Cayin N3Pro Fully Balanced Dual Timbre Portable Digital Audio Player
Dual Timbre: Vacuum Tube and Solid Dual (3.5mm single-ended only)
Dual Operation Mode: Triode and Ultra-linear (3.5mm Tube only)
Matched pair JAN6418 in mechanically suspended shock-absorption protection
Dual AK4493 DAC decodes up to 32Bit/384kHz and DSD256 native
Fully balanced design with 4.4mm and 3.5mm phone out
Powerful Headphone output, up to 800mW@32Ω Balanced
2 line out, 2 digital outputs, USB DAC Hi-Res wireless DAC (LDAC, UAT, AAC)
Let me preface this review with this- If you're considering a non android dap this excellent cayin should be on the top of your list.
First build quality- very compact and feels great in the hand. The weight is just right, it's not a brick but feels 'solid machining and finish is top notch. Buttons are also very responsive and not 'mushy. The screen is very nice although small due to the tube display beneath it. All in all very impressive build quality. A world apart from the original n3. It has a premium feel.
UI and usage, it's a cayin skinned hiby ui, very snappy and easy to navigate. Very simple to use, it gets you around painlessly. There is a bit of album art pop in (this could be improved) but scrolling your music is very snappy.
Bluetooth, wifi - I streamed LDAC from my phone to the n3 pro with no problems. And my Sony wireless buds had no connection problems. Wifi is for file loading and updates so I haven't used it yet.
Battery usage seems to be on par with the specs, although there is some battery drain in standyby. Hopefully cayin buttons this up. I haven't used the line out, but the usb dac mode works great.
Sound- ahh yes here's the moneyshot :) Well basically you have 4 sound modes that all sound different. And the plus is they all sound very good!
4.4 balanced- wide, powerful with nice dynamics and good detail. Very powerful bass, similar in quality to the other mid priced contenders offerings. Fairly quiet also.
3.5 SS- not quite as wide as 4.4 but bass is more in line and things seem very balanced in this out. Good stuff! Although of course less power than 4.4 out wich is 800mw @32 ohms.
3.5 trilode- Oh boy! Rich and smooth mids are very upfront and eveything is warm and intimate. Soft and delicate, but with presence. Amazing for vocal centric material.
3.5 ultraliear - Well this is my absolute favorite and ranks with the best dap outputs I've head. More expansive than triode and more dynamic and not as soft. Kind of like a really good SS sound with tube magic applied.
Wider than triode and really deep sounding. The depth and layering are insane. This has a rich, but detailed holographic sound. It has that 'tube' presence that's hard to describe but so intoxicating. I love this mode, the only dap I can think of that sounds like this is cayins own n8.
In summary, with it's 4 different excellent modes and that addictive/unique tube mode, cayin has really distanced themselves from other daps in this price range. If you just want a great sounding non android dap with little bells and whistles this is it! It's a pure music machine and I highly recommend it.