Posted 20 hours ago

Cayin RU6 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier

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Joined in 2023

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With NOS mode, you get the unadulterated input signal while in OS mode, the digital audio bridge up samples digital audio data to 384kHz using digital filters. The RU6 has a lot of the traditional R-2R sound that I do enjoy, but it's not quite hitting it home with the big desktop setups like my Holo Audio Spring 3, or the Musician Pegasus. If you think that was challenging to pack into a pocket friendly DAP or a small modular card, imagine getting it all inside of a small usb DAC/amp dongle.

Digital filter-less, no post-processing, optimised in time domain, low phase distortion and jitter, no ringing artefact.When you want to hear organic, coherent, and unmasked sounds, switching off the oversampling feature, for me, yields the best result. Tested with my listening gears, what I am hearing is super transparent resolution throughout the dynamic range. Included were a short, properly shielded usb-c to usb-c OTG interconnect cable and a cool usb-c to usb-A adapter to use RU6 with devices that have standard usb port. In a market already flooded with delta-sigma USB dongles that sound more or less the same, the RU6 with its natural timbre and organic character is a welcomed addition.

One of the achievements that surprised me most is that RU-6 drives successfully not only demanding iems but also demanding headphones - it drivers perfectly the Z1R iem but also the Z7M2 headphones, it also drives very well the P1 but also even the T60rp (for the headphones I used the 4. The R-2R DAC circuit in the RU6 is quite demanding on incoming data integrity and the digital volume control on mobile phones will inhibit the overall sound quality. The elaborated decay sounds punchy with piano and drums, breathing in more air and bounciness while not coloring the output boomy.It reaches deep but neither very low end or mid bass are pronounced - just detailed and right sounding.

Bass has details in the sub-bass region and is thick and creamy with enough muscle in the mid-bass to make the instrument attacks sound very natural and realistic. Treble sounded realistic as it is naturally vibrant, Mids as rich as the listening device capable of emitting, Bass having visceral density which is real and engaging.The proposed solution has come in the form of a resurgence of R-2R DACs that were superseded by modern delta-sigma solutions decades ago. The soundstage is not as extended and wide with the same laser sharp positioning of the FiiO KA3 but it has far better holography, a more dimensional shape and it is further convincing in communicating the ambience of the recording venue. Disclaimer: The Cayin RU6 was sent to us free of charge by Cayin directly in exchange for this review.

The hardware has been designed in an intuitive manner, where the volume buttons double as menu selectors and the OLED screen displays playback information accurately. In tracks like: "Anchor - Trace Bundy" and " Ruby Tuesday - Franco Battiato" while you will love the overall midrange specially transients of the guitars, violins etc. The bass is visceral, weighty but still tight and well controlled, fast, clearly defined and multi-layered. BAL - and even so, W2 trying too hard on being neutral and clean sounding making it less than realistic (Hi-Fi indeed but lacking soul), of which RU6 has that analogue timbral hint which keeps thing believable.Try spending time listening to actual live music or even studio sessions, they are anything but sterile clean. Moreover, off the shelf solutions of suitable size and power consumption resulted in increased background noise. The RU6 has physical volume buttons for conventient control that also double as menu selection when entering mode settings. R-2R is famous for its natural and realistic sound signature, and it’ll offer a very different experience to music lovers.

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