Sabre DACs are known for their reference sound, that is also why I was a little surprised when I first listened to Takt Pro. It isn’t an analytical sound at all, but rather slightly warm with great musicality, it however is still retaining a good balanced tuning. It sounds organic and dynamic, powerful with the right IEM. It has a dead quiet background and did not hiss at all with any of my more sensitive in ears. This I expected actually, because neither did Takt Pro’s sibling, REI.
Cozoy has managed to do a nice split, not just does it sound musical and well warmed up but also detailed with good amounts of air and separation. Its sound stage stretches well in terms of width but not as much in depth and height. The constructed sound stage is nicely realistic, but could use better imaging qualities. Due to the smoother and warmer tonality of the device, pin-point imaging was not possible despite its higher resolution.
Its bass presentation shows good body, which is well rendered. It has a very nice texture, with slight warmth. Lows are extended and deliver a sub bass reproduction. Bass is also well controlled and fast. Mid bass is slightly more forward than deeper regions, giving lower mids a slight bump in shape and body.
Mids are nicely organic and sport good realism in tonality. Just like bass they also have some added warmth to it with enhanced body. Their texture is also very nice, layering could use some more definition and precision. Vocals are very well presented, they transport great emotions with them.
Treble is a little laid back and shows a softer, smoother character. It doesn’t have the sparkle or rich presentation of some higher end units, but it is still at a remarkable point for a device of this price. It shimmers not too much nor too less. It’s well articulated and extended. At some points it could use more air though. The softer touch on treble makes a long lasting listening session possible and guarantees no fatigue or sibilance.
Overall the sound can be described, as mentioned before, as balanced with enhanced body and warmth, making it a good partner for audiophile referenced tuned monitors, which brings us to the next chapter of this article.
My list of inventory for headphones and in ear monitors mainly focuses on reference and more neutral sound. I mostly listened to Takt Pro with my custom IEMs on the go. My smartphone as source playing Tidal. At home I tried to listen with my full sized cans, but they output power wasn’t enough to drive them. Though I want to make clear, that for portable headphones and in ears especially, there is more than enough gain to have them running with sufficient juice and volume.
It pairs very well with neutral IEMs but also with warmer sounding gear, like Jerry Harvey’s Lola.
Noble Audio – Katana
Katana sounds detailed, extended and clean with high precision and musicality. Very organic with expanded sound stage and great authority down low. Layering is good, but not the best I’ve heard out of Katana. Instrumental separation is very nice with good amounts of air. Katana’s neutral tuning responds well to the more harmonic sound of Takt Pro, giving it an organic presentation.
Noble Audio – Kaiser Encore
The Kaiser is one of my personal favourites because of its dynamic sound with rich upper mids and treble. Bass is tight and well controlled, it has good punch and excellent texture. The whole presentation of lows is full bodied and energetic. Mids again are also nice in body and of more organic sound. Upper mids are not as lush and rich as I know them from other sources, but still on a decent level. Same goes for Treble. Highs are extended and airy with a little laid back presentation. The constructed sound stage is big in terms of width, could use more in depth rendering for better layering though. Encore still retains its love for details and tickles out a lot of information from the Cozoy DAC.
64 Audio – A18t
The Tzar is coming with two different signatures, because of the Apex modules. I am mostly using the M15 module because of its more linear sound with richer treble. The sound stage is very big, as we’re used to from the A18t. It stretches especially wide, yet not as deep and high as with other gear. The resolution is very good and so is instrumental separation. It’s well extended and musical. Again the warmer tone of Takt Pro breaths in a touch of organics to the reference sound of the Tzar.
JH Audio – Lola
Lola has always impressed me with her lush and emotion filled midrange. The darker coloration of its tonality does get maybe a bit too warm on occasion with Takt Pro, but the general sound is very dynamic and has a certain toe tapping factor. Bass reaches low with good sub bass rumble, mids are perfect as always and treble is laid back. It doesn’t shimmer too much but could use more energy and air. Sound stage is above average. Overall a very enjoyable listen for a long run.
Cozoy has made yet another fabulous sounding tiny product, which might be a perfect accessory for smartphones to turn them into audiophile grade audio players. Its minuscule form factor does not reveal much about the sonic qualities that Takt Pro has hidden, thus it might get understated at first, but real life experience with the device convince in full lengths. It’s musical, detailed and powerful. Everything you could ask for from a DAC at this price point, plus you get some very handy hardware controls. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a compact, lightweight and great sounding solution.