Ever since Astell & Kern hit it big with their original AK100, the Digital Audio Player (DAP) market went into overdrive. Companies with all sorts of audio backgrounds showed their hand at the game, from classic HiFi companies such as Cayin, more consumer known brands such as Onkyo and Pioneer and even brands such as thebit who started out with sat-navs! Honestly we have just not been able to keep up with them all and while we have looked at a few of the top end options such as the AK380 and Lotoo Paw Gold, Josh and I thought it was time to scratch the surface with some other brands at the cheaper price points.
Almost exactly a year ago I reviewed the Cayin N6, which was and still is, the flagship DAP from this respected Chinese audio manufacturer. At around $600 it sounded neutral, smooth, clean and really an all-around excellent if slightly analytical sound. It set a pretty tough hurdle for a lot of companies to jump if they were going to produce something better for the same or less price.
disclaimer: Cayin sent me the Cayin N5 DAP free of charge for this review. This is a free sample that will be kept in my collection for further reference.
Cayin – The N5
Cayin is a premium Chinese high end audio brand (since 1993) and until a few(?) months ago their products were quite rare to find in Europe.