Picture Sunday – Cayin N8 – A closer look


The Cayin N8 is a special looking high end DAP from the Chinese Cayin Audio.

Disclaimer: The star of this weeks’ picture Sunday is the Cayin N8. This post is a part of our Picture Sunday series and the N8 unfortunately has to be returned to Cayin after the review where the unit will go on to the next reviewer, I think.

The Cayin Audio N8 is Cayin’s newest portable player and it isn’t just any player, it’s their new Top Of The Line high end DAP to compete with the very best on the market.

I’ve only had the Cayin N8 since early last week but I’ve been using it extensively and I have to say I have been enjoying it very much. It’s too soon for a full review at this point so let’s see some more pics and write down some early impressions.

The N8

Cayin’s product page of the N8 is right here: http://en.cayin.cn/products_info?itemid=115

  • 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


You either love or hate the look but what we can say for sure is that it has a very special and unique design. Personally I’m more a fan of the Sony and AK styling but the N8’s looks are growing on me.

The N8 offers you both a balanced and single ended output. On top of that the 3.5mm single ended output has both a solid state as well as a vacuum tube output. The outputs I’ve been enjoying are the 4.4mm balanced output and the 3.5mm tube output. With these you get a smooth and slightly warmer sound like that of the Sony WM1Z but it isn’t as extreme.

The N8’s firmware is simple, making it very easy to use the new player but at he same time it means you can’t install any other apps on it. Size wise the N8 isn’t the smallest or lightest but if you’re used to carrying around the WM1Z or SP1000 then using then you shouldn’t be worried.

The N8 is a very musical high end player and it’s very different from say the new, more analytic, R2R DAP from Hifiman. You get all the detail you expect from a player in this range and it mixes it with a high musicality level. IT reminds me of the TOTL Luxury & Precision DAP, but then with all the features a modern DAP should have. So far I haven’t found any negative points yet, though I do need to do more testing with very sensitive gear, as I earlier had the impression of hearing some noise in the background.

And now…it’s back to testing!

4.4/5 - (69 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

1 Comment

  • Reply November 25, 2018

    Steven Zore

    Bit gaudy looking for my taste.

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