Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo: iPod/iPhone/iPad DAC, a class of it’s own

When In Manila and you want to be a full fledged audiophile but also want to be mobile at it, then there’s no other better solution that I could think of than having an iPod that could store all your music in their spacious memory and good user interface and have a DAC (digital to analog converter) turn your collection into it’s full bitrate glory before passing through an amp and through your earphones/headphones. Only very very few companies have been able to do create a DAC that is portable and that bypasses the internals of an Apple device, and I’m betting that Cypher Labs does it the best! They have done it with none other than the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo. The¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo simply connects to your Apple device (iPod/iPhone/iPad/iTouch) and bypasses the internal amp and feeds the full bitrate glory of your music to its very own ultra famous and premium quality Wolfson DAC. Giving you the best possible quality of music you can get from your Apple device, EVER! Definitely EARGASMIC, I tell you.

 

 

 Always a fan of that brushed metal finish.

 

 

 

Build/Packaging: The Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo comes in the same packaging and form that my previous review product, the ALO audio RxMK3-B had. Cypher Labs and ALO audio are somewhat brother companies and also, the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo and the ALO audio RxMK3-B were made to go together. As well as the older versions of the Rx series portable headphone amplifiers. So to say that they were meant to stack. And they definitely do stack together perfectly! From form factor to the sound!

Going back to the packaging of the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo, it comes in the same rectangular box that the ALO audio RxMK3-B had but with a different design. Upon opening the box, you get the exact same style of the Rx amp, which is because the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo sits right at the top upon opening, and the chargers and rubber bands for stacking and for binding a player to the DAC is under the 1st layer.

On the build of the¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo, it also has the exact same dimensions as the ALO audio RxMK3-B and the Rx’s previous versions. Like I said, they were meant to stack together and I just love the design of both. The¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo is likewise, built like a tank! It looks heavy but it’s not that heavy and is comfortable to walk around simply being held or inside your bag. Even with the¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo stacked to the RxMK3-B, it’s not that heavy to be such a hassle to carry around. I also noticed that the dimensions of the DAC are very ideal, since you can band an iPod or iPhone on top of the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo¬†and be able to use your device without the hassle of an awkward hold of them together. Compared to the Furutech ADL Cruise that I also have, which has a curved body that makes it annoying to use my iPod when banded together with the amp.

 

 

 Back part of the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo. Simple and nice power switch.

 

 

 

I also liked how the¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo had it’s label and website printed just beside the USB input. Pretty stylish and I actually think that it would look better with those printed than not. I also love the built of the USB input by the way, when I plug in my ALO audio SXC USB LOD (line-out dock cable) for Apple devices in, they feel very very sturdy, no flimsy parts here. I’m pretty OC about female plugs with my audiophile gears since they are harder and more expensive to replace than the male plugs, so this is a +1 to the¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo again. Just incredibly well built! Built like a tank, inside and out!

 

¬†Label fits the design well. It’s like a beautiful tank!

 

 

 

The¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo also, comes with 3 rubber bands (yay, more rubber bands for my audio rubber band collection!), an Apple device LOD (line-out dock) cable, and the charger. The Apple device LOD cable is essential to use your iPhone/iPod/iTouch/iPad with the¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo, since the¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo‘s input is only through USB since this is its main purpose as a DAC. I got the separate ALO audio SXC AlgoRhythm Solo interconnect combo (iPod LOD + interconnect) from ALO audio to use with the¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo and the RxMK3-B as a stack. I’ll give their improvements from the included stock iPod USB LOD as well.

 

 

 The First half of the SXC interconnect combo. Running from my iPhone to the AlgoRhythm Solo.

 

 

 

Sound Quality:

  • Wolfson digital-to-analog converter
  • Decryption of the Apple USB output (not a “pass through” of the line-out)
  • Asynchronous mode USB to SPDIF conversion
  • Bit-perfect digital audio from Apple iPad, iPhone or iPod devices
  • 1/8″ stereo analog output and RCA digital output
  • Li-Ion battery – AC switching is totally isolated
  • Portable design with short and clean signal paths
 

Yes, the exciting part once again! Makes me want to breathe fresh clean morning air as I write and listen to the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo. Just very very exciting! As you might know, you have to stack the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo to an amplifier to use. So I used the ALO audio RxMK3-B headphone amplifier, which was actually made to stack with the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo, for the review. My last review was about the RxMK3-B amplifier so you might want to check how great it is as well.

 

If this was a sandwich, it’d probably be the best burger in town!

 

 

 

Going back to review the¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo stacked with the ALO audio RxMK3-B playing through my Sennheiser HD598 headphone and Sony XBA-3SL triple balanced armature in-ear earphones, I noticed how each and every single note and detail playing had this very full bodied sound. Oh my, this is just incredibly very emotional and intimate sounding. It makes you feel like you are inside the music itself. Every single note has become fully bodied and had weight, no light or unnoticeable notes at all. The big and expansive sound of the RxMK3-B had even become much bigger and wider. The length and depth of the soundstage is incredible. The music is layered perfectly and the positioning of the instruments are noticeable. No instrument will feel like it’s just playing inside your head or beside your ear, every instrument is positioned as if you were at the theater hall itself. I cannot describe how beautiful the soundstage is. This is so good! Even with me sitting beside a wall, I can feel the music stretching out far into the next room with extreme detail and clarity! All frequency extensions are perfect. The bass doesn’t get muddy at all or goes into the mids or highs.

Having the ALO audio SXC interconnect combo being used for the iPod to Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo, and for the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo to the ALO audio RxMK3-B, adds so much more sparkle to the highs and gives a more aggressive tone to the sound. Separation of instruments are top notch! Even a single triangle or bell sound is so intimate and full bodied. The whole stack is just very emotional, I love everything about the¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo! The mids/vocals are thick and lush, I might even cry when listening to emotional songs with these. Incredible! You definitely have to try this and even have it if you have the budget, or if you’re a serious audiophile. You just have to, period! The Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo retails for $579.00 and it is a very worthy product for the price. There are some other very few iPod DACs as well made by other companies, but through my experience, this is the best! This has the most clean and most balanced signal against those other iPod DACs.

 

¬†And here’s the other half of the ALO audio SXC interconnect combo for the AlgoRhythm Solo.

 

 

 

For me, the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo is the proprietor for full mobile High fidelity experience. It is the king of the mobile DACs. If you have the budget and the dream for a well fortified mobile Hi-Fi experience, then this is the golden ticket. Against the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo, your argument is invalid.

¬†The Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo stacked with the ALO audio RxMK3-B. Cue in “Perfect Combination” song.

 

 

 

You can purchase the¬†Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo from ALO audio’s website at: www.aloaudio.com
Or from Cypher Labs’ website at: www.cypherlabs.com

You can follow Cypher Labs on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CypherLabs 
and on Twitter: @cypherlabs

 

 

 

 

Cypher Labs

 

 

 

Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo: iPod/iPhone/iPad DAC, a class of it’s own

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