Disclaimer: The Colorfly U8 was despatched to us in trade for our trustworthy opinion on this evaluate.
Many because of Colorfly for giving us this chance.
Yow will discover out extra about Colorfly evaluations on Headfonics right here.
Again within the day, Colorfly was one of many pioneers of the moveable HiFi music participant world, providing a really highly effective and enormous moveable participant referred to as the C4.
At this time, evolution takes place and we shall be taking a gander at their latest installment, which is an Android software-based DAP referred to as the U8 that may retail for $1089USD.
For $1089USD, I might anticipate a bit greater than this. The equipment are very primary and the field is providing the naked necessities. I would love a nicer carrying field/case or one thing I can shield the U8 with when I’m touring. It comes with some manuals and paperwork, a display protector and in addition a USB-C fashion charging cable.
When it comes to uncooked construct high quality, I really feel just like the U8 is among the greatest I’ve ever held in my palms. It feels heavy regardless of it being reasonably thick. I really like the load issue, I perceive that lots of people need a mild strategy to portability however I favor a really dense and weighted really feel to my extremely costly DAPs and telephones.
The outside is all aluminum however clearly minimize from a really thick piece of it. Just lately, I acquired the Shanling M5S ($499) and it additionally feels absurdly heavy for being so small. Nevertheless, the thickness of that M5S is rather more vital, though, the U8 is longer and taller. From a pure construct standpoint, the U8 is superb and provides incredible tactility within the hand.
The OLED and IPS Screens
OLED screens are all the fashion in the mean time and it I’m very joyful to see moveable gamers choosing this route. Solely the highest of the unit homes an OLED display, which can reference some info and bootup sequence textual content too when the unit is powering on.
The U8’s main IPS display decision could be very low at 800×480 and this complete unit prices $1089. Proper now, I should buy a Samsung S7 Edge for $225USD used and get one of the lovely true 4K screens available on the market that runs in 1440×2560, however, that display can also be immensely vibrant, wealthy and detailed by comparability to the U8 at a a lot decrease decision. I don’t see the worth of utilizing one of these display when the battery lifetime of the DAP isn’t nice, to start with.
Fortunately, the touchscreen sensitivity could be very good and I don’t have points tapping anyplace on the display and getting no response from it. I’ve had that concern up to now with some current contact DAP fashions, so this makes me completely happy. Regardless of that, the U8 display could be very good. The colours are good and crisp by comparability to most different DAP’s available on the market, I simply really feel just like the very low-resolution issue isn’t actually bringing the show to life as I would really like it to be.
The battery on this system is simply less than par. I’m hardly capable of get 7 hours of utilization out of this and it takes me proper again to the times of the HM801 and the unique DAP wars, the place high quality and constancy of audio far outweighed the necessity for battery life.
In immediately’s period, every thing is of equal significance. I can’t depart the U8 on standby with the display off and hope to return again half a day later to the participant nonetheless lively and in a position for use. The battery will drain itself dry in a single day even when not used. This must be improved drastically in future firmware as a result of I simply acquired a Fiio M3K, a $69usd participant that has 5x the battery lifetime of this U8. I can depart my telephones from 5 generations in the past on standby in a single day and are available again to perhaps 10% loss or so. But, the U8 will drain itself utterly.
A few of my DAP’s, together with my now older Cowon Plenue M can maintain the display on and never drain the battery that a lot until tracks are enjoying. If Colorfly releases one other DAP within the subsequent few years, they should improve the battery high quality.
By far, the U8 is the warmest participant that I’ve ever used. My Samsung S7 Edge is infamous for being very heat after mild utilization. My older Calyx M additionally obtained pretty heat and that bummed me out as a result of that battery life was round four hours on a superb day on that mannequin. Fortunately, the U8 has a bit extra battery life in it than the Calyx M.
This isn’t a inventory Android platform and in at the moment’s market, which will maintain this participant again. Android, regular android, is so a lot better than customized firmware over an Android base and I simply can’t for the lifetime of me perceive why 99.99% of Androids superb options will probably be locked behind a customized model of it. I’ve by no means met anybody who needs to be locked from the Play Retailer. Customized Android base software program variations, as this U8 have, are simply limitations.
Having stated that, what Colorfly has executed with their UI is fairly good. It has a cool means so as to add information to a playlist as an alternative of only a easy ‘add to playlist’ perform. It provides an additional step that sends you to the monitor itemizing window after which you need to lengthy maintain the monitor to open a perform that lets you choose it, you faucet to verify that monitor after which on the backside of the display you’ll be able to add to a favorites bin.
These favorites don’t save themselves when you take away the SD card. I spent some time including my favourite tracks in, solely to obtain one other DAP for evaluation and check that out for a bit bit, eliminated the microSD card and got here again to the U8 a time later solely to seek out all my favorites gone. I added one, then eliminated the SD and put it again in…and it was gone once more.
The Colorfly A Alpha chipset is good. No matter that’s…it sounds good. It isn’t a basic 90xx or a 17xx or an AK49xx DAC collection. It’s one thing new it appears and I can’t give a reference level for it as a result of Colorfly appears to have made this one.
The EQ system is absurdly detailed and trumps even what Cowon fashions appear to have now. Whoever designed the EQ wants an award for the U8, as a result of it’s fantastically bountiful with what you are able to do with it. There are literally some presets which are good, too. I just like the Rock setting. It sounds nice. However, I’m able to tailor two customized EQ choices as I please as properly and what’s inside it, it very, very, usable.
Past that, the participant helps DLNA, Wifi, and BT, in fact. I virtually don’t need my Oppo 205 anymore. Does anybody need to purchase it? Lol. Kidding. The DAC expertise on the U8 is beautiful and meshes nicely with what musical gear I personal. In that regard, I think about the U8 a musical sounding unit and never one which sounds very reference or pure.
It has some bloom to it and that may be a good factor for many who need musicality, only a little bit of it, with out it ruining any constancy issue or sounding bloating anyplace. The U8 provides a three.5mm and in addition a 2.5mm balanced output jack for these with balanced cables.
The aspect of the unit has a touch-sensitive quantity management, which is absolutely fascinating. I give them originality factors for that, and in addition the power to the touch the display itself simply after you begin shifting your finger round on the aspect of the display to toggle up and down the quantity management on the display itself. It’s a bit odd, however it’s good to have that choice perform on each the aspect and the display itself.
I’m very impressed by the EQ system contained in the U8. What’s there actually jogs my memory of Cowon’s setup with particular person frequency choice buttons and toggles that allow you to element the frequencies you need to alter.
‘One by one’ is an effective factor, though, immensely involving and time-consuming. When you take the time to fiddle with it (fortunately, there’s a reset button) you’ll be able to tailor the sound setup to your liking in a fashion that’s extra nicely endowed by comparability to most different DAP’s outdoors of Cowon and their JetEffect EQ system. Nice stuff right here, I’m very proud of it and there are additionally a couple of presets in there that sound nice too. I benefit from the Rock setting very a lot.
Because of the great EQ system, you’ll be able to pump up the bass amount a good deal and do justice to a few of your basshead headphones. Though, I did encounter only a little bit of bloat and shake when making an attempt to take heed to a bass boosted EQ customization and what I assumed was a average degree of added amount.
Maybe, I missed a setting in there that was oddball in comparison with the opposite toggle switches that made it sound a bit off. I reset the EQ and tried once more with totally different outcomes and that may be a great point to notice. When you’ve got hassle, play with it extra and also you’ll greater than doubtless get what you want out of it.
It isn’t a boosted sounding participant on default and with EQ disabled. It is rather flat and linear feeling when it comes to amount prime to backside. The bass constancy could be very good and one of many purest sounds I’ve heard in a while. Nevertheless, with just a bit little bit of increase by way of EQ, that depth potential can broaden the expertise on the low finish to very satisfying ranges. It may dip very low and retain good management, particularly so with my Empire Ears customized Nemesis IEM.
The Midrange and Vocals
This U8 could be very ahead feeling, no less than, compared to most different DAPs on the sector that I’ve. I lately acquired Shanling’s M5S ($499) which enjoying the identical monitor with EQ disabled and trying to equalize the quantity of each DAP’s by means of the identical headphone, ensuing within the U8 sounding considerably extra ahead and the M5S from Shanling sounding extra relaxed and vast in staging output.
The U8 is the DAP for you if you would like a really partaking, ahead vocal expertise. In the best way of constancy, anticipate a hyper-slick feeling, virtually liquid-like tonality with a pension for a gently brightened higher midrange. A nasal tendency is totally absent, which is beautiful to the ear.
I take pleasure in older Jazz recordings with this DAP greater than some other DAP I at present have available, or that I may even recall. The rationale for that’s musicality issue and never a purist tonality. It isn’t uncooked. It’s only a bit subdued, tender and stylish feeling more often than not and it solely takes very harsh tracks to sound harsh to my ear. By way of units like my ATH-ESW11LTD, a really intimate feeling moveable headphone, the U8 meshes immensely nicely and that finally ends up being a sound I take pleasure in very, very a lot.
Relaxed headphones with a large area actually aren’t an excellent match for this U8, however in fact, you’ll nonetheless get nice sound out of it. Very V-shaped units I personal nonetheless sound implausible, however it will be a lot wiser to correctly rig pair with a ahead and interesting headphone than a relaxed and distant feeling one. Both means although, the U8 will deal with it simply effective.
I didn’t actually anticipate the treble can be the star of the present on this DAP. It’s splendidly lovely in the best way of tonality and presentation. It by no means feels harsh, until the monitor is blisteringly terribly recorded and icy, to start with.
The complete prime finish could be very seductive and sounds noticeably higher than my older Cowon Plenue M and even the newer M5S from Shanling. Density issue is by far my favourite presentation high quality on this participant. It feels very yummy and weighted, very strong and carrying nice physicality. In regard to constancy, once more, wonderful throughout and doing justice to costly customized IEM’s from Empire Ears.
Consider it or not, the participant is reasonably highly effective, to start with and doesn’t require Excessive Achieve mode to get something additional out of, at the least, not with the units of headphones I’m utilizing. With Excessive Achieve mode on, I hear a little bit of a downgrade in treble constancy when utilizing reasonably environment friendly headphones. With inefficient ones that profit from Excessive Achieve, that doesn’t sound audible to me in any respect. General, your complete prime finish is blissfully properly accomplished and tuned. I take pleasure in it an excellent deal.
The U8 sounds extraordinarily coherent and well-formed, however missing a way of very broad peak or width. Swapping to the M5S from Shanling brings a noticeably bigger left to proper staging property, however the place the U8 nonetheless sounds deeper and extra reasonable, denser even.
Each of those DAP’s sound smaller, all be it extra targeted than my Cowon Plenue M from years in the past, which itself isn’t actually probably the most open sounding participant available on the market. The U8 does an excellent job and lacks nowhere within the imaging division, it solely trails behind gamers regarded for distinctive 搒omething?in the best way of an imaging property.
Often, DAP’s which have an ideal singular function are DAPs that lack coherency and correct realism. These flaws aren’t part of the U8’s imaging prowess. What is obtainable in sound staging really feel and vastness within the U8 is simply good throughout and I might assume that including someway extra width to the elements which might be audible might lower the intimacy issue of the midrange. I’m glad they opted for a usually all-around good imaging setup as an alternative of a large subject that’s noticeably bigger than peak think about another DAP’s on the market proper now.
ColorFly’s U8 is a slick, powerhouse of a DAP with wonderful sonic capabilities, a incredible EQ system and an excellent set of options that vary from Wifi all the best way to a contact quantity sensor. Nevertheless, the battery life must be addressed in future fashions and the bootup time of the unit is a staggering 36 seconds for me. I additionally want some reminiscence recall for favorites once I take away the reminiscence card from the unit in order that I can hold my information and stock saved in favorites.
Past that, the participant is beautiful to take a look at and has an incredible wi-fi perform. They did a really good job with this one. It seems nice, sounds nice and performs nice as nicely. The customized Android UI actually upsets me although. I would like that Play Retailer and the power to run no matter I would like on the Android system whereas utilizing the hardware elements of the U8.
Past that, the participant is very intimate feeling with a pension for sounding superb on the highest finish. Mild Classical music, Jazz and acoustic guitars sound superb.
- Show: three.97 “WVGA 800*480 0.87” OLED auxiliary display
- Sampling fee: PCM 8KHz-384KHz DSD64-DSD512
- Output degree: unbalanced 2.1Vrms balanced 2.1Vrms
- DAC chip: COLORFLY α (alpha)
- [email protected]: 123dBA
- [email protected]: -110dB (zero.0005%)
- Most output energy: 130mW
- PEQ: helps 31 segments of +7 phase (skilled mode)
- WiFi: 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz)
- Bluetooth: V4.zero (A2DP, AVRCP)
- Measurement: 110mm * 66mm * 14mm
- Headphone interface: three.5mm (single finish ) 2.5mm (stability)
- Native reminiscence: 64G
- TF Card: 256G Max
- Battery capability: 3300mAh
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