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Nextdrive Spectra - anybody else got one?

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by neil74, Feb 4, 2018.
  1. neil74
    I picked one of these up, very impressed but whilst it is a step up from the razer dongle, for portable use the battery hit (11% per hour) plus the loss of inline controls does imo does make me question the value a little.

    Anyone else have one?
  2. kkl10
    This is more of a dedicated source components or portable source components topic than portable amps...

    More of a decent dac with a 'just to get by' amp from what I have gathered. It only outputs a meager 13mW at 300 Ohms.

    It's one of the minimalistic dac units I'm considering although I have a strong preference for units that integrate an amp capable of powering high impedance headphones. In which case, I still haven't seen anything more accomplished than a Dragonfly Red. I really like what I read about this Spectra dac, though. For easy to drive headphones it's probably ok as an all-in-one.
    neil74 likes this.
  3. neil74
    Sorry was not sute where to put this!

    I ended up taking a punt. My comparison is to the Razer dongle on a pixel 2xl (which is imo pretty good compared to the standard google option) and on my momentum 2.0s it does sound better and is certainly louder. It is also louder than the quad dac on my V30. The only negative (given that this is intended as a portable device) is that the inline controls no longer work, battery hit is reasonable but is about 2x the normal rate. I guess I could start using a smart watch to control the phone but that would likely incur slightly more of a battery hit

    If I can track down a NASA engineer to hook up all the wiring I may try it on my iPhone too. I do have a DB Magix AC3 flute coming too for the iPhone so that will be in an interesting comparison.
  4. y0da_cod3r
    Hey, Did you got the DG Magix? how is it? Good?
  5. Ultrainferno
    Nathan is back with a review of the Spectra X, the original Spectra's highly awaited successor. Spectra X blows his mind with great benchmarks, low noise floor and basically all the performance of a mid or high-end DAP but for a fraction of the price, size, and complication.

  6. shigzeo Contributor
  7. pinoyman
    has anyone compared the SPECTRA X with the DragonFly RED?
  8. Bobpaule
    Thank You for the review, I just ordered mine USB-C to mate with S9+ and AKG 702 .
  9. pilgrim-frw
    hi everybody,
    please advise something. I just tried to connect spectra with iPad Pro 2018 with usb-c to usb-a adapter. It somehow works but not in proper way: DSD not works in DoP (music inverted to 176,4 kHz) mode and I feel sound has some distortion even in 96kHz.
    Moreover when I try to connect Spectra to iPhone XS through lightning camera connection kit I got massage that this device required to mach energy and iOS stop to recognize Spectra and goes to internal speaker. Any idea? Thanks
  10. Dobrescu George
    I got a NextDrive SpectraX now, and man, DO I LOVE IT!

    Let's get to the First Impressions right away

    - First, the package. It is pretty essential, nothing too fancy, but it includes a little leather pouch, and the package itself is nice
    - It is a really small device, which is build very well, it has a nice form factor, and it doesn't drain too much power from my smartphone (Xiaomi Mi Max 3)
    - The device itself looks and feels nice, it is a bit heavier than you'd expect, but it has a full metal body, with a cable covered in fabric.
    - The cable is pretty much as flexible as most cables covered in a fabric jacket, like that of my G810 Logitech keyboard.
    - There is a LED to let you know that it is turned on, but there are no buttons, all controls being done from the host device
    - I have the Type-C version, it is recognized automatically in both Windows and Android, works with my Mi Max 3 smartphone, worked with Mi Max 2, and also works with my windows machine, no drivers needed
    - 3.5mm SE jack, it is a jack of all trades, the audio jack is buit well and tight enough to feel secure
    - The sound is, in one word, unbelievable. I can't believe they made an OTG USB Soundcard of this size, sound this good. I am not even joking, I know NextDrive is a new company, or at least it is new to me, and I know they don't have a lot of products right now, so I was expecting them to pull a hard one on us, by creating a device that is worth its asking price, but man, I was not expecting them to defy the laws of physics so much.
    - Physically, it is barely larger than any other USB OTG thingy, but the little design elements make it stand out as a "cool" and awesome-looking device.
    - You may be wondering what I would recommend pairing it with, and well, it is mostly flagships. It just has that kind of detail and driving power / life / vividness in it to make me use it with Campfire ATLAS, HIFIMAN RE2000 Silver, and (SHOCKING) Audeze LCD-MX4. Yes, it has enough power to not only drive LCD-MX4, but to also keep sounding extremely clear and well defined, even at almost max sound levels, which are incredibly high with LCD-MX4.
    - I am quite honestly surprised. Not because it sounds good, but because it can sound good in such a sleek form factor.
    - From LCD-MX4, to Crosszone CZ-1, to Ultrasone Signature DXP, it just keeps impressing me with a clean, vivid, and clear sound.
    - It is mostly neutral, maybe with a slight bright edge, with a deep and quick bass, and mostly natural overall tone. I think it is very organic and musical, and positions itself above most 100 USD DAC/AMP solutions I heard to date, being in line with most 300 USD DAPs, in terms of detail, resolution, technical ability.
    - I even connected it to my speaker system, and used it as a soundcard, and it worked flawlessly, pretty much a dream little device for someone looking for a sleek and stylish solution for their sound

    [Full Review Incoming]

    jumpa likes this.
  11. shotgunshane Contributor
    Have you used it with armature based iems? The company representative/seller on amazon answering questions says the Output Impedance is 10 ohms, which is way too much for armature iems and will inevitably skew some part of the frequency response. However I wonder if he’s just reading of a dac spec sheet or has the unit actually been measured for output impedance?
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  12. Dobrescu George
    Good question.

    I actually tried it with Rhapsodio Zombie and couldn't say I noticed anything weird about the sound, but I need to do more tests :)

    Most of my tests with SpectraX were done with Audeze LCD-MX4 since they are very revealing and they help me asses the sound.
  13. Dobrescu George
    I tried NextDrive SpectraX with Campfire Atlas, although it is a Dynamic Driver IEM, I will be conducting more tests with BA IEMs :)

  14. Bobpaule
    I fell for this item due to false advertising on the Amazon site, under one of the photos MQA is mentioned.
    I used it for a few day and I was impressed, however being a Tidal-Android/UAPP user I went for the xDSD
    so I can take full advantage of the double unfolding.
    Dobrescu George likes this.

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