Music

Colorfly portable music player takes Hi-Fi on the road

Colorfly portable music player...
The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro is the first portable player capable of handling 24-bit/192kHz resolution audio files for a full, rich, and involved listening experience
The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro is the first portable player capable of handling 24-bit/192kHz resolution audio files for a full, rich, and involved listening experience
View 17 Images
The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro sends the source signal through eight audio enhancement stages before it's released to the listener
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The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro sends the source signal through eight audio enhancement stages before it's released to the listener
The electronics are encased in CNC-machined North American Black Walnut
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The electronics are encased in CNC-machined North American Black Walnut
The Colorfly motif on the front of the Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro is hand-carved in a temperature- and humidity-controlled workshop
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The Colorfly motif on the front of the Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro is hand-carved in a temperature- and humidity-controlled workshop
The combination of hand-carved engraving and real wood ensure that no two players look exactly alike
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The combination of hand-carved engraving and real wood ensure that no two players look exactly alike
The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro is the first portable player capable of handling 24-bit/192kHz resolution audio files for a full, rich, and involved listening experience
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The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro is the first portable player capable of handling 24-bit/192kHz resolution audio files for a full, rich, and involved listening experience
The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro music player is home to some top notch tech with one purpose - to deliver audiophile-pleasing, Hi-Fi-quality audio
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The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro music player is home to some top notch tech with one purpose - to deliver audiophile-pleasing, Hi-Fi-quality audio
The ALPS volume slider has been modified to Colorfly specification and shown to have a less than five percent error rate over 1,000 hours, that's 15 percent lower than the manufacturer's own official rates
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The ALPS volume slider has been modified to Colorfly specification and shown to have a less than five percent error rate over 1,000 hours, that's 15 percent lower than the manufacturer's own official rates
The high end heart of the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro
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The high end heart of the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro
The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro digital music player
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The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro digital music player
An OLED display is joined by deliciously old-school physical buttons and sliding volume pots on the front of the player
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An OLED display is joined by deliciously old-school physical buttons and sliding volume pots on the front of the player
Close up of the hand-carved motif
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Close up of the hand-carved motif
Designed from the ground up to deliver high quality audio
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Designed from the ground up to deliver high quality audio
The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro digital music player
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The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro digital music player
Hi-Fi sound reproduction in a portable music players - the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro
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Hi-Fi sound reproduction in a portable music players - the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro
An OLED display is joined by deliciously old-school physical buttons and sliding volume pots on the front of the player
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An OLED display is joined by deliciously old-school physical buttons and sliding volume pots on the front of the player
The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro digital music player
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The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro digital music player
The ins and outs take the shape of 3U Gilt RCA connections for SPDIF connections, a 3U Gilt 6.3mm audio jack, a 3.5mm jack, a USB port and a mini-CD card slot
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The ins and outs take the shape of 3U Gilt RCA connections for SPDIF connections, a 3U Gilt 6.3mm audio jack, a 3.5mm jack, a USB port and a mini-CD card slot
View gallery - 17 images

The smartphone has quickly become an essential part of modern living. It's a powerful portable computer, a high resolution camera, and a mobile communications center. However, if you're of the school who thinks that just because such a device can also play music, there's no need to spend good money on a separate audio player - the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro may well be the dedicated music player to change your mind. Hidden within a gorgeous walnut outer shell with hand-carved motif and controlled by deliciously old-school physical buttons and sliding volume pot, the black circuit board heart of this music player is home to some top notch tech with one purpose - to deliver audiophile-pleasing, Hi-Fi-quality audio.

Although MP3 players had been around for at least ten years when Michael Wan had his audio revelation while enjoying a Wagner concert, they've made music portable at the cost of audio quality. Even players highly regarded for their audio reproduction like Apple's iPod, Sony's Walkman and Cowon's J3 do not offer the kind of listening experience common to high end Hi-Fi systems, so Wan's team of audio enthusiasts set about trying to right that wrong.

Many portable music players available at the moment make use of a single chip comprising an MPU (processor), DAC (digital-to-analog converter) and an output amplifier - which can serve to strip away some of the vitality and richness of the audio. The audio files handled by such devices tend to max out at the 16-bit/44.1kHz range, well short of Hi-Fi quality.

The high end heart of the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro
The high end heart of the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro

The Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro on the other hand sends the source signal through eight audio enhancement stages before it's released to the listener - the end result being the first portable player in the world capable of handling 24-bit/192kHz resolution audio files. Wan says that it's the high end CIRRUS LOGIC CS4398 DAC - as used in Hi-Fi systems by Marantz and Chord Electronics - that gives the C4 its incredible decoding prowess, dynamic range of up to 120dB and signal-to-noise ratio of up to 108 dB (many Hi-Fi systems deliver less than 90 dB) for higher fidelity and voice quality and ultra-low distortion.

The DAC is joined by an ADI AD823 chip, the somewhat large SICMIC II Black Gold Hi-Fi capacitors (said to make for a better tone), the 0805 SMT resistor, separate amplifier chips for the left and right earphone signals, and something called the JitterKill circuit. The latter consists of a C4 clock generator, TCXO high-precision crystal Oscillators and - for the first time in a portable player - the CIRRUS LOGIC CS8422 SRC (sample rate converter) that results in a jitter rate so low as to be negligible (well, five picoseconds if you simply must know).

The onboard SRC can take source audio files sampled at 16-bit/44.1kHZ and greatly reduce high frequency distortion by up sampling to 24-bit/192kHZ output.

An OLED display is joined by deliciously old-school physical buttons and sliding volume pots on the front of the player
An OLED display is joined by deliciously old-school physical buttons and sliding volume pots on the front of the player

The ins and outs take the shape of 3U Gilt RCA connections for SPDIF connections, a 3U Gilt 6.3 mm audio jack, a 3.5 mm jack, a USB port and a mini-SD card slot. The C4 can support simultaneous connection of 3.5 mm and 6.5 mm earphones, and with a drive power of 13.3 mW/200mA can run a set of 300 ohm cans. There's also 32 GB of onboard flash memory to store your collection of high quality WAV, MP3, FLAC and APE music files.

The electronics are encased in CNC-machined North American Black Walnut - inspired by the preferences of Rolls Royce and BMW engineers - with a hand-carved engraving on the front, ensuring that no two players will be exactly alike. The somewhat old-fashioned user interface consists of physical buttons, a simple OLED display and an ALPS volume slider (which has been modified to Colorfly specification and shown to have a less than five percent error rate over 1,000 hours, that's 15 percent lower than the manufacturer's own official rates).

First demonstrated at CeBIT 2010, the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro is now available direct from the manufacturer - or if you live in the UK, Advanced MP3 Players has just announced that the player has been added to its portfolio at a cost of GBP 549 (that's about US$852, although there's currently no U.S. availability shown on the manufacturer's website).

View gallery - 17 images
4 comments
mrhuckfin
I was drooling over this tell I got to the price! I would LOVE to have one but it cost more then my 1st car! LOL! :-)
Renārs Grebežs
Yeah, this is something I would give as a present for myself but the price is way high. :(
John in Brisbane
Yeah it\'s exxy but considering the quality, I\'d definitely consider one of these. It looks to be built for a long and happy life too.
WrightAllen
It sounds amazing and provided with extra features..Would like to take advantage of it.