Given that the Takt Pro is a source device, all of the deviations in the sections below will be subtle in nature. Besides offering adequate driving power, a source can make a large difference but in the vast majority of instances, a great source should sound transparent and balanced. In this regard, the Takt Pro excels, it is deliberately tuned, but still balanced and linear enough to compete with higher-end equipment. For the full specifications and supported formats, please see Cozoy’s website here.
The Takt Pro is a slightly warm and mellow source; combining a mid-bass focussed low-end with a laid-back midrange and slightly reserved treble presentation. As a result, it sounds quite atypical for a Saber source, especially a 9018 based one. Substituting the middle treble glare usually associated with these units with a smoother, more refined but still clean presentation.
And despite its tonality, the Pro remains a nicely technical source with gobs of resolution, detail and control. It is perceptibly smoother and warmer in tone than more neutral sources like the Fiio X7 II so it does lean more towards the musical than critical side. Still, the Takt Pro is not nearly as obviously coloured as sources like the original Fiio Q1 and Hidizs AP60; and these are small signature deviations noticeable during longer listening.
The Takt Pro implements the Saber 9018Q2C DAC chip with integrated amplifier. Cozoy provide limited specification but promise a low output impedance for low-impedance multi-driver in-ears. And listening through the Sony XBA-40, which is especially susceptible to tonality deviations due to its super low 8-ohm impedance and mechanical crossover, I can confirm that the Takt Pro delivered a sound in line with my other low output impedance sources beyond some flavouring of the source’s own signature.
Cozoy also state a 49mW power output and a voltage output of 1.5VRMS into a 32ohm load. Though not significant compared to a larger DAP or DAC/AMP, these figures are immensely impressive given the Takt’s size and modest power draw. Of note, it did sound slightly more dynamic and controlled from my laptop than my HTC U11 which I would suggest to be a result of limited power delivery from my smartphone.
Still, when connected to either device, the Takt Pro produced very high levels of volume that far exceeded the maximum volumes either devices were capable of. The DAC also has a super black background with imperceptible hiss on almost every IEM and the faintest hint on my super sensitive Campfire Jupiter. They delivered clean signal to all of my in-ears including the 9-driver Katana and Sony EX-1000 with its mammoth 16mm drivers.
The Katana sounded clean and the Sony controlled, suggesting adequate power delivery under load. In addition, my portable headphones including the Denon MM-400 and Master&Dynamic MH40 were driven to potential. The Takt Pro didn’t excel with my less efficient Planar magnetic headphones, but it did do a far better job compared to my other sources of similar size and kept up surprisingly well with devices like the Fiio X5 III.
That said, the Takt Pro has quite a high gain so it isn’t perfectly suited to such sensitive in-ears despite its clean background; the Takt Pro was as loud on its lower volume level to my iPod Touch on half. As a result, a third part music app is ideal to digitally lower volume for sensitive in-ears though Spotify users may have to resort to impedance adaptors. This is definitely something to consider for low-volume IEM listeners.
Full and rich, the Takt Pro delivers bass notes with enhanced body and warmth. Sub-bass is well extended and tight, delivering defined rumble. However, deep-bass sits slightly behind the Pro’s slightly bolstered mid-bass response. As a result, the Takt Pro delivers a warm and full-bodied over impactful bass response, contributing to its more laid-back presentation. Still, as the Takt’s emphasis is modest and gradual in nature, bass remains textured and each note is well-defined if not absolutely transparent. This added warmth does introduce hints of bloat, resulting in slightly less mid-bass definition and articulation compared to more neutral sources like the X7 II, though the Pro is hardly a congested or bloated source in the grand scheme of things.
In addition, their added body doesn’t compromise transience or control, in fact, the Takt Pro thoroughly impresses with its agility which counterbalances the effects of its slightly larger bass notes. Additionally, due to the Pro’s terrific resolution and quicker transient response, bass is also well separated and the DAC ultimately provides a snappy yet tastefully rich bass presentation. The Takt Pro isn’t quite as defined and separated as more linear source, but it is engaging and very tastefully coloured compared to the majority of warmer sources.
The Takt Pro’s midrange remains congruent with its low-end, with a slightly fuller, more laid-back presentation. I would still characterise the Pro as quite a vivid, revealing source as it produces high levels of clarity and upper midrange transparency though there is some added body that pervades throughout its presentation. This is especially noticeable within the Takt Pro’s lower midrange that possess added warmth due to mid-bass colouration. As a result, it isn’t quite as defined and layered as more neutral sources; guitars sound more organic and male vocals are natural but slightly chesty. The Takt Pro’s lower half is still resolving if not especially revealing, with a greater focus on tonality that outright technical proficiency and realism.
However, their warmer low-end feeds into a notably more transparent middle and upper midrange. This enables piano and female vocals to sound natural and clear with pleasing timbre. The Pro does have a slight darkness to its signature, but the DAC sounds smooth rather than veiled and its upper midrange remains very well-detailed. Background detail retrieval is also excellent due to higher resolution and a more neutral tone though slight tinges of warmth are still apparent. Resultantly, the Takt Pro offers a presentation that is simultaneously organic and revealing; it doesn’t offer the most realistic timbre, but does become more neutrally toned around its upper midrange and treble where the most noticeable details reside.
Treble is quite intriguing with slight middle-treble emphasis enhancing air but not to the extent of most 9018 sources like the Oppo HA-2. Otherwise, treble is smoother in character; lower-treble is very detailed but also slightly laid-back, delivering notes with a little less attack than the X7 II. As a result, instruments like cymbals and guitars sound clean over crisp and never dull. Middle treble has a slight focus serving to enhance air and shimmer before feeding into a well-extended but more laid-back upper treble presentation. Their smoother nature contributes to the cleaner background of the Takt Pro that separates each foreground note without resorting to a brighter signature or cooler tone.
And despite its slightly smoother upper-treble response, the Takt Pro delivers a very well extended presentation that produces high levels of resolution. This prevents their more laid-back high-end from becoming dull and ensures that notes are delivered with focus and texture if not razor sharp clarity and edge. The Takt Pro also delivers notes with slightly longer decay manifesting though a little extra shimmer to cymbals and enhanced air around strings. This creates a rather unorthodox but immersive presentation. Accordingly, the Takt Pro isn’t especially realistic or linear, but it is immensely listenable during longer sessions and it very much retains the excellent resolving power Saber sources have become renowned for.
As a result of its high resolution, enhanced air and separation, the Takt Pro delivers a reasonably spacious stage without sounding artificially enhanced as some sources can. That said, imaging clearly isn’t as precise or coherent as more linear sources though instruments placement remains easily perceivable and centre image is strong. Bass notes are not especially well separated nor are lower mids due to the Takt Pro’s larger note size and warm tone, though upper mids and treble are especially well separated on account of their middle-treble emphasis that enhances air.
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