Highend 2023 is over and it was a great highend with some exciting and long-awaited product highlights.
This year I've decided to present only a few really special products and innovations and to dedicate a small blog with pictures and impressions to each product.
It starts with a device that has been awaited by the community for a long time and has really taken its time:
The Lotoo Mjolnir
Anyone who knows a bit about Norse mythology knows what the Mjolnir or better Mjölnir is: The magical weapon of the god Thor that never misses its target. Or more simply: Thor's hammer.
So a big name that Lotoo have chosen for their latest flagship product!
So what is the Lotoo Mjolnir?
In the case of Lotoo, the Mjolnir is actually something like their audiophile secret weapon: A high-end desktop DAP. An all-in-one device at the highest level that, although not necessarily portable, is still transportable.
DAC and headphone amplifier in one.
The Lotoo will be Roon and Tidal certified, which means it can serve as a Roon endpoint and thus streaming services can be used. Tidal will run natively on the device with no additional hardware.
I don't want to go into too many technical details here, but the Mjolnir consists of the finest components that the market currently has to offer. The centerpiece is an ensemble of Dual AKM 4499EX DACs, which ensure adequate conversion here.
Since these DACs are very limited in number and difficult to obtain, the Mjolnir will only be available in a limited number of 600.
My special thanks go to Andy Xu and Pauline Yu from Lotoo, who took a lot of time to demonstrate the Mjolnir to all visitors and answer questions and allowed me to test a device extensively overnight. Thank you, Andy and Pauline!
Our friends from Lotoo told me that the production of the Mjolnir is extremely complex and that they only want to offer the highest quality in terms of workmanship and, of course, sound. You can see that from the fact that Lotoo really took their time. Prototypes were built, tested and tested again and no audio fair was left out to receive and implement customer feedback.
In July it will finally be time and the Mjolnir will be launched!
But enough of the preamble, let's see the good Take a closer look.
As already mentioned, the Mjolnir is a portable desktop DAP (digital audio player), so it is significantly larger and heavier than a conventional DAP for on the go. For a size comparison, you can use the display on the top, which roughly corresponds to that of a smartphone.
Nonetheless, the Mjolnir is compact and "lightweight" compared to "real" desktop components, and you can carry it in a bag or suitcase when traveling.
The Mjolnir is accordingly equipped with a battery that should easily last a whole day. The test device still had 30% battery charge in the evening and ran the whole day without a power connection - not bad!
If you look at the front of Mjolnir, you'll see a second, smaller display, hardware buttons for control, and plenty of headphone jacks:
3. 5mm, 4. 4mm, 6. 3mm, 4PIN balanced XLR - users really have every connection option for their headphones and in-ears that one could wish for.
Since the device is intended to be taken along, Lotoo includes an excellently made leather case with the Mjolnir, the significant material thickness of which should protect the device very well.
The highlight: The case has various flaps, so that the Mjolnir can also be used with a case without any problems. In addition, the device can be fixed to the case with screws to prevent it from slipping out.
Oh yes - a carrying strap is also included, which is attached directly to the device and can be used with or without a case.
At the latest when you look at the back, it becomes clear that we are dealing with a "serious" piece of technology at desktop level: The Mjolnir offers pretty much every input and output that the audiophile's heart desires.
How does it sound now?
So let's get to the most important thing: the sound. I tested the Mjolnir with the following IEMs and headphones:
- Unique Melody Multiverse Mentor
- Oriolus Traillii
- Noble Audio Ronin
- Spirit Torino Valkyria
Even the first bars of my testing playlist are an ear opener: The sound of the Lotoo Mjolnir impresses immediately with its incredible clarity and resolution. The amount of detail presented to you is overwhelming at first - you actually have to get used to it.
The second thing that stands out is that despite extreme detail, the Mjolnir never sounds "sharp" - sibilance etc. are absolutely not an issue!
There is also excellent channel separation, a realistic stage and a wonderfully textured, controlled and fast bass that really leaves nothing to be desired.
The best word I can think of at this point is "reference". Reference in the sense that the Mjolnir reproduces the music as genuinely as possible: Extremely natural without exaggerations and tricks - yet highly musical and rousing.
Reference but also in the sense that this device, like the "Lotoo Paw Gold Touch" before it, could end up in recording studios and the laboratories of headphone manufacturers as a workhorse, because the beautiful exterior of the Mjolnir indicates its origins in the professional sector close.
For those who didn't know: Lotoo got their name in professional and professional use. studio space before they started making consumer products.
By the way, we're talking about the absolute high-end studio area here! Lotoo are even suppliers for some extremely well-known international manufacturers, which I am unfortunately not allowed to go into further here. If you take a closer look at the Mjolnir, you might notice certain similarities to other devices that are no coincidence. 😉😁
But I digress, sorry.
As the name suggests, the sound of Mjolnir can be summed up in one simple word:
The Lotoo Mjolnir offers sound and processing at a level that is otherwise reserved for at least equally expensive (or more expensive) desktop components while remaining compact and portable.
This is a complete solution for anyone looking for an all-in-one device for their headphones and in-ears that takes up little space, is portable and yet does not require any compromises in terms of sound, performance and connectivity.
When testing with a wide variety of in-ears and headphones, another advantage of the Mjolnir revealed itself: No matter which headphones I used, the Mjolnir got the absolute best out of all devices. Not every source and not every headphone harmonize, but that doesn't seem to be a problem with the Mjolnir - great!
"The Lotoo Mjolnir is already the most exciting hi-fi/head-fi device of the year for me and I can't wait to hold it in my hands. "
The Mjolnir is expected to go on sale in early July and of course it will be available from us at the best possible price!