Packed and Loaded!
The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.
As I already mentioned in my previous reviews, the modular design of Cayin N6ii opened the door to endless possibilities of DAC/amp combinations, starting with the first A01 module that implemented AKM AK4497 DAC, followed by T01 with TI’s PCM1792A paying homage to original N6, and then E01 with ESS flagship ES9038Pro DAC and selectable Class A and AB amp outputs. Spoiled by this variety, some were speculating what could be next, and once again nobody anticipated the update to the previous E0x (ESS DAC) design.
But regardless if it is another module “letter” or incremental update to existing one, seems like Cayin is trying to introduce something new with every motherboard release. And with each of these new audio motherboards, feels like I’m writing about a new DAP with a different DAC and unique amp architecture, in some cases making it hard to decide which one is better because they bring something different to the table. After spending a month with E02, I would like to share what I found, and hopefully help you decide which card is right for you.
Unboxing and Accessories.
Keeping it consistent with my review format, I always like to include unboxing/accessories section, even so in this case unboxing experience is very similar between the modules.
The module arrived in a compact black box with a foam cutout to keep E02 secure during the shipment. When you remove the module, keep in mind there is a protective rubber cover over the connector, and you will need to remove it before inserting E02 into N6ii.
Also, this time I was happy to see that a black protective tape sticker was finally removed from inner side of the module. I mentioned in my previous review, the sticker made the fit very tight, and functionally this tape sticker wasn’t even necessary. But regardless, it was still included in the box by itself.
Furthermore, included were 4 extra screws, inside of a small plastic capsule like in E01, instead of being stuck into the foam like it was in T01 box. A premium colorful screwdriver with Torx T5 bit was provided as well. I don’t think everybody has Torx bits, so it is a good idea to include one as part of the accessories, and also a manual with detailed instructions how to remove and replace the module.