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⭐ Cayin N7 | The Sweet Spot

▶️ Demo unit is available for audition now! 

📖 Full Article |

Cayin's new DAP model, the N7, was designed to be a first of its kind; featuring Cayin’s attempt in applying a discrete full-balanced circuit for the DAC, LPF, and Headphone Amplifier. It is also their first DAP which incorporates a 1-Bit “DSD” DAC in portable audio applications. From my inexpert brief research, the 1-bit dacs are normally found in desktop devices like high end CD players and 1-bit DSD DAC won’t oversample PCM files which helps to rid of ringing artifacts and other distortions. This architecture also inherently doesn’t cause non-linear distortions. 

Specs wise, the N7 is housed in a rather chunky yet surprisingly ergonomic metal chassis, with nice tactile buttons for play/pause and skipping tracks. Just like their flagship N8ii, the N7 also has the same volume dial/knob, which is smooth and responsive, however I personally would like a bit more resistance for more linear control. The N7 is powered by a Snapdragon 665, 4GB RAM and a rather paltry 64GB built in memory storage. They do have a Micro-SD card slot, so at least users have access to more storage, however for the price and costs of memory storage these days they should include 128GB as the minimum. It also features dual band WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 with LDAC codec support and will receive support for AptX HD in upcoming OTA updates. Output wise, the N7 offers quite a selection of options, with separate Line out and headphone output for both balanced and unbalanced connections, USB audio in and out, as well as a mini hdmi using the I2S standard, which is also quite rare to find in DAPs, nice. 

Cayin n7 also runs stock Android 12 with google playstore already installed. If you are familiar with most Chinese branded DAPs, they tend to have a very custom skin over android, and some won’t have Google apps installed by default.  Being able to just boot up the device, sign onto apps like Tidal and Roon without issues is quite refreshing. The battery life on the Cayin N7, with its 9000mah battery up to 10 hours playback, was able to get me through a full day (about 5-6 hours) of constant listening/streaming, switching between hard copy audio files and streaming on Tidal on fully discrete Class A amplifier (which I left it on throughout). With a rated output power of 320 Mw @ 32Ohms, and 500 Mw on balanced, these can pretty much drive any IEM in the market, however I find it does seem to struggle when powering headphones.

Now onto the sound, personally this Cayin N7 player has been an overall amazing experience so far. Its tuning is neutral, with a very slight amount of warmth, with great detail retrieval and imaging. The tonality is bold, powerful and with a lot of body and resolution, yet it doesn’t rob any sparkle/shimmer from the highs. The one thing that really stood out to me was how wide and tall the soundstage is. Normally IEMs have little to no soundstage, so the fact that the N7 can open up many IEMs and bring more layers and dynamics makes this quite a unique experience.

I had the opportunity to bring the Cayin N7 along with me to Canjam Singapore 2023, using it as my “reference” source when testing out various IEMs during the exhibition. Due to its neutral but slightly warm tuning, the N7 proved to pair well with almost everything I’ve auditioned, without altering the IEM’s sound signature. The upside for me throughout my weekend was the ease of use and error/lag free experience, despite being connected to WiFi with hundreds of electronic devices both from the exhibitor and visitors alike, no stuttering, slow loading apps or even crashes. 

As someone who is blessed to hear lots of different audio gears at different price points, I have to say that the Cayin N7 despite its high price tag, is one of my favorite players to have; it has all the features you could want, a smooth stutter free android experience with amazing sound to boot, I would say to shortlist the Cayin N7 or at least have a listen.

📖 Read More |
✒️ Author : Kah Hon | 📷 Photo : Kah Hon

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◆ First DAP with discrete fully-balanced 1-Bit Resistor Network “DSD” DAC
◆ Snapdragon 665 CPU, 4G RAM, 64G Internal, Android 12
◆ Dual Amplification Mode (Class A/Class AB)
◆ 9000mAh Battery with up to 10 hours duration
◆ Output power: 500mW balanced & 250mW single ended

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⭐ Official Store | |
 □ Retail : RM8399 (PM for best price)

 □ Top up RM149 for Uranus RSOCC USB or Lightning cable worth RM179 (15cm)
** 4 wires Neotech spiral structure rectangular OCC copper silver alloy, gold plated connectors, WBT soldering

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■ 9 years physical shop / audio specialist⁣
■ Authorised distributor of Cayin in Malaysia
■ 100% genuine / warranty covered⁣
■ Malaysia’s first audio theme cafe / library

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