Every once in a while, we encounter a new brand that leaves us so surprised, and so excited, about the trajectory of certain hi-fi products.
We had our first surprise this year with WiiM, an American-based company that delivered a capable sounding, easy-to-use, ultra-budget music streamer in the now-Award-winning Pro Plus. And now it’s the turn of Chinese-based Eversolo, whose new DMP-A6 music streamer impressed us just as much for its slick design, user-friendliness and fresh outlook on a niche hi-fi category.
Build & design
The Eversolo DMP-A6 is a well-made design in an aluminium chassis the size of a shoebox, just smaller than the Naim Uniti Atom. It makes a change from the full-width size we’re used to seeing from other streamers at this level, which include the six-time Award-winning Cambridge Audio CXN (V2) (yours for £799) and Arcam’s new ST5 (also £799). Going up against the CXN (V2) is certainly stern competition, but Eversolo proves it can play with the established big boys in many ways.
It’s a chunky but compact size that we think will fit into any hi-fi rack, and we like the brushed aluminium finish and its classy, minimal aesthetic. It’s the large LCD screen that dominates the front panel that is the DMP-A6’s main attraction, though.
Sources UPnP, DLNA, AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Apple Music, Internet radio, Bluetooth
Network Wi-fi, internet
Inputs Optical, coaxial, USB-C
Outputs Optical, coaxial, HDMI, RCA stereo, balanced XLR
Headphone output? No
Max file resolution 32-bit/768kHz, DSD512, MQA
Dimensions (hwd) 9 x 27 x 18.7cm
Not only is it a crisp, easy-to-read 6-inch (15cm) size, but it is also full colour and fully touchscreen. And it works a treat. The screen is a customised version of the Android 11 operating system powered by a Quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 processor, and it is a sophisticated machine. It does a fantastic job of mimicking the same experience you get when using a smartphone or tablet’s touchscreen, and there is so much information beautifully laid out for you to digest in one go. It never feels cluttered, either; the album art is lovely to behold in full colour, and being able to read the source, song and artist name, data rate, file type and file resolution all at one glance is a design triumph. You can even pause/play and skip tracks on the display, while all sources and tracks are easily selectable with a tap.
The thing that truly brings us joy, however, is how responsive and slick it is to use. It never once stutters or feels sluggish in operation during our time testing the unit. Picking sources, scrolling through playlists, and switching between menus are all done with the smooth swiftness of the best smartphone touchscreens.
The accompanying Eversolo app for iOS and Android mirrors all these features. Once again, everything is laid out logically and naturally, and it manages to offer extra features without ever feeling overwhelming. Eversolo blows all rival apps we’ve used for streaming products out of the water, such as Cambridge’s StreamMagic app, the BluOS app and DTS Play-Fi app. We find using the DMP-A6, both with the app and especially via the touchscreen display, intuitive to use from the second we get it powered on and set up on the network – the learning curve is pleasingly quick.
A simple volume dial with a subtle LED glow around it completes the front panel. We like how you can control the brightness of the screen and the LED dial ring in varying increments. It’s a nice little touch in a product full of thoughtful little extras. Another extra feature? You can choose various spectrum visualisers or VU meter displays to be shown on screen – or neither – to add a layer of interest and retro charm to your streamer.
Inside the Eversolo DMP-A6 lies a fully balanced preamp circuit and low-jitter dual clock system that promises “higher accuracy” when audio decoding. There are twin ES9038Q2M DAC chips, a third-generation XMOS 16-core processor for fast playback speeds, and a low-noise, high-quality switching power supply that aims to deliver the cleanest power to the audio circuits. This streamer can handle any file type in the highest resolution, with support for hi-res 32-bit/768kHz PCM files and DSD512 native playback, along with full MQA decoding.
The DMP-A6 is as feature-packed a streamer as we’ve encountered. There’s support for UPnP, meaning you should be able to stream from any product or storage device connected to the same network (it also supports SMB and NFS file-sharing protocols). AirPlay 2 and Chromecast built-in come as standard, and there’s extensive support for all popular music streaming services, such as Tidal Connect and Spotify Connect. Qobuz, Deezer, Amazon Music and internet radio are also natively supported, while the DMP-A6 is Roon Ready certified. Bluetooth 5.0 (with aptX HD codec) is also available for easy streaming from any device.
There are various other apps that are available, depending on your territory, that you can download and install directly onto the Eversolo streamer. We’re pleased to see BBC Sounds and TuneIn radio, but more interesting is Apple Music – that’s right, you can install and play from your Apple Music account directly on the DMP-A6, something we’ve not encountered before in any tech products so far.
Apple is famous for its closed ecosystem, so this integration in a third-party product is a surprise. Eversolo effectively lets you download the Apple Music Android app, and uses its own “EOS audio engine” (Eversolo's original sampling rate audio engine) that allows the DMP-A6 to output the original sampling rate from music services by bypassing any Android-based audio restrictions.
This means it can support the direct output of hi-res files from apps such as Apple Music natively. And yes, this means that you can play your Apple Music tracks in actual Hi-Res Lossless quality up to 24-bit/192kHz through the DMP-A6; you just have to select the right audio quality in the app’s settings first.
Around the back, you’ll find a host of physical connections. There are two analogue outputs (RCA line level and balanced XLR) and two digital outputs (optical, coaxial). Three digital inputs – optical, coaxial and USB-C – join an HDMI output (which also supports DSD multi-channel). There are also three short antennae included: two for wi-fi, one for Bluetooth. If you want to play hi-res music stored on your smartphone or laptop, you can use a wired connection to the USB-C input. The Eversolo can also handle music management when a CD ripper is connected to its inputs.
The DMP-A6 even has an internal 32MB of storage if you want to directly upload songs to the unit; you can also install an SSD card for greater storage up to 4TB. As a one-stop source machine, the Eversolo has all kinds of digital music file playback covered.
You can also customise each digital output’s settings, set the analogue and digital volume limits, change the sampling rate limits and various other settings in the app. But don’t worry if you don’t want to delve into all these options; the Eversolo can be as complicated or as simple as you need it to be. If you want to customise every single option for the way you have your digital library precisely organised, you can; if you want to leave everything on the default settings and simply ensure it plays the music you want when connected to your amplifier and speakers, that’s also fine.
We test the Eversolo plugged into our reference PMC Cor integrated amplifier and Epos ES14N speakers, as well as more price-compatible kit such as the Arcam A5 amp and KEF LS50 speakers. We play songs from various sources: hi-res files stored on our Naim Uniti Core server and laptop, songs streamed from Tidal Connect, Apple Music, BBC 6 Radio and more.
No matter how we play songs and from whatever source, the Eversolo takes it all in its stride. It’s a very taut, punchy sound. The streamer delivers music with solid, clear notes and good space around instruments – it’s an upfront presentation that sounds as efficient as it is to use. We find this approach isn’t aggressive or hard in any way at either side of the frequency range – it just wants to be noticed.
Play Circling by Four Tet and the DMP-A6 does a decent job of detail retrieval, with precise edges to notes and all the instruments relayed in an organised manner. SuperShy by NewJeans shines through in all its sparkly, K-Pop glory, while Marlon Williams’ smooth, melodious vocals come through cleanly on Strange Things – all in a rather pleasing way that’s nice to listen to.
There’s a good tempo to songs, but it could be more rhythmically agile and handle timing with a more deft hand. The piano notes on Light Of The Seven from the Game Of Thrones soundtrack stop and start with brisk clarity, but there’s just an ounce of textural nuance missing through the DMP-A6. We’d love to hear more of the resonant harmonics surrounding each piano note being revealed, while the rising tension and dynamics of the track could be more expressive.
Class leaders such as the Cambridge Audio CXN (V2) streamer show just how these elements are handled more organically and with greater subtlety to details and dynamics, allowing us to be gripped and fully emotionally invested in the music unfolding. Play the Jurassic Park theme, and we find that the DMP-A6 is somewhat tonally rather grey – it doesn’t quite distinguish all the different tonal textures and characteristics inherent to each instrument in the orchestra. The French horn, the sweet flute solo, the fuller strings and deep percussions – the Eversolo paints it all with the same brush. The Cambridge streamer shows a greater understanding of these musical elements – giving us a more engaging and authentic sound to enjoy. The Eversolo is an appealing, punchy listen, but just a few improvements to sound quality would make it the complete five-star package.
We’re still highly impressed by the DMP-A6 as a whole. It’s a shade away from its hi-fi rivals when it comes to sound quality, but its expertise in designing a complex product that’s fast, intuitive and simply a joy to use is unparalleled at this moment.
Rival streamers may sound more musical, but they could learn a thing or two from Eversolo’s excellent interface and app that puts user-friendliness front and centre. Products from emerging brands like Eversolo show just how advanced and interesting the future of hi-fi products can be, and if this is the way multi-functional products like music streamers can be, we’re excited to see more. If you’re able to try out the Eversolo DMP-A6 in person, we would highly recommend doing so.
- Sound 4
- Features 5
- Build 5
Read our review of the Cambridge Audio CXN (V2)
Also consider the Cambridge Audio MXN10