Company with a funny name for some Xuelin long ago established itself as a very “contrasting” manufacturer. Despite the fact that they know how to make the sound, the ease of the players is often undermined by some trifle. Recently they decided to be in trend and released a micro-model iHiFi790. If they managed to overcome their habits?
Immediately will give the spoiler failed. They could fit in a tiny gadget and even a good DAC to make a nice fully balanced amplifier (Yes, 790 is the most compact player with a balance), but a strange idea to deprive the device of its own memory, leaving only 32 GB internal, looks amazing. Even more surprising may be the fact that they also made a version with 8 GB.
The price tag on the player put the standard for this niche, at the time of writing the review he asked for $ 115.
- Chipset: RKNANO-D
- DAC: AK4490SEQ
- OU: 2 × MAX9722
- Frequency range: 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz (+0/-2.0 dB)
- Output power: 110 mW @ 16Ω
- Output voltage: 4.2 V balanced output, 2.1 V normal
- The ratio signal/noise: ≥103 dB
- Total harmonic distortion+noise: ≤0.015%
- Dynamic range: ≥89 dB
- Support file formats: WAV, MWA, FLAC, APE, AAC, ALAC, OGG, MP2, MP4, AIFF, DSF, DFF
- Memory: 8GB or 32GB, without support memory cards
- Screen: 2.0″ LTPS
- Battery: 850 mAh
- Work time from a single charge: up to 9 hours
- Dimensions: 62 mm × 52 mm × 15 mm
- Weight: 95 gr.
Packing and delivery
Box gadget looks like a Xiaomi style: yellowish thick cardboard, low printing and color. Inside is the player itself is very impressive the MicroUSB cord in a denim braid, a pair of protective films on both sides of the device, manual and a plastic card “VIP customer” is unlikely for something needed.
Case traditionally have to buy separately, fortunately it is not expensive, still not there or Astell Kern.
Design and management
Here is the appearance of iHiFi790 developers quite managed: a compact aluminium body, closed on both sides 2.5 D glass looks really impressive, and the build quality proved to be quite on the level.
Not stingy for the player to hardware control buttons. On the left are key on/off, it also selects the menu and play/pause. Below put two navigation buttons on the tracks and another key back. Beneath them lurk the reset hole to reboot the device simply placed there switch clip. On the right side is the volume wheel, he has surprisingly good speed and almost error-free check clicks. This wheel can also be used for navigation in the main menu, like the navigation buttons on the tracks to the left. The lower panel is occupied by two outputs, 3.5 mm and 2.5 mm, MicroUSB connector and button off the screen. The usual 3.5 mm can also act as a linear. USB is only for charging and memory access, more sophisticated scenarios there is not provided.
The main part of the front panel covers the screen, leaving, however, a place for the noticeable part. Overall, the quality is normal, but the margin of brightness is not enough for him, and more advanced screens microplanes other companies, he concedes.
While working 790 is slightly more than 7 hours with balanced output and a little more than 8 normal. The result, of course, is not prohibitive, but for a small player with full DAC — as expected.
At first glance, the firmware resembles the version used in Xuelin 990 model, but in fact it turns out that the resemblance is external. Most of the space and the menu and the playback screen is reserved for the image of the audio tapes, it looks funny, but I want a more intelligent use of space, well, at least the album art could show up.
The main menu is divided into five paragraphs. The first three is quite traditional: a return to the playback screen, the media library (all songs, albums, artists, genres, playlists, favorites and, in fact, update this library) and file browser that allows you to view the tracks in a way they have organized yourself.
The following paragraph — setting music. Here you can: enable line out (in his role will be 3.5 mm naushnikov), turn off animated the cassette (instead, it is a static picture), to change the order of playback, adjust the equalizer and choose the mode fast track (linear or progressive).
System settings is also quite austere. I must say: what does the menu item “animated Main switch” I don’t know. Except it you can also change the backlight timer the screen brightness, turn off timer when idle, the volume when turned on, and the language (Russian is, but the quality of the translation and its completeness — hop), it also allows you to reset the settings and view information about the player.
Firmware in General is working fine, but the lack of the usual items like playback without pauses and sometimes convoluted logic of navigation evoke strong nostalgia for models that dominated market 5 years ago. Of course, Xuelin, one of the pioneers of pleurotaenia, but one would have to move into the future.
Judging by the experience of previous releases, wait for a significant update is not necessary, so player in the field, it is necessary to take this for what it is.
To listen to the device used the following headphones: iBasso IT04, 99 Meze Classics, Audio Zenith PMx2, Noble Kaiser Encore, Campfire Andromeda Audio, Unique Melody Mason V3, HUM Pristine and others.
If we talk about sound, it is worth noting that this is the main thing that justifies the existence of this player. Over the years, iHiFi proved that the audio part they are able to do (you can mention their model 1969, aka H6, the resulting is very close to top-end models), and 790 is no exception. In a small device body, the developers managed to place AK4490 and balanced amplifier using OPAMP from MAX, with the results fully justified and player sounds even a bit “expensive” on its own level.
Not always, but often, using OU MAX the sound comes out bright and lightweight in the bass, in this case iHiFi managed to avoid it and the player opposite happened, with a slight slope in the darkness, or, more precisely — not the brightness. NCH’s not perfect, but very good, generally, this turnover is probably better suited to any aspect of the sound 790. Bass has normal resolution and textures, as well at low frequencies in the presence of a split tool and a decent depth. Since the supply of power from a good player (especially with balance), and the bass control can not complain, 790 good acts out the bumps, rolls and other spectacular manifestations of the bass.
The midrange is also served in a similar manner, without bias in microdialysate and contrast, but with a normal resolution. Midrange has a pleasant appearance, which adds to the realism of instruments and vocals. Imaginary scene a little more than average in depth and width, although the division plans a depth a little not perfect. Dimensions of tools and their positioning is accurate.
RF have good resolution and testing attacks/attenuation, as they are distinguished by the uncharacteristic price categories: naturalness. Of course, here we are not talking about cleavage, and the length sometimes lacking, but overall, the “top” sounds natural and comfortable doing so, although in my opinion I would just add an accent on the treble to balance the flow.
This time in the comparisons I will limit myself to just a few models, as other tests I just conducted.
M0 Shanling Player from Xuelin is more natural, it is more dynamic, better at the study stage and so it is better to work on HF.
Shanling M1 iHiFi more natural sound, especially at medium frequencies, and the treble, losing a little in the number, he wins as.
Hidizs ‘AP80 New product from Hidizs’ not yet on sale, but on the test I had visited. AP80 sounds more neutral, a little legkovushka and with less physicality, but slightly better resolution on the top of the range.
Overall, the supply of power from this tiny player is enough for any headphone, with the exception of Vysokomol taut and planar models, especially if you use balanced output. With sensitive IEM it also works well as background noise from 790 not high.
Stylistically, the model is quite versatile. On picky to the quality of the record player turned out to average somewhere in the 6 points out of 10.
Traditionally, a few tracks as example
Röyksopp — This Must Be It For a start, a little playful electronic music, demonstrating a taut and expressive bass player in combination with a stylish 3D effects, which are responsible for the medium and verhnechusovskie of the range.
Khruangbin — Maria Also Learned that this team is actually originally from Texas, I was very surprised. Trio boldly mixes in his works, ethnic motifs all over the world with funk, jazz, rock and electronic music, getting just heavy alloy. 790 copes well with the track playing and the rhythm party and a folk part.
Marcus Miller — Keep ‘Em Runnin , And again this jazz with a dramatic bass line. But you just listen to this duet of vocals and guitar in the Intro performed by a good player, like the hero of this review, you will understand that skip this song, I could not.
iHiFi have not changed themselves and released another player with good sound, good design and mediocre usability. We have a model for those who want to get a good sound in a compact package and is ready to sacrifice the comforts and removable MicroSD cards.
Buy Xuelin iHiFi790