Aug 1, 2018 at 7:25 AM
- Nov 16, 2013
- Reaction score
There isn't a lot of choice when come to Android based DAP with Google play pre-installed. A large proportion of current smart DAPs, in regardless of price, are closed Android system or only allow a small list of pre-approved applications. The problem is Android based DAP are NOT generic Android device, the systems are heavily customized and there is no guaranteed that a certain app will work flawlessly and consistently. To certain extend, the more we customized the Android system, the more we suffer when come to third part application support, this is actually, .... logical.I think if you think of this unit as a fantastic player for music stored natively on the SD cards, then its great. I just when you start wanting to use the Android apps or feed an external DAC then you get into some difficulty.
For a stand-alone DAP, this is a very fine unit especially at the price point.
I personally am disappointed with the HiBy R3; I don’t think it can touch this Cayin. What is amazeballs for the price is the new Shanling M0.
But it you want a great sounding unit with the provisos above noted, for $300 US it is hard to beat this device.
While most open Android based DAP (i.e., allow you to install third party application on your discretion) will adopt an Android desktop design with the native music player function like an app. Cayin N5ii and N5iiS take a different approach by integrating the native player with the system permanently, you won't be able to access the Android desktop in our DAP. This is a design decision because we want to offer a Music Player experience rather than Android device experience. The concept might feel subtle but involve a higher level of customization, and to certain extend, increased the difficulties of third party application supported.
We are actively monitoring the situation, if third party applications are becoming more important, Cayin might drop our preference and fall back to a generic open-system approach in future products. Feel free to comment if you have a strong opinion toward this topic. We can't do that to existing product because that will involve a complete revamp of our system architecture, and the response might go to two different extremes: improving third party application support by compromising the original non-generic Android desktop design.
On the other hand, R6 is the DAP that I am very happy with if I am serious about using third party applications. Not 100% compatible like a decent Android mobile phone in 2018, but very close to that. I tried a few, and HiBy R6 gets my vote. If you are considering a new DAP and third party application support is on the top of your list, I'll suggest you consider R6 seriously.