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Cayin N5ii Android based Master Quality Digital Audio Player

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by PinkyPowers, Oct 14, 2017.
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  1. NicholasS
    Just wanna give an update on this product (that I definitely DON'T recommend to anybody). After months of suffering with Cayin N5ii, their weak support, terrible device performance & almost-never-happened firmware updates, etc. The worst experience for 500$ ever in my life. Folks, I bought a 100$-DAP (Shanling M0) for jogging/gym and it's just amazing. For 100$ it does the same as Cayin N5ii but better. Yeah, yeah, sound-wise Cayin a little better, of course, but it's 500$ crap that works as a crap overall in terms of UI/UX/etc. And I'll continue saying that, and no, because people have to know what a crappy product this Chinese company produces and gives no care abt their customers when someone can produce a 100$-product that works like a charm. And the amount of issues with Cayin's DAP raises every month. How stupid I was to choose this DAP, because all that reviews are a couple-of-days articles that never say 100% true abt gadgets and pretend they are pros that can judge abt anything after 2 days of usage of any device, which covers mostly even less than a half of real device's performance/features.

    Cayin, sorry, I'm angry with you. You, guys, you are the worst company on DAP's market. This is my opinion made by months of using your product that you never fix, never try to fix and even don't make proper excuses. Shame on you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2019
  2. neo_styles
    I get you're upset that your experience hasn't been great, but I think you crossed a line there. Sparing the "if you think you can do better, then do it" line that would be well-deserved here for DAP or software design or, hell, even reviewing a product, I don't think you demonstrate enough maturity for casual readers of this thread, let alone two representatives of a company who, from my perspective, have just gotten tired of the collective frustration and (often) whining of people who have either:
    1) Shown a legitimate concern that their dev team can't reproduce/isolate/fix...USB audio being the most obvious at first. Took a while to confirm it.
    2) Requested a feature that is, in the dev team's mind, on a lower priority than a bug fix
    3) Continuously abused this thread as a glorified tech support forum, despite one user even going out of his way to create a separate thread just for that purpose

    So try to look at it from the perspective of Cayin just being tired of the general filth that is dealing with being an online company. I went through 257 pages of this thread and wished I could have received 250 pages' worth of my time reading back due to effectively no useful input. A lot of users in this thread should be looking at what they could have done better to produce a more desirable outcome. For those who tried to maintain useful input through it all, thank you. That little bit of sanity went a long way and it's probably the only reason Andy hasn't completely abandoned the thread at this point.

    I'm not willing to let Cayin completely off the hook for this, either. From my perspective, the support lifecycle on this product is far from complete, especially with the iiS variant being less than a year old. If you can provide whatever pushback is necessary to keep the dev budget open for these devices, I think you should, especially with the recurring issues with Play Services and USB audio. I do appreciate you asking users here as to whether the priority should be USB playback or the pause delay and, while it's not great that we have to make a choice, you still are willing to give us a choice anyway.

    I'm going to end with a counterpoint to what seems to be a growing trend of outright slamming this device: think hard about what you want your DAP to do before you buy. If sound quality reigns supreme over all other criteria, then you're in line with Cayin's philosophy and I'd expect you'd be willing to handle the frustrations of a non-ideal user experience. If you need a great UI, even Andy had recommended alternatives that will better suit you.

    For what it's worth, I've played almost exclusively offline Tidal content and purchases from Bandcamp on my iiS and don't have any complaints. UAPP runs just fine, right up to the first MQA software decode (no hardware MQA capability, though). Battery life, when running, outpaces the Opus#1 this replaced by a noticeable margin. Bluetooth connectivity is leagues more stable, too.

    Just trying to make a case that a positive experience with this DAP is possible; just be realistic about what it does primarily and acknowledge it didn't necessarily meet the mark on some of the more ambitious features it set out to have.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
    MyPants, Rhino73, Reverber and 2 others like this.
  3. seanwee
    Lol I don't mean that you guys suck Andy, I was just saying that it sucks to be in his situation. :sweat_smile:
     
  4. seanwee
    That's a pretty accurate evaluation of the current situation. Great job :thumbsup:

    About the battery life, the N5ii is a bit better 10+ hours vs 8+ hours than the Opus 1 though I have to say it would be great if it had the same standby time.

    Then again, the Opus 1 does have to rescan everything before it can play anything which makes it a lot worse than the N5ii.

    Also, the Opus 1 does not have Bluetooth at all. Personally I use the Bluetooth on the N5ii quite a bit for file transfers. Kinda like a Bluetooth hard drive.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
    neo_styles and jbast0160 like this.
  5. neo_styles
    Is my tired starting to show? :p Good catch on the lack of BT on the Opus#1.

    Yeah, rescanning on startup was pretty frustrating. Standby time was phenomenal. Based on my usage, I'd opt for better time being actively used, which is why I think I'm preferring the Cayin to Opus. Seriously, it's about as close to my ideal sound signature I've yet reached.
     
  6. seanwee
    What iems are you using? It's the pairing between the iem and the dap that gives the sound signature you like imo, mostly the iem, as long as the dap doesn't have a significant coloration.
     
  7. neo_styles
    I think I ended up running the gamut on Opus; everything in my signature plus dark, v-shaped, and neutral sets. Sensitivities ranged enough that I thought I gave it a good variety, but it was always a little too lifeless for my tastes. In contrast, I've enjoyed everything more on the Cayin than I have on the Opus. Perhaps the T2 Pro has been, to my ears, the best match for the Cayin yet. The iSine10 were the Opus' glass slipper.
     
  8. NicholasS
    I didn't cross anything. This is my opinion and I'm talking about it. I've tried for a long time to talk to them, nicely, a lot of users did. No result. The opinion smth like "well, I don't use BT, I don't do this, I don't do that, so the DAP is perfect" is not a damn right opinion if hundreds of other users use this DAP in other ways and they are not satisfied at all. And yes, they HAVE TO BE TIRED of such responses, they have to understand what it is like for ppl to pay such money and be frustrated without any feedback from the company. This is the point of the forum, of having customers, of being a company in 21st century. You may think abt any crossed lines — this is your right, but don't teach me how to handle my opinion, what to say and what to not say. I'm trying to make this world better by wasting my time continuously repeating my words based on my proper (in my mind) experience, and trying to keep more people away from buying this product for such money. And you're trying to push them back saying that the product is fine to buy if you keep it on the table and don't touch it — well, yeah, in this case of course, the DAP is fine, just don't touch it and don't use all of its features, then it will probably work okay. Oh, wait... then it's not a DAP, it's just a DAC as anything else what's called DAC, and even can be cheaper. But no, it doesn't even work okay as a DAC, huh! Delay in 2-3 seconds in audio stream via DAC mode — what the heck! And sometimes after reconnecting via USB-DAC mode I have to reboot it because it doesn't show a proper stream info or doesn't continue to work as DAC, etc. I can give you a huge list of items where this DAP sucks even comparing to the very cheapest devices, and none of software bugs is fixed yet, NONE. And I really do have such list. Don't tell me that your experience have to be the same as mine. You write abt positive sides, I write abt my own, as simple as that. Dude.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2019
  9. Reverber
    That's it - stay with starting-level sounded device and do not dump your hate garbage here. Is it just simply as that
     
    seanwee likes this.
  10. originalsnuffy
    The recent mini debate on concerns with this unit creates mixed feelings on my part.
    On the one hand, there are legitimate beefs with the unit with its current firmware. On the other hand, there is a question on how to best raise the issues.

    From a customer perspective, I feel that Cayin has something of a pattern of releasing items and then quickly internally deciding the unit was a turkey and stopping development. The i5 and the N5II and N5IIS are examples.

    Now some of that is based on unfortunate design decisions. The N5 series, for example, started off with an under powered microprocessor given its advertised features (Android). And even now it has a 2 second delay bug that probably won't be fixed (even though it can be fixed) because some users can't accept that this fix will make the other key bug even worse (the USB digital output issues). Which is weird that some users protested this fix when in fact they are not under any compunction to install the update if it ever was authorized by Cayin.

    Which goes to the other two fatal flaws. One was to go with HiBy for firmware right as HiBy was effectively telling its customers that it was pulling out of the custom firmware business and becoming their competitor. The other was to pick a display screen that soon became unavailable.

    Andy is a truly helpful person and a good face for the company, but he does have a track record of going incommunicado for long periods of time.

    I love the sound of the unit and have learned to live with its bugs. I must admit I would really love to see the fix put in place for the two second delay. If we eventually get one or two final firmware updates I might be amenable to buying Cayin again but for now my purchases will be focused on other vendors.

    And yes, the comments about the Shanling M0 from another disaffected Cayin owner might be perceived as gratuitous but then again the M0 is ridiculously good for the price. I have narrowed my DAPs to three uses; car (Shanling M2S); out and about (M0), and home critical listening (Cayin N5II). It is funny to me that the unit that gets the most use is actually the least "hifi"; the M2S is a bit warm but mates unbelievably well with the Auxiliary input on my car and creates what is for me a near ideal car sound. Plus the unit is generally quite reliable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
    thedud3 and noverbeck like this.
  11. thedud3
    Might be worth mentioning that this question re playback delay was asked by @Andykong 1,5 month ago, that several users responded rather promptly (well, not all in the same way, but that was to be expected), and that we still have absolutely no idea about whether this since-the-launch audio delay issue will be fixed at one point for all the users wanting it to be solved :/. Besides, another issue raised since (the recurring Play Store has stopped message); and we neither have any info re a potential fix for this last one.

    So on my end, i would clearly not consider this support as much-in-line with the product price range. I also do not forget that if @CayinSupport was almost not present in this specific thread since the start of the year (and forgive me but i don't think customers should have to suffer the lack of people dedicated to support because they also have to work on whatever exhibition), they were however not forgetting to promote the launch of their new N6ii in here. Now sure it's easier to call for fresh new customers than to keep older ones satisfied...

    So maybe some users might phrase their anger in a kinda strong way in this thread, but we should also consider that there maybe some good reasons leading to this, lack of decent support definitely being one of them IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
    noverbeck likes this.
  12. thedud3
    Definitely. And this forum is actually nothing but the best way for raising issues IMHO (and i think i already mentionned it btw). How come one would expect a new customer going through all the 258 pages of this thread in order to check which issues were raised / solved ???

    I really think (and already reported) that Cayin should have their own support forum, with sub-forums (and not only threads) for each devices, and also sub-forums for each type of subject (bugs reports, feature requests...). It would be waaaaaaaay easier for customers to quickly see and go through all the topics posted. And of course, it would also surely be easier for Cayin Support team to monitor and answer all questions.

    Many companies have this kind of support-forums whether it concerns device manufacturers or just software developpers.

    See for instance the Bug Reports section at PowerAmp app support forum :

    PowerAmp.jpg

    As i mentionned, having this kind of support forum for Cayin surely would improve not only customers way of reporting issues, but also @CayinSupport / @Andykong way of reviewing/replying to these...

    My 2 c.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
    noverbeck likes this.
  13. noverbeck
    Agreed that these issues are breakers when the device advertises them as functional. I've still not seen any resolution on the startup volume remaining at prior levels for 1-2 seconds no matter the setting chosen. Coupled with a 2 second pause delay that's 4 seconds of possibly deafening sound if switching between headphones.

    Also of note andykong and team have been fairly active responding on the N6ii thread as we discuss here and bring up questions or issues to no response. Sad that a product life cycle is less than a year.
     
    thedud3 likes this.
  14. thedud3
    Just to illustrate again the outside viewing poor screen luminosity due to UI dark colors, this home screen picture was just taken under direct sun, with UI luminosity at its max and my own body as shadow :

    IMG_20190621_1714096.jpg
    So sure i already hear that one could find this... "funny" (...) and say "i launch my music and never look at the screen afterwards / i live in a cave, so i don't care / i'm totally blind so it's not an issue to me..."

    But i think that any honest people can recognize that having the ability to have an inverted scheme color should drastically improve outside sunny viewing capabilities of the beast.

    Because for users expecting to go through menus under these conditions (did i mentionned it's a portable device, meaning supposed to be possibly used under these conditions ???), i definitely wish them good luck finding what they want...

    And this is with N5iis, meaning with the better screen specs than the N5. I can't imagine how it may look like on the N5 screen outside ...

    PS : if anybody doubt of the picture, question the auto-settings, or just find it ok, i can also upload a video wich will clearly demonstrate how the device and its menus are really unusable under direct sun conditions, and very hard to use with even a bit of shadow... (weather is cloudy now at my home, so i'll just have to do this later); And trust me that it will be even worse than on the picture (especially due to the cam auto-adjusting)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  15. AxelCloris Administrator
    We've removed some posts that were going off-topic and into an argument. Let's please keep the discussion within the Posting Guidelines. Thanks everyone.
     
    thedud3 likes this.
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