Cayin has updated its flagship DAP, now built with beefier specs, a new DAC chipset, and double the vacuum tubes. Meet the new flagship DAP – the Cayin N8ii. It uses two ROHM DAC chips paired with two Vacuum tubes for amplification. The N8ii is also an Android-based digital audio player, running on a customized Android 9.0 OS. And yes, it does have Google Play pre-installed as well. There are more features that the N8ii has to offer, check out below for more details.
Cayin N8ii Master Quality Digital Audio Player Launched
The new flagship Cayin N8ii DAP features two ROHM BD34301 DAC chips in a dual-DAC configuration, instead of AKM DAC used in its predecessor. The ROHM DACs are paired with two KORG Nutube vacuum tubes for amplification. It supports 32bit/768kHz PCM audio format, up to DSD512 natively.
According to Cayin, the analog amplification on the N8ii is a state-of-the-art implementation with fully-discrete, fully-balanced vacuum tube amplification through a matched pair of KORG Nutube. It also features two innovative functions: Dual Amplifier Operation (DAO, choice of Class A or Class AB) and Dual Output Mode (DOM, choice of standard P mode and high power P+ mode).
Since it’s running on a customized Android 9.0 OS, Cayin used a Snapdragon 660 SoC to maximize the N8ii’s potential. The SoC is paired with a 6GB of LPDDR4X memory and for internal storage, it was a 128GB eMMC and can be expanded via a microSD card slot that supports up to 1TB of microSD capacity.
The Cayin N8ii is quite a beefy portable audio player, measuring 147mm x 77.5mm x 25mm, and weighing around 442 grams. It has a nice 5″ multi-touch OLED display with a resolution of 1280×720. Since it’s a fully-balanced DAP, it has a 3.5mm single-ended output as well as a 4.4mm balanced output. For wireless connectivity, it features WiFi 802.11 and Bluetooth v5.0 with support for LDAC, UAT, AAC, and SBC.
For those who want to use the N8ii other than just as an audio player, the Cayin N8ii is preinstalled with Google play and Direct Transport Audio (DTA). This means you can install 3rd-party apps from the play store and on top of that, the DTA bypasses the SRC in Android OS and facilitates bit-perfect playback with all streaming services.
Statements From Cayin
Bin Liang, CEO of Zhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co., Ltd., the parent company of Cayin Audio:
“On top of designing a high-performance audio circuit, the biggest challenge with N8ii is to fit the two pieces of Nutube into a DAP chassis, properly damped, isolated, and “suspended” to minimize microphonic from movement and EMI interference at various on-the-go scenarios. Since the primary locations are occupied by the screen and battery already, we resort to a unique compartmentalized CNC machined chassis that facilitates two isolated chambers to house the Nutube vacuum tubes separately”.
Ye Maosheng, Lead R&D Engineer:
“We spent a lot of resources to learn, experiment, and fine-tune the supporting system for this new ROHM DAC chipset. We have developed 6 rounds of engineering PCB within 4 months to explore the potential and implementation options for BD34301EKV. We grasp massive raw data through I2S and compared it to data from numerous analog output stages we have experimented with and cross-compared it to the ROHM demo board to validate the improvement we have achieved. We see a lot of potential on this chipset because it really excels on both technical measurement and listening impression“.
Cayin N8ii Price and Release Date
The Cayin N8ii flagship DAP comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $3,499 USD. It is expected to be available starting March 4, 2022.
But if you are interested to audition it personally, Cayin will demonstrate N8ii at MusicTeck booth (B3 B5 ), CanJam New York, Marriott Marquis, New York, USA from 26th to 27th February 2022. Aside from the N8ii, other Cayin products will be showcased as well.
Check out also our review of the Cayin N3Pro, a mid-tier DAP with dual amplification system (Solid State and Vacuum Tubes)