Home Review Kinki Studio – CHoco Sound – EMEI integrated amplifier

Review Kinki Studio – CHoco Sound – EMEI integrated amplifier



  • Large stereo image
  • Very nice mids
  • Solidly built


  • Tad warm reproduction
  • Stability under difficult loads
  • Remote control takes time to connect

Price: € 1945

Build quality
Kinki Studio CHoco Sound EMEI


CHoco Sound is a new sub-brand of Kinki Studio. Their first product is the EMEI amplifier: an integrated model with three analog inputs. No dac … no frills. And a price tag of just under 2000 euros. The question is, of course: is the reproduction as sweet as its name?

Why exactly Kinki Studio launched a sub-brand, we don’t know. But that’s not always important, either. The new CHoco Sound EMEI is a new integrated amplifier from the Chinese brand that by now has built quite a fan base here in the Netherlands. We understand that, because the reproduction of, for example, the EX-M7 is certainly impressive if you consider the price. Or the EX-M1..

CHoco Sound?

But back to CHoco Sound. Is CH a reference to CHina or a nod to Switzerland with country code CH? After all that is a country known for CHocolate…. AND absolute top quality. Whether it’s watches, pocket knives or HiFi. We will probably never know why Kinki wrote it like this.

The design of this newcomer is completely different from the other Kinki Studio products. Without a doubt, this is a more refined design. At least: we do like it. And the finish as well. We see beautiful, thick slices of aluminum and a nicely concealed display that is easy to read even from a distance.

There is only one button on the front that does everything: pressing it turns the amp on, press and hold switches it off again. Once on, a short press results in input switching. Turning the knob increses or decreases volume. Simple … effective.

On the couch, you can use the simple remote control. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a while for this universal (bluetooth) remote to connect AND there are unused buttons on it…. that could have been better.


The inside looks neat. A few things stand out

  • The ground is not connected. This is not necessary, but it can cause issues.
  • The balanced inputs are not balanced: there is an op-amp that inverts the signal.
  • There are fuses in the output buffer. We will come back to this later.

But again: the build quality is good. No excessive glue use or sloppy soldering. Component selection is also good.

Amplifier type
Amplifier technology
Class AB
Amplifier inputs
  • Analog RCA
  • Analog XLR
Amplifier outputs
  • None
Specification #1
  • Resistance: 8 ohm
  • Value specified: 138 watt
  • Value measured: 139 watt
Specification #2
  • Resistance: 4 ohm
  • Value specified: 0 watt
  • Value measured: 0 watt
  • Width: 28 cm
  • Depth: 31 cm
  • Height: 11 cm
Weight amplifier
10 Kg
Build in dac
Production country
Kinki Choco sound - Common mode - idle (yellow) - 1 watt (purple)
Kinki Choco sound - Common mode - idle (yellow) - 1 watt (purple)
Kinki Choco - THD-N
Kinki Choco - THD-N
Kinki Choco - response - phase
Kinki Choco - response - phase
Kinki Choco - response - 1 watt - single ended
Kinki Choco - response - 1 watt - single ended
Kinki Choco - residue
Kinki Choco - residue
Kinki Choco - noise floor
Kinki Choco - noise floor
Kinki Choco - noise floor + common mode (red) noise
Kinki Choco - noise floor + common mode (red) noise
Kinki Choco - noise floor - single ended
Kinki Choco - noise floor - single ended
Kinki Choco - Max Power 8 Ohm
Kinki Choco - Max Power 8 Ohm
Kinki Choco - crosstalk
Kinki Choco - crosstalk


  1. Thank you Jaap. I also watched your video Nilai and Yamaha, considering Nilai is a very good option for the money. And now CHoco gets very good reviews, and it’s very hard to evaluate without the possibility of listening to them directly. I have very lively dynamic speakers (Audio Nirvana 10”Alnicos) with very good imaging and detail but sometimes gives fatigue, so I have to choose my amp accordingly. I managed to short list as 1) Nilai amp or 2) Nuprime Amg sta amp + a passive volume switch/preamp such as Schiit Kara and 3) CHoco integrated. It’s nice to see people have similar shortlists. I try to get as much as possible information, opinions and listening experiences… and you’re one of very few people with that experience. Thank you…

  2. Curiously I was also deciding between the Nilai and the choco. I understand they are different proposals but I can work with either. My main concern is the fact that you report the issue with the fuse. You are the second reviewer to mention that.
    I bought the choco a few weeks ago and am waiting for it’s arrival. DTC companies are a very interesting proposal but if they not deliver the support that may be a huge problem.
    Keep up with your unique approach and you’re off to be a reference in the Hifi community.

  3. I know, it’s hard to evaluate the sound in mind, how would you describe the differences between Choko and Nilai? I’m also torn in between, in my research. With using a passive volume switch/preamp they are almost in the same price range. Which one would you prefer for highly efficient (95db) speakers?