Review - HZSound Heart Mirror Pro

Review - Tempotec V6

English | Español

Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 

The Tempotec V6 has been loaned to me by Cqtek of Hiendportable.com for me to try out. Cqtek already posted his review of the device on his web (here) so I suggest checking out his review which I haven’t personally read (I always try to avoid other reviews before testing something) but I know that he is usually very thorough in his reviews.

If there is anything that we (Cqtek and I) haven’t covered in our reviews, you can find out more about the V6 by visiting the official Tempotec page here: https://www.tempotec.net/

As always, I have no affiliation with the brand (or any other brand) and will try to remain as sincere and unbiased as possible in my opinions.


Intro…

The Tempotec V6 is a rather recent launch from the brand and it offers quite a feature rich DAP at a very reasonable price, at least in comparison to many other brands in the DAP world.

With native DSD512, MQA 16X, DXD and PCM 32bit/768kHz, it should cover almost any file format that you want to throw at it. It certainly hasn’t had any issues with any formats I have tried in my collection.

Based on Android 8.1, the main music player is Hiby Music, an app that will be familiar to many of you out there. However, as it is based on Android, you should be able to load just about any music app of your preference. Personally I don’t usually use Hiby Music, not because I have anything against it, but in this case I went with it as it was already available and I didn’t go through the installing/uninstalling of apps.

As far as other specs go, it runs on a Snapdragon 425 with 2GB of Ram and 16GB Rom, which should be enough to play music without issues but I’m sure you will be able to bog it down if you start getting trigger happy in the play store.

But anyway, let’s get on with the fun things…


Presentation…

There isn’t much to say in the way of presentation, it comes well packed inside a simple black box that sports the Tempotec brand an logo on the top.

Inside we get the player, a case to protect the DAP, a user manual and a USB to USB-C cable for charging.

Not a lot to get excited about here but enough to cover the needs of those hoping to open and enjoy the DAP.


Build and aesthetics…

The DAP is built from plastic, with glass on both the front and the back. At least I think it is plastic, it could be aluminium but it looks and feels like plastic to me. It does have a bit of a shaped bezel on the right hand side of the player, reminiscent of something from maybe Fiio, with a gold (or brass) coloured volume knob, but the rest is rather non-descript black with square corners.

Of course, if you are using the player inside it’s case, which I recommend,  then you are not going to see much of the black or the sharp corners, as the case will cover altmost everything except the screen, wheel and connectors.

There is a fair bit of weight to the player and I also find it to be a little on the large side for my preferences but this is something that each person will have their own feelings about. Obviously the larger size makes for a bigger screen, although there is around 2cm of real estate at the bottom that is not used for the screen (this area sports a V6 logo in silver).

As far as build quality, I don’t thinks it’s bad, especially considering the price, although I am not overly impressed. I feel that a lot of the Shanling offerings are more impressive (also in the aesthetics department) but that could be bias from my part.

Once inside the case, which is a dark british racing green (at least with this one) and pairs quite nicely with the gold knob, then it does resemble something that can maybe be thought of as little more “up-market”, although that is again something that is totally irrelevant.

All in all, I can’t really complain at the build and aesthetics but I am not going to gush over them either.


Functionality…

This section could go on for days as this is a DAP that is based on Android 8.1, therefore you can basically do with it whatever you can do with a phone or tablet (except make calls), how it will perform is a different story.

However, I am not here to give my opinion on it as an Android device, rather as a Digital Audio Player, so I am going to stick to the basics.

So let's start off with the hardware side of the player itself. We have the wheel located on the right hand side, serving as both volume and as a click button. The way that the wheel is located between the cutouts of the side means that it is only really accessible by using two fingers, one at the front and the other at the back. This also makes it difficult to turn the wheel more than a few millimeters at once, making large volume adjustments by the wheel difficult.

To assist with this, once you turn the volume wheel slightly, the volume bars appear on the screen and you can quickly drag the level to where you need it. This solution stops you accidently raising the volume while it is in your pocket, but does have its own drawbacks. First, if the screen of the player is off (which it turns off automatically after a set time, which you can change of course, it is Android) then turning the volume wheel doesn't turn the screen on. That means that to get to the volume bars on screen, you need to wake it by pressing the button or double tapping, then turn the volume knob slightly, then make the change on screen. If the device is in your pocket, well, that’s just not going to happen.

Why is this something I am complaining about? Well, I have a lot of music, from all kinds of genres and years, which results in many different production qualities and levels. I am actually quite fond of hitting “shuffle all” and randomly listening to tracks from the whole library. On multiple occasions I have found myself listening to a track that is mastered at a low level and turning the volume up, only for the next track to come on a blast at me until I get chance to grab the player, double tap the screen, turn the wheel and then drag the bar. Not a fun experience 😉

Moving on… below the wheel there is a light that changes colour to show what format of file is being played and also serves to show that the unit is on. There is cut out in the case for the light and I have to say it gives it a nice touch.

Below the lights we have the buttons that make DAPs special. From top to bottom we have last track, play/pause and next track. These work well although it is difficult to feel which button you are on, especially with the case on. 

Moving to the bottom of the player, we find multiple connections. From left to right we get 4.4mm balanced line Out, 3.5mm unbalanced line out, USB-C, 3.5mm unblanced headphone out and 4.4mm balanced headphone out.

It is great to see the line outputs on the player, being dedicated ports rather than just a setting in the menu to set headphone out to full and call it line out. I haven’t measured the outputs but I am sure Cqtek will have (so check out his review). They can also be set to fixed or variable, again, a nice thing to see on a device like this.

On the bottom and top of the unit we get nothing and on the left there is the micro SD Card slot. The card slot is a simple “push to click” without having to mess around with any little silicone covers. You could argue that the silicone covers stop dust from getting in to the socket but this is a moot point once you have the case on (there is no access to the SD without removing the case) and to be honest, I always have a card inserted into my DAPs anyway.

When I received the unit, I inserted a 256gB micro SD which had less than 1gB free, so about 9200 songs. The player took 8 minutes to read the songs and load them into the library, which is not bad but not exactly lightning speed either.

So, that is it as far as the hardware side of things. I am not going to go into the software side of things, I already mentioned (multiple times) that it is Android, so you can pick and choose your favourite player. You can also check out the Hiby Music app by installing it on your phone if you want to get a taste of it.

As far as the performance (running performance, not sound performance), it runs both Tidal and the Hiby Music app quite smoothly except for when I hit “Shuffle All” on 9200 tracks. In that case, when randomly playing the whole library on the micro SD, I found that I would get the odd glitch on tracks now and again, as if a packet was dropped. This didn’t happen when listening to individual albums (even with the same songs) nor did it always happen in the same places on the songs in question, so it leads me to believe that the player has some kind of struggle when using playlists that long (yes, I did try the same songs on the same SD in a different player).


Sound…

So far, I can’t really say I have been too excited about the V6 but here is where it gets much better, in my personal opinion of course.

Once the SD was loaded I grabbed the IEMs that I had on hand, which happened to be the Dunu Vulkan, and hit play. I was greeted with a sound that I can only describe as pleasant, detailed and highly enjoyable.

As some of you probably already know, my main source for IEMs is the iFi Gryphon and I must say that moving from the Gryphon to the V6 certainly did not feel like a let down. The V6 is not quite as warm as the Gryphon but it is by no means as sterile as something like the M2X which is my usual DAP (although I don’t actually use it direct, I use it more as a source to the Gryphon).

The V6 seems to have a very clear and detailed sound, while avoiding becoming too harsh in the upper ranges, something that other sources do exhibit on occasions. At the same time, it does not go too far towards the warm side of things. I actually like iFi as they manage to give a warmer sound without losing any sense of detail or becoming “vague” and this is a similar experience with less warmth.

During the time I have spent with the V6, I have tried a bunch of IEMs and I really can’t say that I dislike it with any of them. It seems to respect the individual characteristics of each IEM without pushing them too far one way or the other (bright or warm). I can’t say that I have found any of them to be a heavenly discovery of synergy but, again, none of them seemed to not work well together either.

I also decided to give it a run with some over ears, I mean, why not? 

I have to say that I was very surprised by the results.

The first headphones that I plugged in were the Hifiman Arya v3 (connected to the balanced output with the beautiful Viking Weave Cable that I still need to talk more about) and I really wasn’t expecting much at all. In low gain, at around 75/100, I was already at my usual listening level and the sound was very very pleasing. In fact, I can say that I did not miss the Gryphon at all for powering these headphones. Switching over to high gain, 50/100 on the dial was enough for me to sit back and enjoy music for a very long period.

As the V6 surprised me with the Arya v3, I decided to connect the Arya v2, which I find to be more demanding than the v3. Again, the result was nothing to complain about! I did need to raise the volume level but the overall sound was very pleasing and the V6 performed far better than I would have imagined from a DAP. Ok, it wasn’t quite up to the level of my desktop stack but I didn’t find myself wanting to switch over in order to enjoy the music.

In order to make things even more difficult, I switched over to the HD6XX. These headphones are not only 300 Ohms (making them more difficult to drive), they are also headphones that impress me on not too many devices. Yes, they sound ok on most things with enough power, but the magic only happens on certain devices I have tried so far. Just to make it even more of a challenge for the the V6, I also went with the SE output.

In this case I did find that I needed to be around 75/100 on high gain to get to my usual listening levels, which are not very loud. In fact, I could max the DAP out without it becoming uncomfortable but it was still quite impressive power for the SE output. As far as sound goes, well I wouldn’t say it was magical but that is not really a serious complaint as there aren’t that many devices that have wowed me too much with the HD6XX, and in DAP or even portable form, I can probably only list the iFi Diablo as one of them.

I didn't spend too much time with the line out of the V6, although I did some brief tests with the Atom and the THX789 being fed (both balanced and unbalance) and to bo honest, I have to say that I prefer the sound of headphones being fed directly from the V6. Yes the external amps did add extra power but that was only really necessary for something like the HD6XX and I didn’t find that the overall signature was that exciting.

That leads me to believe that the great sound of the V6 comes from the combination of the internal DAC and amplifier working together. Obviously I can’t test the amplifier section on its own, as there is no analog input, but I much preferred the sound straight from the device than feeding the external amps.

After playing around with headphones, I went back to IEMs and just enjoyed the performance of this DAP with anything I threw at it.


Conclusion…

As an overall package, I can’t say that I am overly crazy about the Tempotec V6. I find the device itself to be large and cumbersome, I don’t feel it’s beautiful or amazingly built, I am not keen on an Android based DAP, in fact, I would just personally say I don’t like it, if it wasn’t for one thing. The sound.

I really have to say that I am impressed by the sound this device puts out and how it performs with almost anything I have on hand. With IEMs I find it to be an extremely enjoyable listening experience, giving just a slight touch of warmth to things without ever being overdone. With easy to drive headphones, such as the Koss KPH40, it sounds great, and even with planar headphones it performs way better than I would have ever expected it to do.

I am very grateful for having the chance to give this DAP a listen, as it has reminded me of just how important sound is in the overall picture of things. Everything else becomes secondary when you can just relax and enjoy the music.


All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link
 
All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on achoreviews.squig.link/isolation

To comment or contact, visit any of the following social media platforms: