Thanks Carol from Kingrex for sending me review unit of Kingrex UD384 and Upower all the way from Taiwan.
First time when I read about the UD384, I am particularly blown by the fact that it support 32bit/384kHz playback, which is something that is really remarkable. What that even blown me more is that Kingrex is making an UPower (Which run on rechargeable battery that can promise cleaner power and better sound for the UD384), I really like their intention and intuitive, while I am a believer in clean power, I really hope the Upower will bring improvement for UD384.
Both of them are black small box that is quite small and solid, they are both tough and made together.
Kingrex Upower is like a battery pack or what we can say as a ‘power bank’ for the UD384, while battery has been said as cleanest power in audiophile crowd, I am indeed happy that Kingrex has this kind of intention. However, there is area that I don’t really like, Upower’s battery life is not really good, also charging time seems a bit too long, for an instance, charging time and battery life ratio is almost 1 to 1.
Besides, the biggest unsatisfaction that I have came through is you can’t charge the UD384 while using it, which also means UPower is not a power conditioner, it just purely act as a ‘battery pack’ for UD384. I don’t really like this idea, I don’t know about the technical stuff, but I am sure users must be more happy if it can be charged when in use. Battery life can last me around 10 hours.
UD384 with Upower
I have paired the UD384/UPower with iFi Audio iCAN and Firestone Audio Bobby, all connect with Charleston Cable Company UP-OCC Cables.
UD384 is absolutely a great sounding DAC, when combined with the Upower. First thing that is striking me is the really dark background, which also make every piece of instruments are clear and distinct.
A really dark and calm background is what struck me at first, there is not much DAC has this kind of ability, however, those are really near though. Audio quality is good and on par with those in similar price tag, it is a balanced and neutral sound signature, detail level is good and I don’t find anything is particularly missing, soundstage is not insanely wide/tall/deep but it is still good and forgiveable in this price range.
One of the good thing is music has attacking edge through UD384, it is not dull nor dead nor boring type of sound, I find myself liking the UD384 sound, with fast, dark and engaging sound signature. The music played in a good space, if I want to say, the vocal is not as spacious as some, sense of air is not as good as my Forestone Audio CustomCute, but other than that, it is a good DAC that most of the users will found happy with.
I like how it sound, but I don’t really like the way UPower served as a compliment to UD384. However, UD384 and UPower have faced some serious challenge from the cheaper competitor.
After I posted out the review of UD384 and the UPower, Carol from Kingrex has replied and answered me the reason why they designed UPower cannot be use while charging:
After look at your review, I think I need to answer the questions for your review.
1.U-Power needs 7 hrs for fully charge, then use 10 to 12 hours if you use UD384.
And battery life is more than 500 times charge and output.
You can charge when you are not listening, don’t have to wait for U-Power totally out of battery.
2. Why U-Power can’t charge and output in the same time?
The charge and output are different circuit, why?
Because what we want is a REAL PURE battery power,
If these two functions can act in the same time, that means they are in the same circuit,
then the output is possible to be disturb by AC power because you are charging,
Is this a real PURE battery power?
You can see the picture, U-Power has no any other distortion, that’s why we call it Real Battery power.