Centrance Mini-M8
Jul 5, 2014 at 10:52 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 296

ExpatinJapan

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Hello all,
Centrance Mini-M8 is on the horizon. 
Mini-M8 is a portable audiophile DAC with a balanced headphone amplifier, 24/192kHz audio bandwidth, super-low THD, four digital inputs, DSD and asynchronous USB. Inputs include iPhone/iPad, USB, optical and coaxial SPDIF.

 
My apologies If this thread is premature for some, others such as myself have sampled the early version at various shows already.
 
The mini-m8 is suited for IEMs and presumably easy to run over the ears portable earphones.
 
I own a Hifi-M8 and have also heard the Mini-m8 at the Tokyo headphone Show earlier this year. 
My impressions were very favorable. I found the Mini-M8 comparable in sound to its larger siblings.
 
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*Reserved for upcoming technical specs.
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*Reserved for a future review.
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From the Centrance website:
 
`Mini-M8 (pronounced: "mini-mate") is thinner and lighter than our best-selling HiFi-M8, making it our most portable DAC/Amp with the longest battery life. Yet, despite its slimmer size Mini-M8 packs additional features, such as four inputs, DSD playback and more!

  Mini-M8 is ideally suited for driving IEM headphones. Our flagship HiFi-M8 continues to be our most powerful amp -- it drives the most challenging over-head cans in the world. But if you prefer IEM listening, you don't need all that power -- and then Mini-M8 is for you!

  Mini-M8 features a laptop input with 24-bit/192kHz asynchronous USB interface, an iPhone/iPad/iPod input compatible with both 30-pin and lightning-based devices, a SPDIF optical, and a SPDIF coaxial input. That's four inputs in total! This unheard-of flexibility allows you to connect your Mini-M8 to any Digital Audio Player and be confident that your amp remains future-proof, even if you change DAPs later.

  With its unique combination of sound quality, portability, and function, Mini-M8 sets you apart to experience Audiophile sound anywhere you are. Reclaim your freedom from the confines of a home system -- experience your music anywhere.`

 
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Head-fi member Currawong photos and words from his Tokyo Show impressions thread
http://www.head-fi.org/t/718466/tokyo-2014-fujiya-avic-headphone-festival-report
 
(He is a better photographer and reviewer than I. imho).
 
Centrance
 
The first time I knew about the M8 I thought it'd be too big, but that didn't stop it being wildly successful and currently on back-order. When I saw this neat unit, I thought "Bingo!". Take out all the extra controls, put the gain switch on the front, lower the power on the headphone amp for a longer, 10-hour battery life and squeeze everything into a small case and this is what you get. It still has enough grunt for the LCD-X and XC though. The pictures are of a plastic prototype, but the final version should be much the same. The volume is digitally controlled though, I gather, and the headphone out also has an optical digital output built-in.
 

 

 

 

 
Written by Currawong (head-fi).
 
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The following three photos courtesy of the Centrance Facebook page (July 2014).

 

 
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This product is the little sibling to the larger Hifi-m8 in its various models. as seen below.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/662881/centrance-hifi-m8-and-hifi-m8-lx-8-versions-impressions-thread
 

 
 
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Size comparison photos I took of the Mini-M8 and its larger siblings at the Tokyo Headphone Show (May 2014).

 

 

 
More details to follow soon.
 
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Various trade show impressions.
 
http://parttimeaudiophile.com/2014/06/05/newport-2014-centrance-shows-a-mini-m8-and-glove/
 
http://canadahifi.com/centrance-mini-m8-portable-dac-release/
 
http://www.theaudiobeat.com/newport2014/newport2014_centrance.htm
 
Jul 6, 2014 at 3:29 AM Post #3 of 296

mgoodman

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That video above is slightly outdated. It mentions lower price for Mini-M8, but that has changed. Because Mini-M8 has 2 additional inputs, longer battery and is much more portable, we decided to make it same price as the HiFi-M8. That decision was made at the Tokyo show, around May 2014, while the video was shot back in January, when details were still somewhat murky.

Both products, HiFi-M8 and Mini-M8 are $699.99 in US. Mini-M8 will be shipping in about two months. HiFi-M8 is in stock and shipping now.
 
Jul 6, 2014 at 7:59 AM Post #4 of 296

ExpatinJapan

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That video above is slightly outdated. It mentions lower price for Mini-M8, but that has changed. Because Mini-M8 has 2 additional inputs, longer battery and is much more portable, we decided to make it same price as the HiFi-M8. That decision was made at the Tokyo show, around May 2014, while the video was shot back in January, when details were still somewhat murky.

Both products, HiFi-M8 and Mini-M8 are $699.99 in US. Mini-M8 will be shipping in about two months. HiFi-M8 is in stock and shipping now.

I have removed the video from the OP to avoid any future confusion.
 
Jul 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM Post #12 of 296

SDBiotek

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  Does it mean that there will be additional MOD available (like "IEM MOD" for older brother - original Hi-Fi M8) or there won't be any hissing sound from the box? 

I'm sure mgoodman will chime in again, but no, I don't believe he means to imply there will be a mod available. The mini M8 is a lot less powerful than the original; generally, less powerful amps will have a lower noise floor.
 

To mgoodman: Could you tell use what headphone and iem models were used to test the mini? I do sometimes use my M8 with my ciems, but I barely get any play with the volume pot, and there is definitely some background hiss.
 
Jul 15, 2014 at 8:41 PM Post #13 of 296

Armaegis

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I like the greater connectivity options. Something about that RSA connector really irks me though.
 
Jul 17, 2014 at 9:53 PM Post #14 of 296

ExpatinJapan

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Looks like the mini-m8 is up on the Centrance store.
 
 
http://centrance.com/store/#!/~/product/category=7071966&id=38465757
 
 
Details:
This product is currently out of stock. We are now taking orders for shipping in September 2014.

Mini-M8 is a portable audiophile DAC with a balanced headphone amplifier, 24/192kHz audio bandwidth, super-low THD, four digital inputs, DSD and asynchronous USB. Inputs include iPhone/iPad, USB, optical and coaxial SPDIF.

 
Jul 19, 2014 at 9:52 AM Post #15 of 296

Solude

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Full page is not up on the main page as well.
 
Light on detail though so...
 
Volume done in the digital domain or analog?
 
What cables, case, separator etc will be included?
 
Gain selections, output impedance, power output?
 

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