An overview of the player iHiFi 990 — solid Xuelin


2017-02-11 19:30:13




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An overview of the player iHiFi 990 — solid Xuelin

The Company Xuelin (the name is pronounced not as it seems at first glance) is one of the pioneers of portable HiFi. Their large and weighty blocks 812 and 960 at the time, acted as a more affordable alternative to top-end players, HiFiMan and Colorfly. As time went on, in the line of iHiFi appeared facing cheaper models from the primary and secondary segment. Recently went on sale iHiFi-990, the index of which hints at flagship status, let's understand, whether so it.

If players were evaluated only in appearance, this model clearly would be to become a leader: stylish aluminum housing, two control wheel, a colour screen at all, especially compared to the previous models of the company. A certain amount of skepticism is the study of toppings, originally, the player was conceived on the DAC from the PCM, this information is still sometimes runs in different sources. But, according to the developers, the PCM wasn't getting the sound quality that they wanted, so they used the solution, checked the WM8740 DACs that were used in their first models. To make «Feng Shui» max, DACs has set two course, one for each channel. The gain made on chips Analog Devices volume control — which is the standard chip PGA2311A. In General, the iron filling is a player clearly refers to the middle level.

Also on the middle level hints and the value (price at the time of the article), and nowadays it is the most that neither is the middle segment of the players, in which so many players.



  • Processor: JZ4760B @ 600 MHz
  • the
  • DAC: 2 x WM8740
  • the
  • OU: 2 x AD8610 + AD8397
  • the
  • volume control: PGA2311A
  • the
  • frequency Range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz (-1 dB)
  • the
  • output power: 510 mW @ 16Ω, 255 mW @ 32Ω, 98 mW @ 150Ω
  • the
  • Distortion: <0,003%
  • the
  • the Ratio signal/noise: >106 dB
  • the
  • memory Card: MicroSD up to 200 GB
  • the
  • Screen: and 2.3″ IPS 400 x 360
  • the
  • the
  • hours on a single charge: up to 8 h
  • the
  • Inputs: MicroUSB (mass storage, USB DAC)
  • the
  • Outputs: naushnikov 3.5 mm TRS, 3.5 mm TRS linear, combined with coaxial
  • the
  • Weight: 168 g
  • the
  • Dimensions: 112 mm × 61 mm × 16 mm

Packing and delivery

Know who earns the most money in the market Chinese audio? The owner of the factory black cardboard boxes, because its services are used by almost all other manufacturers equipment. No exception and iHiFi, collecting a full set: flat black box with a minimalist silver printing and embossed. Inside is the player itself as well as accessories; in addition to USB and traditional wiring instructions in the kit put the memory card in 32GB and wire-adapter for coaxial output (3.5 mm – RCA). Also, for some reason the box is «card of VIP client», I doubt she will give something to the potential buyer.

Not a particularly good tradition of the last time the player released a good cover, but the kit is not put, so those who want to protect the player from the hardships handheld device will have to fork out extra.


Design and control

Here's what Xuelin definitely succeeded, is design. Solid and weighty silver aluminium bar immediately conjures up the right associations and instill faith in the solidity. This time the design has managed to avoid odd moments of surprising (they all got the budget model iHiFi780), the player looks modern and adequate price range. Sometimes I have the impression that the 990 design was done by someone else, can't one company make simultaneously the 990 and the 800 model. It is a combination of a long, narrow buttons, this wheel one notch, this recessed into the housing the volume control... Competitors can learn from designer 990.

On the left side put three round buttons, two of them rewind tracks, and one suddenly is to turn on the player and lock screen. Where it would be logical to put there the button play/pause, but that didn't happen. Below is a memory card slot and reset hole. The top and right side have no elements of control, bottom-placed all the front-end connectors to two TRS output and traditional MicroUSB for charging and access to the memory card. It also allows you to use a DAC-mode.

The volume control is in the upper right corner of the case, it is recessed inside the player, rotate it through the Windows on the front and rear panels. To adjust the used encoder, the controller rotates without stops. Unfortunately, at the encoder then either saved, or simply miscalculated, so sometimes the rotation «one click» change the volume from 2-3 points. It is not critical, cheat strictly need the volume, but the feeling of premium player it slightly spoils.

Of Course, the main controls are located on the front panel. In the upper part of the screen, it is not the worst quality, with normal resolution and color reproduction, but the margin of brightness for bright, Sunny days it is not enough. The lower right corner is a large wheel with a single projection, it is used for menu navigation and playback screen shows the list of tracks in the current list playable. I don't know who in China came up with that wheel should do just that, but soon the world audiophile community will throw after the killer for this person. To the left of the wheel are three buttons, top is for play and pause, it works as up button in menu. Beneath it is a menu key and back button back.

Here lies the biggest problem with the ergonomics of the 990-go to put music on pause or remove it only in the playback screen, the remaining sections of this button will select the sub-items. Of course, everything can be used, but the rendering is very irritating.

This is what deserves good words, as is the menu. Can't say with 100% probability, but I had a persistent feeling that it was the work of the same team of developers that wrote software for Fiio — similar organization, and logic. Like it or not, but in terms of the player pleases with its stability and functionality. The menu — traditional 5 pips. First, as usual, returns to the playback screen, the second is to browse music by folders, and the third contains the library, the penultimate — sound settings, the latter keeps the other options. The menu itself is amusingly decorated in the form of a cassette, in which the menu navigation moving film. It seems that the Chinese designers came from the vinyl era and move towards the present.

Sound Settings traditional, there is a choice of gain, EQ, play mode, mode the second output (coaxial or linear), settings memorizing the volume and position of the current track and the playback mode without pause, is hidden under a custom name «Seamless playback». System settings also generally familiar with many other players, there is everything, from the choice of language (there is even a decent Russian localization) the possibility to choose one of 5 themes. The only thing not added in the firmware — the timer automatic shut-off, but I hope in the next versions will fix it.

In General, the player is stable, no crashes, not particularly slow, is friends with the Cyrillic alphabet, just a sample of how to write software for the iPods.

Another noticeable drawback of the player is working. In my test it worked 6 hours and 20 minutes, which is quite small compared to other modern devices, I think there are felt two DAC. Maybe the developers can improve this figure by using the firmware, but I'm not sure.



To listen To the device used the following headphones: , , , , , , and others.

In General, I am not a supporter of stories about «typical audio DACs», as it sounds is not a separate chip, and the device in General, and on the same chip can be very different sources, the same CS4398 is a glaring example. But 990 th sounds very close to how to describe the sound of DACs from Wolfson: accentuated midrange with a pleasant effect musicality, simplified bass and treble, slightly laid by the wayside. However, the detachment woofers in iHiFi corrected by increasing them quantitatively.

The Bass player accented quantitatively, it is not the fastest, due to this there is a small podgrzewanie on the busiest bass melodies. If the music does not emphasize the lower portion of the range, 990-y sounds quite nice, with a slight warmth that adds music physicality. Study of the textures is not perfect, but bad it can't be said, in General, «.».

The midrange is the strongest in the filing of this player, they have some coloration that is difficult to put into words. If you try to pick up some epithet, I would call them «iridescent». By the way, something like the color have top players from A&K, but this is a slightly different story, which I in the foreseeable future I hope to tell. If you try to formalize it will be a combination of light merging flow on the lower midrange and the same light accentuating higher part of the middle range. In sum, this gives the effect of a complete musical compositions, but without loss of micro-contrast. This flow is sometimes found in the Wolfson DACs on, and if the developers manage to beat the rest «features&...


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