Got this amazing little dongle in the mail the other day-- I’ve yet to encounter so much goodness in such a small package. Lively, clear and rich sounding with a notably blacker background with my Solaris than n6ii + E01. It comes with a nice range of EQ presets and some of them are actually quite nice (I’ve yet to like any EQ presets in any device I’ve owned…including my Cowon Plenue). Looking forward to spending more time getting to know this little unit. So far, highly recommended!
Haha ! I kept telling you this little thing was amazing Glad you like it man!
I completely replaced my micro BL with this. It’s small enough to be used portably with a phone, but it’s also good enough to be used at a desk.
I’d love to hear more about it when you’ve had more time with it! How’s the hiss?
I’ll comment more later after I’ve had some more a/b time. Zero hiss with Solaris though!
The retailer MusicTeck has a nice blurb about it here: the good news is that it’s compatible with both Android and iOS. No mention of output impedance for the Andro or other BA IEMs that might be sensitive to different Zout.
Just to note, there is no hiss (with the U12t at least), but the shielding isn’t the best, meaning that if you have your smartphone or other devices next to it, you will hear a bit of noise. This is only an issue when I’m connected to my Windows computer (not on my Android phone or Macbook Pro), so take that as you will. Just thought I’d let you know in case that can be an issue for you.
Thank you - that same issue, among other things, put me off the Chord Mojo. Good to know!
Wow wow wow! Thank you for the heads up. Purchasing this now! So happy to hear it has no noise on the Solaris. I love that it has Pentaconn and USB-C to USB-C connectivity. I have a feeling it might supplant the tried and true DFC and DFR for my purposes. Looking forward to hear your impressions!
Nothing but gold so far…the 4.4mm connection is a real plus. This thing has a beautiful synergy with Solaris.
Thought I would give my impressions since I’ve had the unit since its release, about two months ago. It is an awesome device and is well worth the money. It plays flawlessly with all devices you could think of (tried on Android, IOS, Macbook, Windows) and it sounds wonderful. The best way I could describe the signature is “neutral and musical”. It really has an awesome balance of musicality, without sounding too warm. The lower frequencies really sound lifelike and the mids are well positioned and have great body. The presentation itself is quite nice, with enough width and depth to satisfy all. The treble, as with every AKM Dac, is a bit (notice “a bit”) smooth, but this, to me, is awesome for long listening sessions (at work for exemple). The fact that it has both a 3.5mm and 4.4mm output is awesome, cause you can decide which one to use. I would probably say that the 4.4mm output is a bit more “full and musical” sounding than the 3.5mm output, but at the cost of a bit more interference. Only the most sensitive IEMs will pick this up though, so I wouldn’t be too worried. I could hear a bit of background noise (no hiss) when I was using my smartphone next to the unit itself (and I really mean NEXT to it), but it was on a rare occasion and could only be heard when no music was playing. All in all, for the price, I don’t think this unit can be beat. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I was using the universally loved micro black label, and I decided to sell that after hearing the Lotoo. It really is that good. The fact that you can use this with everything and that it has such a wonderful synergy with everything I’ve tried (64audio U12t, Dunu DK3001 Pro, Campfire Audio Solaris 2020) makes this a real winner.
Some people might think this unit is only good for IEMs, but I would disagree. Having used this with the Hifiman Sundara (out of the 4.4mm output, on high gain), I’d say it was powerful enough. Sure, a big planar would benefit from a more powerful source, but it is certainly good enough for someone starting out or looking to downsize his collection a little bit.
Finally, I would just like to mention the price and form factor. For 165 USD, I don’t think there’s something that even comes close in terms of functionality and sound. It can compete with things a lot more expensive (around the 500-700 price mark in my experience). The device is very small as well, so you can use it anywhere without having to worry. It personally completely dissipated the need for a DAP. I can carry my smartphone and hook the Lotoo up via the USB C port and be happy! In my experience, the sound itself is better than most Daps under 1000 USD, so it’s a real blessing! Anyway, as for all things, I would strongly encourage anyone to at least try the device and see for themselves!
Where’s the MQA?
But seriously this looks very interesting. If it outdoes the black label sound wise then thats impressive.
Im looking for something ultra portable and was considering the hip dac but this may be the ticket especially given the lack of hiss reported here and the usb C connectivity. The EMI may be iffy if carrying phone and this in pocket, but if it doesnt seem to effect the sound when playing then .
What’s the battery life on this or is it powered by the source? It isnt immediately clear to me.
I had the hip dac before and this easily beats it in sound quality. Also, as I have mentioned, the EMI is only an issue when connected to my Windows computer, so there might be an issue with that, not sure. There is no battery inside, so it is entirely powered via USB. It can drain the battery of your smartphone though, so just be aware of that!
Hmmm. No battery.
Does it seem power hungry for driving IEMs off a phone?
I didn’t use it for long periods on the go, so I can’t really say, it was mostly plugued into my computer all day.
Cant see it eating much power to drive IEMs but who knows about the DAC.
For the price it may stil be worth a try especially if the sound quality is up there. Would still keep my BL though.
Can’t speak for my phone but it draws less power from my n6ii than when I’m using the E01 board and about the same as when using the A01 board. It’s not a good idea to leave it plugged into your phone or DAP when not actually using it as it seems it will drain the battery more.
How did it sound compared to the Cayin modules? Or was it more of a power consumption test?
I’ll report more on that later but for the time being the biggest difference I’m appreciating is the slightly blacker background.
I figured you probably had a review coming, I will read it when posted.
Woow… Another hype train leaving the station.
Very cool little gadget.