Dethonray DTR1+ Review

Sound

The Dethonray DTR1 was extremely impressive when it came around with its sound performance from the get-go. It was one of the best DAPs I’ve ever listened to in terms of pure sound quality. The price was $549, amazingly. The DTR1+ pledges to improve that with better refinement and control.

Overall the presentation is similar to the DTR1, with a neutral and linear presentation top to bottom, creating a good foundation for its detail and separation oriented sound. It provides a great studio type of sound at the highest level, with a somewhat laid-back and effortless signature. It improves some aspects such as refinement, separation, sound-stage and imaging over the original model.

Bass

The bass is punchy enough with good control and texture. It has a lot of resolution with a good enough kick to give some life to music, whilst being somewhat reserved and controlled at the same time. The DTR1+ isn’t the DAP for bass lovers. It instead is tuned for flat sound reproduction. This is not the WM1Z, and nor is it trying to be. It relies on its bass control with a fast decay, high resolution and detail.

However, if you want a slightly warmer sounding bass then you can pair it with dynamic driver IEMs or some BA based setups with good bass. For that, I’ve tried the InEarz Nirvana and P450, which are bass-heavy IEMs and with wrong pairings they surely “boom”, but not with the DTR1. It perfectly evens out with its quickness and control in the bass department. It is simply a reference, not to have some fun now and then.

So the DTR1+ overall has a fast and tight bass reproduction with a technical approach rather than a colourful one. The rest is up to your headphones/IEMs for additional sauce.

Mids

Mid-range is very transparent and highly resolving with reference tonality. The transparency is quite remarkable and the instrument separation is top-notch. The DTR1+ surely doesn’t miss any resolution in this part, as it’s easily one of the best I’ve heard in the mid area. The mids have great timbre, and overall the vocals and the instruments are lively without any additional colouration.

The best part is that the new device improves the mid-range of the DTR1, adds more body and fullness. There’s also better control and refinement here. The mid-range is silky smooth with excellent control. When you combine that with great detail ability and transparency, you have a wonderful mid-range.

So just as the bass area, the DTR1+ presents a reference reproduction in the midsection without an added colour or some kind of fun tuning in its sound. It’s just what it is. With C/IEMs like the Vision Ears VE7 or Shozy Elsa (review soon), you get wonderful transparency across the mid-range with lots of detail. Sure, you may want some fun in the mids at times, but in its own presentation, the DTR1+ is fantastic.

Treble

The treble is greatly articulated and extended, without being harsh and aggressive. If you have a good IEM or headphones which is performing nicely regarding treble, the DTR1+ will scale them to their highest levels. The treble is very much under control with excellent detail and crispness. Whatever you need from your treble, the DTR1+ have them all. The articulation, refinement, clarity, crispness and detail are all there.

Once again the transparency is exceptional, the detail level is awesome and highs don’t have any excessive nature. It doesn’t overdo anything, it just gives an effortlessly smooth yet detailed treble, which is very pleasing particularly with mid-fi and high-end gear. Overall I haven’t found any flaws with the treble. Such an awesome refinement and texture in the treble. I think the DTR1+ has a bit more detail and better separation over the DTR1 as well.

Technical Performance

The greatest feature of the DTR1+ in its sound to me is the overall separation and stereo imaging. The background is pitch black, and the instruments sound with incredible texture, dynamism and transparency. The left-right balance is also very impressive. One can say that the DTR1+ is flat sounding hence it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I don’t think anyone can deny its success in the imaging department. And since the presentation is more refined and a bit more musical thanks to the added mid-range body, you have a great device for listening to your music archive only.

The only negativity in the DTR1’s sound was the stage width. However, this seems improved with this model as well, and I honestly think that the device is perfected in its own sound approach. The stage has more space and air than the DTR1, so I think the only flaw of the concept is solved. Nevertheless, this is not the widest sounding DAP in the market, but now it feels more 3D with better layering.

Another important aspect of the DTR1+ is the output power. When you select the very high gain, the power is very surprising from this little and compact device. Anson’s authentic internal design certainly works wonders here. You can drive 300 Ω headphones to some extent, not to mention something like the HD660 S with its 150 Ω impedance.

Page 1: About the Brand, About the Device, Upgrades, Design
Page 2: Build Quality, Software, User Experience
Page 4: Comparisons and Conclusion
4.3/5 - (85 votes)
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A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full-frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level as audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews are the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favourite Jazz recordings.

2 Comments

  • Reply January 17, 2022

    Brutaly Honest

    Probably a good sounding DAP but another chinese product with a poor quality and auful customer service. If you don’t beleive me try the H1 Honey, great sound but eve with the last upgrage the volume wheel didn’t work well. Sorry guys but you didn’t mention that in your reviews and i think is not fair for people who are looking to buy product base on your reviews!!!

  • Reply January 26, 2022

    Charles

    I had a chance to listen to this dap a few days ago. Our thoughts on sound match, but considering that we are in 2022, it did not seem very successful to me in terms of UI. It is a product that will please audiophiles who only want sound and simplicity.

    Thanks for the review!

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