Lotoo PAW Gold Touch (LPGT)

General Information

Product Highlights:

- 3.77" IPS Touch Screen
- Lotoo OS (NOT Android)
- Bluetooth 4.1 with LDAC
- 4.4mm Balanced Output
- Power Output: 500mW at 32Ohm load
- USB DAC (Fully Asynchronous)
- USB-C Port, USB 3.1 Protocol
- Memory: SD Card upto 2TB, Supports UHS II
- 10+ Hrs Battery Life



- Dimensions: 119mm x 68.6mm x 21mm
- Weight: 275g

- Touchscreen
- Size: 3.77" IPS Display
- Resolution: 800 x 480
- Gorilla Glass (Std 5)
- DLC Coating for Added Strength
- AF (Anti-Fingerprint) Coating

- Playback Time: 10+ Hrs
- Capacity: 5500 mAH

- USB-C with upto USB 3.1 protocol
- USB DAC Functionality
- USB Charging

- Bluetooth 4.1 with LDAC support
- WiFi b/g/n (Purpose Still Unknown)

- SD Card
- Support Upto 2TB UHS II

- Lotoo OS (Not Android or Linux)
- PMEQ II with 5 Filters Per Setting

- DAC Chip: AKM 4497EQ
- Support upto PCM 768kHz and DSD512
- Headphone Out - 4.4mm Balanced & 3.5mm Single Ended
- Line Out - 4.4mm
- Output Power: 500 mW per Channel at 32 Ohms

4.4mm Balanced Headphone Out:
- Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 kHz (+0.008/-0.34 dB)
- THD+N: 0.00015%
- SNR: 127 dB
- Channel Separation: -126 dB
- Dynamic Range: 127 dB
- High Gain: +14.4 dBu
- Low Gain: -10 dBu

4.4mm Line Out:
- Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 kHz (+0.008/-0.34 dB)
- THD+N: 0.00015%
- SNR: 127 dB
- Channel Separation: -126 dB
- Dynamic Range: 127 dB
- Gain: +14.4 dBu

3.5mm Singel Ended Headphone Out:
- Frequency Response: 20 - 20,000 kHz (+0.006/-0.38 dB)
- THD+N: 0.00045%
- SNR: 123 dB
- Channel Separation: Unknown
- Dynamic Range: 123 dB
- High Gain: +16 dBu
- Low Gain: -9 dBu


Latest reviews


Reviewer at The Headphone List
Pros: Top-class sound quality
- Uncolored tone
- Outstanding layering and imaging
- Superbly low noise floor
- Immense output power
- A plethora of sound-shaping options
- Bluetooth functionality
- Gorgeous screen with anti-fingerprint coating
- Swift OS response
- Tank-like build quality
- Ergonomic shape and size
- Included leather case
Cons: Price
- UI is not the smoothest to navigate
- Lack of intuitive inter-menu shortcuts
- Album cover thumbnail view is cluttered with text
- No onboard memory
- Battery life is average at best
- No streaming (for now)
- Sound is neutral, and therefore not the most colored or exciting
- PMEQ does not take advantage of touch screen
DISCLAIMER: Musicteck (Lotoo’s US dealer) loaned me the PAW Gold Touch in return for my honest opinion. I will send the unit back following the review. I am not personally affiliated with the companies in any way, nor do I receive any monetary rewards for a positive evaluation. I’d like to thank MusicTeck and Lotoo for their kindness and support. The review is as follows.

NOTE: This review was written with firmware version Photos not of my own were provided by Lotoo.

Lotoo is an Asian manufacturer who develops digital audio players. Their PAW 5000 and PAW Gold players have attained legendary status among the audiophile community – regularly praised for their rigorous build quality, excellent EQ and explosive sound signatures. Despite the mainly button-oriented nature of those players – especially within a landscape of touch screens galore – they found favour among tons of enthusiasts worldwide. Now, after some fruitful down time, it seems Lotoo is ready to listen to the masses at large; announcing in 2018 the release of their all-new flagship DAP: The Lotoo PAW Gold Touch – sporting a price tag of $3199, a renewed sound signature and a full-fledged IPS touch display.


Lotoo PAW Gold Touch
  • DAC chip: AKM 4497EQ
  • Output power: 500mW @ 32 Ω
  • Audio I/O: 4.4mm balanced (also line out), 3.5mm single-ended (also line out)
  • Sample rate support: Up to PCM 768kHz and DSD512
  • Key feature(s) (if any): PMEQ II, ATE and XRC sound-shaping, proprietary Lotoo OS
  • Price: $3199
  • Website: www.lotoo.cn, www.lotoo.jp, shop.musicteck.com

Unboxing and Accessories

The packaging’s outermost sleeve sports a gloss gold finish, emblazoned with the signature Apollo motif found on Lotoo’s potentiometers. Shedding the sleeve unveils a black box, accented by the slightest touch of gold – indicative of the aesthetic the player possesses. Hoisting off the top lid reveals the device securely recessed within a foam cut-out.


Beneath it lies the Touch’s full slew of accessories. Included with Lotoo’s flagship player are three sets of extras neatly compartmentalised into individual mini-boxes. This is an approach I’ve seen implemented by Astell&Kern and Sony in the past, hinting at the pedigree Lotoo is doggedly pursuing. Comparisons aside, it’s a genuine display of finesse.


The first mini-box contains paperwork – a user’s manual and warranty card. This is also where you’ll find the included micro-fibre cloth and two tempered-glass screen protectors. Again, the latter is a great inclusion that truly exhibits the lavishness of the product. Inside the second mini-box is a sleeved USB Type-C cable. Sheathed skilfully in soft, black paracord and sporting Lotoo-engraved, gold-plated connectors on both ends, the company clearly isn’t skimping out.


The third compartment houses the Touch’s gorgeous leather case. Chromatically, it evokes the device’s aesthetic: All black and accented exquisitely with gold stitching around the rear. Visually, it’s flash and finesse in equal measure, and it’ll be difficult to top when aftermarket offerings start rolling in. The button indicators and logos engraved all around show excellent precision, especially the stylised PAW Gold Touch emblem on the rear; subtle and stylish simultaneously.


One of my only two knocks would be on feel. There’s a slightly oily touch to it that isn’t perhaps as smooth as offerings from MITER or DIGNIS. Clearly, this is a minor con given their prices. To Lotoo’s credit, I’d say everything bar feel is on par with anything MITER, DIGNIS or musashino LABEL have produced. Secondly, despite the cut-out for the USB port, there isn’t one for the SD card slot. It’s a notable exclusion, but it’s something Lotoo can easily remedy moving forward.

Build and Physical Controls

Stating the obvious, Lotoo’s PAW Gold Touch is an exquisitely-built device. Although its blocky form may suggest a more utilitarian approach, the Touch gradually reveals itself as a champion of luxury and class. There’s extreme finesse in how the player comes together. Despite hints of screws and seams here and there, the Touch’s CNC-milled, aluminium-alloy shell may as well have been a unibody design – neither a rough edge, nor an uneven surface nor a loose joint in sight.

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Visually, it’s clear that they’ve maintained the same motif present throughout their previous releases. This is in form and colour, and especially along the volume wheel too. But, several more modern inclusions have made the cut as well. The Touch sports grooves along the sides for a more secure grip. And, curvature along the edges boost ergonomics as well. The chassis’ matte-black exterior oozes class with flawless finishing. It’s a sandblasted finish that’s reminiscent of Apple’s Macbook Pros or Sony’s modern Walkmen. And, all this black only serves to accentuate the bling on dat volume wheel.

Quite literally the PAW Gold Touch’s crown jewel, the Apollo Sun volume wheel is as nostalgic as it is gorgeous. It’s shiny, shimmery, splendid and an awesome throwback to Lotoo’s previous audio players as well. More impressively, they’ve managed to integrate it within a classy, suave and luxurious aesthetic without coming across corny. Accenting the wheel is a white LED ring at its base. The ring pulses to signify playback, but you can turn it off to conserve battery life as well.

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Turning the potentiometer feels smooth, and it’s recessed within the player sufficiently to prevent accidental turns. A neat feature I found on the Settings menu is the ability to determine which direction the wheel turns to indicate volume up or volume down. The wheel is on the looser side, with a fair bit of play in either direction before registering a click. This definitely isn’t a dense, heavy wheel that you’d find on a dedicated amplifier, for example. But regardless, it’s an incredibly solid-feeling, smooth-turning and visually stunning piece that deserves to sit atop the Touch’s gorgeous body.

The PAW Gold Touch sports the classic set of physical buttons along the side of its chassis: Power, Play/Pause, Previous and Skip. Tiny bumps are present to indicate the first two buttons, making blind navigation a breeze. The buttons are beautifully machined and depress with a solid, satisfying, tactile click. And like the volume wheel, they sit securely within the chassis with zero wiggle as well. Also impressive in this regard are the 4.4mm and 3.5mm (also line out) jacks along the top. Among all my digital audio players, the Touch sports the most precisely machined and installed sockets I’ve experienced, leaving no air gaps or wiggle room. In addition, the gold, ring-y aesthetic is reminiscent of old vinyl records.

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Considering what’s become of screen sizes nowadays in both the smartphone and DAP worlds, I think many will find the PAW Gold Touch a reasonably-sized device. As someone who frequents an iPhone 6 Plus and Sony’s WM1A, the Touch definitely felt smaller to me. Although I’ve gotten used to the larger text and album art that my other devices have made available to me, I love the form factor of the PAW Gold Touch for how comfortable it is in the hand, and how easy it is to operate as well. Despite the relatively smaller size, the Touch isn’t a featherweight. But to me, it isn’t inconvenient-heavy; rather, it’s substantial-heavy – truly indicative of the Touch’s exceptional build quality. If audiophiles out there are willing to lug around Sony WM1Z’s and Cayin N8’s in their pocket, I can’t imagine Lotoo’s Touch being too unwieldy for anyone.

GUI and Presentation

The PAW Gold Touch is an outstanding device the second it powers on, literally! Among the high-end digital sources available today, Lotoo’s flagship boasts the fastest boot time I’ve ever experienced: A mere two seconds – no pre-loaded loading screens, no wavy lines, no rotating logos; pure speed. After the comically swift start-up, you’re greeted by the main menu with a standard set of short-cuts. The last-played track prior to the previous shut down is there as well:


Within seconds of operation, it’s clear that the PAW Gold Touch’s start-up speed translates to responsiveness as well. There’s never a perception of lag when operating the device, especially when alternating between menus, scrolling or loading up tracks to play. Functionality aside, one note I’d make towards presentation is the lack of motion blur. With Sony’s WM1A (my main DAP), scrolling has a smoother look to it, as well as a more natural sense of acceleration and deceleration. By comparison, the PAW Gold Touch is a tad stutter-y. But again, this is purely a minor visual nitpick.

Where the PAW Gold Touch triumphs visually is screen quality. The tempered-glass-equipped IPS display is among the sharpest I’ve ever seen. In terms of image clarity and text reproduction, it’s nothing short of impressive. Movement is – again – crisp due to the lack of motion blur. While I may perceive it as less natural-looking, some may prefer it. If there was anything I’d love Lotoo to work on, it’d be colour accuracy. The blacks in particular can be prone to backlight bleed and have some white peering through. Sony’s WM1A possesses deeper blacks, increasing the perception of contrast. Then again, they do make TVs for a living. Regardless, it’s another minor con, but one to perhaps consider in the future.


One massively impressive feature is the DLC (Diamond-like carbon) coating that Lotoo have applied onto the tempered-glass screen. In addition to increased strength, the coating has a fingerprint-resistant quality that’s among the most effective I’ve ever seen. Simple wipes with a cloth or a shirt removes all fingerprints or oily spots instantly with zero traces of residue – no cleaning solutions or compounds required – restoring the screen to mint-like, pristine condition.

Like Sony (for example), Lotoo have gone ahead and produced their own operating system for the PAW Gold Touch – rather than adapting Android, which is the norm nowadays. Lotoo OS is the main reason for the Touch’s speed, and it’s a wonderful achievement from a company that doesn’t necessarily have the pedigree that a Sony or Google has. Although the device does possess Wi-Fi for OS-updating purposes, it’s worth noting that it does not support third-party streaming apps like Spotify or TIDAL; at least at the time of writing. If you require that, I’d suggest looking elsewhere. But, if you’re a memory card purist like me, then the Touch will have lacked nothing – well, except any form of onboard memory, that is.


The PAW Gold Touch sports a fairly universal navigational system. Like the Sony and Astell&Kern DAPs that have largely dominated the market, files on the Touch can be sorted by Playlist, Artist, Album, Song or Folder. In each menu, there are shortcuts at the very top of the screen that allow you to quickly add tracks to a playlist, or filter based on sample rate. Personally, I sort most often by Album, because it’s easier for me to search via album artwork. Although the Touch offers a thumbnail-based GUI like the one shown in the image below, I was disappointed to find the shortcuts still occupied the top-quarter of the screen and the bottom-third of the thumbnails had the album titles on black bars layered on them:


Given the Touch’s already-limited screen real estate, I would’ve loved it if the thumbnails entirely occupied the screen like Astell&Kern’s implementation. I’m sure this is implementable via a software update somewhere down the line.

Also, you can toggle an option dubbed Double-click in the Options menu. This allows you to wake-up the Touch’s display by double-tapping the screen. I found this feature particularly useful during stationary listening or in USB DAC mode.

If there’s a specific artist, album or song you wish to look up, the Touch sports a Search function accessible by swiping down from the very top of the screen. This also brings down a menu that allows to switch between Loopmodes, alter gain settings on both the 3.5mm SE and 4.4mm BAL outputs, and toggle Bluetooth, Volume Lockand XRC on or off.


Although the Touch’s interface is relatively straightforward, I do feel navigation between menus could be a hair more streamlined. Sony’s WM1A (for example) allows the user to jump rapidly between menus through shortcuts on a drop-down home menu. This isn’t present on the PAW Gold Touch, requiring the user to either press the Return key multiple times – which, might I add, is positioned quite unnaturally at the top-left corner of the screen – or swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen to instantly return to the Home menu. Neither action is the most intuitive in the world, so I’d love to see Lotoo add these shortcuts to their pre-existing drop-down menu in a future update for swifter navigation.

Connectivity and Storage

The PAW Gold Touch implements USB 3.1 as its main means of data transfer and power charging. This means the best speeds possible, as well as a conveniently reversible plug. Unlike Sony’s proprietary Walkman I/O, you also aren’t forced to carry around an extra cable because of the ubiquity of USB Type-C. The Touch is also capable of functioning as a USB DAC. In this mode, the display shows a VU meter, as well as controls for XRC and EFX (discussed in Page 3). I admire Lotoo for including sound shaping even in DAC mode – a step above the implementations I’ve seen in other sources. There doesn’t seem to be any input lag too, which is crucial when editing or mixing music, watching movies, etc.

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Additionally, the Touch sports Bluetooth connectivity. As a result, it’s also capable of turning into a wireless Bluetooth DAC. Unlike USB DAC mode, there is neither a VU meter nor an option for XRC. Perhaps this has something to do with the sample rate ceiling when transferring audio over Bluetooth. But, EFX remains available, which is unquestionably the more important feature. Unfortunately, for some reason, my Macbook Pro does not detect the Touch as a sound device. Bluetooth DAC on this laptop has worked previously on my Sony WM1A, so I must assume this is an issue on the Touch’s end. However, the player does work with my iPhone 6 Plus. There is a slight delay when watching YouTube videos, but that’s to be expected. Once again, Wi-Fi is also available, but it’s only current use is firmware updates; no streaming yet.

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The PAW Gold Touch sports a full-sized SD card slot for up to 2TB of potential storage. I was disappointed to find the lack of any onboard storage, but it’s not a fatal flaw. Unlike my Sony WM1A, once the SD card is loaded up, you’re allowed to instantly navigate its contents without any loading screens to sit through. This means you can play music instantly from Folder view while the Touch generates the necessary libraries for tag-based sorting (i.e. Album, Artist, etc.).

Battery Life

The PAW Gold Touch sports a 5500mAH battery for approximately 10 hours of use per full charge. This estimate comes from Lotoo themselves, and I can’t say for certain what parameters were used to achieve that figure. Playing a mixture of FLAC and AAC files, battery sustenance is comparable to those of my Astell&Kern players. It’s decent, but definitely pales in comparison to Sony’s modern Walkmen, who’ve pretty much set the standard as far as battery life is concerned. My WM1A is capable of surviving 4-to-5-hour sessions for 2-3 days straight before requiring another charge. Charging is much faster on the Sony player as well. Approximately half of a full charge can be achieved within an hour’s worth of charging. On the other hand, charging the Touch with a generic USB Type-C cable takes around 3 hours for a full charge.

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Sound Impressions

More so than any digital source I’ve heard in the past, the PAW Gold Touch embodies reference with remarkable ease. The tone it flaunts is largely transparent – as indicated by the blank canvas it allows gear upstream to ultimately shade – and its technical foundations are nothing short of astounding. Its soundstage expansion isn’t endgame, but the layering, separation and detail achieved within it remains some of the best I’ve ever heard. Without the aid of an agitated treble, the Touch relies on extension, speed and balance to bolster its resolution. As a result, the transparency it achieves is done so effortlessly; a well-practiced, smooth and easy routine. Unlike its predecessors, the Touch strays away from flash. But ultimately, the grace and sophistication weaved throughout its frequency response is responsible for its success.


The Touch’s bass response is strikingly clear. Opting for a more neutral tone, it perhaps isn’t as warm or sumptuous as Sony’s WM1Z, for example. There’s an emphasis on definition, separation and clarity, but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of any fun, either. Linear extension throughout the sub-bass provides a healthy dose of impact. And, it rises (or drops) in accordance with whatever lies upstream. With dynamic drivers, it’ll match their physicality and decay, but add no more. And, it keeps up with balanced-armatures, without coming across lean. But with both, there’s always clarity and finesse. With upright basses or toms, a part of me may miss that woodywarmth. Ultimately, what the Touch guarantees is zero bottleneck – a bass you can set with your IEM of choice from pristine to hog wild without compromise along the way.

This restraint then pays dividends as we progress further upwards. Without warmth emanating from the low-end – nor glare from the treble – the Touch’s midrange remains largely neutral. Though, where it’s least transparent throughout, an upper-midrange tilt does determine its inherent timbre. Instruments are neutrally-positioned within the soundscape, but they project strongly. There’s an energy imbued within them that translates to an extra zing in vocals, an added roar in electric guitars, etc. But, the lower registers remain calm, which impede a grunty-er, heftier response. Male baritones won’t have maximum gravitas, tom-toms and kick drums won’t bellow as much as they’ll thwack, and pianos will ring rather than slam. It’s a more elegant delivery of oomph that contrasts the explosiveness of Lotoo’s previous offerings.


But regardless, the Touch continues to deliver in the technical domain. Micro-dynamic energy is perhaps the best I’ve heard from a digital source, Tiny nuances pop without resorting to treble peaks. Rather, it’s done via a pitch-black, stable background. So, those micro-details never feel forced. They play their role before vanishing without a trace. The player has an average sense of depth – average for a summit-fi flagship, mind you – but the layering it flaunts transcends that completely. Instruments are layered in front of and behind each other with pockets of clean air in between. The result is a three-dimensional soundscape filled with data to analyse andenjoy. There’s a healthy amount of body to the mids as well. There’s a meatiness to instruments; wetness to feather the line between transient and decay. As a result, clinical separation does not lead to clinical sound. Instead, it’s a balanced, natural image with masterful technique underneath.

The treble is where the Touch is most refined. Sources I’ve heard often struggle in the top-end. iBasso’s age-old DX50 came across agreeable, but dull. Sony’s WM1A had articulate transients that suffered from a case of digital-itis. Lotoo’s PAW Gold Touch manages to achieve a wonderful balance of both through technical ability and restraint. The Touch’s top-end possesses heaps of headroom, but refrains from testing it the slightest bit. The result is a treble that’s articulate, open and fast without seemingly lifting a finger. It’s a free sound that can only be described as refined; second nature. Pair that with a smooth timbre and what you get is a smooth, elegant release of detail. The tone overall is neutral and lower-treble bite does stick out a hair. But, the sheer ease with which those notes are handled – along with the PAW Gold Touch’s aforementioned technical skill – bill a treble response that’s as effortlessly capable as it is stringently controlled.


Balanced vs. Single-Ended

Switching between the two outputs, I hear identical tonal balances. This is unlike my Project-K-modded Sony WM1A or my Astell&Kern AK70-Kai, where you’re almost allowed two different signatures with the two outputs. In terms of timbre, note structure and positioning, balanced and single-ended are identical to my ears. On one hand, you don’t get that one last morsel of customisability. But on the other, you’re guaranteed consistency. I don’t hear a change in loudness either. The differences I do hear are in expansion and layering, especially. The 3D layers on balanced that fanned out along the x- and z-axes sound almost smushed together on single-ended – not congested per se, but compressed into a single file.

On Snarky Puppy’s Jefe, as the track builds from just drums and guitars to the addition of horns, synths, and percussion, you get the impression on balanced that each extra layer sits separate from the ones that came before. Essentially, you experience the satisfaction of hearing the track build in size. On single-ended, each successive track sounds like it was plopped squarely on the previous one. So, the track doesn’t necessarily get bigger – it just gets more crowded. This is also evident in imaging. On balanced, you can hear the drums panned hard-left-and-right and the guitars at 10 and 2′ o clock, then the synths at 11 and 1, and finally the horns at the centre. On single-ended, it’s noticeably harder to discern.



Manual equalisation has been a longtime staple of Lotoo’s digital audio players. The PAW Gold and PAW 5000 were lauded in particular for how effective their EQ implementations were, despite their button-dominated UIs somewhat hindering ease-of-use. I’ve personally never used either of the previous PAW devices, but I have spent countless hours manipulating EQ on my various digital audio workstations – whether it be Logic Pro, Pro Tools or Cubase. As someone who’s well-versed in those plug-ins, the PAW Gold Touch’s PMEQ application was impressively familiar. It’s a 5-point EQ, which to me is more than enough for anyone. Like professional EQs, the user is allowed to specify the target frequency, amplitude change and bandwidth. You’re also allowed to specify the filter type – high-pass, low-pass or band-pass.


Despite the equaliser’s impressive specificity and attention-to-detail, I was disappointed to find the touch screen (i.e. the DAP’s namesake) wasn’t integrated into the interface at all. Unlike Astell&Kern or Sony’s – albeit sonically inferior – EQs, you’re not given the option to draw your intended curve. Instead, you’re forced to manually (and tediously) enter values into each parameter. To me, this is a missed opportunity in ease-of-use. But nevertheless, the sheer customisability and effectiveness of the equaliser remains marvellously impressive – only a few UI fixes away from being gosh darn perfect.


ATE (or Acoustic Timbre Embellisher) is another form of sonic customisation built into the PAW Gold Touch. Brighter attenuates the low-end, positioning it further back in the mix. The result is a cleaner, leaner signature with less warmth permeating the soundscape. I wouldn’t call it brighter in tone per se, but it certainly is less full. Sweet is somewhat of a low-pass, where the upper-mids and treble take a step back. Notes sound thicker and fuller with greater bloom to the lower-mids. With both ATE filters, what’s most impressive is that they seem to only alter the positioning of instruments. Brighter doesn’t sound anaemic or insubstantial, neither does Sweetsound congested or rolled-off. It’s all naturally done.


The vaguely-named Dental sounds like it rolls-off the uppermost registers, resulting in a fuller, more saturated stage. Mid-bass impact seems to receive a slight bump as well. Of the three, this is the setting I personally find least useful, but it may find its place with brighter transducers. Style 701 (perhaps modelled after the AKG K701) heavily attenuates the mid-bass for a lean, neutral response – leaving the low-end more melodic and airy than impactful by any means. This converts my Custom Art FIBAE Black into a strict studio monitor, which I may find useful in the future. Style 990 (perhaps similarly modelled after Beyerdynamic’s DT990) is the complete opposite. It’s a strong low-pass that emphasises low-end bloom over the rest of the presentation. It’s more blubbery than Dental, but again, it may find its place among bassheads.

Near Field brings the soundscape inside the head, creating an inside-out sort of sensation. My experience suggests this setting may involve some phase manipulation, but it does remind me of the Avantone and Focal near-fields I have in the studio. With reference-grade in-ears, this setting is preferred when I’m balancing vocals in a choir mix, for example. Far Field comes across more artificial to my ears. It sounds like attenuations in the mid-bass and upper-mids to create a perceivably more distant image, but it comes across less coherent and transparent. Nevertheless, ATE as a whole brings a slew of customisation to the table. Although some work more than others, I find implementation as a whole to be both effective and non-invasive. The current set is impressive as is, and I can only imagine more to come in the near-future.

Noise Floor and Power

Empire Ears Phantom

The Phantom is one of the most sensitive in-ear monitors in my collection. Although that means it can be driven out of any conceivable device, it is prone to hissing as well. On every source I’ve heard them through – whether it be mixing consoles, portable amps or high-end DAPs from Sony, Onkyo and Astell&Kern – the Phantom willdig into their noise floors. Although the faintest whiff of a hiss is audible through the PAW Gold Touch, Lotoo’s flagship is perhaps the first source where I’d consider the noise negligible. Upon plugging in, the hiss blends into the background immediately. And when music starts playing, it’s practically non-existent; even in pockets of silence. Given the Phantom’s sensitivity, a volume of 25 out of 100 on high gain is where I tend to keep it, leaving tons of headroom for the Touch to perform.

Vision Ears VE6XC

Vision Ears’ VE6XC is perhaps a notch below the Phantom in sensitivity. It’s easy to drive and capable of sussing out hiss, but not to the degree of the Empire Ears co-flagship. And sure enough, the VE6XC does not hiss at all through the PAW Gold Touch. Whether music is playing or not, the noise floor is entirely indiscernible – a fantastic achievement for Lotoo. To achieve an enjoyable volume, the VE6XC requires 28-30 steps on high gain out of 100. Like the Phantom, the VE6XC is a dense-sounding monitor that benefits from the Touch’s clean-yet-sophisticated neutrality. Out of Lotoo’s flagship, both in-ears maintain the delicate, organic, human factor that make them what they are. But, the Touch allows them more headroom to breathe and play. So, you retain that charming musicality, now with zero restraints in the technical realm.

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Custom Art FIBAE Black

Custom Art’s FIBAE Black is a single-driver monitor. But among the custom in-ears in my collection, it’s perhaps the most difficult to drive. The headphone outputs on both my Soundcraft monitor mixer and my Yamaha CL5 barely power it at max volume. But as if to boast its superiority, Lotoo’s PAW Gold Touch pushes it without breaking a sweat. At 40/100 on single-ended mode and high gain, I get very listenable volumes with no hiss. As the name suggests, the monitor also comes equipped with Custom Art’s FIBAE (Flat Impedance Balanced Armature Earphone) Technology. Essentially, it allows the monitor to maintain an identical signature no matter the source. As it entirely skips the colouration of the amp section, it makes for a transparent DAC evaluator. Through the Black, the Touch’s transparency, resolution and dynamics truly shine through – offering an impactful sound, whilst maintaining excellent headroom and composure at all times.

MrSpeakers AEON Flow Open

MrSpeakers’ AEON Flow Open is a relatively easy-to-drive headphone. Dan Clarke developed it to be mobile-friendly, after all. Obviously then, the PAW Gold Touch powers it with ease. On single-ended with high gain, 55 steps out of 100 is perfectly reasonable; akin to around 9 o’clock on my Cavalli Audio Liquid Carbon desktop amp. Compared to the Liquid Carbon, the PAW Gold Touch definitely gives the AEON Flow Open a freer, more open stage. After all, the Cavalli Audio amp emphasises dynamism and impact above all. So, if you own an AEON Flow Open and are looking for a source to boost its imaging and expansion, the Touch is a very viable option. With that said, the Touch doesn’t quite give the AEON the warmth down low that the Liquid Carbon provides. So although the Touch is capable of making the most out of that planar bass impact effortlessly, it’s a bit top-heavy in tone for my tastes. But, I’m sure others may enjoy this colouration.


Sennheiser HD800S

An amp-dependent headphone like Sennheiser’s HD800S is perhaps the PAW Gold Touch’s greatest test. Volume-wise, the Touch continues to perform – merely requiring 50 out of 100 steps on high-gain in single-ended mode to reach an acceptable loudness. Obviously then, this leaves quite a bit of headroom, resulting in a sound that comes across neither saturated nor forced. However, I do feel the headphones have more potential to spare spatially. The image the HD800S produces is well-layered, well-separated and detailed, but it isn’t as open or free-sounding as it would be on top-flight desktop amplifiers. But of course, this was the expected outcome. Lotoo should still be lauded for their admirable performance. Like the AEON Flow Open, the tonal combo isn’t necessarily my cup of tea. Although the Touch refines the HD800S’s treble quite effectively, the top-end tilt does leave the headphone sounding lean and meagre down low. This is a combo that’ll suit trebleheadsmore than others. But nevertheless, it makes a strong case for the Touch’s raw power.

Select Comparisons

Sony WM1A (modded by Project K)

The WM1A is my current daily DAP, modified by Project K with enhanced internal wiring, electrical shielding and several other kinds of tweaks. Sonically, the player has transformed considerably, the specifics of which you can find here. The main hallmarks of this modded source is a thick, full-bodied, forward sound set against a vast, stable backdrop. This is where it first contrasts against the Touch. Lotoo’s flagship player is comparatively more laid-back with a neutrally-positioned midrange. Sony’s WM1A saturates instruments for a more energetic, involving and rhythmic presentation. The melodic elements here are fuller and more in-your-face, while the PAW Gold Touch holds back for refinement’s sake.


Down low, the Touch delivers tighter, more concentrated hits. Bass notes feel denser and more compact. When the WM1A punches by comparison, wisps of warm air surround each jab. So, those notes may feel bigger, but they aren’t as defined and transparent as those on the PAW Gold Touch. Where the WM1A’s looser hits pay dividends is in stage cohesion and sub-bass rumble. The soundscape it produces has an ensemble feel because of the decay of the mid-bass. Some may call it musical, others may call it a touch sloppy. At the end of the day, you’ll be the judge of that. Sub-bass rumble is more fun and concert-like on the WM1A, while it has more of a linear, transparent, studio feel on the Touch.

The treble is where the two players are furthest apart. The WM1A sources articulation from its lower-treble. With its full-bodied midrange, you get blunter transients with a wider sense of impact. Comparatively, the PAW Gold Touch’s refinement and upper-treble-emphasis generates feathered transients with a softer sense of attack. Instruments aren’t as bold here as they are on the WM1A. But, this pays dividends in headroom. The Touch possesses heaps of space for transients to pop in and decay. By comparison, the WM1A’s saturation renders it vulnerable to sounding brittle with certain recordings. In addition, the Touch’s superior coherence gifts it a more fanned-out, precise and spherical stage. The WM1A possesses the more musical, fun and immersive soundscape, but sacrifices a touch of finesse in return.

Astell&Kern AK70 (modded by MST Technologies)

Before being usurped by my Project-K-modded WM1A, my daily driver was Astell&Kern’s ultra-compact AK70. Similarly, it was modified, but by MST Technologies in Japan. The alterations made were far more invasive than Project K’s, involving word clocks, capacitors, op-amps, etc. The result was a neutral signature with excellent transparency, layering and stereo separation. You’d be right in assuming, then, that the AK70-Kai and the PAW Gold Touch share several similarities. Unlike the modded WM1A, they aren’t thick-sounding players, neither do they saturate their stages. Rather, they possess lighter, more compact notes with a reasonably swift decay to boost separation, headroom and perceivable detail. These qualities make up the AK70-Kai as well, but a couple notable differences do distinguish it from Lotoo’s PAW Gold Touch.

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In terms of raw stage expansion, the PAW Gold Touch is the clear victor. Elements at 10 and 2 o’ clock especially expand further, giving the soundscape a distinct spherical shape. The AK70-Kai hangs on in terms of depth, but the diagonal and horizontal extremes feel a bit more closed-in. The Touch also possesses superior micro-dynamic range. Nuances pop out of the background more, so they’re more physically convincing. With that said, the AK70-Kai does impress when it comes to layering and separation. Despite having a less stable background, the Kai’s faster decay allows more data to come through. Reverbs seem more prominent, because the fundamentals had already gone. Nevertheless, when it comes to transparency and resolution – despite the Kai’s most cunning efforts – the PAW Gold Touch comes out squarely on top.

The key difference between the two lies in the top-end. The AK70-Kai possesses a calmer lower-treble for softer, more feathered articulation. This is partly why it’s able to keep up with the Touch in terms of depth. There’s more excitement to the PAW Gold Touch, as well as the room to do so. Conversely, the AK70-Kai’s more intimate soundscape makes it lean towards a wall-of-sound-esque presentation. The advantage to the Kai is that its soundscape sounds more cohered and tethered together. The whole ensemble feels like a lively, singular unit. The advantage to the Touch is superior transparency, greater separation and effortless resolution. Finally, the Touch’s excellent bass extension produces notes with greater solidity, physicality and texture. On the other hand, the Kai’s slams sound airier and lighter by comparison.


Lotoo’s PAW Gold Touch is a monumental entry in the flagship space. Gallantly abandoning their button-clad comfort zone, the audio player veterans have shown that they can tango with the top dogs in build, aesthetics, software design and sound. Few interface quirks notwithstanding, this is a luxury product with the function and form to match. Sonically, it’s one of the most well-executed iterations of neutral I’ve heard from a source. How well it executes reference without monotony and spaciousness without indifference is most impressive to my ears. In addition, the stunningly low noise floor, immense output power and plethora of sound-shaping options make one gorgeously complete package. $3199 is never an easy price to swallow, but Lotoo have absolutely made a case for it. As much as I long for all this to trickle down to more affordable options in the future, the PAW Gold Touch alone is a compelling buy for any discerning audiophile.

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1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: mature and natural sound, smooth ui, good usability, versatility, driving power, accessories set
Cons: no streaming capabilities
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A long, long time ago… In the old year of 2014, famous company Infomedia started a subsidiary company named Lotoo and announced digital audio player that became on the best portable audio devices ever created. The new gadget, named Lotoo Paw Gold had a pretty "refreshing" price tag of $2400, I could be wrong, but at that moment it was the most expensive DAP on the market. A long time passed since then, but LPG still was a great option for those who wanted great sound quality. But feature-wise, Paw was pretty outdated: small screen, button-based controls, no wireless interfaces, etc. Lotoo did a minor refresh of their flagship, releasing "Lotoo Paw Gold 2017", but changes were minor: new color and reduced background noise level. Finally, at 2018 they announced succeeder of LPG with a pretty long name "Lotoo Paw Gold Touch" (BTW, is it the longest name in DAPs world?) and this DAP is a massive leap into the market of 2018-made devices. I've spent a few weeks with LPGN, and now I'd like to tell about it.

Before I proceed, I'd like to thank Lotoo for providing me a review sample in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. Lotoo Paw Gold Touch is available for sale at MusicTeck.

Package of original LPG was one of the most impressive boxes I've ever seen. Unfolding like Lemarchand box, slowly unveiling its contents, it did an excellent job in creating an appropriate mood for the buyer. Unfortunately, Lotoo decided to make packaging more eco-friendly and simplify it. Now it's plain black cardboard box put into outer "jacket" covered in goldish foil with embossing. This packaging looks expensive enough, but I'll miss the old box.

Inside of package, you will find:
  • player itself
  • nice stitched leather case
  • two protective screens
  • cleaning cloth
  • USB-C cable in fabric cloth, looking good
  • manual and warranty card
I'd said it's pretty much all you will need to use the player, not more, not less.

If you put "classical" LPG and "touch" version together and ask people which one is more recent, I bet there won't be two opinions: the new design looks modern and mature. Of course, LPG had its brutal charm, but let's face the truth: 2014 was a long time ago. Lotoo designers succeeded in creating a new "flagship" design. It combines style, usability, and the company's unique approach.

The player is pretty big, its width and height are bigger than corresponding sizes of LPG. At the same time, the new model is thinner, so it's still can be considered portable. Unlike A&Ultima, it better fits in a palm and is easier to operate. The black metal case is now more rounded, all sharp edges and slopes are gone. It contrasts with A&K's design approach and gives LPGT it's own unique look among other gods of TOTL Olympus.

Of course, the center of gadget's universe is sensor screen. It's relatively small, a bit less than 4 inches, the resolution is 800 × 480. Viewing angles and picture quality is excellent. Brightness is enough for direct sunlight. The screen is pretty responsive, but some UI elements need a bit of tweaking, mostly toggles. Their tap area is small, and they require precise aiming for toggling. Besides that, touch and gestures handling is flawless.

A nice small feature that I especially like: you can double tap the screen to wake the player up. I think all DAPs should implement that ASAP.

Right panel holds four buttons: one for toggling player on and screen locking, and 3 for track navigation and play-pause function. All buttons have nice, defined click and proper tactical feedback. The bottom panel has a slot for SD cards (player uses full-size SD). LPGT has no own memory, but it supports all card volumes so that won't be a huge problem. Near the SD slot, you'll find USB-C socket for charging, memory card access, and to use the player as USB DAC. Nice touch, when you connect LPGT to smartphone or PC, it shows menu, allowing you to select the desired connection mode. Moreover, you can choose, shall player charge while working as a DAC, it's a convenient feature that allows you to save some power using "Touch" with notebook or smartphone.

Speaking about work time, despite pretty big battery (5500 mAh), it's about average. From a single charge, I've got from 9 to 10.5 hours of work. A full charge took about 4 hours.

On top panel located two outputs: 4.4 mm "balanced" Pentacon and single-ended 3.5 mm. I think that a gradual transition to Pentacon is the right direction for portable audio. Volume knob, located nearby, is the only element reminding classical LPG: it has same gold plating and similar "sun" pattern that Lotoo connects with Apollo, god of music. Volume control uses good encoder, so it's rotating smoothly and with an apparent fixation of positions. Underneath this knob, you'll see a circular led indicator with a cool "breath" effect slowly fading in and out during playback and charge. It looks stylish, but you'll become annoyed after 15 minutes of slow blinks, you can turn it off in settings.

Overall build quality is uncompromised, and probably you can't expect less for that price range. Usability is also good; I got no single issue with it.

Firmware is an in-house developed solution, not relying on the Android core. From one point of view, it gives DAP lightning-fast bootup (about 2 seconds) and boosts its reliability and performance. From another hand, it's drastically limiting the streaming capabilities of the player. LPGT has WiFi, but its single usage is a firmware update. Maybe later Lotoo will add some network features, but that isn't certain. At the same time, Bluetooth implementation is excellent: it's bi-directional and supports LDAC.

I won't go deep into describing every single menu option, the player has plenty of them, but anyone can figure them out after 10 minutes of use.

The main screen divides into few sections. Top one contains media library buttons: Playlist, Folder, Artists, Albums and all songs, and Settings button. Media library is traditional, most probably you've seen that many times. Besides usual browsing, you can filter songs list by files resolution and perform bulk and single file operations of deletion and addition to the playlist. Artists list is single-level, selecting artist will give you all his songs without albums groping. Update: recent firmware fixed this, now two-level grouping is available. Also, I must admit that the media library is lightning fast, scanning is done in the background and took almost no time.
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Below media library, the player shows information about the currently playing track, tapping here will move you to now playing screen. That screen is pretty familiar: big cover display, navigation controls, etc. Tapping album's cover will show you additional information about the track, its lyrics (if present) and signature spectrum analyzer. I like that Lotoo didn't forget about that feature of classical LPG.

Under the track info on the main screen, developers placed playback control buttons with nice sine wave animation underneath.

Swipe down from upper edge traditionally opens quick settings menu. Swiping up from the lower side will return you to the main menu from any submenu.

And about the settings. There are lots of them, but their grouping is pretty logical, so learning them won't take much time. Fun detail: you can tune both outputs separately, selecting options like mode, gain, and balance. I won't describe all possibilities, mention the most important one: parametric equalizer and ATE. As in "old" model, new Paw Gold has a perfect implementation of digital signal processing. You can select one of "Acoustic Timbre Enhancement" presets, they are fascinating and goes beyond traditional EQing. Or you can tune equalizer yourself, using a pretty convenient menu. Unlike old LPG, now you can see the equalizer curve to get a better understanding of what's going on with sound. The best thing here is that turning equalizer on don't spoil the music, unlike other DAP's implementations, so "Touch" is, probably, the best option for those who'd like to "tweak" the sound of player.

And now, let's move to the sound. As I've mentioned above, two outputs of LPGT uses different opamps so that their sounding will be a bit different. The single-ended output sounds a bit closer to "Classical" LPG: more added energy and a bit "rougher" representation. So to get the maximum "boost," you need to use balanced out with Pentacon cable or utilizing some adapter. The further sound description is made using 4.4 mm out.

Tuning of TOTL DAP's sound is a hard job, one step aside, and you fail. Representation should be neutral, detailed, but at the same time not too dull and lifeless. Luckily, Lotoo's engineers know their job well, and LPGT is a strong competitor in its segment with a superb organic and engaging presentation.

It's hard to describe the sound of LPGT because it's "correct." It sounds "as is" and that's probably saying almost everything about it :) There are not much "features" in player's representation to name, so I can just tell how good are particular aspects of it's sounding. But anyway, let's try to do that.
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For listening, I used the following headphones: Meze Empyrean, Audio Zenith PMx2, Noble Kaiser Encore, Campfire Audio Andromeda and Solaris, Unique Melody Mason V3, HUM Pristine.

Bass is neutral, perfectly detailed and well-controlled. Player has no accents, so it won't fit the tastes of those who like "additional pump," but will perfectly suit those who want to hear any single nuance of low-register instruments. Acoustic bass, organ, lower octaves of fortepiano — that's where LPGT shines. Anyway, synthesized bass isn't a problem for it too, depth is excellent, and if you need some bass boost, you can get appropriate headphones or IEMs. As an example track for bass, I will name Dire Straits – Private Investigations. If you heard this track, I think you can understand why I selected it. This monotone bass notes in the second part of this track are in perfect contrast with Knopfler's guitar, and LPGT's ideal control of bass makes this part impressive.

Mid frequencies are masterfully balancing between neutrality and engagement. They have a tiny hint of added forwardness in the upper area that adding additional effectiveness to vocals, but that's the only deviation from neutrality. At the same time, LPGT offers an impressive integral representation of musical material, immersive and emotional. At the same time, the player is resolving, with the perfect amount of micro contrast. The imaginary stage is the widest I've heard in portable audio world (sharing #1 spot with SP1000), and one of the deepest (SP1000 is a bit deeper, but just a bit). As an example here I will use The Alan Parsons Project – La Sagrada Familia: player flawlessly recreated nice 3D effects during the intro, as well as emotions and details of central "rock" part.
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Treble for me is a most significant difference of high-end device. It's so hard to point at some minor issues with upper frequencies, but they can ruin everything and make sound lifeless. Luckily, LPGT is a right TOTL player, and it's treble is as close to perfection as possible. Details, layering, proper attacks and decays — all that nuances are here, giving the player airness, naturalness and "superpowers" to deal with overtones. Treble's example will be Leïla Martial – Left Alone, one of the best vocal jazz tracks in my media library. Intensive female vocal is always a test for any DAP, but "Touch" passes it with flying colors.

Another strong side of LPGT is versatility. It has a low level of background noise to make listening to any sensitive IEMs a joy. It has enough driving power for a vast majority of full-size cans. Just give this DAP any headphones (except few toughest to drive models), and it will push them to the limits.

Few selected comparisons.

Astell&Kern SP1000 It seems to me that Lotoo engineers kept A&Ultima in mind when they tweaked LPGT sound. Both players are very close concerning sound, speaking either about "level" or "representation." Same control, same neutral, but engaging representation, same rich treble, etc. Differences are so minor that I had to do a long A/B testing session to describe the difference. SP1000 has a bit deeper imaginary stage, but the difference is subtle. Also, DAPs have slightly different mids coloration: signature "fluid" mids of A&K versus small grain of added upper mids emotions from LPGT. Honestly, I can't answer which one is better, so, you should probably base selection on non-sonic preferences like design and features.

Astell&Kern SP1000M This one is simpler to tell apart. LPGT offers better bass representation and bit more treble extension. The stage has the same depth, but LPGT is a bit wider. The difference is minor but audible.
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Lotoo Paw Gold Well, this one is a more complicated choice as LPGT isn't a "classical LPG on steroids." The sound of the "Touch" was re-tuned to be less colored and more natural. So, if you like the added emotions and drive of the classical model, LPGT isn't an upgrade, but a new, different experience. But if you prefer the more natural and uncolored sound, "Touch" is a noticeable step forward.

Well, probably, it's time to summarize. Lotoo is moving in the head of the market, LPGT is a worse contender for other flagship devices: great mature sound, exciting design, and smooth UI. Of course, it lacks streaming features, but the flawless implementation of the equalizer is a much more important option, at least for me.

P.S. Video version of my review is also available


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Ergonomic, unique signature of it own with strong characters, powerful enough even Hd800s is satisfied
Cons: No internet or browser with WiFi, price
Thanks to Musicteck , an authorized dealer of Lotoo in the US, I am able to spend sometime with the Gold-Touch. I requested the Gold-Touch because it peaked my interest in many of the technologies which is dedicated toward Sound quality. The 2 main reasons are

1/ DSP, Digital Signal Processing. Instead of using the typical FPGA or Xmos chips to handle this process, Lotoo opted for another chip that is Black Fin 706. Yes, the DSP is just as important as a DAC, or it could even be more important. I am sure the majority of people overlooked this. While Lotoo does not marketing this implementation and design the way it should, Lotto shows that they care about sound quality and how it gets processed.
2/ Upsampling and Oversampling by another chip on the fly, the AKM4137EQ. It is very interesting that as my understanding, this chip can also act as another DSP chip, but Lotoo has a reason to separate DSP chip and Upsampling-Oversampling processing chip. I think it makes sense to have each dedicated chip into a specific task. According to Lotoo description, any PCM can be Upsampled into 768KHz, and any DSD goes to Reprocessing into DSD256. If I am not mistaken, by doing this, Lotto is fully in control of software algorithm which can fully utilizes the Hardware IC chips to the most efficient way. So when Upsampled or reprocessing of either PCM or DSD, the software will heavily be affecting the sound performances. If Chord has M-Scaler to Scale up any PCM into 768KHz, then Gold Touch XRC is already doing it within itself. However, the programs and coding would be the decisive factor here

3/ GT Is advertised to be capable of DSD512. So far, there is only 2 devices in portable form that can do DSD512 natively. The DX200 and the LPGT

4/ Build quality from pictures advertised, it seems to be using top of the line Oxi-Capacitors from AVX
Freshly out of the box, the GT reminds me the form factor of WM1Z with the appearance of WM1A. Instead of using MicroSD, it uses full-size SD. It is fairly light in hand. Quick look at the connectors, headphones 4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm single ended. Both of these outputs can be used as Line-Out

Instead of using 2x AK4497EQ, Lotoo opted for 1 single chip. Does it matter ? Yes, and no. Theoretically speaking, anything higher than 125Db Dynamic range, we are into high-resolutions, and high quality of sound reproductions. The rest of it is how the hardware is internally connected, communicated, quality of the supportive components being used, and most of all, the playback software and the whole OS.


Practicality: GT has External USB-DAC and Bluetooth DAC/Amp features, both allows great flexibility to wire or wirelessly connection to other devices while using the GT as your portable DAC/Amp

At this moment, the wireless connection to go onto the internet is only useful for checking OTA updates, no browser or apps. The GT from out of the box and the interfaces were very straight forward, simple, and easy to grab hold of. I can totally see that GT was catered from within the Operation System to the Connections and it interfaces are all dedicated toward user friendly and music performances only. This motive is very similar to Sony and their latest Walkman. Only exception is that Walkman WM lines don’t even have WiFi.

USB-DAC features: right now, the USB-DAC feature is only enabled by using the stock cables that comes with it. Using Windows 10 OS, the GT automatically prompted Windows to install driver, and however, does not allow DSD playback in this mode by using HQ-Player.

However, Upsampling on the fly upto 705.6Khz is possible in this mode. That means even in XRC, the full-blown feature of upscaling your PCM into 768KHz is as advertised. By using HQPlayer, you can custom the Filter, noise-shaping, dithering to your heart contents. Volume-wheel is disabled, and only software from the PC is enabled.

Disclaimer: I only use full-size headphones, and it is HD800S. My point of view and impressions according to my preferences is my own. You may find it helpful, or totally useless. However, If you are honestly looking to spend $3,000 something for a DAP, and looking for reviews or impressions to get an idea, I would urge you to take my impressions with a grain of salt. The best is to listen to the Gold Touch with your favorite collections and favorite gears (headphones or in ears), and decide for yourself. If you are inside the US, you may contact Musicteck for a Demo on tour unit, which I am using for this review. This unit is not purchased or given to me. I am simply interested in the device, and willing to share what Impression I may find

PCM without EQ: please bare in mind that I won’t be making any impressions regarding the EQ. If you like to EQ, I can only say that P-EQ is very well known for it performances.


Sound signature: it is your typical AKM sound signature, and it isn’t much altered. Thick density with smooth and weighty treble. Engaging with a little touch of warmth very similar to WM1Z, but with better soundstage. Very focused and analog like. I would say that it is very musical, engaging, and fun to listen to with a unique signature or characters of it own.

Power delivery: very powerful, high gain can gain a lot more than low gain, and with high-gain, balanced 4.4mm, HD800s can seamlessly be driven at 60 volumes

Layering and separations are great, though, I thought it could be better ?

Sub-bass: plenty of it with a good dosage of rumbles

Bass overall is dense with a slight touch of your AKM signature, good blooms, extensions and speed, while being very well balanced from low-mid-upper bass throughout

Mid carries a touch of warmth with great and acceptable layering separation overall, the GT is very musical , soothing and engaging to listen to. Trying to listening to GT until this section, I just want to relax, close my eyes, and let it sing me to sleep.

Lower trebles is very well presenting with great body density and resolution. Mid treble also have this weighty feeling while the upper treble is a tad more neutral in comparison to the rest with great extensions. I think Lotoo is trying to keep the musicality, engaging, fun, but not losing any details and or too boring. It is actually very forgiven as sibilants in bad records are kept to a minimum to still be enjoyable but noticeable enough to tell you that there is sibilants caused by the tracks

Soundstage: very spherical and holographic. The sound signature is a tad closer to the WM1Z than I would think, while the soundstage is actually better in width, depth, not quiet as tall in the vertical plane. It is probably the illusion created by the expansion of width and depth in comparison.

Clarity and transparency: once again, AKM style with focuses upon timbres density and analog like musicality

There is something different with the GT than the Wm1Z that I can not quite find the right way to describe, perhaps it is the warmth but evenly and artfully turned closer to natural sounding on the wm1Z while the LPGT is also similarly warmth but more kind of like a unique signature of it own. I don’t know why when I think about this and the “mega bass line of Walkman in the past come to mind”.

XRC: Upsampling any PCM with AKM-IC into 768KHz

While connecting to PC with Windows OS and the stock cables, the GT will automatically provide driver to the PC. It will allow to do XRC on the GT itself, or you can use HQPlayer-Wasapi-GT and up-scale anything into 75.6Khz. This feature is as advertised.

It charges and play simultaneously, so it would not run out of battery.

Sound signature: using XRC here, the sound is now more neutral without too much emphasizing into the bass blooms and resonances as the Standard playback. It got cleaned up nicely and is more balanced to the rest of other spectrums with better decay and speed. Vocal is also cleaned up nicely, but trebles could be a touch more detailed with better energy and extensions. The better treble could be achieved with (Sinc-M filter, none dithering, 705.6 KHz) from within the HQPlayer itself. The unique characters of LPGT still remains but somewhat tamed

What does this mean ? It means that simply Lotoo has it own and very Unique signature and strong character with it own Standard Player

For now, the most enjoyable sound performances for me comes from the HQPlayer with GT as an external DAC that can upscale upto 705.6Khz. The feature inside itself, XRC can do something similar, but it will need time to perfection.

DSD-Native as a platform

Using GT connecting to PC can only be used with upscaling PCM, and there is no feature available for DSD at all.

However, a loaded DSD256 onto the SD-card can play flawlessly. Using DSD256 the “unique signature” that I mentioned above became more Apparent. This flavor presented itself plenty with Standard player, and somewhat on XRC upscaling, then disappear with DSD256

Perhaps if this is Lotoo house sound signature, then I am sure it will not disappoint anyone who adore it, a touch of warmth, Very musical with great density and long decay with great blooms

While advertising the player being able to handle DSD512, the GT can not actually playback DSD512 being loaded into the SD card or USB-DAC. Maybe in the future, this feature will be enabled with firmware. However, for a portable device, many companies rather choose to be safe than sorry as DSD512 consumes a lot of processing power and battery

I also have another DAP here that can do wonderfully with DSD512 internally loaded or acting as external USB-DAC, the DX200. However, the DX200 can not play PCM 705.6Khz the way the GT does. If you want PCM upscaler, go with GT, and if you want DSD512, the Dx200 is the answer.

In comparison to DX200Titanium and Amp1Titanium balanced out. The Dx200 actually has better soundstage with width, depth, vertical and Holo graphical presentation. The airiness and separation is also a bit better. The GT does get closer to the DX200Ti when ticked on the XRC. Both is playing DSD256 about similar with GT a touch more analog sounding.
Conclusion: We all have our own preferences, music is just like art and foods. We don’t all like fish-sauces, or anchovy do we ?

So, in my opinion. The LPGT is wonderful for what it is trying to aim at. Very friendly interface, New features such as XRC, and is the first of many products to be seamlessly upscaling PCM into higher format upto 705.6 KHz by itself, or by PC via USB. Parametric EQ, over the air firmware upgrades, different choices of digital filters, the powerful output to drive full-size headphones. The unique House-Sound signature of LoToo...etc...My verdict is that the LPGT is a wonderful machine with carefully engineering and thought out to be a wonderful high-performances oriented device with a Unique signature and characters, the LPGT is certainly of it own, and if your preferences is leaning toward this uniqueness, you will not find another DAP on the current market similar

However, for my personal choices, I choose to stay with Dx200 as a platform just as much as when I let go of my WM1Z and still keeping it. Ultimately, for your own decision, I will then once again, urge you to personally listen to the LPGT before you can decide.


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