Cayin RU-6 vs Lotoo Paw S1 dongle impressions Please post impressions from the loaner tour here thank you Impressions from @Cellist88 Thank you SBAF for letting me hear these dongles. Its great to actually be able to hear them before purchasing. Here are my thoughts after a brief listen to both dongles. I don't think any prolonged listening is going to change my opinion, so I'll happily send these out to the next person on the loaner list. All listening was done through either PC usb to Zen Pro, or Iphone 13 Pro to Zen Pro Balanced. I made sure to keep the dongles on until they were warm to the touch. Cayin RU6- The dongle has a lovely tone and R2R timbre and full bodied sound. Even if its full-bodied, it sounds very clear, and it is a very agreeable lovely sound. Really think anyone with harsh earphones, or tone whores will love it. The full bodied ness gives a 3d element to each sound, with a long sense of decay, ala Sony Zx2 in a certain way. Technical prowess is good, because it does pick up a lot of background sounds and queues. This is where I started to not like the dongle. Everything seems to congeal and sound of the same. For example a small plucking of a string while separated and staged properly, with have the same round sound and intensity as lets say a brass instrument. This lack of small tones vs bigger tones, make it fairly dynamically limited, especially microdynamics. Macrodynamics are affected too because everything seems round, and full. Also because of the roundness, transients are blunted as well. Some can see this as a welcome change to certain earphones with peaky upper-mids, but I found it lost some life(don't mistake this for clarity, because clarity is plenty good). Hotel California(Live recording), the guitar picks and each pluck is represented a bit blunted, with again having problems with specificity in size for when lets say the drums hits. The Roundness also makes songs like Daft Punk's Get Lucky sound sleepy and slow, and bloated(I guess What's HIFI would call this PRaT, but wtvr). This was all on Low Gain and OS setting. Go into NOS and you lose that nice 3d roundness and it becomes flat, making it sound more grey, and the blackground def suffers, though with the 2d ness, you might be able to pick up some more textural information ala Yggdrasil A2. I suspect NOS isn't for me. Plugging the RU6, to the PC did sound better, though I found it to be a tradeoff, because I feel the blackground was better with the Iphone(My thinkpad must be noiser, but hey that's how I plan on using it if I get one). Going to the S1, it sounded like a typical delta sigma dac. I had to put the dongle in high gain. Nothing sounded particularly wrong, but after coming from the Cayin, it sounded a bit robotic and sterile. Something is slightly off, a bit plastically and flat. Dunno if its a Cirrius Logic chip, or AKM, but definitely some sort of flat sound with slight harshness, but tamed in a weird way, leading to sterility. I may sound critical, but it isn't bad or good. A very inoffensive sound. At the end of the day, I will just stick with the Apple dongle. It didn't have the magnificent tone of the Cayin, but transients were zippy and the sound had more pop, the instrument size differentiation is better, and while it may not be as 3d, it actually is better at picking up small background queues in the back(This may be due to a more 2d sound). I feel the Apple Dongle doesn't have as much clarity but definitely sounds more natural(Think of like epoxy wood, vs seeing a real piece of wood...isnt as slick and clean but is more natural). I think it has a better blackground as well. I feel IEMs, its a fight for low noise, and while R2R has its timbre benefits, I don't feel dongling on device power bodes well. I'll be on the lookout for the next Cayin battery-dongle product in their hopefully next iteration. Who knows if @iFi audio will produce a new product that doesn't require the ieMatch for mega powered products for iem portable use.