Today I would like to tell my thoughts a little differently. Let’s move away from the usual review of the model “from the ground up” and try to look around in the form of a narrative about what is happening in the portable audio market. Of course, we shall certainly consider the technical characteristics and talk about the sound features of the new device … So, first of all we shall ask a question, what does today’s mass audiophile, who loves music on the road? I think – the sound, the convenience, the small size of the source and the pleasant appearance. As they say “so you wouldn’t be ashamed to show it to your grandma”…
What can be seen on the market of portable, mainstream audio devices today?? Let us list some popular devices, considered to be of high quality in terms of sound: Apple iPod touch 5 Classic, as far as I know is discontinued , COWON M2, Sony Walkman NWZ-A15, etc. d.
The price of the listed devices ranges from 7,990 to 16000 Dollars. But in terms of sound quality some would like to catch up with its price. However, from this set, I personally have not heard the player NWZ-A15, they say, it is not so bad, in its price fits better than others ..
And at this point on the scene appears the hero of today’s review – audio player Xuelin iHiFi770, the price of which is 7100 Dollars. To be honest, at first I was skeptical about listening to novelties. Its appearance like a black suit and tie seemed to me very doubtful, and its tiny size was not convenient for touch buttons usability. But I’ve found the strength to open the package. That’s right, even presidents can be short…
My first encounter with products, God forgive me don’t think I’m swearing with the company Xuelin was three years ago. I got my hands on their first player, the iHiFi812. The appearance of the device was depressing: a sort of crude iron box with a hole under the screen.
The player was built with DAC chip CS4398 from Cirrus Logic. I can not remember all the components, I can only say that the device had a pretty decent sound, but the software was terribly glitchy. Now Xuelin players have a more presentable appearance and do not cut your ears in terms of sound.
Appearance and package
The unit comes in a white, sleek, cardboard box. Inside there is a player, a MicroUSB cable for connecting to the power adapter and synchronizing with PC, various papers and a very nice leather case.
On the outside iHiFi 770 is quite nice. The body is made of aluminum, the front panel is made entirely of glass. In general it looks more like a modern smartphone than a player.
The front panel is made of full glass. On the bottom are touch control keys, they light up when you touch them with your finger. On top of the front panel is a menu/playback screen.
The menu looks very nice. I could not find anything complicated in the control. Here you can manage your music library by entering the internal memory of the player or a memory card. It is possible to switch the equalizer, select the order of playback, choose the language of the menu by the way, there is American and control the backlighting of the screen.
On the top end are, connector for microUSB cable, on off button player, two headphone jacks 3.5 mm. According to the manufacturer, the impedance of one output is 10 ohms, the second is 0 ohms.
What it’s for? Headphones with different impedance react differently to the output impedance of the amplifier, which can greatly affect their sound FX. All in all an interesting solution!
On the left side of the player is a slot for a MicroSD card and a hole for urgent reset.
We used the following headphones: Etymotic ER-4p, Westone UM3X, Ortofon e-q5, Ortofon e-q7.
I listened mostly from the second output, the impedance of which seems to be close to zero. On the first headphone output, by the way, everything is good, too, just the sound seemed to me a little bit boring. The equalizer was of course turned off.
The sound cannot be called neutral or monitor sound. The sound is “juicy”, you can feel the “coloring”, I guess that there was some equalization/software sound enhancement. But how cool it sings!
Bass is firm, clear, the middle is detailed and informative, high frequencies, of course, “ringing”, but they are not particularly annoying. There is a feeling of “smile” in the frequency range. Bass and treble are more pronounced. But the sound is rich, clear and detailed.
Why can not be made similar sound in modern smartphones and tablets? I don’t understand that much bigger devices smartphones/tablets have very poor sound and at the same time cost a lot of money. And here’s a nice fancy sound and the price tag is quite reasonable.
Who can be recommended to buy the audio player Xuelin Audio iHiFi770? Perhaps it won’t do for demanding audiophiles who like high-class monitor sound.
But for the audiophile, who is looking for good sound, size and modern appearance for a low price – unequivocally YES!
I think the Xuelin iHiFi770 is needlessly underpriced. Paired with good headphones it sounds quite “tasty”.
Size, modern design, sound, carrying case, uptime, price.
The set could have been supplied with a cloth to clean the screen.
The unit is based on the Wolfson WM8740 DAC chip from Wolfson Microelectronics
The headphone amplifier on the chip from Analog Devices, AD8656
Built in memory: 8GB
Support for microSD cards up to 128GB
Audio formats supported: WAV, APE, FLAC, AAC, OGG, MP3, WMA
Headphone outputs: 2 jacks 3.5 mm
Built-in battery life: about 13 hours.
Dimensions: 117/64/8.8 mm
Weight : 100 grams