking for a unit that can do it all with a minimum of fuss will be pleased with the One HD’s simplicity. I could build a better system, but not for the asking price of the One HD, and certainly not with the ease of setup and use of it. Like I said, look at the One HD holistically and it can be almost therapeutic.

Packaging - 7.5/10
Build Quality - 8/10
Sound Quality - 8/10
Controls - 9/10
Connectivity - 8/10
8.1/10

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