Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo boost, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, Fore Audio DAISy1, COS Engineering D1, Aqua Hifi Formula, AURALiC Vega
Preamplifier: Nagra Classic, Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage II, COS Engineering D1, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVT module)
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1 monos, F5, F6, F7; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund/Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics NC500 monos; LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & VI & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence
Headphones: Final Sonorous X and D8000; HifiMan Susvara; Audeze LCD-X; Meze 99 Neo; Campfire Audio IEM
Headfi amps: Bakoon AMP-12R; Questyle CMA-800R monos; COS Engineering H1; Nagra Classic Preamp
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps/sub
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands [on loan]
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: 4 x 6m with high gabled beam ceiling opening into 4 x 8m kitchen and 5 x 8m living room, hence no wall behind the listening chairs
Review component retail: TBA but ca. $1'000

Soundaware at Shanghai event.

"The M2pro is a new flagship DAP which we designed mainly for IEM. Its voicing is reminiscent of M1pro but overall quality is really on MR1 level. Pricing will be ~$1'000. We will launch it at a press conference in Shanghai this Sunday."

That was my Soundaware contact Lesley Liu checking in on July 31st. Having just reviewed their MR1/P1, A300 and D300Ref in three consecutive reviews, I'd not seen an additional new product coming. I needed to clean my rearview mirror and aim it at Shanghai. Then I'd seen more than the nude prototype board at the Beijing Headphone Expo and have cased out these early silver and gold units. "M2pro inherits the tonal style of M1pro, then optimizes the platform already used on MR1 and A300: twin DACs, isolated dual-mono I²S and DSD outputs from the FPGA where DSD signal triggers the DACs into DSD processing." The below show display demonstrates the size progression of Esther M1pro [far left], M2pro [black and blue] and MR1. With the latter aimed at a multi-app crowd who mean to combine portable with stationary setups where one DLNA + WiFi + Bluetooth source fronts big headphone, car and speaker systems as DAP, streamer and fully balanced USB DAC or SD/USB media renderer, the M2pro aims predominantly at just mobile users, hence IEM.


A300 and A280
... to be continued when production ships...

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