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CAYIN Spark C6 WM8741

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by highflyin9, May 7, 2014.
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  1. HiGHFLYiN9
    I was ecstatic to find out that this DAC/Amp accepts an iPhone 5 lightning digital output and went ahead and ordered it blindly. I'm looking forward to having a listen but it may take a little while for the package to travel across the pond. Has anyone had the opportunity to try one yet? Cayin is a pretty well known Chinese manufacturer of audiophile gear. $199 seemed like a more-than-reasonable price compared to the recent Sony and Fostex units costing significantly more. 
  2. ClieOS Contributor
    It will be great if you can post a picture on the inside once you received it, especially around the USB port if possible. I already saw a few of the internal picture online but they are too blurry / low resolution to make out any detail.
  3. HiGHFLYiN9
    Sure, I'm looking forward to seeing the internals myself. 
  4. Hapster
    So uh, how'd it go?
    Also, can you use it as a DAC/Amp for Desktops and Laptops? Gonna buy one here in a sec, but just to be absolutely sure...
  5. Hapster
    Purchased it last night, should arrive within "25 days"...

    Hmmph. Oh well, better be worth it, since returns will be really expensive, and selling it would probably be fairly hard.
  6. Hapster
    Just received mine today! Now personally, I don't believe that dacs and amps really do a whole ton, especially at this price range, there's not a huge dif in sound between other dacs. Needless to say, it sounds great and neutral.

    Okay so onto build quality: it's not as tough as some of the fiio products, but while it does have the same brushed metal finish, it's lighter, internally. It's a little thicker than the e07k and e17, and slightly shorter than e18. It has an audio in, a single out. So sorry, can't use it with 2 outputs :frowning2: usb mini input for charging ONLY.

    Functionally, there's not a whole lot going on, since there's no eq.

    So overall, it's one of the cheapest iphone compatible dacs, which is great. Anyway, here's my personal list of extended pros and cons:

    1) Static and popping (very occassional) this is caused exclusively by wifi connectivity. It seems to interfere. Turn wifi off to prevent static
    2) Average level noise floor, not impressed.
    3) No other functions, coming from the fiio series, it's a shame how few functions come with it, no eq, no controls (ff, rw, play/pause)
    4) Manual is entirely in chinese (or something), no english version.
    5) No desktop compatibility.

    1) Accessories, comes with 30-pin and lightning to usb connectors, as well as 3.5mm connector. 2 blue (why blue??) bands to hold the unit and your idevice together, and mini usb cable. Everything to get it working out of the box.
    2) Great sound. Compared to my onboard soundcard on my desktop & my iPod touch 5g, it's great, using the highest end wolfson dac as of release, it delivers the clearest sound.
    3) Price, $200 is fairly steep for a dac, but in the arena of iphone compatible dacs, the average price is a lot closer to $500, this is one of, if not the cheapest option.
    4)Overall form, easy to figure out, no hassle.

    Edit: Pc compatibility, doesn't charge your device.
    sm0731 likes this.
  7. pekingduck
    Found some internal shots here 
  8. Hapster
    Was just emailed by their Tech Support at Cayin, it does not work at a PC-Dac. That's really disappointing. It's a great dac, but it's just kind of silly having to have another entire unit just to use with my PC.
    Not sure whether to return it or what.
  9. Hapster

    I went to that website, let's take a second to appreciate these pictures:

    Hint: Not only are the dacs not plugged into anything, in the second one, his headphones aren't plugged into anything.
    golov17 likes this.
  10. ClieOS Contributor
    Taking a 2nd look at the internal, I think I kind of figure out how they are able to work around Apple MFi certification. The original / official way of extracting digital data from iDevice is to get the MFi chip, which required license from Apple. That's the biggest limiting factor of why there just ain't that many iDevice DAC out there. But what Cayin does, is actually cloning the CCK function into the amp / USB DAC. So instead of getting limited by the MFi chip, they work around it by utilizing the USB Host function that comes with iOS7.
    zilch0md likes this.
  11. Hapster

    Interesting. I've thought about this. If more people could just do this, then we'd have many more affordable lightning compatible dacs. Unfortunately, I already bought a usb male to usb male cable to attempt to get it to work with my PC, I bought it before I got an email about it not working.
    Well, maybe there's still a chance? [​IMG] (doubt it). I assume one would need drivers for it to work.
    At the moment, I'm doing PC -> E18 -> Cayin C6 -> Headphones. The only benefit to this is that the noise floor is lower from the C6 than the E18, and it let's me pretend I have the perfect unit [​IMG]
  12. grizzlybeast
    ^why do you have two dac amps together in the same chain? 
    any impressions on which is better of the two?
  13. Hapster

    It was because the Cayin had a far lower noise floor but doesn't work with PC. :p
    Oh and Cayin, definitely.  It was a much cleaner, neutral sound. Noise floor was considerably lower, and I didn't have any awful problems with interference as long as the wifi was off. (or it was a considerable distance away from my ipod).
    Now, impressions on dac/amps are pretty useless for the most part, so if you actually look at the internals, the C6 definitely beat the e18, both chips were a couple grades higher than those of the E18.
    I'm getting a vamp verza here soon, which is one of the ultimate portable dacs. It'll be interesting to see how the C6 compares as purely a portable Dac/amp. Obviously the verza totally beats it on functionality and versatility, but not everyone needs those bells and whistles.
  14. grizzlybeast
    I wonder if the cayin is almost as powerful as the e12
  15. grizzlybeast
    ^^trying to power some zmf's (t50rp)from my iPhone to pretty loud levels.
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