New High-Res Audio Players Being Crowdfunded — Are They Worth It?

The Seiun Pro
The Seiun Pro

By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

Cyberdrive, Inc. is crowdfunding a new line of media players called Seiun Players from Cyberdrive. The major push behind the player is high resolution audio, rather than video, which has been a pretty niche market up to this point.

The player will come in three versions (via Indiegogo): The Seiun, Seiun Pro, and Seiun Pro X. The regular player will support uncompressed Hi-Res PCM Audio up to 192KHz/24-bit and will also upscale compressed formats to that resolution. Seiun Pro and Seiun Pro X will have a resolution of 384KHz/32-bit PCM. The Pro and Pro X will also support a 720 and 1080 capacitive touch screen, respectively. The higher-end model supports 4K out via USB-C to HDMI 2.

Here’s the campaign video:

The Hype Train

Products like the Seiun kind of make me hesitate. One of my professional hobbies is that of a recording artist, so I understand exactly what the problems this player is trying to solve. When you mix music, you tend to play it on as many different players you have access to, so it will sound good whether played through a bass heavy subwoofer, or tinny earbuds.

But a quality player that plays high resolution audio is only part of the problem. Vinyl is still one of the best commercially available formats to play music from but if you play it through terrible speakers, it will still sound terrible – just not as terrible as a highly compressed song played through the same monitors.

The biggest problem is perception of good sound. To get accurate music playback, you’ll want something like a pair of neutral headphones which is what I constantly use. What you’ll inevitably find, however, is that casual listeners don’t like the sound these cans produce. There’s a trend of bass heavy headphones that color and distort sound which the mass audience prefers rather than accuracy.

I’ve heard good things about Cyberdrive’s Forte earbuds, but nothing revolutionary. The higher resolution will sound better than your standard mp3 player, but the difference will be dependent on how developed your listening skills are. It’s even possible many listeners like the clearer sound less.

So sure, they’ll sound better, but it won’t be what the audio engineer intended. The software is still a slave to the hardware, and the listener is only as good as they’ve taken the time to develop their audiophile skills.

Click here to support this crowdfunding project.

Here’s a breakdown of the players:

The Seiun Player

Hi-Res PCM 192KHz/24bit Audio Player and a Hi-Res 192KHz/24bit Audio Recorder

• Our goal with the Seiun was to create the most user friendly Hi-Res Audio Player EVER.

• The Seiun can play uncompressed Hi-Res PCM Audio up to 192KHz/24bit (30 times more data compared to the avg MP3 file) through its 3.5mm Phone Jack.

• For those without a huge Hi-Res collection, the Seiun will also upscale compressed formats to 192KHz/24bit – so all your music will sound better!

• A built-in 500mAH rechargeable battery rated for 12 hours of continuous Hi-Res playback (with 44.1KHz that total jumps up to 30 Hrs). You’ll never have to worry about running out of juice halfway through the day!

• The Seiun has a Micro SDXC slot which supports cards up to 128GBs (not included).

• The Seiun also has a built in Hi-Res PCM 192KHz/24bit audio recorder so you can capture all your meetings and lectures in full detail.

• The Seiun is light, sleek and elegant. It will use a plastic body combined with protective glass for the top panel.

In the Box: Player, Charging Cable, User Guide

The Seiun Pro

• With a gorgeous 5.5” 720x1280px Capacitive Touch Screen the Seiun Pro is Portable Media player that out performs all its competitors.

• We’ve designed the Seiun Pro to be a ridiculously versatile

• It’s a 8-core CPU Portable Media Player capable of Audio Playback up to 384KHz/32bit PCM and Non-Native DSD256 (via DoP)

• An ultra-low distortion ESS Sabre DAC featuring a Hyperstream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator.

• The Seiun Pro features a USB Type-C connector which will function as a 4K HDMI (2.0) out connection

•The USB Type-C port will also serve as a SPDIF out connection supporting up to a 384KHz/32 bit digital audio signal(We are also testing a 768KHz/32bit mode, however this is yet to be confirmed)

• You will also be able to upsample non-Hi-Res Audio up to 384KHz/32bit.

• You’ll be able to connect to all your favorite streaming video services through the Google Play Store (i.e, Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Vimeo, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Crackle, HBO Go, Vudu & more!)

• The Seiun Pro also features a Bluetooth 4.0 Chip for added connectivity.

• The Seiun Pro will come with 32GB of built in storage and a Micro SDXC slot (for cards up to 128GB).

• We are working with our partners to integrate robust local and Global cloud technology through future software updates. So you’ll be able to access your collection anywhere you have a WiFi signal!

• The 3.5MM Jack will function as a Headphone Amp supporting up to 384KHz/32bit Audio out! (We are also testing a 768KHz/32bit mode, however this is yet to be confirmed)

• The Seiun Pro will have a 3000mAH rechargeable battery

• The Seiun Pro will feature an aluminum body combined with a sleek glass screen.

In The Box: Player, Charging Cable, Power Adapter, USB Type-C to HDMI Cable and User Guide 

The Seiun Pro X

• Seiun Pro X is the flagship product for the Seiun line, our goal is to make this a beast to be reckoned with.

• Featuring a powerful 8-Core CPU and the latest version of Android OS.

• It’s a Portable Media Player capable of playing Audio up to 384KHz/32bit PCM and Native DSD 256.

• It can also decode Ultra HD 4K Video out via the Type-C to HDMI (2.0) port.

• The USB Type-C port will also serve as a SPDIF out connection supporting up to a 384KHz/32bit digital audio signal. (We are also testing a 768KHz/32bit mode, however this is yet to be confirmed)

• With a spectacular 5.5” 1920x1080px Capacitive Touch Screen you’ll be able to view your favorite content on the go!

• You’ll be able to connect to all your favorite streaming video services through the Google Play Store (i.e, Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Vimeo, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Crackle, HBO Go, Vudu & more!)

• We are working with our partners to integrate robust Local homeserver and Global cloud technology through future software updates. So you’ll be able to access your collection anywhere you have a WiFi signal!

• An ultra-low distortion ESS Sabre DAC featuring a Hyperstream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator.

• The Seiun Pro X also features a Bluetooth 4.0 Chip for added connectivity.

• The Seiun Pro X will come with 64GB of built in storage and a Micro SDXC slot (for cards up to 128GB).

• The 3.5MM Jack will serve as a Headphone Amp connection supporting up to 384KHz/32bit Audio out(We are also testing a 768KHz/32bit mode, however this is yet to be confirmed) 

• Built on Android OS so you’ll have access to all your favorite games and content through the Google Play Store.

• You will also be able to upsample non-Hi-Res Audio up to 384KHz/32bit.

• The Seiun Pro X will have a 3000mAH battery

• The Seiun Pro X will feature an aluminum body combined with a sleek glass screen.

In The Box: Player, Charging Cable, USB Type-C to HDMI Cable, User Guide

About doddle 16509 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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