Cozoy is a Chinese brand that has only surfaced recently after the release of their well- received Shozy Alien WAV/FLAC DAP which has earned the company a number of supporters early this year. In an attempt to follow on the footsteps of its big brother, Cozoy have gone on to release the Astrapi – an extremely small device which doubles as both a DAC and AMP with native USB OTG support. It is a mystery how they were able to conceive a high quality DAC/Amp combo on a device of its proportions but it just goes to show that the company has a lot of margin to play with should they release a second version.
|Cozoy Astrapi Review!|
Box and design
What is interesting is that Cozoy have attempted to design the packaging for the very company the DAC/Amp was designed for – and that is none other than Apple. Credit to them though as the packaging is extremely elegant and like Apple, very minimalistic. The white touch gives it that clean look and aesthetically it’s very pleasing. The device is very small at around 5cm in length and weighs just 10 grams which even beats the very portable DragonFly USB/DAC. The design again is very elegant and you have to just hand it to this company for their design as the whole look comes across as premium and polished. This is evident from the brushed aluminium finish that the Cozoy Astrapi adopts. Accessories include a standard mini USB to USB cable, a lightning cable for Apple products and a normal USB cable. Again, just like the product it is impressive how the company managed to pack all of this in the small packaging they have chosen to go with.
Like the Audioquest DragonFly USB/DAC, there are no driver plugins required to be installed on a Windows or Mac computer as the Astrapi draws power from its source efficiently and can be played upon plug-in. Unfortunately Cozoy have not revealed the amp they have used which perhaps may deter other companies from imitating the genius of the Cozoy and further undercutting pricing.
While Cozoy are adamant that their Astrapi works very well for Apple devices, I have found in my testing that it works equally well on Android devices as well as a DAC which can bypass the internal circuitry of laptops and computers. I have also found that with larger impedance headphones such as those generally above 65 Ohms, the Cozoy does not have the juice to drive these cans to their potential.
To test the sound, I have consequently used IEMs such as the Rock-it Sounds R-50 and DUNU DN-2000.Immediately from testing with a Samsung Galaxy S6, the Cozoy Astrapi delivers a modest improvement over the S6’s internal DAP. The sound signature leans towards that of a warmer one and the internal amp raises the sensitivity levels so full volume is not needed for when listening to tracks on Spotify. The sound has a clean output and the soundstage opens up with sonic cues being further projected out into the dimensions of perceived hearing.The low-end spectrum did not have that much of a marked improvement compared to the S5. Whilst it did offer some more warmth and impact, the bass still remained fairly similar to an ASUS N56VM or S5 setup; that is to say, there were no drastic changes that could be discerned.
The midrange and upper midrange however are two territories that the Cozoy has definitely shown to work its magic. The sound is very neutral and uncoloured but at the same time oozes clarity and an organic body which is partially due to its emphasis on warmth. With IEMs such as the Rock-it Sounds R-50 which are known to sound partially thin, the Cozoy gives it a better body and a less fatiguing midrange. In contrast to the Audioquest’s DragonFly DAC, the midrange of the Astrapi is decidedly smoother and more musical than the analytical signature of the DragonFly. Though the DragonFly is excellent in precision rendering of notes, the Cozoy is certainly no slouch in this area and conveys a very decent portrayal of details. However micro-details can be blurred over at times and Cozoy should try and work a balance between a fun and analytical signature if they are to make it big.The treble is overly abundant in the Cozoy DAC and at times can appear brittle with the wrong gear. I’ve found though with the DUNU DN-2000, treble is very clear, extends well and is highly detailed. All of this is presented against a black background with little to no interference found. I preferred the Cozoy and IEM combo to the output from the ASUS N56VM laptop as there was clearly more transparency and a more detailed sound. A clear potential market for this device is when a small DAC/Amp combo is needed for portability purposes as well to provide a notable sound upgrade to your current smartphone or even laptop. The combination can also be used to make use of smartphone’s seemingly better interface for music playback as opposed to many mid-fi DAPs which need working on in terms of the iOS.
- Low power consumption with strong driving power
- Clean Line-Out activated at Max Volume
- Built-in DSP
- Software DSD
- External USB DAC Functionality (OSX + PC)
- Compatible with various Android devices through OTG
- Hi-resolution: 24Bit-96khz 192khz
- Headphone output: 3.5mm
- Impedance: 16-100ohm at 1khz loading
- Output vrms: 1.5Vrms max
- THD+N: 0.003% ,1khz 0dbfs
- SNR: 105Db AT 3.3V power supply
- Resolution: 24bit/192khz sampling
- System power current: 10mA-70mA max
- Power input: 1.8V-3.3V+-10%
- Output gain level step :3dB/step; 16 steps
- Headphone power output: 10mW max
- Plug type: digital lightning connector
- Cable length: 20cm
- Support USB 2.0
- Support connectors: Lightning connector .micro usb -micro usb ,micro usb-usb
- MSRP: USD 129
Overall then, the Cozoy Astrapi is a neat little device which breaks conventions through its dimensions alone. While there are still better options for a USB DAC for your onboard sound system, the Cozoy has the ability to do well for both computers and smartphones alike. Thus, it is an invaluable tool in the audiophile’s armoury for day to day use and on occasions where portability is essential. With that said however, I am not too pleased with the excessively long mini to mini connector that Cozoy have provided. While it can be overcome by a silicone band, the long cable defeats the purpose of having such a small device. Nevertheless, at $129 the Astrapi is a steal and does wonders for your current set-up. It should be noted though that with the right gear and synergy, the Cozoy really excels so it is important not to give up after an unimpressive pairing. With a lovely form factor and smooth design, the Astrapi is a solid product from the company behind Shozy Alien. I cannot wait for their next release.
Can buy over at: http://penonaudio.com/COZOY-DAC-AMP