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Cayin N3 Hi-Res DAP with AKM4490 DAC, apt-X Bluetooth, and Line, USB & Coax Out for $150

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by nmatheis, Jan 31, 2017.
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  1. Andykong
    Did you set the N3 to Line out mode when you connect the N3 to your XDuoo? If yes, you are connected in Line out. If not, you are Phone out mode. I can confirmed that you are not connected to digital output from N3, so you are using the XDUoo as a headphone amp. only.

    In either case, you are not hearing the best of N3. The line out mode is N3's weak link when compare to phone out and digital out.

    N3 Framwork.jpg

    This is the functional framework of N3, you can consider the line out signal as a fixed 1.0V output from the headphone output, and the signal has gone through exactly the same stage of voltage amplification and current amplification stage as the headphone output, so I agree with you that its not as clean as a dedicated line out straight from the DAC output.
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    BroncoVA and Ferdi91 like this.
  2. Andykong

    A bit complicated, right? I have explained the Dual digital out form N3 previously, maybe you can check it out again:
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  3. Pacem
    An other question: can we browse and have the Cayin N3 to read local files (from its SD card or from its own memory) from the phone app?
    I'm reluctant when it comes to bluetooth codecs.
  4. BroncoVA
    oopps...yes my bad! I totally messed up on that one: it's not Cayin but U.S.A based MusicTeck that charges 50$, sorry to have named your company for that ludicrous pricing.
    The roman distributor has also a site http://www.polarisaudio.it/ , i'll look up on there, thanks for the tip!
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  5. Andykong
    I can say with confident that N3 is the quietest DAP in Cayin line up so far, and the background noise of N3 is among the best when consider its output and driving power.

    We can't just look at the background noise issue without considering the output different. Let's compare the rated output of iphone (@33ohm) and N3 (@32ohm)
    iphone 6 = 26.39 mW,
    N3 = 130mW+130mW
    Source: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8554/the-iphone-6-review/11

    So the N3 is pumping out around 500% (rated) output when compare to a mobile phone, to control the final (total) noise output at the same level, the N3 will have to lower the noise floor by 80% to start with.

    This is just a simplified illustration, there can be different aspects to look at the same issue, for example we can look at the signal processing path of amplification design, the N3 will go through voltage amplification and then current amplification, but most if not all mobile phone will not have any "amplification" inside the phone as most likely it will be a direct output form the DAC chipset.

    So comparing the background noise of a mobile phone against a high power DAP is not really a fair game. Cayin has tried our best to keep the background noise down to a level that it won't affect music listening, but the noise is still there, if you are sensitive to the background noise (trust me, some ears are more sensitive than others on hissing) or you try to look for it deliberately, the noise is there. Fortunately we didn't receive a lot of complain on the background noise so far (200+ pages) so we assume the noise issue is at acceptable level to most users.

    I understand the frustration on background noise because I was an addict on noise detection when I start this hobby, I even bought a Westone W1 IEM (122dB/mW) as noise detector to challenge DAP and headphone amplifiers, but over the years, I start to "undo" my attention to the hissing and it works gradually. When I don't deliberately look for it, I don't hear it even with my noise detector IEM. Let's hope the issue is getting better to you down the road.
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  6. BroncoVA
    Totally forgot the line out setting... I was on Headphone but with different sounding as i selected Aux/USB on my Xduoo.
    So i think i was listening in phone mode (when Xduoo on usb it's already good; on Aux the sound is not good).
    I'll have to find that cable for digital out :thumbsup:
  7. georgelai57
    Would Tidal HiFi on my iPhone be able to transmit via BT to the N3's Hiby music app?
  8. fourrobert13
    Not sure how that would work. The Hiby app is on your phone as well, but I'm pretty sure you can stream tidal from your phone via Bluetooth to the N3. The Hiby link app is just an app on your phone that allows users to control the N3 via Bluetooth.
  9. Slater
    My bad; I was misinformed. Thanks for clearing it up.
  10. georgelai57
  11. jms74
    Following the steps to the letter was my first attempts, then i tried other methods to see if anythink worked.
    About the app permissions on android, it has Storage, Localization, and Phone permissions, all turned on. Note that my smartphone defined language isnt english so these words i chose for permissions are a translation and may not be the same terms used by official english android.
  12. Slater
    Maybe that's the problem? What if you temporarily changed the language to English and tried the app again? If it works, there's your problem. If it still force closes, it's something else.
  13. tikue666
    Would one of you fine gentlemen be kind enough to point me to posts that talks about the comparisons between the N3 and M2s?:ksc75smile:
  14. fourrobert13
    Post 2178
  15. gonzfi
    At some point in the future will the N3 be able to recognise audible files (.AAX I think)? Would make it the perfect DAP for exercising then!
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