Disclaimer: The Luxury & Precision L3Pro was sent to us free of charge in exchange for our honest opinion. It doesn’t need to be returned to L&P. All the official reviewers also received a wooded business card holder and a wooden ”page marker” . I kind of lost them though and have no clue where they are.
It’s not the first time we feature the Chinese Luxury & Precision on Headfonia.com and we have looked at their L5PRO and L3 before. L&P still is a bit of a mystery company on this side of the world and their Chinese only website doesn’t really help in that regard. Luxury & Precision isn’t as famous as Enrico Pallazzo, that’s for sure.
If you’ve never heard of the LX DAP series you might have heard of the C4 ColorFly. That in fact was made by the same designer that is now working for the Luxury & Precision Brand. Of all the L&P DAPs we looked at the sound quality was sublime and I don’t expect anything different from the L3PRO. The thing L&P struggles with most is the user friendliness/User Interface and even after several DAPs, this still is an issue. Keep reading.
After the L3 was launched, L&P is now back with a PRO version of their starter DAP. The Chinese page for the L3PRO can be found here. Lucky for us there is the great Penon Audio website that makes it easier for us to understand what the L3PRO is all about.
In general the L5 and L3 models are specifically made for use with IEMs while the PRO-models should be able to power full sized headphones more easily than the non-pro models. The L3PRO uses the same DAC and amplifier module the L3 does (see specs). Like the other L&P DAPs, the L3PRO comes delivered in a very nice box which holds the DAP, the leather case and a USB-cable. Accessory-wise the L3PRO doesn’t impress, but do you really need anything else with a DAP?
Build Quality, Design & Lay-out
The L&P DAPS are always beautiful and well-built with top quality materials and it’s no different this time round. The L3PRO has a perfectly finished grey casing with a gorgeous rosewood background (like the L5PRO). Of course that isn’t visible when you’re using the leather case. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Luxury & Precision has the prettiest high quality leather cases on the market. The original L3 also has one of those leather cases but the back is in carbon and the aluminum is lighter. They L3’s are the exact same size and both have a 3.5 inch touch screen (resolution 480×320).
The finish of the aluminum is as good as it gets, the design is very pretty – it looks the same as their other DAPs – and it is easy to work with. The only points of improvement I can mention are the sharp edges around the top volume button. They’re an issue with all the L&P DAPs but it shows most on this latest L3PRO. The DAP lay-out and buttons are identical to the L3 and L5PRO but L&P chose to engrave the functions again on the buttons as they did with the L5PRO. The L3 didn’t have that and it simply looks more luxurious with the engraved buttons. The volume wheel, case and the buttons do seem to be of a higher quality
On the top left we still have three buttons of which the two on the left can be set by the user. The third button is the lock screen button (short push or long push). Right next to that we find the same style volume wheel. The L3PRO’s volume wheel is smooth but you feel and hear the different clicks when setting the volume level. The L3PRO has a lot of steps so you can set the volume very precisely. On the right side of the player we still have the play/pause, forward and rewind buttons. The MicroSD card slot now is still on the right side of the player. On the bottom of the player you from right to left find the USB-connector, the LO/SPDIF out, the 2.5mm balanced and the 3.5mm single ended output. There’s nothing to be found on the left side of the player. On the front the Luxury & Precision name is still missing (compared to the L5PRO).
The player weighs around 160gr and it measures only 60 * 114 * 15.2 mm making it easy to transport and friendly to stack amps to. The L3PRO goes for between $519 – $549 depending on the shop.
The L3PRO isn’t only a portable music player but it can also work as a USB-DAC for your laptop and your iPhone/Android phone (not tested). The L3PRO has both a singled ended 3.5mm output as well as the typical 2.5mm balanced output. It can be connected to another DAC by using the digital 3.5mm output over coax and you can hook it up to an external amplifier by using the 3.5mm Line-Out (fixed output volume).
Memory & Battery
The L3PRO has an internal 32GB memory (L3 = 16gb) and it has one MicroSD slot. The L3PRO is guaranteed to work with cards up to 128GB but they have to be FAT32 formatted in order for them to be accessed. It does seem like there is a 6000 file limit on the LP3 but that might be related to just the review sample only (I can’t confirm this). The L3PRO comes with a 0.9.0.0 firmware installed that was modified for the reviewers in some way: the screen displays “Test sample not for sale” when booting or shutting down the player and I can’t manage to upgrade to a more recent FW. The L3PRO loads and shuts down extremely fast while the media library update isn’t the fastest on the market. But it isn’t as slow as iBasso’s in example.
I’ve never complained about the L&P battery life before and I won’t start now. I have never run out of juice before I expected it and getting around 10h of play time with the screen turned off shouldn’t be an issue.
The L3PRO and L3 are both fully balanced DAPS (input and output): the left and right channel DAC chip is separated, and even DAC digital inputs are separated. L3PRO uses a dual CS4398 DAC with a dual SOLO op amp and dual 1812A double crown. The L3 manages sampling rates up to 32 Bit/768 kHz and supports up to DSD256. USB Sampling rates go up to 24 Bit/192kHz.
- Model: L3 PRO
- Screen Size: 3 5 inches
- Screen resolution: 480×320 OGS full lamination capacitive screen
- Master: 1812C
- DAC chip: left and right channels for each one Cirrus Logic flagship professional D / A chip CS4398
- Crystal jitter: less than l picosecond low phase noise crystal oscillator
- Op amp: SOLO
- Amp: 1812A Double Crown
- Co-processor: 1812M
- Power management chip: 1812P
- Filter capacitor: from Murata companies such as ESR MLCC
- Button: side button, the top button is ALPS long life button
- Built-in storage 32GBFLASH
- Extended Capacity: 128GB TF card support (32G need to be formatted for the FAT32 file system)
- Life time: about 10 hours single-ended output, balanced output about 8 hours
- Charging standard: DC input voltage range 4 8 – 5.2V. The maximum output current of the power adapter is recommended 1.5A and above adapter
- Body; aluminum alloys. CNC integrated molding process, anodized surface thin blast treatment, the rear cover of rosewood, 6 layer immersion gold PCB
- Output interface: 3.5mm Single-ended earphone output interface, 2.5mm balanced headphone jack, 3.5 mm line out / SPDIF output interface. USB Data / Charging / USB DAC interfaces
- Weight: 386gr
- Dimensions: 60 * 114 * 15.2 mm
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