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The Cayin C5 portable power house.

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by dsnuts, Aug 6, 2014.
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  1. CJG888
    One USP of the C5 is that it is one of the very few portable amps that can ACTUALLY drive some of the easier orthos properly. You owe it to yourself to try it!
  2. misteral201103
    Fellow C5 lovers,

    Absolutely love my C5, use it with Audioquest Nighthawks and HifiMan HE400i and the result is fantastic.
    However, you know how this hobby goes, there's always the next thing.
    My question is, what would be the next thing to upgrade from the C5?
    I find the C5 gives a slightly wider soundstage, obviously delivers plenty of power for those big cans, and of course the bass-boost is fantastic and vastly preferable to software eq-ing.
    So if I wanted to go even higher in quality, do you have any suggestions?

    Doesn't need to have a DAC, running my X5iii as source. Wouldn't be totally against it though. Hard to find the combination of power, bass-boost and price that the C5 offers. I guess I'd be willing to look at 300-350 dollars in terms of price.

    I'm only asking here (and I realise it's a little sacrilegious) because I genuinely find the C5 hard to beat (on paper at least). I'm not displeased with it in the slightest, just looking to upgrade.
    Thanks in advance!
  3. squeakez
    I, too, was looking for an upgrade to the C5. I tried the Chord Mojo, IDSD Black Label, and the xDuoo XD-05 and ended up selling the first two and keeping the xDuoo. Even though the Mojo and the IDSD were much more expensive than the C5, for my headphones and music, the C5 sounded noticeably better. I like the xDuoo a lot but still use the C5 most of the time.
  4. sup27606
    C5 synergies very well with Audeze Sine.

    The xDuo should sound noticeably better with an opamp upgrade to Burson V5i.
  5. dhm78
    I picked this up last week and I'm pretty amazed. Does anyone know what type of charging cord this uses? I grabbed one of my girlfriend's cables but I'm not sure what kind it is and I want to buy a spare. Thanks!
  6. EmPathWalker
    It's a micro USB on the C5 End.
  7. misteral201103
    Two things - make sure you plug it into the correct port, it's the one closest to an outside edge. The other one is so you can use the C5 as a portable charger for other equipment. Also, you cannot charge and have it working at the same time - make sure you turn it off before you charge it and don't try to use it during charge.

    Glad you happened across it - I still haven't found anything to beat it (other than the not-really-portable iFi iDSD at four times the price!)
    Happy listening :)
    dhm78 likes this.
  8. BadReligionPunk
    Yup C5 is one piece of must have equip for me. I really really wish Cayin would go all Fiio on us and redesign the thing and make it smaller/better, but still at $130 its a no brainer. Pairs beautifully with Cayin N5 too. :L3000:
    misteral201103 and dhm78 like this.
  9. TidalWave
    What’s the verdict on battery drain in standby mode for c5 non-DAC, when headphones are not connected? I saw a post from a Cayin rep in this thread, but it was difficult to understand. Perhaps he meant that if a battery is fully charged, it can last in standby mode for a month, but I could be wrong in my interpretation. Is there a significant variation between units in this regard?
  10. misteral201103
    If you leave it turned on but not being used it will drain pretty quickly - obviously not as fast as if it's being used, but it will drain. But other than being a forgetful moron (talking about myself from bitter experience here) there's no reason to do that. If you have it turned off, it holds its charge as long as you would expect any battery would do. How long precisely? No idea, I use it too frequently to go any amount of time with it turned off!

    On a side note, been using it with my new UM Macbeth IEMs and it makes such a difference to the un-amped output of the Fiio X5iii. I would still like to know if there's anything better (but comparably sized and not too sky-high a price) but despite the model being something like three or four years old, it still seems to represent the best option for a portable amp. I'd like to compare it with the Oppo HA2 and Xduoo XD 05 but I can't afford to buy them just to test.
  11. Andykong
    Technically speaking, the C5 does not have a standby mode. Once you turn on the power, the analogue components are hot and ready. Since C5 is a Class AB design, so it will definitely consume more power when loaded at the headphone output, but we shouldn't describe the C5 as standby mode when it is not connected a headphone.
    Cayin Stay updated on Cayin at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  12. TidalWave
    I've just joined the Cayin C5 owners club and would like to ask about stacking options (or not stacking). I know the amp comes with 2 rubber bands to use with DAPs/DACs, but how do you connect yours to a smartphone? My phone has a 5.5" screen, and I'm afraid having rubber bands over it is going to affect touch screen functionality as well as block the screen. My plan at the moment is to not do a phone+amp stack but rather use a longer audio cable to keep the amp in my bag in a side pocket and phone in the same side pocket but separately removable. I always have a shoulder bag with me since I always carry my camera and wallet in it, so it wouldn't be a problem to store the amp in some pocket with quick access to its volume knob. What do you do for cell phones?
  13. Devodonaldson
  14. Devodonaldson
    The most effective way in my opinion is Scotch fastenerd.like Velcro, but more secure, and doesn't get caught on anything
    TidalWave likes this.
  15. TidalWave
    Great idea! I've used velcro to attach SSDs to micro ATX computer cases, and I'm a fan of their utility.
    I see you have V-Moda M-100, which I also have. How do you find them with Cayin C5--best on low gain setting with bass boost off? I'm mostly getting the C5 for my planar headphones which like more input power, but I've read opinions that M-100 sound is also improved with a good amp. I'll have access to detailed EQ on my phone, so balancing excess frequencies should be doable.
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