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Chronos Optimizer | Review by ZhongHao Tao, Senior Editor of Audio Art magazine

The entire content is excerpted from Tao, ZhongHao (2024). Audio Art magazine No. 425, p. 110-112

Our initial report on Chronos took place in the Audio Art magazine No. 403. Over the years, the in-depth exploration of the Chronos made by Nirvana Audio has continued. Nirvana Audio has gained a nuanced understanding and mastery of the operational concept behind Chronos, and its performance has been continuously evolving. Nirvana Audio has graciously brought the latest versions to our headquarters for multiple listening sessions. Throughout the years of audio shows, they have systematically demonstrated the nuanced differences with each evolution.

In its nascent stages, Chronos required connection to the audio system's USB interface. As it evolved, the need diminished to merely plugging it into a USB charger or power bank. Presently, its efficacy unfolds seamlessly when situated in the same space as the audio system, requiring no power. The focus of this article is this latest version of Chronos.


In the utilization of Chronos, there are four distinctive features which users have to keep in mind:

Firstly, once Chronos and the audio system coexist within the same space, Chronos initiates its effects on the audio system. This space can be took as the listening room within your apartment. Should Chronos be relocated to another room, its efficacy dissipates. It's crucial to note that this alternate space could be another room or any sealed enclosure. Essentially, as long as Chronos is isolated from the spatial presence of the audio system, its effectiveness diminishes.

Secondly, Chronos requires only exceedingly faint energy to be activated. Consequently, it operates without the need for a power source, relying solely on the energy derived from acoustic resonance within the space. However, powering it is also an option. If connected to a power bank or USB charger, it enhances Chronos's effects and expedites the attainment of optimal states. The effects of Chronos are more perceptible when powered if you aim to discern its efficacy swiftly. However, because once Chronos attains optimal maturation in a specific space, whether powered or not, the differences in effects become less pronounced. Nirvana Audio leans towards advising against powering to avoid potential external power influence. Nevertheless, if you find the powered effect more desirable, using a power source is certainly permissible.  Even though , Nirvana Audio prohibits inserting Chronos into the computer in order to prevent the computer starting to rewrite it.

*It's noteworthy that different brands of power banks or USB chargers can yield varied impacts on Chronos's efficacy. For the best pairing recommendations, please consult with authorized dealers who have identified optimal combinations.

Thirdly, the aforementioned "maturation" process is another features of Chronos. Although Chronos undergoes pre-maturation before leaving the factory, the comprehensive maturation process takes place only when Chronos is introduced into the space or room where you actually use Chronos. It's only when Chronos harmoniously synchronizes with the space that it can unleash its full optimizing potential.

If Chronos is relocated to another space, its effects don't instantly dissipate but undergo a gradual attenuation over time. In such a scenario, is there a way to promptly discern the differences between using and not using Chronos? According to Nirvana Audio's experience in exhibition over the years, the perception in this regard varies among individuals. However, for audiophiles accustomed to frequent comparisons of audio equipment, the differences are typically immediately discernible.

Lastly, because the initial versions of Chronos needed to be plugged into the USB interface of audio sources, some presume that Chronos is only effective for digital sources. In reality, Chronos proves efficacious for both digital and analog systems. It can even enhance the replay performance of car audio systems when placed in a vehicle.

I conducted auditions in my home, differentiating between the streaming and vinyl systems. Chronos indeed manifests its efficacy in both digital and analog systems, with effects remarkably akin. My listening circumstances at home are somewhat unique; the audio system is situated in the living room. To avoid disturbing my family, I must listen at a modest volume. Unexpectedly, upon introducing Chronos, even at low volumes, the piano assumes a newfound richness, the violin gains in thickness, and there emerges a texture as soft, intricate, and natural as pure unadulterated cotton. The central part of the sound stage is no longer hollow, and instruments are no longer disjointed but rather intricately interconnected.

I listened to Scarlatti, D.: Sonatas by Ivo Pogorelich. From what I heard, I can discern an elevation in performance energy, a widening of dynamic range, keys becoming more distinct, short notes executed with heightened agility, and the musical backdrop growing quieter. For someone like me, who frequently listen at a modest volume, a tranquil background holds particular significance and resonates deeply.

If Chronos is confined within a box, isolated from the listening space, the musical playback promptly turns dim, flat, and devoid of vitality. What if Chronos is reintroduced? Instantly, every recording becomes clear, the violin gains more moisture, radiating a natural luster. The cello is more beautiful and resonant, significantly reducing any muddiness. The overall sense of orchestral performance improves, and the sound stage expands further.

For the audiophile pursuing the ultimate, Chronos might very well be what you need to completing the last mile.

During the audition, I employed a diminutive iron casket to house Chronos Optimizer, discerning the disparities between using Chronos Optimizer (lid opened) and not using Chronos Optimizer (lid closed)

You may consider my listening review, or peruse the listening review of the other two editors. We harbor no predisposition, merely faithfully documenting our listening experiences. Regardless of your belief or disbelief, the paramount plea is to relinquish preconceptions, trust in your own ears, seize the opportunity for firsthand listening, and rest assured, you will perceive the transformations brought forth by Chronos Optimizer.

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