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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. CayinSupport
    Announcement of Cayin N3 firmware v3.0


    New Functions and System Optimization

    1. Add new Power-saving mode to enhance standby duration: turn on "Power saving standby" in the system settings, N3 will enter Power saving mode when the player is idled for 3 minutes, in regardless of the screen on or off. However, if N3 is charging or connected to other devices through HiByLink, USB or Bluetooth, system will not consider the player as idle, so it will not enter Power-saving mode
    2. Support Opus Codec upto 16bit/48kHz
    3. Other bugs fix and enhancements

    Tip: With digital out , the volume adjustment is valid when playing PCM files in USB AUDIO OUT mode; while playing DSD or S/PDIF music files, the volume adjustment becomes invalid

    Cayin N3 Firmware Upgrade
    Each version of firmware might contain minor different, consumer please decide on your own accord whether you need to update the firmware of your N3 DAP.
    · Under normal circumstances, firmware upgrade will not cause any damage to user information, but Cayin cannot exclude the possibility of upgrade failure due to mal-operation or any other reason. For these reasons, you might be required to format your N3 DAP and result in losing person data stored on the player. We strongly suggest you backup all your personal data stored on the player before you perform firmware upgrade.
    · The N3 firmware cannot be used in other product, and the firmware from other product cannot be used in N3

    Firmware upgrades procedure

    1. For safety reason, please make sure the N3 DAP has not less than 50% battery power before you proceed, otherwise please charge up the player before you upgrade the firmware
    2. Download the latest firmware from Cayin website (www.cayin.cn). Decompress and copy the N3 firmware file (update.upt) into the root directory of a TF card.
    3. Insert the TF card into the N3 DAP and complete your firmware upgrade with either one of the following steps:
    · While N3 has been turned on, select “System Setup” and scroll all the way to the bottom of the list, select “System Update”, the system will complete the upgrade process automatically, and reboot the player after update is completed.
    · While N3 has been turned off, hold the round physical “Enter” button, and then hold the “Power on/off” button, the system start the firmware upgrade process and will complete the process automatically. It will reboot the player after update is completed.

    Note: N3 can support FAT/FAT32/exFAT/NTFS formatted TF card during the firmware upgrade process.

    When the upgrade is completed, you can verify the current firmware version number by selecting “System Setting” menu, under “About the Player and storage information” option, check out the “Firmware Version” detail.


    · Do not operate the machine during firmware upgrade
    · Please delete/remove the firmware file from the TF card after firmware upgrade
    · Please update your Music Library after firmware upgrade

    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
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  2. antdroid
    Installed the update just now. Seems to be working.
  3. jeffhawke
    If your update fails on the first attempt, as it happened to me, just make sure that no previous update.upt files are still stored on your computer's file system, otherwise the system will automatically rename the file as update.upt 2, your N3 will not recognize it and the update will fail.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  4. svil3
    Updated to the new fw and everything seems to be working flawlessly, let's see how the new power-saving mode works, but since I'm using HibyLink most of the time I don't expect too much difference in battery life.

    Thanks @CayinSupport

    I just hope I could say the same about HibyMusic app, It is still pretty buggy and making steps back in beta channel
  5. Andykong
    The volume is not supposed to function with digital out, this is a bug introduced by the new firmware. We have catch this bug during our internal audit process, but if we were to go back and rectify this bug, we'll defer the firmware till end of February because of our Chinese New Year break. We have evaluated the situation and decided to release the firmware as-is and rectify this problem in next firmware. We apology to all N3 users for the inconvenience caused.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    groucho69 likes this.
  6. CayinSupport
    This is one reason why we recommend user to delete/remove the firmware file from the TF card after firmware upgrade.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  7. jeffhawke
    I did not mean the TF card (micro SD) but to delete previously downloaded update files from the computer file system.
  8. Olorin17
    @Andykong @CayinSupport
    Are you aware of something new since firmware 2.2 to prevent custom firmware, a new way to sign the firmware or something ?

    I was trying to repack gLer's modifications, I have a method (using Linux) that worked perfectly with firmware 2.1 and previous, but that fails with 2.2 and the new 3.0 (the flashing starts but stops immediately with "No update file" message) even without any change to the files (so it's not something we introduced with the modifications). For now I don't understand what could have change (there's of course a MD5 checksum as before, that I have updated but I don't see anything else).

    I don't have a Windows box available, could someone try to unpack and repack firmware 2.1 (that should work) and 2.2 or 3.0 (if it's the same result as me, that won't work) and test with the tools given by Shanling : https://www.head-fi.org/threads/shanling-daps-user-theme.866314/ please ?
    There's no risk, at worse the flashing stops and you're back to your previous firmware.
    svil3, groucho69 and gLer like this.
  9. gLer
    Thanks @Olorin17 I've also emailed Cayin directly and asked them. Guys, as Olorin17 says, we need some help trying to figure it out. An all-new custom firmware 2.2/3.0 is ready and awaits your N3's, but we need some love from Cayin or another Linux/Windows guru to help. PM me or Olorin17 if you'd prefer to keep it private.
  10. fntms
    It's a pity that even with the latest FW and USB drivers the N3 still can't work properly as a DAC for me (Win7)...I still get the annoying "vinyl pops" effect after a few minutes playing.
    Has any work been done on this issue, mentionned a good while back to support?
  11. shahkhan
    Please guys, help me choose. Tthis one or pioneer xdp-30r, as pioneer also has wifi..??
  12. Mr Trev
    I had the same problem with the N3 I had. Ended up getting a M2s in exchange and it does the exact same thing. Shanling has been able to reproduce the problem, but it only occurs on certain computers and they still haven't been able to figure out what the issue is. I did find out that if I upsample everything to DSD then the M2s will play without issue (using DAPhile as my source). Never had a chance to try this when I had the N3, but maybe you can give it a go and see if that helps you too
  13. gLer
    I’m afraid this is common behavior for many dacs. It’s caused by the USB interface/drivers. Some dacs have mute circuitry to mask over the ‘pops’ whenever there’s a change in sample rate, but just as many don’t. Head over the the Audio-Gd R2R-11/NFB-11 thread and you’ll see plenty of talk on these pops. Truth is, they’re really not a big deal, and like @Mr Trev said above, if you upsample everything to a single sample rate, the pops go away (because effectively there’s no change in sample rate during playback). Up to you whether or not you can live with it, but unlikely anyone can do anything about it with the current hardware.
    PlantsmanTX likes this.
  14. Mr Trev
    I wasn't referring to pops between tracks or sample rate changes. These pops happen constantly at random intervals during playback, making everything sound like a vinyl rip. I've tested the devices on both my laptops using 3 different OS (win.7, win.10, DAphile (linux)). Doing an upsample to PCM won't change the popping, only going to DSD. Go figure. Like I mentioned Shanling has been testing and can't find a solution as of yet - I can't speak for what Cayin's staus on this problem is anymore though
  15. gLer
    Ah, that is not good indeed. Sounds like a PCM decoding error somewhere along the chain. Has to be in the communication between the device and the PC, as internal playback is perfect. Who knew USB interfaces could be so fickle!? Luckily I don't need to use the N3 as a dac, else I'd be fuming.
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