A Secret Fire Within – A Review of the Cayin N8


Andy Kong offered me a review price for the N8. I had months to put money aside for it. I WANTED IT! But apparently, when you buy a 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T, there are a lot of expenses that spring up out of nowhere. I really expected to have my finances sorted by now. Alas, things are taking longer than I hoped, and the N8 must go back and serve tour on the Expo circuit.

If it weren’t for the iBasso DX200>AMP8, I would be crippled by temptation to do something really foolish. As things stand, however, saying goodbye to the Cayin N8 stings only a little. The N8 is the best DAP I’ve auditioned. It is the height of fidelity, a true innovation, and one of the most charming design aesthetics I’ve ever seen. While it’s packed full of features, these features are all audio based, showing Cayin’s focus on the dedicated music player as a philosophy. They are not confusing a DAP for a Smartphone, which I appreciate. Good on them.


The Cayin N8
Choice of Vacuum Tube and Solid State amplification in 3.5mm headphone output
Dual Output Mode: High Impedance High Output Mode (HIGH2) delivers 200mWpc@300Ω (balanced)
Outstanding digital audio capability with dual AK4497EQ, PCM decoded up to 32Bit/384kHz, DSD up to DSD256
Support 4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm single-ended headphone output
Desktop grade line output: single-ended at 2.1V and balanced at 4.3V
Comprehensive digital interface: I2S, USB Audio and S/PDIF coaxial output and can function as USB DAC
Massive 128GB internal storage and one external TF card up to 512GB, can further extend through USB OTG storage,
USB3.0 high speed data transmission.
Massive 7000mAH battery with QC2.0 quick charging
Stainless steel chassis with PVD coating, 24K gold plated solid brass control dials
Custom fit Corning Gorilla 3 (AF and DLC coating) curved glass back panel
Comprehensive cables accessories bundled

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About Author

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.


  1. Great review, you make me long for the N8 😛 but its price is way out there for me… since you mention DX200 and AMP8, it’s worth mentioning… the upcoming AMP9 with KORG tubes which might level the plane field, as well as a potential new flagship (DX200 Pro?) release due in April (possibly later).

    I hope more manufacturer push the enveloppe and embrace NuTubes as well, kudos to Cayin for opening the way with the N8!

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