The Cayin N6 represents a very solid mid-tier investment if you are out looking for a DAP that covers all the bases in terms of hi-res and lossy music formats. It has a love it or loath it design and I can see very few on the fence in that sense. It is unique that is for sure but it is also one of the biggest DAPs I have held that’s name is not Colorfly C4 Pro. Only the Shanling M3 came in at the same size and everything else is smaller more discreet and more portable. But it sounds good, oh so very good and that size is very forgivable for a DAP that sounds this well controlled and expansive as the N6.
Like the FiiO X3 2nd Gen it has a very broad range of codecs and the inclusion of native decoding will give an extra oomph for those exploring the hi res scene with confidence. It just does it on a much higher level than the X3 and without the AK240 price tag also. That $600 price tag places it right in between the slew of mid-range Chinese Daps and the AK Jnr just announced. It is also a few $100 cheaper than the next stage up with the AK gen 2 basic units as well as the Hifiman HM901 and 901s also. There are not too many really good DAP’s for that price out there right now so whilst it’s not budget it feels attainable.
My only concern, as with any of these DAP’s is the ability to meet demand, sell in the right channels and keep the marketing positive feedback going long enough to make it a worthwhile investment. Firmware development is a continuing must for me with the N6 because whilst I felt the speed and stability was rock solid the whole tagging and music category system was a bit unevolved. Good feedback is coming out on HeadFi which I am glad to see and if Cayin follow the example set by Ibasso and FiiO in churning out the improvements in future firmware and keeping pace then the N6 shelf life might just be long enough to justify the price tag.