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)
The N3pro is a wonderful addition to my DAPs small form factor, great price, and fantastic service from Andrew at MusicTeck!
Love the sound with Tubes turned on. UL mode. Hi-Gain. Sounds beautiful especially after 100Hr burn in.
MusicTeck shipped the order very quickly and was the cheapest supplier by far, nothing but good to say about them.
Cayin N3Pro drives my Audeze LCD2-Cs well. The unit is simple to operate after a quick breeze through the manual to find all of the settings. One down side is that the unit ships with no internal storage so a separate micro SD card is required unless using this as a pass through device! All 3 output modes have unique and distinct sound signatures that lend them selves to different music. I am glad that the leather case was included but the metal slats are offputtingly sharp to a tactile but not dangerous degree. This is an excellent value DAP. Even the charging cord is very high quality.
The player joined a collection of 30+ DAC's and DAP's in my home along with a dozen over the ear headphones and nearly a hundred IEM's. The quality of the unit is really as good as it gets, so is functionality. The best part of it is the tube section in ultra linear mode. Musical, dynamic just simply entertaining. It is tube glory for the mobile device. The single ended mode gives up a bit too much detail for my taste for additional tube warmth. The solid state part is not bad, but the unit was clearly fine tuned for the linear tube stage. If you use the line output into a super low distortion headphone amp, like the TOPPING A50s you can have a reference sound signature for yourself. All the details your brain can process.
Lots of, would only be able to list a few below.
1) build quality is top notch. I had hard time to decide whether to use the leather case. Different style of appealing feelings in hands and eyes, without or with the case.
2) tube sound quality is amazing. I won't call it top notch (warning: this is a subjective claim), but this is a portable tube player! Being able to enjoy the musical sweet sounds by the tube at literally anywhere, how cool it could be!
3) bluetooth LDAC to my Sony 1000X works great. The connection is stable and the sound quality is next level with LDAC. Revamped the 1000X!
4) it comes with 4.4 balanced output. Although I'm addicted to the tube mode (ultra-linear to be precise), would still appreciate the capability to plug in my other balanced headphones.
5) the UI is smooth. It's not Android for sure. The UI design is neat and the interactions are smooth. Swipe up and down, left and right, as smooth as a typical Android phone.
6) a minor feature but important to me, it supports replay gain. I have thousands of audios files on the TF card, replay gain saves me from adjusting the volume every other songs.
1) as DAC, does not work well with the Apple lightning to camera adapter, problem comes from the requirement that the audio source being power source as well. Even using the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter which has external power supply, can't play hi-res/DSD streams in DAC mode. That said, standard CD quality audio stream can be played with no problem. I only tested DAC mode with iPhone/iPad though.
2) as a player, DSD is software decoding instead of hardware decoding.
3) infrequently, the OS would crash and reboot. I upgraded to V2.0 software, but still has the issue. Because it's infrequent (like once in three days), it's not too bad, but annoying.
Overall, at this price, the player strongly exceeds my expectations. I would confidently recommend this player to anyone, as long as you have read the Cons section above.