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The Centrance HiFi M8 thread

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by firev1, Aug 15, 2012.
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  1. firev1
    Hifi-M8 and LX overview by expatinjapan
    This post is a general copy and paste from the Hifi-M8 impressions thread:
    *The impressions thread has reviews and an ever growing FAQs in posts 3 and 2.
    UPDATE 7/2013. The LX version is ready for orders, the idevice capable model will begin shipping late August/early September. pre-orders are currently being done first.
    Hifi-m8 impressions and information thread
    Website with general information
    Hifi-m8 blog
    Jude of head-fi fame video review of the Hifi-m8 and LX August 2013.

    NOTE:  If you can't see the embedded video above, please ​
     to see the video.​

    And one of the greatest designer of DAC/Amps etc of course, jokes are often directed at the ones we admire and love.
    Let’s recap:  There will be 8 versions of HiFi-M8 in total.

    That’s four versions of HiFi-M8 and four versions of HiFi-M8 LX.



    As a reminder, HiFi-M8 LX has S/PDIF input and USB input, while HiFi-M8 has iDevice input and USB input.


    Each product will come with a choice of side panels, as follows:


    – Unbalanced: 1/4″ jack, 1/8″ jack and Balanced 4-Pin XLR jack

    – Unbalanced: 1/4″ jack, 1/8″ jack and Balanced 4-pin RSA jack

    – 2x Neutrik Combo jacks offering balanced and unbalanced output

    – 2x Neutrik Male XLR  jacks offering balanced output (this is the Pro version)


    The “heart” will be the same across all products, but the connectors will differ. The side panel PCBs are making the different products possible.

    Support for Unbalanced OR Balanced headphones, IEMs and overhead

    [​IMG] [​IMG]    

    [​IMG] [​IMG]    

    [​IMG]1ohm, 2ohm, 11ohm. [​IMG] [​IMG] Three levels of output impedance, for best headphone linearity


      -2 dBV (nominal, max gain)use with less-sensitive over-the head headphones

    -10 dBV (nominal, mid gain) use for connecting to line-level consumer audio equipment

    -22 dBV (nominal, min gain) use with ultra-sensitive IEM headphones

    [​IMG] [​IMG] Three levels of headphone gain, for headphone sensitivity matching

    [​IMG]Flat, +, ++ [​IMG] [​IMG] Three levels of bass sonic shaping, for matching to various headphones

    [​IMG]Flat, +, ++ [​IMG] [​IMG] Three levels of treble sonic shaping, for matching to various headphones


    RE: Bass and Treble switches:
    `Each gives a slight boost of about 3 dB in the ++ position. Bass accentuates the kick drum area and treble lifts the "sheen" at the top. These are not plain vanilla shelves found in consumer stereos. Both curves have complex shaping and come from years of studio recording experience. They are very subtle-sounding`- M.Goodman
    Digital specs


    24-bit (Also supports 16-bit)

    Sample Rate

    USB: 44.1 kHz, 41 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 172.4 kHz, 192 kHz


    USB Host and Device compatible

    Local clock

    10 ppm precision, unmeasurable jitter


    iPad, iPhone, iPod, Mac, PC


    Analog Specs

    Freq. Response

    20 Hz...50 kHz (flat EQ circuit)

    S/N Ratio

    113 dB (A-weighted)


    0.002 % (mid gain position)


    -103 dB (at 1kHz)

    Output Impedance

    1, 2, 11 Ohm, selectable

    Output Power

    1.4 W (max), 1 W (typical)


    16...600 Ohm

    Output voltage

    -2 dBV (nominal, max gain) use with less-sensitive over-the head headphones

    -10 dBV (nominal, mid gain) use for connecting to line-level consumer audio equipment

    -22 dBV (nominal, min gain) use with ultra-sensitive IEM headphones


    +19.0dBV (600 Ohms load) (still verifying)

    * Listening to IEMs or other high sensitivity headphones at maximum level may damage your hearing.


    General Specs


    Audio Output

     XLR balanced, 1/8" combo, 1/4"    unbalanced jack, model-dependent

    Headphone Amp

    Direct Class-A

    AC Powering

    Globally compatible, 90...240V AC power supply included

    DC Powering

    +9...+20V DC (3A) from external adapter, car, boat, etc.

    Internal supplies

    Battery-isolated, filtered ±10V, super-clean analog rails

    Unit Dimensions:

    127 mm (L) x 82 mm (W) x 33 mm (H)

    Shipping weight:

    the shipping weight is 905g (2.0lb)
    The unit is 331g (or almost 12 oz)​





  2. mgoodman
    Thank you for your interest and for wonderful comments about our products. I can assure you that 1 Ohm output impedance will be available. The other things we will announced very soon.
    What would you be using a line output for? Just curious...
    Sinocelt likes this.
  3. firev1
    line output would be nice for speakers would be nice but not necessary for a mobile product :) You could try it by putting a bypass switch for the line out perhaps? 
  4. bayac
  5. firev1
    I think most likely it be usb, because as a product for hifi on the go, usb is fast becoming a popular option, especially with many getting devices with usb host(Samsung galaxy s3). Spdif and optical are less likely because not many portable devices support them.
  6. firev1
  7. Currawong Contributor
    I can't help wondering why they don't just use a single 4-pin XLR socket and separate TRS socket. It would take the same or less space and be closer to what is more common headphones these days.
  8. eugenius
    Dual xlr3 has advantages:
    1. Two jack outputs (different Zout)
    2. XLR3 connectors are readily available in the professional field.
    3. You can use existing microphone cables as LONG headphone extensions.
    4. Two mono cables are still better than one stereo cable. If you're going to bother with balanced headphones, go all the way.
    5. You can use TRS balanced cables.
  9. qusp Contributor

    erm this is a portable device, dual 3 pins is strange, 2 x 3 pin XLR jacks alone is as big as most of the portable dacs available. crosstalk with a properly designed balanced device will be cancelled to within reasonable limits, you know, because its balanced and any error (crosstalk) would be common mode error....
    2. XLR3 connectors are readily available in the professional field.
    XLR4 connectors are just as available from the very same manufacturers as the 3 pins in use in pro audio
    3. You can use existing microphone cables as LONG headphone extensions.
    and why would one want to do that with a portable device?
    4. Two mono cables are still better than one stereo cable. If you're going to bother with balanced headphones, go all the way.
    no, no they arent, any miniscule crosstalk is meaningless in the greater scheme of things and fades in comparison to the advantages of using a single connector. using 2 x 3 pin XLR for headphones was an odd choice to begin with and even more odd now IMO
    5. You can use TRS balanced cables.
    again, why would you want to do that? to remove the ability to tightly couple the signal pair? phono is completely unsuitable for balanced and is at best a compromise
    Currawong likes this.
  10. qusp Contributor
    even better would be a lemo or 4 pin mini XLR, which are also commonly available from neutrik, switchcraft and others. however I understand the wish to keep to somewhat of a standard, well guess what? 4 pin XLR is the new standard and is finally gaining widespread acceptance, forward thinking companies with new products should really be considering it as the way forward.
  11. eugenius
    Translation: a device that's made to be easy to use for pro audio has no place in my limited audiophile world ... :)
  12. qusp Contributor
    no, a device that is made with silly OLD audiophile headphone standards has no place in my logical and practical forward thinking world, particularly if its supposed to be portable
    ask a pro whether he would prefer one headphone connector to 2, anyone who has the power to choose their connector these days and for some time now, will choose 1 x 4 pin. 2 x 3 pin is hardly a pro headphone standard. he will choose 1 x 4 pin for exactly the same reason as he is choosing 1 x 4 terminal speakon jack for his biamped studio or pro stage monitors, it takes up less room on a rack and causes far less headaches. you are the closed minded audiophile here
  13. eugenius
    LOL, the pro you presume to know uses those xlr's to to drive cables not headphones. Anyway ... my dacport is good.
  14. qusp Contributor

    umm, hahaha, your not making any sense, you remember what thread we are in right?  is this line above suppose to somehow dispute what I said? it would seem so, but i'm finding it difficult to find the link. do you read before replying? the underlined part is exactly what I said, but somehow you seem to be trying to argue, lame. this product, the one in this thread is talking about balanced HEADPHONES and 2 x 3 pin is IMO an outmoded idea that was NEVER taken on in the pro field for headphones and IMO a strange choice for a home device, let alone a portable device. I dont expect you to understand at this stage, youve brought up some points, which I have disputed, since then youve been talking nonsense.
    what i'm saying is, given the choice for connecting balanced headphones, ask an engineer or performer whether they would prefer one or 2 connectors, they will pick one, check out the racks at your next gig thats using active crossovers and notice the speakons, if there is 4 wires they will use a 4 pole, if there is 8 they will use an 8 pole, its what is driving the creation of these connectors, not audiophiles
    XLRs today in studios are for connecting balanced ADCs, DACs, Mixers and microphones, not just to drive long cable runs. a cable is not balanced, a cable is neither here nor there.
  15. Currawong Contributor
    It all depends whether this is intended to be a truly portable device, or a transportable one. If the former, then you may as well ditch the huge XLR sockets altogether and just do what RSA and ALO have done with their balanced portables.  If the latter, 4-pin XLR is more common, dual 3-pin XLRs being the result of the original HeadRoom Blockhead, which was two mono amps in one chassis, hence the separate headphone sockets used.
    It takes only 5-10 mins to re-cable a pair of headphones with a 4-pin XLR plug too. 
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