Kinh Nghiệm về Cayin iHA-6 vs Topping A90 Mới Nhất

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I wonder how much the whole planar needs ss and dynamics need tubes is a myth.

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    N6ii T01 – Dual PCM1792AN6ii T01 Headphone ImpressionsSoftware ExperienceSound Experience & ComparisonsSolid-StateVideo liên quan

In my experience, the majority of different headphones Ive been able to hear on good tube amps, have sounded better on tubes. I found both dynamics and planars to benefit a fairly equal amount from tubes.

The main obstacle is that planars usually have a low nominal impedance and/or low sensitivity, while most OTL tube amps have a fairly high output impedance. Those high-OI OTLs generally dont pair well with low impedance headphones because theyll be underdamped too much to the point where things start to act funky. Underdamping causes an increase in demand for current, which in addition to the high current demand of many planars means theyll not be able to pull enough current from the amp to maintain a sufficiently powerful signal. One of the most obvious things that start to occur is the bass will get flabby, like a car engine stuttering on its last few drops of fuel.

So to avoid all that good stuff from happening, you need a tube amp with a low output impedance. Transformer-coupled tube amps are one possible solution, but those tend to be expensive. Low OI OTL tube amps do exist as well though, like some of the more expensive Feliks Audio amps. Ive actually ordered their Euforia last month specifically for my Empyrean, should ship some time next week hopefully.

So yeah, tubed planars can for sure be just as magical as tubed DDs, you just need to be very specific about finding an amp that will have good electrical synergy with it, and then youll also need to ensure that the sonic characteristics of that amp complement your headphones in a desirable way. Or just buy your way out of the hassle and splurge on an AudioValve Solaris. All headphones Ive heard on that amp somehow had their sound turned into liquid gold. From HD 660S to Susvaras.

Oh whoa $2500 for the HA 6A thats not bad all

Anyways, I wrapped up my thoughts of N6ii with its Burr Brown TI PCM Dac and I really felt that board was one of if not the best quality out of a DAP Ive heard. Tho I have not sat down with the new iBasso 200 series or the N8

Non the less I contribute my thoughts!

N6ii T01 – Dual PCM1792A

Frankly to my ears Ive always enjoyed the presentation and implementation of the Texas Instruments or TI PCM Dac chips. When correctly implemented they are mostly linear with a tiny bit of air on the top end.

Im happy to say I feel Cayin has perfectly naild the spirit and majesty of the TI PCM series of Digital Audio Converters. Linear bass reproduction, perfectly natural mid-range and a slight bit of air on the top end. Overall the envelope is to my ears perfectly balanced from the lows up through the central and upper mid-range. Technically this air or airiness is to some extent an exaggeration. However I dont find that the top end has any emphasis on the attack but rather some exaggeration on the sustain and decay.

With bright headphones this can be a bit distracting but I much prefer even this slight exaggeration over the sluggishness of the Velvet Sound.

My long standing tower stack is composed of the Hifiman HM901 which itself features a dual arrangement of ESS Sabre 9018 DAC chip-sets. In stock form and most implementations the Sabre DACs are mostly linear in the bottom end with an aggressive presentation in the mid range and top end.

What I love and have loved about HM 901 is its vintage High Frequency roll over filter, I typically dont enjoy these filters but on HM 901 it removes that slightly aggressive presentation and adds helps improve mid-range tonality.

Each of the internal AMP-Cards for HM901 were disappointing, so over the years after hearing many different amps and topologies I settled on the iBasso PB2 amp with a quad of LME 49990 OP Amps with an Energizer Linear Battery Pack.

With my Sennheiser HD 600 I was hard pressed to find a real discerning difference between my existing stack and N6ii T01.

However with my Aeon Closed 2 there was better presentation of textures in sub bass frequencies with the HM901/iBasso PB2 stack. I also felt the HM901/PB2 Stack presented a more discernible and cohesive sense of space especially for tracks where large drums or heavy bass lines are present. Which I feel is related directly the amplifiers improved control over A2C.

Tonally tho I did feel times N6ii T01 was maybe times just a tiny bit more energetic, maybe airier but for as many tracks as N6ii T01 was better there are tracks where it was worse.

N6ii T01 Headphone Impressions

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I quite simply loved N6ii T01 with my HD 600 which I run it with a balanced ZMF Atoms Copper cable.
Overall I was impressed with both its detail and overall staging and cohesion. Tonally quality was excellent to,



        Snappy with an even envelope


        Without sounding over-emphasized or too fast


        Easily discernible sense of weight and body toàn thân, reverb in larger instruments was apparent


      Natural tonality

        Smooth but not lacking texture


        In that you could discern the literal nature of vocals – the movement of air



        But not smoothed over

Overall I felt the overall transparent quality of both HD 600 and N6ii T01 made for a complimentary system. Now some who find the slight upper mid emphasis on HD 600 offensive or unpleasant will notice N6ii T01 does not tame or remove that quality of HD 600.

In contrast the A01 and Velvet AKM sound does help to tame HD 600s slight shout, but for my tastes I again felt HD 600 was slow and veiled with the A01 chip.

Ill also add that T01 does not help with HD 600s rolled off sub bass, tho it doesnt draw attention to nor away from it either. Again I felt this combination as a whole was mostly transparent.

Dan Clark Audios new Aeon 2 Closed is one of my favorite closed backs right now, while its low impedance makes it some what easy to drive its low efficiency does hinder bass extension when amplification is not sufficient.

In the case of N6ii T01, unfortunately I did find its amplification to be insufficient for driving A2C its full potential. There was a discernible lack of authority and definition in the sub bass especially.

Which for some tracks where I find A2C to be too bass heavy the lack of authority and power is sorta of pleasant tho the lack of detail is not a worthwhile trade off. However, I will say using the line out of N6ii T01 into my iBasso PB2 was excellent.


Cayin N6ii T01 is for me the first Digital Audio Player to fully eclipse my old HM901 stack, its user interface is quick and both its amplification and analog line out stages are excellent. For any one looking for a transparent portable digital audio player I highly recommend the N6ii with T01 module!

When Cayin announced the N3 Pro in early 2022, I was very excited for what it could be. On paper, it seemed like a cheaper and smaller N8 Cayins Flagship Digital Audio Player. The N8 was extremely well-built, fast, and had a solid-state and tube amplifier mode using Korg Nu-Tubes. It was also extremely heavy, and extremely expensive!

The N3 Pro, instead, is a lighter-weight and smaller player that fits well in my hands, and also has the ability to switch from solid-state to a discrete tube amplifier with a press of a button on the touchscreen. This player retails for $479 USD and was provided on loan directly from Cayin as part of their Head-Fi Tour group. I was the first to get my hands on it as part of this tour and was able to provide a full unboxing experience video shown below:


The N3 Pro comes equipped with a pair of AKM 4493 DACs and has the ability to play from its solid-state amps in balanced mode using 4.4mm or single-ended using 3.5mm. It also has the ability to swap to using a tube amp mode using JAN6418 matching tubes and play using the single-ended 3.5mm output only. The tube function has two filters available for different sounds which Ill discuss later.

In addition to these functions, the N3 Pro also has 2-way bluetooth and digital output using USB-C and a dedicated line output using 3.5mm. One can also use Hibys app on a mobile device to control the players music using HibyLink.

The User Interface is a customized Hiby OS that looks very modern and simple and has a touch button on the lower center of the front panel, that is lit with an LED ring. Just above this ring is a transparent glass display that shows the tube lit when activated, and the main screen is a 3.2 inch IPS display that is sharp and looks good.

There is a large volume knob on the right side of the player that also acts as the power and screen-off button when pressed-in. Below that are the skip and play/pause buttons. The player uses USB-C for data and charging and that is the bottom of the player next to the phone outputs.

Finally, the player includes data cable and a single case. The first case is a simple clear TPU bumper case that protects the edges and sides of the player. The second case that came with this bundle and is available to purchase separately is a green leather case with a metal screen on the back side that looks very reminiscent of cases made by Korean brand Dignis. This case is quite nice and I love the overall look and feel of it and highly recommend it for the optional $39 USD.

Software Experience

The Cayin N3 Pro uses a customized Hiby OS which means it has the proprietary wireless remote feature, HibyLink. This feature lets you control you music and volume via your phone or tablet without having to touch your DAP once enabled.

The user interface seemed quite snappy to me, especially after upgrading to the v2.0 firmware. The main screen gives users an option to search for music by various methods such as Folder, Lists, Songs, Artist, Albums and Genre. My music collection has well-defined tags, and so I did not notice any issues with weird tag reading or any other anomalies with file display.

Album art isnt pre-cached, so it does take a second to refresh the artwork while scrolling through each menu, but its not any longer than Ive noticed on other Hiby-based player.

Swiping down from the top of the screen shows a quick-access menu similar to what youd find on Android. Its here where you can switch from solid-state to tube and also change the tube sound from Triode to Ultra Linear.

Swiping up from the bottom of the screen brings up the two settings menus. One is to control settings related to the sound/music functions like changing filters and EQ, and the other is to change system settings.

Overall usage of the UI is easy enough to use for me, and everything just works fine. I had no issues using it once I figured out the LED ring is actually a home screen button, which saved a lot of button presses to get back to the main playback display.

Sound Experience & Comparisons

The N3 Pro runs in three different modes as Ive mentioned before. It also has several AKM DAC filters, but Ive kept it in the Slow filter for the most part during this trial period. This has been the filter I found to sound the most realistic for the acoustical music I typically listen to in my experience.

Most of my listening on the Cayin N3 Pro were with the Hidition Viento-B, Unique Melody MEST, and Thieaudio Legacy 4 in-ear monitors. I spent a very short amount of time with the ZMF Verite and Denon D5200 headphones as well.

In all-cases, I find that the overall sound and character of the Cayin N3 Pro is that is a warmer than neutral audio player. Its been a while since Ive had a chance to hear the N8 or the N6-II with its default amp, but I remember those both being a little warmer in their default settings, but I do feel that Cayins house sound is a more warm and lush sound style than a flat neutral or airy signature.

My main points of comparison in this review are with the Lotoo PAW 6000, Hiby R2, Apple USB-C Dongle, and a Topping A90 desktop amp. Of these, only the A90 is within the same price bracket as the N3 Pro, but of course, its not a portable unit. The PAW 6000 is over double the cost $1200 USD and the R2 is a fraction of the cost $109 USD, so these do show if the Cayin hits its price mark, below or above it in my comparisons.


With the solid-state active, I found the Cayin to have a similar general signature to the Hiby R2, which is a warmer sound signature that emphasizes the lower mid-range more. The N3 Pro sounds a little lacking in air when compared to the Lotoo PAW 6000 and Topping A90, and presents a thicker overall signature. The resolution is very good on the N3 Pro solid-state but I do find the PAW 6000 to just go slightly beyond and adds a deeper level of layering and depth that the N3 Pro doesnt dive as far down.

Tube Amp

The tube amp modes is where the N3 Pro differentiates itself from its competition any price range. The player is equipped with a matching set of JAN 6418 mini-tubes that are suspended in the player to reduce the amount of noise from movement and shock. While it does a fantastic job this, I do still hear the occasional hum noise randomly while idle, or electromagnetic interference from my cell phone if the phone is right next to the tubes. In most situations, though, its generally quiet, though I would be wary with the most sensitive of IEMs. Still, it is impressive and much quieter than I would have expected of a portable tube-based amplifier device.

There are two modes when you activate the tube mode to choose from. There is also a 5 second waiting period for the tubes to warm up prior to music playing. You can continue to play music using the solid-state amp side while you wait, but there will be a short pause when switching over, so its not seamless, and I wouldnt expect it to be either.


The first mode is the Triode mode, which is the tube amp in its purest form. This really opens up the sound and changes it up. The low end is bloomier, with an even warmer and engaging presentation. It can make bassier IEMs sound, perhaps, too much, but it is up to preferences here.

The overall sound is smoother, though I did find the treble to be a little jarring first, but I believe that really had more to do with the tubes not fully being broken in and opening up, since this unit was brand new when I received it. I let the tube section on and playing music for hours a time while I was doing other things to let it naturally open up and I dont sense that harshness using triode mode anymore.

This is the more pleasant of the three major options on this player, and one I would pick to use if I had to. I really liked it with the Hidition Viento-B, which is a reference monitor with a small bass shelf bump. It tames down some of the highs when using it on the solid-state mode and especially the ultra-linear mode, which Ill take about next.


Yes, Cayin put in an ultra-linear mode using it with tubes. Its an interesting and almost contradictory combination, but then again, I do this on my desktop setup often. I use my Topping A90 when I need to power my planar headphones, but use my Feliks Elise OTL Tube amp as a tube buffer pre-amp to it. This way, I get a small amount of that harmonic distortion along with the current power I need to use the planars full efficiency.

In the case of the N3 Pro, the ultra-linear mode seems like a filter change that makes the player have very much a neutral sound profile that brightens up the sound significantly. The change is pretty dramatic, especially if you flip back and forth between the Triode and Ultra-Linear with everything becoming leaner, brighter, and more airy, though I dont feel it sounds more forced than natural.

I am not a big fan of this mode to be honest. It loses a lot of the engaging sound of the N3 Pro and even if the tube is still running in the background, I find this makes some of my IEMs become nearly unlistenable. It does not pair well with brighter gear.

I believe they were trying to make this mode to compete with more neutral-tuned gear, but when comparing it to the Lotoo PAW 6000, I just dont think it stacks up. Cayins N3 Pro performs much better with the warmer and intimate sound than it does with the brighter tuning.


The Cayin N3 Pro is a really nice package $479 and it comes with a great giảm giá of options to satisfy a lot of different tuning options and features. It doesnt do streaming apps but least you can use your device to stream via BT directly to the player if you want to use Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, etc.

The tube portion is definitely not a gimmick and it seems to do what Id expect a tube amp to do and thats a nice feature. Its also good that it does not have too much impact on extraneous noise such as hissing and humming. I like that all three major sound options on this player are unique to the others and that provides an option for all listening types and one should be able to find a nice pairing with most gear.

Finally, theres really nothing in this price range that competes with this unit, if youre looking something that sounds pleasant and has nice build and feels great. Yes, it does not have Android like the iBasso DX160, but this unit runs smooth and does not have many quirks with it in its hardware or software.

Overall, this seems like a nice recommendation from me. Its probably a small step behind players double to triple its price in sound quality, but competes and exceeds players its own price range, and I find that very appealing.


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