Disclaimer: I’m not well versed at reviewing Audiophile Gears as this is only my third DAP. What this is is my story entering the world of better music.
I recently bought a Fiio X7 Mark 1 from Lazada. At the time, I thought it was a steal at Php17,000.
The moment I unboxed it, I can’t stop grinning. I want my gadgets and things big and obnoxious, and Fiio X7 delivers on both. It was big, heavy and screams luxurious unnecessity. While it is no match for the sheer obnoxity of Sony WM1Z (My dream DAP), X7 is still a joy to hold and look at. Sadly, I had to return it as it had flickering display which was unbearable.
Fast forward to yesterday, Jan 15, 2018. I finally got my full refund (there was no replacement available), it was not mad but kind of disappointed that my DAP journey seemingly came to a fast end.
Enter Cayin N5I. I am a very impulsive person so I chatted Sir Jonjon Manlapaz of Urban Audiophile. This is the second time that I bought from him and I should be honest, both times, I was INITIALLY unenthused. INITIALLY
First was KZ ZS6. This was my first hook style IEMs so putting it on for the first few times was annoying as hell as I can’t seem to put it right. Months after, I never leave home without it.
I bought Cayin N5II from him yesterday. Our conversation was basically
Norman: Sir may N5II kayo with free TFZ?
JJM: Iba na freebies niya VJJB/ZST/ZS3
Norman: Sige VJJB nalang (This was what I wanted anyway,), pwede kayo BPI Transfer no?
JJM: Yes sir
Norman: Sige transfer nako
JJM: Prepare ko na.
Boom by exactly 5pm, my items were here.
The moment I turned I unboxed it, I did not get the same thrill as when I got X7. Contrary to X7, N5ii is small and low key. It just isn’t as feel the same.
As I powered it on, I was even more disappointed by the Shitty Android UI implemented. I have been an Android fan ever since and I’ve used tons of phones with different skins, to brand this as one of the worst is very alarming.
Powering on through initial disappointments, I loaded up some songs from my Laptop.
I chose the music I would play first carefully. And this is where everything took a 360. The first time I played something on X7 I was unimpressed to say the least. There was no oomph. There was no immediate discernable difference versus my OnePlus5. I spent Php17,000 on a device I sure as hell am expecting something different. I had to specifically look for the difference (Should it be hear?)
When I fired up In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly. Damn. Amazing. The sound stage alone was ways above Op5. I am used to reading ‘vocals are clear’, ‘details are crisp’ etc. I did not understand and hear them but Cayin N5ii blew my expectations out of the water. Instruments feel much more detailed, vocals are much clearer and there is immediate discernable difference from my Op5.
As I played more songs (ie If You’re Not the One), you can appreciate those juicy guitar strums on your left earbud. I was so impressed I stayed 20 more minutes at work because I wanted to hear more. It was just that good.
I’ll continue using these moving forward. But case in point. At Php 19,800, this is an amazing DAP and the VJJB N1 was a terrific Icing on the cake.
Thanks to Sir Jonjon Manlapaz for the hassle-free service.