TempoTec V6 Review
TempoTec V6 Review
TempoTec Corp. is established by a group of audiophiles in order to develop and produce portable and stationer HiFi audio devices such like headphone amplifier, desktop HiFi Players and DAC’s and Portable Audio Players like the V6 that I will now review for you.
The V6 is the first Android-based Digital Audio Player in the Variations series of TempoTec, which is equipped with AKM’s Dual AK4493SE DAC Chip, a Snapdragon 425 SoC, 720P touch screen, FPGA based Active Crystal Oscillators and 2*OPA1612 + 4*OPA1688 Op-Amp’s that are part of the Amplifier Circuit.
I would like to thank TempoTec for providing me the V6 Digital Audio Player as review sample. I am not affiliated with TempoTec beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered, opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The expected MSRP price for the TempoTec V6 is around 399 US$, while it is planned to be available for 270 US$ during a Kickstarter campaign. More information’s can be found under the links below;
Package and Accessories:
The TempoTec V6 came inside a rectangular box that is wrapped with a cardboard that shows the illustration of the device and some product related brandings/information’s on its surface.
This box contains the following items/accessories;
- 1 x TempoTec V6 Digital Audio Player
- 1 x USB Type A to USB Type-C Cable
- 1 x Leather Case
- 1 x Screen Protectors
- 1 x Print Material (Warranty card, Quick Start Guide, Manual, etc.)
The TempoTec V6 comes with a nice looking pleather/leather case in dark green colour that is a nice addition.
Design & Build Quality:
The TempoTec V6 is a pretty small and lightweight Android Based Portable Digital Audio Player that has a minimalistic industrial design. The main chassis/frame of the V6 is made from anodized CNC machined aluminium material, while the front and rear side of the device features panels made from glass.
The device has dimensions of about 11.6*6.8*1.7cm and is pretty lightweight with just around 202grams, which makes it ideal for on the go.
On the front of the TempoTec V6 is a 4.2” 720P touch screen that is fine for a device at this price level. What I like about the screen is that it supports a double tap to wake up feature, which is a great addition. The touch screen is quite responsive, while the color reproduction and pixel density is on a sufficient level. According to TempoTec, this low cost screen has been used to keep the selling price reasonable and to invest more in to the analog circuit.
Right below the screen is the V6 branding in white color that is at the right corner.
On the left surface of the device is a single MicroSD card slot that supports cards up to 2TB.
At the bottom of the TempoTec V6 are both the digital and analog interfaces. Here are the 4.4mm Balanced & 3.5mm Phone Outputs, the multifunctional USB Type-C digital interface that works as Digital Input, Charging Port and Data transfer Port.
Moreover, the device comes with separate 4.4mm Balanced & 3.5mm Single Ended outputs, which is a useful feature.
The right surface sports a multi functional volume knob/wheel with a nice finish in gold color.
Right below the multi functional wheel/knob is a LED light indicator that gives information about the player status, such like codecs and charging mode.
Here are also the play/pause and next & previous buttons.
The rear glass panel sports the TempoTec brand logo, some product related brandings and industrial certifications.
The overall build quality of the TempoTec V6 is pretty good especially with respect of the selling price that is quite reasonable. It doesn’t show any imperfections such like small gaps or openings.
- Series : Variations
- Model : V6
- Operating System : Android OS 8.1
- Screen : 4.2’’ 720P Touch Panel
- CPU : Snapdragon 425
- ROM : 16GB
- RAM : 2GB
- Expanded Memory : 1x MicroSD card slot up 2TB
- DAC : 2*AK4493SE
- OP-AMP : 2*OPA1612 + 4*OPA1688
- SNR : 124dB
- THD+N :-111dB
- DNR : 124dB
- Crosstalk Level : 84dB @32 Ω (3.5mm SE) / 116db @32 Ω (4.4mm BAL)
- Bluetooth Codes : LDAC, AAC, UAT, APTX, APTX-HD, SBC
- WiFi : 2.4GHz / AirPlay
- Analog Input : 3.5mm Single Ended & 4.4mm Balanced Line Out
- Output Interface : 3.5mm Single Ended & 4.4mm Balanced PO
- Output Power : 330mW/32Ω/3.5mm 610mW/32Ω/4.4mm
- Output Level : 2VRMS/3.5mm, 4VRMS/4.4mm
- USB In/Out : USB Type-C Charging/Data trans./USB DAC/USB Audio）
- Battery : 4500mAh
- Battery Life : 13h Headphone Out, 15h Bluetooth (SBC)
- USB Port : USB Type C
- Size : 53.3mm×92.5mm×11.5mm
- Weight : 83g
Supported File Formats & Codec’s:
The TempoTec V6 supports all lossy and lossless file formats including MP3, OGG, WMA，AAC, APE, FLAC, Apple Lossless and Hi-Res decoding such like Native DSD up To DSD512, DXD, PCM up to 32bit / 768kHz and MQA up to 16x unfold.
Hardware & Software Features:
CPU & Storage:
The TempoTec V6 comes with a Snapdragon 425 SoC (System on a Chip), which is a mobile platform redefined the entry-point for mid-tier Smartphones, Tablets and Portable Audio Players. The SD 425 features 64-Bit CPU with Cortex A53. TempoTec has chosen this SoC because of its low cost, so that they can invest more in to the analog circuit, without to increase the price tag. Actually, there is no audio app that the SD 425 can’t run fairly smoothly. However, it is not suitable to use the V6 to play your Android Games!
The TempoTec V6 is equipped with 16GB or ROM, 2GB of RAM and has a card slot that supports Micro SD cards with a capacity of up to 2TB.
My only complaint comes to the 16GB storage capacity that is partly reserved by its Android Operating System. 32GB could be a much better choice since I have had to move my offline streaming media contents to an external MicroSD card, which is not the best solution.
DAC (Digital to Analog Converter):
The TempoTec V6 adopts two AK4493SEQ for the Digital-to-Analog conversion, which is a 32-bit DAC with VELVETSOUND™ Technology. The AK4493SEQ used inside the V6 is a power efficient DAC that integrates a switched capacitor filter “OSR Doubler”, making it capable of supporting wide range signals and achieving low out-of-band noise. TempoTec has used AKM chips since the first desktop DAC ‘Fantasia’ in 2005, which was an AKM 4396.
The V6 can also be used as USB DAC/Amplifier when you connect it to an Android or iOS device, MAC or Windows PC.
Digital clock circuit:
The V6 digital clock part is used a high-precision active crystal oscillator and FPGA, oscillator provides a stable clock source, and FPGA is used to remove phase noise. After so many years of audio product design experience, we have found that phase noise has a greater impact on sound quality than accuracy.
Amplification & Analog Circuit:
The analog circuit of V6 is a more elaborate designed part and it is also the first time they do have done a more complicated analog circuit achieve the cohesion and dive depth of the low frequency region that the AKM’s chip lacks.
The TempoTec V6 comes with both a 3.5mm Single Ended and a 4.4mm Balanced analog output interface. The 3.5mm SE output the device is able to deliver an output power of 330mW @ 32Ω, while the 4.4mm Balanced out is even more powerful with 610mW @ 32Ω, thanks to the use of 2*OPA1612 + 4*OPA1688 Op-Amp’s, which is quite impressive for such a relative small device.
Wireless Connectivity (WiFi & Bluetooth):
The TempoTec V6 is equipped with a build in WiFi antenna that supports 2.4GHz routers and WiFi transmission such like Airplay, HiBy Link and Screen Mirroring. You can download Online Music Apps such like Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, Qobuz and many more in order to stream your online music library.
The TempoTec V6 features also a BT SoC that supports “Bi-Direction Lossless Bluetooth Connectivity” which can be used to transmit or to receive/stream your music from any compatible device. The actually supported codec’s are AAC, UAT, APTX, APTX-HD, SBC
The connection between the V6 and my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Plus was pretty stable within a range of about 9-10 meters, without to show drops and noise issues.
One negative thing about the Bluetooth connective in Bluetooth DAC Mode is the Latency that is above average.
The TempoTec V6 has a built-in battery with a capacity of 4500mAh, which is decent for such a compact device. The average battery life of the V6 was around 11 – 11.5 hours, which I have tested under the following condition and file formats:
- Volume : 50
- Screen : Off
- File Format : Flac 16bit/44kHz
- Software : HiBy Music Player
- Earphone : Letshuoer D13
The operating system of the TempoTec V6 is based on Android OS 8.1 which is a bit outdated but efficient enough for a Digital Audio Player. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) should be very familiar to Android users and offers fairly fluid experience.
It’s great to see that the V6 comes with the original Google Play Store that gives you access to third party Streaming Services like Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Apple Music and more.
The V6 came also with the HiBy Music Player, which is one of my favourite applications when it comes to playing of music files.
Equipment’s used for this review:
DAP’s : TempoTec V6, FiiO M9
IEM’s : Meze Audio ADVAR, QoA Margarita, Letshouer D13
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love (Spotify)
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Sonya Yoncheva – (Giuseppe Verdi) II Trovatore, ActI (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- George Michael – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
- Jo Blankenburg – Meraki (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Gogo Penguin – Murmuration (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
The TempoTec V6 quite surprised me with its pretty balanced and natural presentation that shows a nice touch of warmness with all IEM’s I have listen to it. It offers a clean and controlled bass response with good grade of resolution. The midrange on the other hand is reproduced with a decent level of clarity and resolution, while the treble area is shown with excellent sense of clarity, airiness and extension especially with respect of the price of the device.
This review has been written after a burn-in period of about 80 hours. My sound impression below are mainly based to my experiences with IEM’s/Earphones like the Moondrop Variations, Letshuoer D13 and QoA Margarita over the 4.4mm Balanced output of the device.
Bass / Midrange / Treble / Soundstage & Imaging:
One of the first things that you will realize when you start listen to the TempoTec V6 is that it shows a pretty clean and balanced bass response with decent sense of layering and overall resolution for an Android powered DAP at this price level. The lower frequency region of the V6 shows a good sense of depth and authority in the subbass region when I have start listen to my favourite test tracks such like Lorde’s “Royals” and Massive Attack’s “Angel” especially paired with IME’s like the Moondrop Variations and QoA Margarita.
The midbass area on the other hand has been reproduce with a good grade of body, impact and intensity while listen to instruments percussions such like drums. Bass and electro guitars on the other hand are represented in a pretty realistic and full bodied manner, without to show any remarkable muddiness or midbass hump. Complex bass passages such like those in GoGo Pinguin’s “Murmuration” are reproduced in a quite controlled manner. The technical performance of the V6 fulfills my expectations from a portable Digital Audio Player at this price tag.
The TempoTec V6 comes with a pretty mature midrange character that shows a quite transparent, smooth, relative airy overall presentation in this region. The sense of clarity and resolution was another big surprise for me that I didn’t expected from such a reasonable priced DAP. The sound engineers of the company have used the potential of the AK4493SEQ DAC chip, which seems to be pretty capable.
The lower midrange is reproduced in a pretty smooth and full-bodied manner when I do listen to instruments such like an acoustic guitars or to male vocals such like George Michael and Elton John, while the clarity and resolution was on an adequate level. The upper midrange on the other hand is reproduced in fairly natural and controlled way. Female vocals like Adel, Sarah McLachlan or Edith Piaf do sound quite lively and emotional especially when paired with the Moondrop Variations and QoA Margarita. Instruments such like violins and side flutes did sound pretty crisp and clear, while the extension was on a sufficient level.
The TempoTec V6 offers a fairly smooth and fairly balanced treble character that is able to produce a good sense of airiness and sparkle when needed. The transitions towards the treble register are in general quite smooth and fairly controlled. The treble range of the V6 have had a good sense of extension and separation while listen to percussions in metal and jazz music such like snare drums and cymbals.
The treble range of the TempoTec V6 is able to create a pretty spacious and airy atmosphere, which is a remarkable plus point when I do listen to fast and complex instrument passages such like Charly Antolini’s “Duwadjuwandadu”.
When it comes to the soundstage of the TempoTec V6, I can say that it offers a quite efficient performance in terms of realism and spaciousness. The soundstage is relative airy and shows a good sense of wideness, while the level of depth was in general on a sufficient level with all IEM’s/Earphones I have paired the device.
TempoTec V6 versus FiiO M9:
The FiiO M9 shows in general a slightly warmer tonality and a bit more forward oriented sound profile. The TempoTec V6 on the other hand has a slightly more neutral tonality and shows a more balanced and airy overall presentation.
The FiiO M9 shows a bit more subbass depth and rumble compared to the TempoTec V6, which has the upper hand when it comes to the decay and authority in this area. The midbass region of the FiiO M9 sounds slightly more impactful and energetic compared to the V6 and shows in general a tad warmer tonality in this area. The TempoTec V6 has the slightly edge when it comes to the authority, layering and resolution in the lower frequency region.
The midrange of the FiiO M9 shows a warmer tonality and sounds also slightly fuller in the lower midrange. The TempoTec V6 on the other hand has the edge when it comes to the transparency and overall detail retrieval in the upper midrange region. Both devices do sound pretty lively and emotional in when I do listen to male and female vocals. However, the V6 is the DAP with the better grade of realism and naturalness. Instruments like clarinets, violins or pianos do sound more natural and rich when I do listen to them with the TempoTec V6.
The treble range of the TempoTec V6 offers a slightly better sense of extension, clarity and definition while both devices are pretty controlled in this area. Both devices are pretty successful when it comes to the separation and positioning of instruments and vocals. However, the TempoTec V6 has the slightly edge when it comes the depth and wideness of the stage.
The V6 is the first yet quite successful step of the company in to the world of Portable Android-based Digital Audio Players with its compact size, good battery live and decent sound performance. The V6 offers a clean, smooth and pretty balanced sound presentation with lots of power, thanks to the its good implementation of AKM’s Dual AK4493SE DAC Chip and a special designed audio circuit that comes with 2*OPA1612 + 4*OPA1688 Op-Amp’s. The Snapdragon Snapdragon 425 SoC is maybe not as powerful compared to the SD600 Series SoC’s, however it offers a fairly fluid UI experience and most importantly a lower power consumption, , which is a must have for a portable audio player on the go.
Pros and Cons:
- + Clean, Smooth and Balanced Overall Sound Presentation
- + General Detail Retrieval for this Price Segment
- + Good Battery Life (up to 12 Hours)
- + Compact Size & Decent Built Quality
- + Clean & Powerful Analog Output
- + Relative Fluid UI & Rich Software Features
- + Price
- – Only 16GB of Internal Storage that is shared with Android OS
- – Not the Sharpest & Most Vivid Screen on the Android DAP Market
- – Above average Bluetooth Latency in BT DAC Mode
Thank you for the Read!
SQ and technicalities wise, is v6 better than the Questyle M15/ RU6? All are in similar price ranges now. Although V6 is offering a lot here, SQ is more important for me. Pls point out any aspect which is superior in M15/ru6 over the V6, if any. Thanks. Very detailed review btw.
Hi Pavan, the V6 should be the better choice if you are looking for a devices that offers everting in a package.
BTW, the sound of the V6 and the M15 is pretty close in terms of detail retrieval.
I had the exact same question as Mr. Pavan Kumar above.
To hear that the V6 can match the M15 in terms of detail retrieval, while retaining naturalness, is very good news as the M15 has quite stellar detail and refinement. I do find the M15 to be more digital/analytical sounding than most DACs I have tried though, certainly more so than the Ru6. It really has that trademark Questyle crispy leading edge to notes.
What I would like to know further is if the V6 outshines the M15 specifically in terms of soundstage expansion? (Width, depth and height)
Hi Mozphet, the stage of the V6 and M15 is relative similar in terms of width and height while the M15 offers slightly better sense of depth. However, the main difference is the clarity of the background that the M15 offers, which is a remarkable plus point over the V6. Please note, its not a night and day difference. Cheers
Damn. I was pretty much decided for the Shanling M3X. Now I’m really not sure. Any ideas and/or direct comparisons between the two?
The M3X has a bit of an “unfair advantage”, too. Since I can get it in my country directly. The V6 on the other hand, I’d need to deal with the whole import process and costs. And it would get a lot more complicated to deal with any warranty related stuff. Worth that, or nah?
Scratch the “can’t get directly in my country” bit. Found a company that’s planning to offer them within half a month or so.
The prices translate into 375$ for the M3X, or 455$ for the V6
I might be able to get the V6 for slightly less than that if I import it, but the difference would be fairly small (20$-ish). I’d prefer spending a bit more and having the peace of mind of easy access to the “source” if any technical problems arise
That’s still an 80$ difference between the two tho. But the more I look into them the more it seems worth it. Might even be able to run my DIY balanced recabled 250 Ohm DT 770 PROs on the V6