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Vivo Xplay 6

  1. Azzbreaker
    Awesome review ... :)
    Written by Azzbreaker
    Published Mar 30, 2019
    Awesome review, also i like how u talk about differences between those phones, since u have them :) Sad that vivo doesn't made xplay 7 and just dropped this Nex, that is not that close to the xplay series from vivo. I hope in the future, they will start to make it again :)
  2. artpiggo
    TOTL Audiophile Smartphone as of Q1 2017
    Written by artpiggo
    Published Apr 1, 2017
    Pros - Incredibly Euphonic vocal, Micro details, Depth Staging, Extended treble, Warm Presentation, Great Battery Life, DSD Mode
    Cons - Speaker quality could be better, sound stage could be wider, no Line out, Hi/Low gain mode, no micro SD slot. Might be fatiguing for some people.
              At first I didn’t expect myself to buy another phone after 9-month-old Letv Max which is still in solid condition and still use as one of in-house source from time to time which really makes full experience of watching movie. Thanks to its big screen and wide soundstage sound.
              But then I just think that maybe…maybe… I should try again. I need to choose between onkyo granbeat and vivo xplay6. I think for days. Granbeat has balanced mode which is really nice but it comes with higher price tag with micro sd slot and japan quality. While vivo on the other hand, is also spec-wise, TOTL Chinese smartphone, Good camera, high quality of sound and also cheaper. At last, I choose vivo xplay6 this time just because I now wonder how they will implement newly-launched ESS9038 chip to see if it worth keeping in my phone collection.
    Tested condition: 
    -  FW Version Tested: PD1610_D_1.20.5
    -  Music Player: Stock Player (iMusic)
    -  Set Airplane Mode ON
    1. Writer Introduction:
    Prior to jumping into sound section, I just want to provide all of information I know about my tested cans and my sound preference. In case I have different opinion on cans’ matching differently from others’ opinion or review, you can understand that various factors might make review different. 
    This part will also include unboxing and accessories and some essential picture of the unit and the UI for reader to visualize easier.
    Lastly, there is a sound comparison section with some phones for pointing out the character and quality of this phone as well.
    1.1  List of owned cans and stuffs
    IEM Tips, earbud foams
    Module / Special Mod
    UIEM: 64 audio U12
    Brimar Supreme Reference x4
    Eidolic both 2-pin and 2.5 mm plug
    Ortofon M
    Module G1
    CIEM: 64 audio V6S
    Brimar Quantum SXC
    3.5 mm Plug Gold Oyaide
    Remolded by UM
    Earbud: Rose Mojito
    Brimar Quantum SXC
    2.5 mm plug Ranko
    Mr. Chote light blue foam

    Adapter used to convert from Balanced plug to Single End
    - 2.5 mm female to 3.5 mm male Viablue plug DIY (since my cans are all 2.5 mm balanced but the line out and used external amp itself are 3.5 mm Single End)
    1.2  My Sound Preference:
    I love fun sound signature but not basshead type, prefer balanced sound. Crazy on big 3D soundstage and black background (low noise floor)
    1.3  My Song Preference:
    JPOP, Anisong, Movie OST
    1.4  List of Song used for testing purpose
    Artist name
    Song name
    Testing Purpose
    FLAC Mora.jp
    Drum, Impact, Bass
    Benjamin Anderson
    Next of Kin
    FLAC CD Rip
    Lonely Chaplin
    FLAC Mora.jp
    Hanaoka Natsumi
    Tokyo Cloudy
    FLAC Mora.jp
    Wagakki Band
    Senbon Zakura
    FLAC CD Rip
    Instrument Separation
    BlackYooh vs. Siromaru
    Black or White?
    FLAC CD Rip
    Kimi ga tame
    DSD 2.8 MHz
    DSD Mode

    1.5 Unboxing and Accessories
    Figure 1 shows the size comparison among 4.7” DX200, 5.2” xplay 6 and 6.3” Letv max
    Figure 2 shows the box package of xplay6 which comes in 13” square white box with silver screen of xplay6 logo at center and vivo at side view.
    Figure 3 shows the gold-color front screen film, transparent TPU case, and Black rubber case with “vivo” screened at back coming as accessories
    Figure 4 shows other essential stuffs like fast charge power adapter, micro usb cable, sim card needle, and iphone-look-alike earphone called vivo xe680 (I didn’t test it. Don’t ask me to.)
    DSC05330.jpg DSC05331.jpg
    Figure 5 and 6 show front UI and back cover which comes with 12 MP f1.7 Dual Cameras.  Yes, bokeh mode is nice. 
    IMG_20170319_174145.jpg IMG_20170328_125051.jpg IMG_20170319_174105.jpg
    _20170401_091714.jpg _20170327_191140.jpg _20170327_190828.jpg
    Figure 7 shows iMusic UI. Please see Pros and Cons below
    Pros: Support CUE playlist, Local song separated in Artist/Albums/All songs/Folders and one click music scan button., Native DSD. Lyric Support. Beautiful and clean interface.
    Cons: a little clicking noise when changing songs with different sampling rate “44.1kHz to 48/96kHz”and vice versa and when playing DSD list, Hard to find online album covers if missing,
    _20170401_095025.jpg _20170401_095050.jpg
    Special Note: HQ (High Quality) = DSD format while SQ = FLAC (either CD quality or Hi-Res) 
    _20170401_091624.jpg _20170319_141732.jpg _20170319_141844.png
    Figure 8 shows DSD mode meaning and Hi-Fi compatability.
    2. Sound Quality and Character
    2.1 Speaker comparison with Letv Max
    2.2 from 3.5 mm headphone out
    Let me introduce my cans’ sound signature first.
    1. 64 audio U12
    Can signature: balanced sound, fun, warm mid, deep bass, good separation and 3D stage, subbass extension.
    1. 64 audio V6S
    Can signature: smooth treble, 3D stage, neutral, vocal stood out. Might not best at separation.
    1. Rose Mojito
    Can signature: wide soundstage, analytical, bright treble. It’s strange that that its spec has low impedance and normal sensitivity, it does need volume more than the other two.
    Please see 1.1  List of owned cans and stuffs for detailed info.
    Rose Mojito
    Drum, Impact, Bass
    Nothing to say much. Perfect. Fun sound, live, good dynamics, bass quantity is right. Impact attack makes me deep in Budokan concert.
    Compare to Letv max, I wish it could have a little more impact attack and bigger bass note for this set up to enjoy.
    For earbud, it does give enough unique tight bass and impact with good instrument separation. No interference among each frequency.
    Give clear and resolute string movement and accurate position.
    Give smooth sounding of string. Still not see the movement of string much as with U12
    Perfect matching. Same impression as U12.
    Really its strength. I never feel this euphonic vocal since meizu mx4 pro. Vocal imaging does really stand out at front. “Can I just enjoy music and leave this review behind?”
    Crystal clear. Extended treble already. Perfect.
    Stand out from songs. Give a smooth treble. Not thunderous but crystal clear
    Treble seems to be tame while it is still crystal clear and presentation. But not bright peak as it usually is.
    Instrument Separation
    Separation is perfect in this set-up. Layering is top notch. Field of depth is mind-blown.
    Instrument separation still not good enough to my expectation. Wish it more airy, wider.
    It is only can that gives airy transparent presentation (might because wide soundstage of mojito.) Instrument separation is top notch.
    Feel lively with EDM-speed song thanks to tight bass and good dynamics
    Subbass is already there. Perfect matching already
    Subbass could be a little more would be perfect.
    Subbass already good enough for EDM.
    DSD Mode
    Really beyond my expectation. If the records is high quality. Vocal is really real. String does really stand out and see string movement without concentration. Micro details are revealing. “Can I just use this phone as DSD player only now?” this is what I really think.

    From trying 3 of my iems and earbud, I summarize xplay6 as
    1. Euphonic/Syrupy vocal: You are feeling sitting near with vocalist. Sweet Natural. Outstanding Vocal image is so beautifully shaped without any interference with other frequency.
    2. Depth soundstage is mind blown. Never see the drum impact transmission from the backside at specific position this much before. Layering is also top-notch. There is no feeling of congestion of each instrument and vocal. Well, I would like to say soundstage should be wider in order to give more airy presentation which will be beneficial for big band music.
    3. Extended treble. Really feel the treble coming out so clear and crystal without any suffer or fatigue (at least for me).
    4. Bass is tight enough to enjoy rock music with fun with adequate quantity. Not muddy or leave too much decay or feel bass shaking.
    5. Deep Bass does nicely extend to the enjoyable extent but not their strength compared to DAP which really does fullest deepest experience which warps you to another world.
    6. Impact is so powerful. Well it might not such an overwhelm imaging / full compared to DAP experience. But yup there it is. Can lighten up rock music alive.
    7. Micro Details really comes out above my expectation for stand-alone smartphone without much concentration. People who love smooth sound might find it fatiguing. But as I have stated at first about how I am thrilled with noticing more micro-details from small quiet instrument like shaker or tambolin.
    3. Phone comparison 
    Disclaimer: I owned Letv Max and LG V20 is my friend's. I tested it with 64audio U12 + G1 module only. Anyway please take this comparison with grain of salt.
    Figure above is only representing warm/cold tonal comparison.
    1. Letv Max (FW 20S)
      1. Treble: Letv max has more thunderous treble extension than Xplay6. In my playlist, I love Letv Max's treble more.
      2. Vocal: Letv max vocal become dead silent when comparing to Xplay6's epic vocal imaging.
      3. Bass: Xplay6 and Letv Max share similar bass quantity and tightness. while Letv max has a little more subbass.
      4. Worth-mentioning Note: Letv Max sound stage is like one dimensional wider and airier sound stage while Xplay6 is 3D stage having two dimensional atmosphere with better layering and field of depth.
    2. LG V20 (low gain because my IEM is low impedance and sensitive enough) (forget to check FW version sorry guys!)
      1. Treble: Xplay6 and V20 share similar controlled treble feeling that it is crystal clear and stand out. Xplay 6 just has a little sparkle of treble.
      2. Vocal: Both share similar natural sweet and euphonic vocal with Xplay6 vocal is closer to listener than LG V20's. 
      3. Bass: Both shares similar warm midbass sounding.
      4. Worth-mentioning Note #1: LG V20 shares quite similar tonal with Xplay6 in my opinion. while I think Xplay 6 is more lively sounding with micro details and strings can be observed much easier.
      5. Worth-mentioning Note #2 If activate V20's external mode to my IEM, sound will become thicker for vocal and boomy mid bass with more powerful impact which I think low gain is better matching in my case. This is why my review can be different with others' thought.
    Loudness/volume matching
    A little bit add up from review: I forget to talk about power output (loudness/volume matching). 
    using 64audio U12 
    50% volume of vivo xplay 6 HIFI mode equals ~65% volume V20 normal mode 
    50% volume of vivo xplay 6 HIFI mode equals ~50% volume V20 external mode 
    using HD800
    85% volume of vivo xplay 6 HIFI mode equals 100% volume Letv max HiFi mode 
    I really would like to say that vivo xplay6 has done everything right with this flagship device being the first company that implements ESS9038 in their device and done a good sound tuning. Even though there are few constraints. For example, Hi-Fi mode should be applying for all apps like Letv did and clicking noise when changing songs with different sampling rate, it does have DSD mode which works perfectly with iMusic App which pushes listening experience standard up beyond among other audiophile phones. The sound character is a little warmish, good resolution, lively, depth staging with top-notch layering for smartphone. 
    Lastly, I just have only one wish that it could be wider and comes with 2.5 balanced option for next generation’s flagship line :)))
      chaiyuta, yfei, bidn and 8 others like this.
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    2. Kyrts
      Man, what kind of music is that? Is it too modern music and phone can play it easily, how about some real oldtimer music like classic baroque and such, we oldtimers want nice audio too!
      Kyrts, Apr 4, 2017
    3. artpiggo
      @Kyrts Please have my apology. I will try practicing listening to some classics music too. I just need more time to digest and understand the music genre I have no confidence to express in words for a while. 
      artpiggo, Apr 5, 2017
    4. Kyrts
      It's a very nice review mate, no worries whatsoever, but if you really mean to get into such classical stuff, then I can suggest something very easy to find around, Handel's Dixit Dominus by Minkowski with Kozena, Massis etc, best tracks towards the end of it.
      Kyrts, Apr 5, 2017