YinLuMei M400 Plus Review

YinLVMei M400 plus with Tin Hifi P2

The YinLuMei M400 plus that we review today is an external DAC/AMP designed to be used with headphones and earphones. The brand may be relatively unknown, but I was hugely impressed by their stand-alone DAP and, because of that, was too excited to try this product out. It turns out I was right, as this is a powerful little unit with fantastic sound.

Where can you buy the YinLuMei M400 Plus?

I would be shocked to find this in any retail store. Its a small boutique brand and I think for most people buying online will be the only option. Feel free to click the links below and check up to date availability and pricing.

What is the M400 Plus?

As mentioned, this is a headphone Amp and DAC that can be used with your computer or smartphone. It is a reasonably simple device and is well executed. Here are some stand out features that should get your attention:

  • The DAC used in the device is the AKM flagship AK4499, which has four sound channels and eight output channels.
  • Each channel is given an operational amplifier with 8 E-type tantalum capacitors providing a load of power.
  • It has an asynchronous USB chip-(SA9227)
  • There is support for QI wireless charging allowing you to charge the M400 Plus without connecting a cable.
  • Bluetooth 5.0 is present, allowing you to cut the cord from your device. It supports LDAC/APTX-HD/APTX-LL/APTX/AAC/SBC so you can stream high-resolution audio.

That is a pretty impressive spec list, and there is a whole lot extra going on inside in the way they use crystalloid timers, jitter stops, and more to produce the best possible sound. It seems like they have thrown the kitchen sink at the M400 Plus in regards to the architecture.

YinLuMei M400 Plus Build Quality and Design

YinLVMei M400 plus

There is something very Astell & Kern like about the M400 Plus. It’s a great-looking little slap. There is minimal branding on it, and I like the angular cuts towards the volume pot and how the small screen is aimed slightly upward to enable more comfortable viewing when on a table. 

That screed does not display any track information. It displays the current mode settings of the DAC in terms of gain and filter options. It will also show mode and battery symbols.

The front of the M400 Plus is the screen and then going from the left to right, you have lots of output options:

  • 4.4mm balanced output, 
  • 3.5mm standard output
  • Line out/Coaxial output
  • USB connector (used for input if you don’t want to use the Bluetooth)

The right-hand side gives you access to playback controls and control over the player’s gain and filters. Again from left to right, we have the following:

  • Volume potentiometer
  • Skip/Scrollback
  • Skip/Scroll forward
  • A multi-function button for play/pause as well as enabling Bluetooth pairing from a long press
  • Gain control button
  • Power button (long press) and filter switch quick press.

On the top, there is a simple USB-C port for charging and a microphone input, which was not evaluated in this review.

Is the YinLuMei M400 Plus easy to use?

YinLVMei M400 plus with Thieaudio Monarch Earphones

Yes, this is about as simple as an amp and DAC that is so feature-rich can be. Everything was intuitive to the point that most people will not need to use the instruction manual. Switching gains and filters was a single press on their respective buttons, and the volume pot works as expected, giving you excellent control over the volume.

Connecting to USB in wired mode was plug and play. Both my Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus and Pixel 3 connected instantly. We will also test compatibility with the new iPhone 12 Pro Max in the coming weeks, but I don’t foresee any issues.

Bluetooth was also fast and stable. A long press on the Bluetooth button enabled pairing mode whereby I then searched for it on my phone and paired within seconds. There were never any dropped connections, and the range was good up to 20 feet in the same room.

Does the YinLuMei M400 Plus Sound good?

It has been a long time since I have been so impressed with a product from this category. As a long term fan of the Ifi DSD and Chord Mojo external DAC’s, I was excited about this because I had experience with the companies A2 DAP. However, the truth is that this gives me the sound quality that can match any of my $1000 DAPs. I would happily put it up against my Cube or Shanling M6Pro however; one must consider those devices are all in one device, and you will need a smartphone or DAP to pair with the M400 Plus.

The sound of the M400 Plus will blow you away, and due to its sound quality, power and versatility, I think you will see it creep up a lot in future photoshoots for other headphones and earphones.

The sound is clean and full-bodied. There is zero hissing detected with any of my sensitive IEM’s, no matter the gain settings’ position. I always had a dark black background on which my music could be painted. Even my 600 ohms Beyers was driven to the fullest, so I have no doubt this is a powerful little unit.

It is a compelling wide-open sound with excellent transparency and detail retrieval. The soundstage is massive, and when used with earphones with a similar presentation, you get transported to a place where the grin will spread from ear to ear. I have been testing the M400 with several IEM’s and Headphones, but the standouts to me were the Campfire Audio Solaris 2020, the Tin Hifi P2, and the Focal Utopia. It’s a DAC/Amp combo that will only be limited by other chain factors and not by itself. Use it with suitable files and good headphones, and one could consider this endgame level in a portable setup should you not wish to own a DAP.

The filters were subtle, with six options to choose that from. I observed there were only subtle refinements to the sound, particularly in the severity of the roll-off. Most of the time, I used the gain setting two with the filter setting two as I found it the most versatile and pleasing to my ears, but I love the thought of having such versatility at the touch of a button.

You might wonder why I don’t talk about specific frequencies in-depth here, and that’s because a DAP or DAC shouldn’t be adding color. Maybe there is a touch of enhanced low end. The M400 Plus is very smooth and natural sounding. It might be the best I have heard in that regard, a very easy listen and one that at times will drop your jaw.

Is there anything I didn’t like?

Nothing to be too critical about.

YinLVMei M400 plus review

The M400 Plus price will put it out of the reach of most people. Going back and forth with my Lotoo Paw Gold and Astell & Kern Cube in blind AB tests with volume matching, I was at a loss. Despite very fine nuances between them, I would say that when using the M400 Plus, certainly at that level regarding sound. 

So that brings this dilemma on the value proposition. Is a $600-$800 DAP good enough? Is it worth going for one of the ultra-premium daps? Or, considering I already have a phone, can I get away with a stand-alone module like the M400 plus and have all the sound of the big boys at a lesser price?

I think it comes down to personal preference. I don’t see myself not using a DAP just yet, but the inclusion of high-resolution wireless audio on a device like this does have me reaching for it the majority of the time. I like being able to pocket the unit, connect via Bluetooth, and play away. 

Of course, one should consider the brand is relatively unknown, even in enthusiast circles. I trust if you buy from a reputable vendor like Linsoul or Amazon, you will have some protection over time, but at this early stage, I can’t comment on the long-term product support you should expect.

Finally, the unit does get lukewarm, not hot like it would overheat but enough that you can just about feel it in your pocket.

Yinlumei M400 Plus Review Conclusion

M400 Plus was a big surprise for me. It sounds incredible and worked flawlessly during the review period and beyond. Im going as far as to say this is one of the best products I have tested all year, and I’m excited to see the roll this company takes going forward. They have already proved their DAPs are special, and this is another superb offering. The features are well thought out, it’s super powerful and sounds simply fantastic. It is highly recommended to those who want to use their smartphone as their primary source of music.

Audiophile Onhttp://www.audiophileon.com
Audiophile On is a website dedicated to high-end audio products. With over 15 years as a reviewer, all articles are hand-written by one person to allow the comparison of products. Headphones, earphones, speakers, amplifiers, or DAC's we cover here.

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