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.
*Reserved for upcoming technical specs.
*Reserved for a future review.
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.`
Head-fi member Currawong photos and words from his Tokyo Show impressions thread
(He is a better photographer and reviewer than I. imho).
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).
The following three photos courtesy of the Centrance Facebook page (July 2014).
This product is the little sibling to the larger Hifi-m8 in its various models. as seen below.
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.
Various trade show impressions.