The Yin Lu Mei D200+
A Pure Music Powerhorse!
1. Equipments used for this review:
DAP: Yin Lu Mei D200+, Fiio X5 MK3, Zishan Z2
IEM: LZ Big Dipper, Rose Cappuccino MK2, Oriolus Fosteni
EARBUD: Shozy BK, Rose Masya, NiceHCK Graphene, KS500
HEAPHONE: Audio-Technica ATH50M, Sennheiser HD650
First of all, I would like to thank Jim from NiceHCK for giving me a discount in return for this review.
Here is the purchase link for the Yin Lu Mei D200+ on NiceHCK Audio Store;
2. Albums and track used for this review:
- Michael Jackson – Bad Album (Flac 24bit/96Hz)
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (DSF)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Dr. Chesky’s Binaural Album (Flac 24bit/192Hz)
- Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – The River (DSF)
- Metallica – The Black Album (Flac 24bit/96Hz)
- Mile Davis – So What (DSF)
- Daft Punk – Random Access Memories Album (Flac 24bit/192Hz)
- Kraddy – Be A Light Album (MP3 320Kbps)
- Stevie Wonder – Rocket Love (DSF)
3. Inside the Box:
The device comes in a simple white box.
The box contains the following contents;
- Micro USB cable
- AC Adaptor
- USB to Micro SD converter
- Some manuals in Chinese language
The device comes without any protection case or cable (coax/optical etc.). The good thing is the display comes with a pre-installed screen protector.
4. Design and Built quality:
In one word, a TANK!
The D200+ looks and feels like a tank. This device has a solid build quality with a mix of retro and industrial look.
The material used for D200+ is CNC engraved aluminum. This thing is well made no complains.
The design reminds me to the Hm901s, but the build quality of the D200+ is more robust.
The 2.2” TFT screen is located together with 5 physical buttons on the front of the device.
The screen has a resolution of 240*320 and the quality is average, in short nothing special!
The 5 physical buttons are dedicated for navigation. Up and down for next/previous song and navigate between de menus. The left button reacts as back button, the right for fast forward and the center button is for play/pause or confirmation.
On the top of the device is the power button, the 3.5mm headphone out, the 3.5mm Line-out and the volume wheel. Quite interesting is the 3.5mm Headphone out, it can react as regular SE (Single Ended) and also as Balanced out that can be selected via a switch that is located at the bottom of the device.
The volume wheel is quite responsive and sensitive, it is also well protected, but the protection style is a con, because it is hard to navigate.
On the bottom of the device is one Micro SD card slot, the Micro Usb port for charging, the optical out, a reset button and a switch to choose between SE and Balanced output for the dedicated 3.5mm Headphone Out that is located on the top o the device.
On the back of the D200+ is a back plate that is hold by four screws. The crews can easily disassemble to reach inside the device. Devices like the Fiio X7, Ibasso DX200 and the Hifiman HM901s have swappable amp cards. The D200+ on the other hand reacts more like a DIY device. You have the option to change the op-amps when you remove this cover and put some other model. This is a quite funny thing for peoples who like to play with the sound and output power of such devices.
Model No.: D200+
Op-Amp: 2 pcs x OPA2134P
Outputs: 3.5mm SE + Balanced (one jack for both connection types), Optical out, 3.5mm Line Out
Battery: 3.7V 3800mah
The D200+ has no internal memory so you need to put a Micro SD card in to the device.
I have disassembled the device to look inside the device and I think it’s well made. The welding points on the PCB are quite good and it doesn’t look like cheap manufacturing.
The D200+ has an AKM4495SEQ DAC under the hood, which is a brand of Akai Kasei Microdevices Corporation.
The AKM449x series is the flagship line of this company. It has found its way to many devices, especially in the last two years. Best examples are inexpensive devices like the Zishan Z2 (AKM4490), up to TOTL DAP’s like Astell&Kern’s AK380 (AKM4490).
The AKM4495SEQ is the best DAC right after the AKM4497 that can be found inside the D200+ Limited Edition that is in a stylish Red color, but sold only in China over Taobao.
The D200+ has no USB DAC function at the moment.
The D200+ has two Burr-Brown OPA2134P op-amps a brand of TI Texas Instruments under the hood. They are quite powerful and have low noise reproduction. I didn’t notice any noise or interference, while using some of my sensitive IEM’s due this review.
One of the main reasons I bought the D200+ is, that I love to use Class A amplifications. The second reason is the ability to change the op-amps. You have the option to change the op-amps and put any type of 8pin op-amps to chance the sound characteristics and play with the output voltage = output power.
As I said before, the D200+ is a powerful device but it can handle both sensitive IEM’s and power hungry Headphones. There is no his or background noises while using some Sensitive IEM’s like the LZ Big Dipper, Rose Cappuccino MK2 or Oriolus Fosteni.
7. Software and Interface:
The D200+ has a very simple Linux based in-house software. The GUI is very simple, but it is also easy to use. The only thing you can see on the screen while playing music is the Hi-Res Logo and the animated EQ bars, yeah quite simple and primitive
This device is for people who want a pure music experience. You have no online streaming options like other devices with Android operating system like the Fiio X5 MK3, Ibasso DX200, Sony ZX1 ZX2 etc. This is a pure music powerhorse!
The device has no EQ option, but has some of the AKM DAC filters you can select over the setup menu.
The software of the D200+ plus is very fast, it took only 30 second to read all my music files that are on a 128Gb Mico Sd card.
Firmware updates are also possible, the only thing you need is to download a zip file and unzip it to your Mico Sd card.
8. Battery Life:
The main disadvantage of a Class A powered DAP is the battery life. The battery inside the D200+ has 3 hour of juice if you listen DSD (.dff and .dsf) files, 3.5 Hours for regular Flac’s and 4 Hours when you listen to 320 Kbps MP3 files. That sounds quite bad, but this is the side effect of a power hungry Class A powered device.
9. Audio Formats Supported:
APE, FLAC,WAV, WMA, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, OGG, MP3, 32bit/768 kHz Bit for Bit. Native DSD Support (DFF, DSF, DXD) 32bit/768 kHz
10. The Sound:
PS: I have burn-in the device for approx. 200 hours before I wrote this review!
The first thing you will notice is the power and authority of this device. The D200+ can handle any type of genre and push the phones to its limits. This Chinese company did a great job with choosing the AKM4495 instead a Sabre DAC. It is on the warmer side of the sound spectrum but not too warm!
D200+ has a full bodied sound tuning. The Bass region is well defined and goes never out of control.
It is always there but doesn’t bleed in to the mids and to the highs. The warmth of the bass on this device gives the listener an analog like sound with bold notes. But keep in mind; this is not the type of analog sound that is too overdone. It has the right doze for my taste and I think that many people that are familiar with devices that uses AKM DAC’s will love it.
The subbass goes low and gives a good rumble. You can feel the power of this device in any song. The Rose Cappuccino MK2 is a good example to hear how well controlled and deep can go the bass with an IEM on this device.
BTW, the midbass have a nice impact that never goes out of control and what I love of this device is the authority, it is always there and keeps every sound spectrum in control.
The best matches are IEM’s that have not a big midbass hump and I think that neutral phones will benefit most from this sound characteristic. I loved how the D200+ handeled hard to drive earbud like the KS500 and in opposite the easy to drive Rose Masya.
If I compared the D200+ with the Fiio X5 MK3 that has the same AKM449X series DAC chip, I can easily say that the D200+ has better control and resolution in both sub- and midbass department. The X5 MK3 holds well against the D200+ but losses the control when it comes to speed.
The midrange of this device is extremely revealing and clean sounding and it’s also engaging and never painful or annoying. I love its presentation, especially in acoustic tracks, because it sounds so emotional and analog like.
The warmth that comes from the midbass gives the vocal and guitar strings a touch of body but in a good way. There is also no stress in the upper mids, that is a big welcome and a great well done!
The best parings with the D200+ were the Rose Masya and the Oriolus Fosteni, both male and female vocals sounded really good and emotional.
There is also enough space between the instruments so that you can hear each instrument flawlessly.
It is really hard to find a lack of this device because the resolution of the mids is the best I ever heard in this price range and I think that the D200+ is a hard to beat device due its effortless presentation.
If I compare it directly to the new Fiio X5 MK3, I can easily say that Fiio did a great job by choosing the AKM4490 chip and I think also that the X5 MK3 is a milestone for this company.
But why I say that? Because, I think that the X5 MK3 is the first device that doesn’t sound digital or harsh in the midrange. But again, the D200+ has the upper hand when it comes to micro details.
The detail level of the D200+ is great and I didn’t hear any stress and sibilance in the highs. What I find interesting is that the top of the highs is rounded to prevent harshness but it is well tuned, so that you don’t loose too much of detail.
The D200+ has one of the most beautiful and sparkly upper areas in a portable player that I’ve ever heard, it is really a joke to hear such a sound form a device in this price range.
For example, the Oriolus Fosteni is a little bit harsh in the upper treble region, but the D200+ has such a good authority over the song that it magically tamed this IEM.
Again, this device is not the ultimate detail monster, but it has such a good performance for its price point that is hard to complain. It can easily outperform many devices that cost twice as much!
If we compare it directly against the Fiio X5 MK3, I can hear the same level of detail. The main difference between the D200+ and the X5 MK3 is the quantity. The X5 MK3 has slightly more treble presence. Quality wise both DAP’s sounding great.
The soundstage of the D200+ is not the largest when compared to devices like Ibasso DX200 or the Hifiman HM901 that I have used before. But it is quite good especially for its price.
The imaging is accurate and all the instruments are having a nice separation with enough air.
The soundstage is wider then its deepness and the right and left channel separation is also quit good for its price point!
Compared to the Fiio X5 MK3 the D200+ has the same level of wideness, but the depth of the X5 is a little bit more, so that the X5 has a airy presentation.
The D200+ is for music lovers that want a pure music experience, lot of power and a bit DIY for a great price!