The volume dial is still in the top right corner, it has a beautiful finish and it like before is protected by the enclosure itself. The second big difference is that the outputs have been moved from the bottom to the top of the unit. There you from left to right have the 3.5mm single-ended and 2.5mm balanced headphone outputs. Next to them on the right is the 3.5mm Line-out and digital SP out (output is selected in the menu). That means that on the bottom you now only find the MicroSD-slot and the Micro-USB plug to charge and connect the DAC. There’s nothing on the left side of the unit.
L6 Memory & Battery
The L&P L6 comes with a 32GB of memory and it can officially be expanded to 256GB. I myself have been using 200GB cards with the L6 and they work fine, the only problem I have here is that the L6 with the actual firmware is limiting the file/track count to 6000. That means a whole lot of song aren’t charged in the library and that’s very disappointing.
The L6 comes with a 3000mAh lithium battery and it in theory is capable of up to11h of play-time ij ideal conditions (screen off, normal volume, non-high rate files and single-ended output). In reality you get closer between 8 to 10 hours of airtime, but I didn’t feel this was too short or shorter compared to the competition. Of course the screen usability still is far away from most other DAPs, so it does need less power.
L6 Usability & Features
According to L&P the new L6 brings a more convenient user experience. Basically what has changed is that instead of tapping the “page down” button on the screen, you can now slide/swipe up and down. But well, that’s about it. There is no quick scroll to a certain letter as you know it, but you can let the L6 auto-slide all the way down your song list. The latest firmware does come with playlist and file deletion support and the player boots up in only a few seconds. In the following video you can see how the swiping on the L6 works:
As said, there seems to be a 6K file limit, and that in my eyes does limit the usability. 6000 is way too little in 2018. It reads/loads the memory up to 6000 rather fast though.
The L6 has 2 main menus: The first is for the song selection and the second for all the player related settings. In the selection menu you have the following sub menus: Directory/All Music/Artist/album/My playlists/Update Library. The %Settings menu has the following options: Play mode/EQ(Normal and 5 presets)/Visualizations/Audio Output settings and Advanced. Album-art wise the L6 is limited. The art is only showing in the main play screen and it is small when compared to other DAPs.
The L6 can also be used as USB DAC and the current firmware supports up to 96 kHz/ 16bit. A second downside of the DAC function is that the screen blacks out when it’s in use. So you can’t see the volume level or bit rate being fed to the L6. A nice thing is that you can select whether you want the L6 to get power via the USB or from its own battery. The theory behind this is that you’ll get better sound when using the internal battery.
The L6 can’t be used to stream music from your network, Tidal or Spotify. You can play music for the internal memory or the SD Card. Bluetooth? Never heard of it. One thing that has been bugging me is that the L6 doesn’t pause playback when you plug out the head- or earphone. Most of my other DAPs do and if you change earphones as much as I do, it’s a bit annoying. Ok, ok, it’s a detail. But still.
So yeah, basically the L6 User Interface & usability-wise is still pretty much the same as it was before, apart from the fast sliding: Music before everything. The question is if they can still get away with it at this price point.
L6 Sound – DAP Positioning & Referencing
The great thing about Luxury & Precision is that you know they will nail the sound each and every time and it’s no different here. I like every single L&P DAP so far but to me this one is the best performing one so far.
If you look at the top of the line DAPs, the two most mentioned models will probably be the Astell&Kern SP1000 and the Sony NW-WM1Z. Both of these DAPs go for like double the L6 but sound wise this DAP has its place with these reference models, there’s no doubt about that. And it gets even better. First of all, the L&P L6’s sound quality is up there with both of these DAPs and second, it’s a whole lot cheaper.
There are 3 kind of DAP fans. The first kind will absolutely love the typical, straight forward, tight and detailed SP1000 sound with a focus on clarity, upper mids and treble. The second type prefers the warmer, more laid back, rich sound signature of the Sony WM1Z with its bigger bass and thick mids. The third kind wants both of these characteristics while retaining the high level of detail and precision, but this group until now was a bit left out. Sure there are die-hard fans that will get both DAPs but for the majority of people this simply isn’t realistic. For these people there now is the Luxury & Precision L6.
The light L&P L6 sound-wise is the love baby of the WM1Z and the SP1000 and it inherits the best of both DAPs. Does that mean that this sound-wise is the ultimate all-round DAP? It’s going in the right direction for sure, but keep reading.
L6 – Sound Detail
Before going into more detail I want to say that the difference between the 2.5mm balanced and 3.5mm single ended headphone output isn’t as big and obvious as with the WM1Z and the AK-series in example. In fact I feel they’re close enough to each other to describe the sound in general.
The first thing you notice when you listen to a Luxury & Precision DAP is how natural, easy and at the same time musical they sound. With the L6 that’s no different and you get a very realistic and musical rendering. As I said, L&P manages to combine the richness, precision, transparency, naturalness, smoothness and extension from both the AK as well as the Sony.
The part on SOUND continues on Page Three of the review, right HERE