Cayin E01 Audio Module:- Impressions and Comparisons E01 vs. A01 vs.T01
Cayin is a China-based brand which produces premium and exquisite audio gears, their products feature tough and strong build quality and provide excellent audio performance.
They have audio products that are famous worldwide like the Cayin N8 digital audio player.
Last year in May 2019 they released a new digital audio player in the market, the Cayin N6ii, which offers a premium build and outstanding sound quality.
The Cayin N6ii is a very powerful device featuring lightning-fast Snapdragon 425 chipset, with 4gb of ram and 64 GB of storage.
The Device is lag-free and offers brilliant sound output, but the main attraction of this beautiful digital audio player is the option to change the audio motherboard.
Yes, you heard it right, the whole audio motherboard is user-replaceable, just pull out the previous one and install the other.
The Cayin N6ii comes equipped with the A01 motherboard which houses AK4497EQ DAC chipset, which offers decoding up to PCM 32bit/384kHz or DSD 256 natively.
They also give the offer of Cayin T01 motherboard which houses two PCM1792A DAC chips, but quite recently they announced a new motherboard for the Cayin N6ii.
The Cayin E01 Audio Module
And today we at Hifigo got lucky with a unit of Cayin E01 so we will be sharing our initial sound impressions for the E01 motherboard and then we will compare the specs of E01 to those of A01 and T01 audio motherboards.
But before we proceed you can buy Cayin E01 Audio Module from our store Hifigo here.
Unlike the other two audio motherboards for the Cayin N6ii, the E01 doesn't offer any balanced port, it just comes with a single 3.5mm single-ended port and offers a Flagship level DAC from Sabre, the ESS9038Pro.
Some features of this audio motherboard are as follows.
Different Audio Amplification Modes:-
The Audio Motherboard features two different Amplification modes, class A and class AB, which can be switched instantly through the Cayin N6ii device and offers very strong powerful outputs through the single 3.5mm single-ended port.
Class A amplification provides a warm sounding output with low distortion, this mode provides a silky-smooth bass response with warm and lush mids with detailed clarity and separation.
This mode provides a power output of 105mW at 32 ohms of load, 22mW at 150 ohms load, and 11mW at 300 ohms of load.
The Class A amplification gives a battery life of up to 7.5hours to your Cayin n6ii with providing ample amplification.
Class AB amplification provides an efficient and powerful sound output while maintaining the great sound quality, this mode allows the device to perform precisely and efficiently giving a battery life of up to 9.5hours while providing outstanding sound quality.
This amplification mode provides a monstrous power output of 150mW at 32 ohms of load, 32mW at 150 ohms of load, and 16mW at 300 ohms of load, which provides enough juice to your headphones with higher power requirements and make them shine with brilliant output.
This mode provides ample amplification which provides a wider dynamic range and better sound resolution while managing the power efficiently.
Flagship Level DAC Chipset providing noise-free sound decoding:-
The E01 audio motherboard is equipped with a flagship-level DAC chipset from Sabre, the ESS9038Pro, which is a 32-bit 8-channel DAC working together in a parallel pattern which is further connected to IV conversion, providing wider and fuller sound experience, the decoding is crystal clear with no signs of noise or jitter throughout your music.
The DAC enables the Cayin N6ii to decode up to PCM 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256 natively, the DAC provides a warm sound signature with a detailed and thumpy lower end, crisp and lush mids and detailed and extended treble response.
Discrete Components Paired With DAC:-
The Cayin E01 motherboard has a unique range of discrete components implemented with the DAC and AMP modules which offers very low distortion in your music, it uses a low-noise audio junction field-effect transistor, which has strong current output and load control capacity, so our DAC/AMP is paired with amazing quality components which increased the life of the product and also the sound quality output through the Cayin E01 module.
Cayin has used the components with utmost precision and control so that the output quality is superior and cleaner through the standard 3.5mm port and nobody feels the need for that extra power through the balanced port.
This implementation is applicable in both the Amplification modes, Class A and Class AB, so that the output is clear, providing us with that lovely sound quality full of details.
Wider Dynamic Range and Better Signal To Noise Ratio:-
The E01 has a wider dynamic range of approx 120dB which provides better extensions at the lower end and higher end. our earphones will be sounding fuller and better with e01 as compared to the other two audio motherboards.
It also has a signal to noise ratio of 120 dB which makes the background darker, the details in our music come out precisely with zero background noise so that we can enjoy our music to its full potential.
With the help of this wide dynamic range support and good signal to noise ratio, the staging gets wider and smoother, while preserving all the details.
The stage feels wider, taller and full of depth, you can easily recognise the placements of different instruments being played with precise details.
So now is the time to put this beauty in our Cayin N6ii and notice the sound difference.
Well, the sound is different, it's pretty detailed with very little distortion.
The sound feels rich with details in the mids portion, the bass is feeling quick and more thumpy, the sub-bass rumble has a pretty detailed texture, the vocals sound brilliant and in the front, whether it be male or female vocals, both are natural sounding with a smooth and detailed treble, the drums in digital bath by Deftones just sound brilliant.
The best part is nothing feels peaky and sounds natural, neutral, the bass portion in songs by Billie Ellish is nicely controlled and doesn't feel boomy at all, while the vocals in songs by Damien Rice sounds forward and in the limelight, full with details.
The staging feels wider, it actually feels wider in every direction like it got tall, wide and got more depths too, the binaural tracks by Yosi Horikawa gave a spine chilling feeling.
The sound quality is very balanced and neutral and if one wants to monitor his music with quite great precision and details then the Cayin n6ii with the E01 module should be his optimum choice as it offers brilliant neutrality and balanced sound output.
The E01 definitely sounds better and warmer, while the stock A01 motherboard sound quite sharp and crisp, the E01 feels providing better dynamic range and a darker background with zero noise or jitter in all of our music, we really loved the sound output through the E01 motherboard.
Let's notice some differences between the E01, A01 and T01 audio motherboards by Cayin.
Cayin E01 vs A01:-
- E01 has a Sabre DAC, the ESS9038Pro which provides Warm and lush sound experience, while the A01 is powered by AK4497EQ DAC which offers a crisp and sharp sound experience.
- E01 has a single 3.5mm single-ended output while the A01 motherboard has one 3.5mm single-ended port, one line out port and one 4.4mm balanced port.
- E01 has a Dynamic Range of 120 dB while the A01 has a Dynamic Range of 118dB, yeah the difference isn't much here technically but the sound feels much clearer in the E01 motherboard.
- E01 provides better staging and details as compared to the A01 motherboard.
- The sound output through E01 feels more crisp, warmer, wider and detailed as compared to the A01.
Cayin E01 vs T01:-
- As we all know E01 has a Sabre DAC, the ESS9038 pro while the T01 is powered by Dual PCM1792A DAC's.
- The E01 is able to decode PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz while T01 is able to decode up to PCM 24-bit/192kHz.
- The E01 has a single-ended 3.5mm output while the T01 offers a single-ended 3.5mm and one balanced 4.4mm output ports.
- The E01 gives a power output of 150mW at 32ohms load while the T01 has a power output of 245mW at 32 ohms load via the 3.5mm single-ended output.
- The E01 has a dynamic range of 120 dB while the T01 has a dynamic range of 116dB, the sound has a better and clearer background in E01 motherboard.
- The sound output through E01 is kind of similar to that of T01, but if you notice closely it is crispier and the stage has a wider feeling, overall we really liked the E01 as compared to the other two audio motherboards by Cayin.
Why Choose E01 Over the Other Two Motherboards:-
From the time we had with the E01 Audio Module, we have noticed the following points as highlights, which shows why we would prefer the E01 over other two motherboards:-
- A balanced and neutral sound signature, yeah the E01 is very neutral and natural sounding.
- A crispier, clearer and darker background, the E01's sound quality is clearer and crispier as compared to the other two boards.
- Much more format support, as compared to the T01 which supports only up to PCM 24-bit/192kHz, the E01 offers more support.
- Wider staging, the E01 motherboard offers wider and crispier sound staging, which results in better imaging and more natural timbre.
- Wider dynamic range, the E01 offers a wider dynamic range, which provides better extensions at the lower and higher-end, making our earphones sound fuller and better.