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Any love for the Activo CT10?

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by CarmenC, Jul 10, 2018.
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  1. NymPHONOmaniac
    This CT10 DAP kind of intrigue me....and as I just begin to create a new thread about best DAP findable under 500$, i wonder if I should put it in. Will read more about this.

    But if anybody wanna share impressions and comparaison here it will be very interesting I think, especially comparaisons with the DAP on the list.

    As well, I need more suggestions.

  2. oneula
    does or will the CT10 support Qobuz streaming/downloading like Tidal?
  3. JasonNYC
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/astellnkern/ https://twitter.com/astell_kern https://instagram.com/astellnkern https://us.astellnkern.com support.inc@iriver.com
  4. oneula
    i was sent the beta invite last week and prefer the sounds and music styles I have been listening to on Qobuz over tidal which seems more rap/pop based.
    I was looking at the fiio M9 and pioneer DAPs but rather go with something with a pedigree I feel more comfortable with.
  5. oneula
    I tried the download of services for qobuz. tidal and spotify and keep getting a "parsing error" during the install process
    any suggestions?
  6. k_j
    Quite interested in the CT 10, the white plastic shell/casing reminds of the Creative Zen Micro player -

    imackler, trellus and AndySocial like this.
  7. oneula
    I fonally got qobuz and tidal to workon the CT-10 which makes it more useful than my Hiby R3 at this point even though the Hiby has the balanced output option.
    Especially with the Qobuz and Tidal download and offline play options
    Lacking the power for my VE Zens and Overear cans like my Nighthawks, HifiMan/Sennheiser Massdrops and and modified Mk3 Argons.
    Probably stick to my Comet, VIE BIE, DM6s and TIN T3 for this device unless I hook it up to an amp
    Funny thing is my little Shanling M0 seems to out power both the CT-10 and R3

    Any suggestion for a small powerful amp other than the Chord Mojo or iFi for this device?
    I tried my Fiio A5 and it didn't seem to make a difference
    jhog likes this.
  8. jhog
    I’ve been using my Alo Continental V2 with it and it sounds phenomenal. It’s not exactly a fully portable rig (but then I’m guessing you’re not looking for that for your bigger cans anyways) but it’s eminently transportable and is an utter treat, if you like a bit of tubey goodness.

    I’m actually just in the process of upgrading to the Continental V5 so could let you know how that sounds (or indeed sell you my V2! :wink: )

    I’m going to try with an RSA Tomahawk I picked up on the cheap as well, just for fun. Can let you know if it’s any improvement. I must say though, despite being an utter sucker for amps and stacking, a tiny part of me says that really, for most cans, at least lower impedance, the CT10 sounds fantastic on its own, but then I’ve not tried any real power hungry ones...
    PhilW likes this.
  9. Bio-Rhythm
    Quick summary of my experience with the CT10: Great player, IF, the Devs add a larger scope of streaming apps (not just subscription services) with the abililty to save music for offline use.

    I've just received the CT10. As mentioned the sound quality is very good.I couldn't detect a significant difference when I listened to one of my own productions in 24bit flac quality between the CT10 and the Fiio X1 (first gen). The CT10 powers the full size Philips Fidelio X2 (32 ohm) and the Beyerdynamic DT 770 pro's (32 ohm) with plenty of headroom (volume) to spare.

    Quote "ACTIVO's mission is to create an experience that allows you to connect with your music in a new way." (i.e. Make Money!. Just saying it as it is)

    But perhaps not specifically in your own way!. e.g. The two streaming service apps, Tidal and groovers+, that are installed by default (can't remove them) are fine if your into listening to certain pop genres and want to pay for high res (non compressed) music.But if, like me, your into electronic music (inc Dj mixes) the only viable app available is soundcloud ( not including the pop music sites like Amazon music which again is more based on the usual pop scene). I presume if I pay for the soundcloud service I could remove the regular adverts from the CT10 sound cloud app and download the free to download music. But there is no information available on the Activo's website regarding to what extent any particular app features work or not (a user forum may help).So, unless your 24/7 connected to a wifi network it's rather limiting in the context of choice, due to the restrictions on saving for offline use.
    Though I did notice (when I clicked a link via the sound cloud app) a web browser on the CT10 came up (though it's not visible on the CT10's menu. But, even though I visited one of my own, free to download hi res tracks on hearthis.at, when I clicked on the download link nothing happened (i.e. Ineffective browser).

    In summary. Quality little player. But, if your wanting a device to connect with quality music in your own way the CT10 is limited for " connect with your music in a new way." .
    So, it maybe better to buy a phone with a good DAC so as to avoid some of these limitations. Though, the CT10 would be more adaptable if it allowed the installation of a good browser like firefox. Of course it's small form factor is a plus for portability. But if you can't take the music away from the networks, it's not very portable as your chained to bandwidth and sever coverage and “recommended playlist apps” like spotify for the more casual music listener whom prefers to have there music spoon fed to them with via recommended marketed playlists.

    Quote "There are 19 music services supported, however a limit of 4 apps can be installed at the same time to provide optimal performance and maintain a great user experience.". Sounds more like marketing spam to me. Just limit how many apps can be running at the same time (processing power). i.e. . Why limit how many supported apps can be installed?, if the space is available?.

    Hardware 4/5 ( well made)

    Firmware 4/5 ( responsive)

    Freedom of use of apps that connect to the internet 1/5 ( highly regulated by those in the music industry even to the point that apps (or a browser) that do provide free downloads are not available).

    Overall 2.2 out of 5. Though if this device was just marketed as a decent portable audio player I'd give it a 4/5 ( i.e . Quality Hardware and firmware).
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  10. oneula
    I was able to download a bunch of 24bit songs from Qobuz to listen offline. I have them stored on the SD card and have been able to listen to them without being connected to wifi.
    I haven't tried to download Tidal to listen offline. So I'm not sure what is missing. I noticed Hiby just added Qobuz to the R3 so I'll need to check it out on my R3. But neither the Activo CT-10 or Hiby R3 can power my headphones like my little Shanling M0. The phones are the beyerdynamic 250 ohm 770, Mk3 Argons, HiFiMan 4xxx, 300 ohm Venture Electronics Zen and Zen Lites. The CT-10 are fine with my campfire comets, VE BIE iems/monks. BGVP DM6s and FEN2000s. I like Qobuz on the CT-10 online and off but I need to compare it to the app on my LG V30.
  11. Bio-Rhythm
    Thanks for that info. I'm just looking into the Qobuz music catalogue to see how much electronic genres ( hundreds of sub-genres) they have. The Dj scene/electronic music scene has been brought up on compressed audio so finding hi res music in Dj mixes is rare. In fact in some cases, possibly most, a Dj may (due to convenience /affordability as compressed audio maybe all that's available) mix together a bunch of compressed audio on a software mixer, then hit save 'the mix' and further compress the final mix.file product.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  12. oneula
    sorry my tastes are probably way different
    24bit tracks like JS Ondara's Tales of America, Yola's Faraway Look, Ralph Alessi's Oxide, Durand Jones & the Indication American Love Call Mats Eilertsen Albatross were some of the tracks I downloaded from their new release playlist

    Don't remembering hearing stuff like that on Tidal
  13. Bio-Rhythm
    I've tested Qobuz on the Activo CT10. { https://www.qobuz.com/gb-en/music/streaming/offersCD quality streaming } using the - FLAC 16-Bit / 44.1 KHz) streaming service ( first month free) . Sounds great due to the quality source files, hardware, headphones etc. Though at $19.99 (£15.36) a month it will and will not be an option for many. Though, if the Qobuz music catalogue (or another platform) can attract the electronic music community inc Dj mixes (rather than mp3 upload sites like sound cloud whom don't seem particularly motivate towards promoting at least CD/ Flac 16 bit 44.1 khz audio quality) then personally could afford to pay for access to high quality music (provided the middle guy wasn’t ripping off the artists). However, I don't like how the Muze industry (like industry in general) attempts to monopolize the music market. Watch out for DAP's that only allow installation of subscription services. There are alternative to the "pay the middle man" structures (though the middle men hate and very actively discourage them).

    For example, individual computers (inc smart phones, DAP’s etc) can connect on music sharing p2p networks ( no additional server costs) and people can/could share their own digital productions (not bought, made by the individual) under a free creative commons license. However, usually such p2p services have been, rightfully accused, by the muse industry as helping to share copyrighted digital material. Methods could be implemented to avoid this. For example, a free digital rights music codec. Those (individuals/industry etc) wishing to copy protect their digital media, could add the relevant information to the p2p's ( or codecs) blacklist. Essentially there are software methods to have the "best of both world". Free sharing platforms (for the forms of digital media that have become comparably inexpensive to produce and/or may come under the rubric of "hobby" personal digital productions, i.e. people that want to share their own music. And the forms of digital productions that have a comparably high production cost (e.g. Live bands etc) and or people whom are wanting to make a business out of their digital productions.
    Rather than, lets make the internet just another monopolised monetary based market place full of adverts and consumers being spoon fed information (inc digital productions) by “the middle men” whose bottom line (objective) is profit. Because as we are finding out (will find out), a “bottom line” monetary market tends to not include (advocates thoughtless behaviour) some very important variables like, well the planets Ecosystem. A healthy ecosystem (digital or biological) thrives on diversity.

    Important Information: I wonder if the news that insect numbers are in serious decline (virtually everywhere) as given the average mainstream consumer at least a cognitive niggle that there really is something wrong with the "business as usual" model.If you think insects are merely these creepy looking things that don't do anything important, your our of touch with how life functions. And that's the fundemental problem, ignorance ( which can be undone by learning).
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  14. Bio-Rhythm
    I think Qobuz may have a few more electronic genre albums. A web browser with a 'download as' would add much functionality to this player. I'd prefer a player that apps just work (like on a phone).
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  15. Bio-Rhythm
    Further update on my experience using the Activo CT10 DAP.

    I'm really enjoying listening to music with this player especially when using the Qobuz streaming service. There are many excellent electronic music albums on Qobuz (e.g. Jon Hopkins Album - Singularity, amongst many others).Though there are a few niggles regarding using the Qobuz App within the CT10 DAP. I have sent an email to the provided email address @ iRiver, though it's been four days and no reply. Also there seems to be no user forum for the CT10, thus nowhere to seek help. So, maybe I will have more success asking here :).

    1. When I setup wifi streaming using the players DLNA link feature this feature doesn't work within the Qobuz App. e.g. I can stream audio out of the CT10 using the DLNA (WIFI) link, though when I launch the Qubuz app and play a track this sound only plays on the CT10. Is this a limitation of the the qobuz app? or is the Qobuz app no working correctly on the CT10?. Has anyone got the DLNA WiFi feature streaming Qobuz audio on another DAP?.
    Or maybe the Qobuz app limits streaming audio over DLNA and or Bluetooth?, unless listeners buy a 'Qobuz connect' speaker system etc. ( Like there isn't enough wasteful technology already due to manufactures not working together effectively to implement certain universal connection systems!).

    2. Within the "search on Qobuz" box the font is almost invisible due to the colour being a very light grey. So It's difficult to read what's being typed.

    3. The brightness setting on the CT10 doesn't dim the screen sufficiently enough for dark environments. This increaser's eye strain & drains the battery faster (bright lights at night time can prolong how long it takes the brain to enter 'sleep mode', thus increasing insomnia). Ideally a Blue light filter should be available, at least as a supported android app, if not a firmware feature.

    I appreciate any feedback on these issues.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
    trellus likes this.
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