Extreme Makeover of LPG!
PROS: optimized OS with 2sec boot up, duplex LDAC Bluetooth, Parametric EQ II, solid build quality, hardware up-sampling, SE and BAL Line out, reference quality sound, high level of config in Settings.
CONS: price, SD card only and no internal storage.
The product in this review was provided to me on loan for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.
Please refer to my original Lotoo Paw Gold Touch Introduction post here with a detailed slide show about the product.
One thing I would like for people to be aware of, LPGT purchased in some of the countries in Asia (S. Korea, Japan, and Mainland China) will not have English language as an option, while others (SGP, HK, etc) will have it. This only affects units purchased in Asia, so please make sure to check with your distributor/retailer before making a purchase, especially if you are ordering from overseas or asking someone who is traveling in Asia to get one for you.
It has been exactly 3 years since I reviewed the original LPG, Lotoo’s flagship DAP which has been introduced almost four years ago and still has a cult following by many audiophiles and reviewers who continue using it along with the latest A&K and Sony flagships. So, what made this DAP to stand the test of time? There are many factors, such as optimized custom OS, build like-a-tank compact design, powerful output to drive variety of headphones and earphones, and its well-known Parametric EQ. But regardless of its relevance, sooner or later the DAP will start showing its age, especially when it’s a non-touch screen device with audio playback only functionality.
I heard rumors about Touch screen LPG version back in 2017, even with a possible release date before Xmas of that year. Don’t know exactly what happened and why it was delayed, but I assume that product wasn’t ready for prime time, or maybe they decided to revise the design. Lotoo usually doesn’t spoil us with many releases, and seems they take their time to get it right, to make it last, to futureproof the design. Even after LPGT announcement back in April of this year and showcasing Touch at various global audio shows, only now they are rolling out a global release since the firmware is finalized and all the promised features are implemented and thoroughly tested.
I did get a little head start with Touch when I had the opportunity to play with a loaner from MusicTeck, and it was enough for me to form a solid opinion about LPGT sound performance and functionality. Writing a full review takes time, and ever since posting about LPGT in April when I shared slides from their product introduction, I have been flooded with questions if I have any updates. Thus, I would like to start off with detailed first impressions Review which I’m going to update and to expand moving forward when I’ll receive a longer-term review sample. Also, please make sure to read GUI section of the review since the depth of Settings in this DAP is like nothing I have seen before, and I took a lot of screenshots to cover every detail.
* now with an opportunity to test another review sample of LPGT, I added Pair up section and updated Sound analysis section.
Unboxing and Accessories.
I still remember LPG unboxing experience, unfolding the origami-like silver cover and trying to figure out how to open the box with its swing-out compartments. LPGT unboxing is more straight forward while still maintaining its premium level. Finally, it has the “golden touch” with a golden sleeve cover featuring their signature Apollo Sun God pattern.
Inside you will find all the essentials with a manual, a pair of tempered glass screen protectors (one was included as a spare), a cleaning cloth, and a premium USB/USB-C braided cable. My favorite accessory was a premium leather case.
The included leather case fits LPGT like a glove, enhancing the grip, and protecting from scratches and minor drops. The case covers SD port at the bottom and keeps USB-C charging/data port open. It also covers the playback/power buttons on the right side with an easy to feel indented outline/shape around the controls. The top of the case is open, giving full access to Headphone/LO ports and the golden wheel.