Mobile AudioDAC & Headphone AmpsNewsPersonal Audio

Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP - The smartphone as a Hi-res audio player

Cayin Audio once again presents a portable D/A converter including headphone amplifier that should prove to be a particularly audiophile solution, namely the new Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP.

Story Highlights
  • The new Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP is designed to turn your smartphone into a hi-res audio player.

Zhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co. Ltd. is the company behind the Cayin Audio brand solutions and is now once again launching the new Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP, a solution in the field of personal audio devices aimed at particularly quality-conscious users.

The new Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP is capable of transforming a smartphone into a hi-res audio player, thus guaranteeing high-level playback even when on the move, according to the manufacturer’s promise. Once again, the company wants to emphasise that it is a proven specialist for high-quality audiophile equipment, be it classic hi-fi or solutions in the personal audio segment.

Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP – The successor of the Cayin RU6 Portable USB DAC/Head-Amp Dongle

The concept of combining a D/A converter with a headphone amplifier is extremely popular, and countless such solutions can be found on the market, including from the Cayin Audio brand itself. For example, the Cayin RU6 Portable USB DAC/Head Amp Dongle, whose successor is the new Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP.

For this task, the new Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP is equipped with a number of remarkable innovations, as the manufacturer promises.

USB-C or Apple Lightning

As expected, the new Cayin RU7 is easily connected to a smartphone or tablet via USB-C. Of course, it can also be used on a notebook via this interface.

Users with an Apple iPhone, on the other hand, have to resort to the optionally offered cable with USB-C to Apple Lightning connector, which should be mentioned here for the sake of completeness.

Symmetrical 1 Bit Resistor Network and All-to-DSD Mode

The developers of the Cayin Audio solutions have already proven that they do not shy away from unusual approaches to achieve the best possible results. For example, the direct predecessor, the already mentioned Cayin RU6, used an R-R2 circuit for signal conversion, now it is a symmetrical 1-bit resistor network in ladder construction with 128 thin-film resistors, arranged in four groups with 32 resistors each.

This means that the new Cayin RU7 uses a similar solution to the Cayin N7 Master Quality Digital Audio Player, which the company only launched at the end of February 2023 as the latest high-end solution in the DAP sector.

Signals in Linear PCM are supported at up to 32 bits and 384 kHz, as is content in DSD up to DSD256.

A special feature of the new Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP is that it offers the possibility to convert all signals into DSD first and then process them natively in this format, the manufacturer refers to this as an all-to-DSD mode. This offers the great advantage that the maximum quality is achieved because noise components are reduced or the dynamic range is increased.

Before the volume control is used and the outputs are activated, the signal passes through three low-pass filters, according to the manufacturer. With 99 levels, the precision of the volume setting should leave nothing to be desired, whereby this is controlled via a resistor network. While the predecessor had to insert a short playback pause every ten levels to conceal the change to the next higher segment of the resistor network, there are now only three segments with a change from level 50 and 80, as the manufacturer states.

More power

The output stage of the new Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP, which is symmetrically constructed in four-channel technology by using two high-power amplifiers in parallel, is said to be characterised by more power and thus to have even better control over headphones of various designs than its predecessor.

Already at the unbalanced jack connection (3.5 mm stereo mini-jack), 160 mW are available at an impedance of 32 ohms. If you use the balanced output (4.4 mm Pentaconn), 400 mW are available.

Interestingly, both outputs can also be operated at a fixed level, thus functioning as a line out if you want to connect a mobile device directly to an audio system via the Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP.

Extremely compact

It should be mentioned that the design is based on a so-called Two 6-Layer Dual PCB, i.e. two boards that find their place inside in order to separate the analogue and digital elements in the best possible way.

The new Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP is once again designed as an extremely compact solution, with a deliberately simple, elegant design. Rounded edges and a black finish are intended to convey a modern character.

The Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP has an OLED display with 128 x 64 pixels and buttons on the side that allow simple control directly on the device.

The Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP measures 66 x 24 x 12 mm and thus weighs only 25 g.

Prices and availability

The new Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP should already be available in specialist shops at a recommended retail price of € 349,-. The scope of delivery includes a suitable USB-C to USB-C cable for connection to smartphones and tablets with Google Android, the current Apple iPad line-up and notebooks, as well as a USB-A adapter. The cable for Apple iPhone and thus Apple Lightning is available as an option. However, a matching leather case is also included.

Getting to the point

There are plenty of D/A converters with integrated headphone amplifiers on the market, but Zhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co. Ltd. seems to have an outstanding product on offer in the personal audio device segment with the latest solution from the Cayin Audio brand. And indeed, the new Cayin RU7 USB Dongle DAC/AMP comes up with a number of exciting features that recommend it as a solution for audiophile music lovers.

Price€ 349,-
ManufacturerZhuhai Spark Electronic Equipment Co. Ltd.
DistributionCayin Audio Distribution GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
Show More

Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button