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.
  1. Brooko Contributor
    And yet you don't provide any ....... here: Classic 6th 160G.htm

    iPod Classic 6th gen - measurably flat with slight roll off in the treble (about 0.5 dB down at 20 kHz) - you won't notice it. Most modern DAPs do the same. Distortion is lower than our audible levels. Objectively the iP6C and iP7C are both very good sources. Honestly, this anti-Apple BS is getting a bit old. They make very clean, very good sounding gear. They pretty much always have.
    DogMeat and eaglesgift like this.
  2. duo8
    Looking up, it seems the 6G and 7G ipod has different output (despite being basically the same model).
    Anyway I'm no audio engineer, the measurements I found is when googling for ipod measurements (I expected more but only found this in the end).
    It's this one , though it uses a questionable ADC.
    It also has a high OI (IIRC it was ~5)

    As for your post, I have no idea what setup was used.
  3. eaglesgift
    Seeing measurements doesn't invalidate what you're saying but making comments about a DAP's audio quality based on graphs you've found online is of little value in my opinion. If you need a graph to tell you what sounds good and what doesn't then it all becomes a bit silly and there's nothing objective about our opinions of sound quality anyway.

    I was pretty much a lifelong anti-Apple man until I decided to stop being such a horses a** a while ago and I'll be honest - the sound quality of the iPod Classic 6th Gen (2.0.5 mainboard, so 7th gen (last model) to some people) was a really pleasant surprise to me. I came at the iPod from a different direction to most people probably, as I had the N3 and the Shanling M1 first. I then convinced myself I wanted a classic iPod because I do like the iconic design so I bought a model that had been fitted with a better battery and a 256GB flash drive. My only real worry was would it sound thin like the reviews I'd read had suggested but when I first tried it I really liked the SQ. Very clear separation and imaging - possibly better than the 2 DAP's I mentioned, and nothing 'thin' about the sound at all. No idea how long the battery lasts because I haven't got anywhere near halfway through it yet but the software is very nice to use and it just works....a great travelling companion I'd say.

    To bring it back on topic a bit, I do really like the N3 (capacitive buttons aside - I hate those) but I don't think the iPod Classic embarrasses itself in any way in a direct comparison. The Cayin N3 drives my earbuds better but when using efficient IEMs I think it's purely a matter of personal preference. The N3 may have slightly more impact on sounds like snare drums (slightly more than both the iPod and the Shanling M1) but it's not as airy in the upper registers (all my personal opinion of course).
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
    DogMeat likes this.
  4. Brooko Contributor
    External loopback through a soundcard - the way it should be measured. Did you realise that Mac one was done via line-out and through a dock ..... ? So you basically said the Classic 6 was rubbish - have you ever actually spent some quality time with one? I've spent a lot of time with both the 6 and 7. They are essentially linear - the way DAPs should be.
  5. gLer
    Great feedback this. I was an Apple fan first and foremost. Never thought I’d need more than my iPhone and AAC files until I dipped my toe into lossless music, then high-res, then DSD, then real headphones (not fashion cans). And so I picked up the N3 as a portable high-res player when I’m away from my main desktop and loungeroom setup and haven’t been dissapointed. Heck it even does the trick in my car via it’s crappy non-aptx BT!

    Now that the iPhone indirectly supports flac files (via Files), there’s a glimmer of hope that flac and high-res support may one day be built into iTunes, and then we’re back full circle to Apple. Until then, a dedicated DAP will always be preferable, but the iPhone and iPod still very much hold their own for casual, anywhere-you-go, great quality listening. Especially when you throw services like Apple Music and Tidal into the mix. You’d have to go to Android for those in a DAP, and I’d rather eat my iPhone thanks :wink:
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  6. duo8
    I have the 7 actually, or the 6.5 as some call it.
    There were also some arguments about line-out vs loaded (with headphones) measurements that I found when researching earlier.

    I haven't used it in a while, but when I first received it I immediately noticed a difference. For some reason it sounded less detailed.
    The change in sound bothered me more than I expected and the impression just stuck since.
    The software, outside of looking nice and having album art view when browsing, was basically unusable for me unfortunately. I installed rockbox shortly after.
  7. Brooko Contributor
    Really? Apple software unusable? I wish we could get the same features and stability on half the audiophile DAPs which are on the market. Apple were light years ahead - especially when considering when these players came out.
    DogMeat likes this.
  8. eaglesgift
    One thing I really like about the iPod software that I wish other players like the N3 could implement is that it remembers where you were when you're browsing the music folder. I often browse for another album to listen to while I'm near the end of the one I'm already listening to and with all the other players I own, once it goes back to the Now Playing screen after a few seconds, I have to navigate from the beginning again. With the iPod, it goes straight to the album or artist I was last looking at. Same with the settings, no need to scroll down and find the EQ again as it will go straight there if that's the last thing you were playing around with.

    Having said that, I'm not unhappy with the N3 software; it's very easy to use, just not quite as polished.
    DogMeat and swaaye like this.
  9. DBaldock9
    (Emphasis added)

    Are you saying that your car stereo doesn't have Bluetooth aptX?
    Because the N3 does have Bluetooth aptX, for transmitting to things like Headphones, Speakers, and Car Stereos. :relaxed:
    fourrobert13 likes this.
  10. duo8
    Unusable for my use case I mean, for which I find the apple software's only advantages are eyecandy and responsiveness. It doesn't support any of the formats I use except mp3 and it requires itunes or some other software to manage.
    Also the EQ causes clipping when I tried it.
  11. Howlin Fester
    Let me start by saying I love the N3 and what it does and how it does it.

    With respect to Apple and FLAC, I listen to music in 2 ways. I use smart playlists from itunes into my nano, ipod touch 2nd gen, and older classics to randomly listen to my favorite songs and keep the replay value set at months apart. I use the N3 and other flac players to listen to complete albums in a file folder format.

    HOWEVER!!!! I have remained on iTunes 10.x. Even when I bought a new computer, I found a way to install the older itunes software. I find the new interface to be more unfriendly. If Apple eventually does add flac support, I may consider a new iDevice and upgrade iTunes. But until then I feel that Apple peaked at 10.x. And I can find FLAC players that are less expensive than most/all iDevices.

    My favorite device, if I designed one would do this:
    It would have to tag date/time for last time played on FLAC and have a portable rating system. As far as I know, most FLAC players do not update date/time played, and most won't let you tag a rating. That is something Apple got right in the '00 Aughties" With a date/time stamp, one can create smart playlists and dictate when you hear your music. Right now I run two different music management software. itunes 10 for MP3 320, and Media Monkey for my FLAC. I really love not knowing what song will come next from my playlist, but I KNOW I will love it, because it is MINE and I rated it as a favorite.

    My wife has Sirius XM in her car. We drove it to Florida for vacation, so I was in it constantly for two weeks. There is a function where you can set up a favorite artist, and XM will alert you when your favorite artist/song is on another channel. I was amazed at how many times I saw the same artist/song every day. I absolutely abhor hearing the same songs over and over again. That is why I love my ipod nano/touch/classic and the random songs I import with a smart playlist. I can go for 3 to 6 months or more and never hear the same song twice. And if I do hear it within that time frame, it is one of my absolutely most beloved songs, and I'm ok with that. For average songs, I can go years between repeats.

    Apple has it's uses for me. But they are firmly planted in the "What have you done for me lately" box. Answer. Nothing since 10.x. Apple is like an old grandpa saying, "Back in my day I used to walk to school, 5 miles, uphill, both ways, in the snow." Apple doesn't care about the music owner any longer. (I have thousands of CDs carefully ripped and tagged, and RATED. Over 35k songs.) Or maybe I'm the old Grandpa, and just don't care about streaming. That's probably more like it. ha ha.
    groucho69 likes this.
  12. groucho69
    Howlin Fester likes this.
  13. griff06
    Does anyone know if the bundled EN700 Pro's cable is the very same 8 core one that is on the independently sold one? I tried to find the info on AdvancedMp3Players but cant see any deets. Just want to make sure that the bundle is the full versions of both products and not had corners cut for the cheap bundle price!! Cheers
  14. gLer
    Hi Doc - yes that's what I meant. Wasn't knocking the N3 on that - although it does read that way. I could always just hook it through the line-out, but I'm too lazy :p
  15. khestoi
    Will this give me a better lisening experience compared to my cowon j3 or S8+?

    I am thinking of getting either n3 or x5 iii...
    Or perhaps an I5...
    I will just be using IEMs.

    Any ideas?

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