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Cyrus SoundKey Mobile DAC (Black)
|Price:||£99.00 FREE delivery.|
This item at this price, sold by Amazon.com, is currently reserved exclusively for Prime members.Prime free trial and invitee customers: We will automatically apply an Amazon.com Gift Card to your Gift Card Balance in the amount equal to the Prime exclusive discount after you become a paid Prime member. If you cancel your paid Prime membership or return the qualifying smartphone within the first 3 months of your paid Prime membership, we may void your Gift Card or charge you in the amount of the Gift Card. Terms and Conditions apply.
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- Handles high-res audio files up to 24bit/96kHz
- Powered by your smartphone battery
- Smooth aluminium casing
- Small and discrete design
- Low current device
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|Sold By||HiFix||Peter Tyson Online||SHENZHEN AUDIO||AudioVisual Online||Amazon.co.uk||MY-DAC|
|Compatible Devices||—||—||,||—||Phone||Noise Floor:<3uV|
|Item Dimensions||10 x 10 x 10 cm||7.5 x 3.5 x 10 cm||22.86 x 3.76 x 7.11 cm||—||11.99 x 9.8 x 2.21 cm||22.61 x 17.02 x 6.35 cm|
|Item Weight||100 kg||—||0.79 kg||5.6 kg||399 grams||408 grams|
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Find answers in product info, Q&As, reviews
Unlock your mobile music
soundKey is an award-winning revolution in mobile music. Hi-Fi streaming services like TIDAL mean fantastic quality is available to subscribers, but phones lack the necessary hardware to get the best from this data. soundKey unlocks that data, using our years of expertise in high-resolution DAC and amplifier design. Cyrus quality audio is now available to everyone.
How is soundKey different to other DACs?
Firstly, the size and design. If you are using your phone as your source of music, you are likely to be on the move. Therefore, being small and lightweight is key. The Cyrus soundKey weighs around 16 grams, so it’s no extra burden on your pocket or bag. From a design perspective, smooth rounded edges enable it to feel more like an integral part of the cable without catching or snagging on anything.
Secondly, the Cyrus soundKey has been designed to be an extremely low current device. Why is this important? We have deliberately not put a separate battery inside the Cyrus soundKey to keep it small, light and prevent you from having yet another thing you need to charge. Therefore it relies on the battery in the phone to provide it with power. The more power an external DAC draws, the quicker it will drain your phone battery. Other DACs typically drain 100mA - Cyrus soundKey has been designed to draw only 50mA.
Finally, it’s made by us, Cyrus. We have over 30 years of designing and tuning audio components to bring the very best out of a product, and provide a better music experience for our customers.
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This device makes an astonishing difference to your listening experience. The instruments are so much better separated, the soundstage is wider, clarity is significantly improved, it's more dynamic. It all sounds so much more musical and immersive. I've tried it with both cheaper headphones and top end shures. It makes a worthwhile difference to both.
I have noticed the battery does drain a tad faster as it powers the soundkey - but it's not that drastic.
All in all this is worth every penny
First device tried Samsung J5 2016 - Simple connection and sound out was reasonable (but not £99 worth of improvement). One problem is that volume is so loud you max out at 20% before it is too loud so it is difficult to get the optimum volume.
Second device Samsung galaxy tab S 8.4 - quality improvement limited and any quiet passage has interference noise (sound like it is trying to over amplify anything in the background). Same issue with how loud it was.
Amazon fire HD 8 tablet - At first the opinion was good improvement until - press pause, all is quiet for about half a second then buzzing noise at a volume that is so loud I suspect headphones are damaged (my hearing certainly is).
At this point I am all set for returning the item but I do some research. It appears the problem is not the soundkey but the way Android handles audio.
I tried it on a windows 10 laptop and the output was very impressive, but this is not what I purchased it for.
Step in Neutron audio player app - This has the ability to directly address the DAC. After downloading onto Tab 8.4 and setting for direct access the whole world changes. Volume level control is perfect. Quiet tracks are quiet, other than the music they are supposed to present. Sound quality - oh so sweet for the melodic tracks, rock, what a punch. Now I am holding on to this as it can be so good.
Anyone researching for an external DAC for android beware, from trawling the net I determined that this is not the fault of the DAC but of android and how each individual device handles this, so other DAC's can suffer from the same problems.
I would give 5 stars for the sound quality but I removed one star because you have to find the way to get the quality out of it.
Much more open sound, great improvement when using FLAC and Tidal, small improvement on Spotify, ok improvement on BBC iplayer Radio 6.
I do find that there is a certain section of the upper mid's / lower treble that would be emitted by a Violin or Viola that don't get represented well. Check out the lead violin on Spiritualized "Spread Your Wings", its gets a bit lost in the quartet. Apart from that, its a wonderful bit of kit. Really pleased.
First off it’s slightly smaller and a lot slimmer than the Dragonfly but neither are really deal breakers. The performance however is. I ran an A-B test between the two with the first 15-20 seconds of 5-6 tracks and it’s probably the first time I have completely agreed with a What Hi-Fi? review. They refer to the Dragonfly as “something of a blunt instrument” when compared to the Soundkey and that’s about as accurate as you can get. Separation and clarity is better and bass is a lot tighter and more punchy. Also the soundstaging is hugely impressive and is something I tend to lean towards when buying hifi. I really didn’t expect to hear much difference but I was hugely impressed and very happy I tried it out!
Again I cannot emphasise enough the difference a good DAC will make to a system and for £100 this is an absolute bargain.