Disclaimer: In shooting advertising imagery for Cozoy, I scored the TAKT used in this article. I had to spike-mount it to a hovering board in order to keep the background out of the photograph. I don’t think Cozoy would want it back anyway. Which is to say: Cozoy are a client of mine. Make of that what you will.
Preamble: Cozoy have grown up. Neither TAKT nor REI spit mad Astrapi-like hiss from the headphone output. They are stable, solidly made, and, if you like well-machined metal, beautiful. Both also play to the low volume requirements of sensitive-eared listeners, yours truly included.
TAKT adds a volume rocker to its play/pause button, and slides perfectly into the lightning port of a modern iDevice. The rocker is a bit frustrating to use, but then frustrating hardware interfaces are an audio maker pastime.
TAKT hisses slightly more than does REI, and it doesn’t measure quite as well. But it certainly outperforms the iPhone 6, 5, SE, and 7, while maintaining similar output power. It performs well enough that I can’t recommend using an outboard amp. And, at iPhone volumes, it keeps up with some of the best DAPs out there, loaded or not. According to Oyaide, TAKT is limited to the playback of 16/44 files, but it played back 24/44 files, the results of which are borne out by the below.
Source: iPhone SE
ADC: Lynx Studio HILO LT-TB
Computer: 2012 27" iMac
Cables: 1,5m Hosa Pro 3,5mm stereo to dual 3-pin XLR (around 8$)
NL - no load
SM2 - Earsonics SM2
ES7 - Audio Technica ES7
DT880 - Beyerdynamic DT880/600
24-bit TARGETS and loads @ +0dB (volume matched to the iPhone 6).
24-bit results @ +0dB (volume matched to the iPhone 6).
TAKT is better in every way than Astrapi, which it ostensibly replaces. REI is better still, nearly load agnostic, but the differences between the two aren’t as big as their chassis might otherwise suggest. TAKT is awesome.