Cozoy REI dac/amp review - expatinjapan

Cozoy REI with ipod touch 6G, Flacplayer app and Campfire Audio Vega IEM.

Cozoy REI review
A little wonder, a mini beast of a machine
-expatinjapan




Cozoy REI with ipod touch 5G, Flacplayer app and Shozy Zero earphones.

Unboxing










Whats in the box



The Cozoy REI DAC/Amp and 
a suitable quality selection of cables for use with OS, Android and Computers.


Build


The Cozoy REI is a solid machined aluminum CNC anodized unit of two pieces.


Very lightweight weighing in at a comfortable 


The design is screw less, the two halves somehow locked together in an eternal embrace.




Audio in via Micro USB


Audio out via 3.5mm jack.

Specifications

*Images via Cozoy REI website (with permission).




For a full set of measurements and a write up see:



Value

The Cozoy REI retails at US$550 (Shipped If you order direct from their website).

A hefty amount for such a small battery-less piece of equipment some might say.
I would agree too If I had not heard its wonderful sonics  myself first hand.

The Cozoy REI certainly to my ears matches price and performance that belies its size.

Solidly built, and very lightweight.


Sound

As usual I got a decent amount of time on the Cozoy REI before reviewing to please the burn in fans, as the anti burn in crowd don`t care. Therefore everyone is happy.

I tested it with a variety of sources such as lightning based ipod touchs 5G and 6G, using Flacplayer app by Dan Leehr and all the recommended Relisten app.

There were sessions with and iphone 6, and also a Macbook pro.

Sadly due to a lack of Android based phones in my possession I could not check that side of things.

I used mainly the Campfire Audio Vega and Andromeda, iBasso IT03 IEMs for my testing.

I found volume generally to be set at 50% or less. It has  a decent amount of power under the hood.


The sound of the REI is linear, neutral yet portrays the music so beautifully clear, concise and realistic that it also deserves the oft thrown about term musical.

Musical not in the sense of any particular boosting of bass, mids or treble, but in the thrilling amount of resolution, depth and soundstage that this little beast of a device delivers.

Realistic is a term that springs to mind.

As you can tell I am well sold on the Cozoy REI. I reviewed the Aegis a year ago, the rise in quality of performance from the aegis to the REI is truly astonishing.

Often these days a Dac/amplifier is mostly an incremental difference in overall performance, often the extra amplifying is enough alone to stun the basic customer, plus as mobile phones themselves improve more and more it is harder to out do what many phones can give the customer in terms of sonic satisfaction, not to mention the more prickly and jaded audiophile who expects bang for their buck, and at least a product to deliver on its promises.

I find the Cozoy REI to be excellent, smooth, delicate retrieval of details, a solid low end which has a fast response yet lingers enough to please, mids are warm, rounded and pleasant, the highs extended enough to give a sense of extension and space.

The vocals are extremely rich, full of emotion and clarity and placed just right with the music. I detest vocals either too far forward or recessed.

I could not detect hiss with my sensitive earphones, nor could I detect any electronic interference from wifi etc.

The included cable while seemingly looking like a simple cable, is actually of high quality and carries the data through beautifully.

I found I could listen for as long as the battery held out without fatigue, results varied as to battery life due to my thrashed and over used ipod touch 6G, the ipod touch 5G having had an easier life laster much better.

The full bodied sound was an initial surprise to me, and still slightly shocks me as I start it each time. 

Instrument placement and reproduction, coupled with the overall smoothness, excellent detail retrieval, deep and wide sound stage and overall resolution places the Cozoy REI within the small select group of gear that I have truly enjoyed and loved.



As we can see from  the screenshots of the Flacplayer app on the ipod Touch 6G,  it plays back 
Hi-Res tracks natively with no down sampling, and without the need of a CCK cable.


REI connected to a Macbook and iBasso IT03

Overall

The Cozoy REI is small in stature yet huge in sound.

It is true the market is turning more towards separate Daps it seems, but there is still a demand for portable DAC/amps that especially pair well with our mobile phones on the go.

Even five years ago it would have been unthinkable for a DAC/Amplifier to be of such a size, and still pack the power and sonic depths of the earliest large and hefty models. 
The earlier models and also until most recently seemed to be locked at 16/41 or 16/44 depending on what site one visited, mostly due to Apple various restrictions. Even most apps that touted and still tout to ply back Hi-Res natively more often that not, did not, even when connected with a Camera Connection Kit (CCK).

And now we have the REI. Small, powerful, with a large, deep and detailed sound reproduction that plays back Hi-Res files with Apple products natively.
Quite an achievement in itself.

Its earlier siblings the Astrapi (somewhat weak in performance), the improved Aegis (Whose Achilles heel was its sudden volume jump, a quick fix being to use the Kaisertone  or Relisten app), were precursors of the REI, who so far seems to have reached a summit in performance with none of the issues of its predecessors.

It even gets the thumbs up from the strict Ohm Image site!

I recommend the REI as a portable DAC/Amp, whilst its battery less construction no doubt is a drain on whatever device you may commute with, I found I could reach my place of employment without the music ending, safely arriving to recharge my portable device. Anyway, I like most mobile users these days don`t go anywhere without my portable battery pack anyway.

I have written enough about its many virtues in the sound section, some what flowery at times as the REI brings out the poet in me, due to its gift of providing me with the technology to simply enjoy the music without having slight drawbacks in reproduction draw me out. 

It truly is a little marvel.




Thank you to Cozoy for sending the Cozoy REI for review
-expatinjapan



2 comments :

  1. If you've heard of Massdrop you know what they do, if you haven't I'll explain really quick: They find a bunch of ppl who want to buy a product and then team up with the manufacturer to bring a price drop. So if you want to see this device as a drop go to the link and vote for it. THANK YOU -> https://www.massdrop.com/vote/-New-Product-Cozoy-Rei-32-bit-384kHz-DAC-AMP-do-you-want-it-as-a-drop

    ReplyDelete
  2. How does this device compare with the Dragonfly Red/Black? How does it compare with the Mojo?

    ReplyDelete