Tempotec Variations V6 Android Digital Analog Player

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by Brause, Aug 14, 2022.

  1. Brause

    Brause Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    431
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I am creating this thread as this dap is possibly the best deal under the sun - and unexpectedly so. It is being released on Kickstarter any day now - and it will be available for purchase then. As far as I know, it will be cost $300, which is hard to believe.

    I have nothing to do with this company other than I was asked to test the V6 before its release. I am mostly a dongle guy as I want to be mobile. I don't spend much time on my desk (hence my desktop setup of Earmen Tradutto DAC and Burson Funk amp are catching dust). I mainly use my MacBook Air and iPhone SE with devices such as Apogee Groove (doesn't work with iPhone), AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt and the excellent Questyle M15.

    I recently went more into daps by purchasing a Sony NW-A55 and a Questyle QP1R. I really like the crispness of Questyle's current mode amplification.

    Tempotec are a company that have mainly produced risky dinky dongles: cheap and good value, but far from premium. It is such stuff you outgrow fast with your own rising standards.

    Therefore, when receiving the V6, I was blown out of my sandals. There is nothing less exciting for me than "unboxing" but this thing feels substantial, it had its screensaver already installed (take this, Apple!) and a sturdy leather case (in...erm...green) was included, too.

    And when I plugged my iems in (LETSHUOER EJ07M, Dunu Zen, Moondrop Kato), I was blown out of my sandals again: it sounds fabulous - and not like a $300 player. It runs large circles around my beloved Sony - and it probably rivals the Questyle (though the Tempotec has a different, softer sonic signature).

    It offers two dedicated line-outs and two headphone jacks (in both cases 4.4 mm balanced and 3.5 mm single ended). I mostly used the balanced circuit.

    [​IMG]


    Headroom is fantastic and so are staging and imaging. Absolutely outstanding. Staging is better than in the Questyle, we can argue about imaging. The V6's low end is slightly elevated above neutral (compared to the tighter Questyle), but its leading edge is silky smooth. Midrange resolution and microdynamics are superb. An absolute delight to use for hours. And what it does NOT is generic sounding (Topping L30...) or aggressive/harsh sounding (Topping DACs...). Nope, everything is fluid, timed nicely, and dosed right. And the vocals are not attenuated as in so many cheap dongles/daps/Topping L30 again...

    The V6 is essentially an Android phone without a camera and sim card. It sports a cheap 720 dpi screen and a sluggish generic SoC CPU. That's where the company cut corners to keep the price down, but they didn't with the player part.

    Talking to some dap "experts" they identified the audio specs as impressive.

    Android System
    Android 8.1
    Stream media App Hiby Music, APPLE MUSIC, Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz
    Size 11.6cm x 6.8cm x 1.7cm
    DAC AK4493SE X 2
    Audio sources Micro SD Audio, LDAC&AAC APTX-HD APTX, USB DAC
    Supported formats DSD512, MQA 16X, DXD, PCM 32bit/768khz
    SNR 124dB
    DNR 124dB
    Output Level 2VRMS/3.5, 4VRMS/4.4
    Output Power 330mW/32Ω/3.5, 610mW/32Ω/4.4
    Crosstalk 84dB/32Ω/3.5, 116dB/32Ω/4.4

    Well, it streams (I don't need that) and it was sluggish on my 5 GHz network and acceptable on my 2.4 GHz network. But it did not max out the available speed. And Android 8.1 is 5 years old. The reason why they don't run 12 is because the Hiby music player is not up to speed.

    What I am also wary about is that Tempotec is not an established music player manufacturer. I worry about regular firmware updates. And it only sports a single micro SD card slot (up to 2 GB...correction 2 TB)...problem is that such "large" cards are expensive and cost prohibitive in this case. And it took over 10 mins to update my 120 GB music library, But if the V6 really $300, this would set a new standard...hence this quick note.

    I am wondering about the first reactions by others and recommend you to get as many qualified opinions as possible to form a complete picture. But the V6 is right up my Alley: top audio performer, yet affordable and very good value.

    More to come soon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
  2. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Likes Received:
    6,045
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    "Single micro SD slot up to 2 Gb". Typo there?

    Evidently you're impressed, which interests me. Can you be a bit more specific in comparing particular sonic aspects to the Sony & Questyle?
     
  3. Brause

    Brause Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    431
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I mean a single slot to insert a microSD card (as opposed to two slots in the Questyle). I was told the max size accepted is 2 GB [correction: 2 TB].

    I find the Sony (with neutral Mr Walkman firmware) less transparent sounding, not as resolving, not as articulate, smaller staging and lacking in microdynamics in comparison. It sounds thicker as opposed to the V6's elegance and filigree. And it is much less powerful. It only has a single-ended circuit.


    The Questyle has a much flatter (= two-dimensional) stage but unrivalled clarity (class A amp), and that classic Questyle crispness in the attack. The Tempotec is more soothing at its leading edge without being soft or dull. And it has some colouring in contrast to the Questyle.

    What I found amazing is that only the V6 ever gave me the impression, I was in the studio with the band. The staging is that good.

    The V6 is the only one of these that runs Android/can connect to the internet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2022
  4. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    10,290
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    2 GB doesn’t make any sense for the microSD slot. It’s either 200gb (which would still be bizarrely small in 2022) or 2 TB, which would make the most sense.

    Also why hamstring the entire OS just for one single music player app? Seems really backward.
     
  5. Brause

    Brause Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    431
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I am running a 512 GB card without problems.

    MY BRAINFART: 2TB!!!!
     
  6. Brause

    Brause Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    431
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    No typo but onset of dementia.
     
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 1
    • List
  7. Brause

    Brause Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    431
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Just talked to their marketing rep: earlybird Kickstarter will be below $300 USD. Wth all respect: that's hard to believe.

    UPDATE: As to the specs...the V6 uses the AKM4493SE DAC chip (two of them with dual OP1612)...the $1200 Lotoo PAW 6000 sports the pre-AKM Factory fire version of this chip...but only one of them. The V6 has proper line-out, a decently large display, a 4500 mAh battery....and 610 mW power @ 32 ohm.

    16*MQA unfolding...I don't care about that, neither do I care about streaming.

    There's nothing far and wide at this price with this blend of software and hardware features. The Shanling MX3 has similar Android and CPU SoC, but DAC chip and amp section are one league below...at $50 more.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2022
  8. Soups

    Soups Sadomasochistic cat

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,441
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    WA
    Any feedback on how well the Qobuz app works on this? Since that's what I'd be listening to 99% of the time on any DAP...
     
  9. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    10,290
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Does it output bluetooth as well, or only act as a receiver?
     
  10. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Likes Received:
    6,045
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    "Two-Way Bluetooth" says the Tempotec website, and on their Instagram (via a Google search as I'm not a grammer): "V6 supports two-way bluetooth,as a bluetooth transmitter, it fits TWS earphones."
     
  11. Brause

    Brause Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    431
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Both, apparently.

    Co-blogger Kazi (no SBAF, but "kmmbd" on "Jude's blog", who is very experienced with daps (he owns the Lotoo PAW and did own the Questyle QP1R), writes:

    "...Received the Tempotec V6.
    Initial setup was fairly simple. Simply setup language, timezone, and you're done. The AOSP Android 8.1 has no bloatware, only the bare minimum of apps. Internal memory is 16GB of which 10GB is free after setup. Plenty of space for regular DAP use.

    I sideloaded Tidal and changed the launcher to see how the CPU performs. Pretty decent performance overall. Didn't notice any slowdowns on Tidal. Due to low amount of RAM I do not recommend heavy multitasking, but at this price - one shouldn't expect that either.

    Display is decent. It's very sharp thanks to the high pixel density. Colors tend to be on the warmish side, with mediocre contrast. Then again, it's absolutely fine and even higher tier DAPs like Lotoo PAW 6000 has far worse display.
    As for the sound, it's basically neutral-ish with some warmth in the bass. Doesn't sound too smoothed over like Cayin N6ii with A01 does, neither does it sound sterile or shouty like Fiio M11.

    Pairing with both Dunu Zen and Campfire Holocene was very good. In high gain and from balanced out there's plenty of power to drive even some full-size cans.

    Overall, very positive first impressions. If the rumored price of $300 is correct, there isn't another DAP in that price bracket that matches the feature-set and performance of the Tempotec V6. Let's see how this experience holds in the long-term..."

    Caution: the V6 struggles with current hogs/fringe iems such as the very insensitive Final E5000...uncontrolled bass...not enough current. That on high gain.

    UPDATE: Kazi further answered me - on confirming my excellent impression of SQ:
    "..Analogue -ish tone. It's evident that Tempotec actually spent some time tuning this. Not just a hacky stock solution..."


    This is also my impression, and - considering the price - the reason why I started this thread.


     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2022
  12. Brause

    Brause Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    431
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I was just informed that the very earlybird price (as of Sept 5) for the V6 on Kickstarter will be $269 (including a 64 Gb microSD card and a leather case). The MRSP will be $399.

    If you ask me: the $269 price tag is insane.
     
  13. Brause

    Brause Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    431
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I received a second opinion on the V6 from my co-blogger who owns and treasures the $1200 Lotoo Paw 6000. I simply wanted to know whether the Lotoo is "much" superior sounding.

    He wrote me.
    "...Not "much" superior. Definitely more resolving, better bass texture and speed, and frankly, superior DAC section. And it has an inferior display. $260 earlybird is incredible, but the $399 is not such a great deal - although there are no comparable Android daps around this price..."

    I concur. $399 from a non-established manufacturer bear still "bigger" risks...firmware updates etc.
     

Share This Page