best portable hi-res audio player (prefer not apple) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-09-2014, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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best portable hi-res audio player (prefer not apple)

Looking for a good hi-resolution player for music on planes, etc. Was going to get Ponos, now not sure.
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-09-2014, 03:10 PM
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Check out the Astell & Kern AK240. I own it and I highly recommend it because it is currently the best player that will fit into a normal size pocket, its user interface is excellent, it has enough storage space for many of those large hi-res FLAC files, and, above all, the sound is absolutely stunning except perhaps if using, for example, the type of fullsize headphones that are too difficult to drive for such a small sized amp. The battery life could have been slightly better I guess, even though I don't see this as a real downside because the player more than makes up for it in sound alone. The AK240 does not come cheap, and some say the price/performance ratio is only so so. Not so. Not so so. I am using a pair of Westone ES60 custom in-ears with it, and I love it.


If ultra portability is less of a concern, you also might want to check out the Chord Hugo, but be advised that not all Android smartphones/tablets will work or will work without problems when connected to the Hugo via USB OTG for hi-res playback in UAPP. Samsung Galaxy S3 is one example that will work perfectly, but your storage space will be limited, and having an USB cable between your smartphone and DAC/amp can be somewhat of a nuisance. Depending on your headphones choice and other personal preferences, including your sound preferences, the Hugo might or might not be a better solution for you than the AK240.
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-09-2014, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you; I'll research the ak240. Would you say that the sound rivals an audiophile 2 channel setup? I am so done with super compressed music.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-17-2014, 11:31 AM
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Hello All,
So I received my Pono player the other day.
Here are my 1st thoughts.
To get started you need to open the Pono Music World App,either on your PC or MAC.
Once you create an account and sign in,you can then browse the Pono music library .
The titles range from standard CD REZ to HI REZ in the FLAC format. Pono supports all the formats except DSD.
Should you also have a ITunes account,the Pono site will automatically transfer all those files onto the Pono Music World App. So basically you can have your music files all in one place.
The device comes with a USB cable. This is used for charging the player and connecting it to your PC or MAC,to transfer the files to the player. You cannot use the USB to play the device,either in the car,or at home.
The Pono has two 3.5 MM jacks. One is for headphones. The other is the Line Out,used to connect to a home stereo. To use in the car,you will need a cable that has the 3.5MM plug on both ends. One will go into the headphone jack, and the other into the cars AUX input. To play at home you will need a cable with a 3.5MM plug on one end,connect to L/R RCA Phono cables,at the other end. I plug them in my receivers AUX input and it works great.
The Pono screen will not even come close to any of todays smartphone screens. It kind of reminds me of the original IPods in their look and resolution. But it gets the job done.
Ive had my player since Friday, and have not had to charge it yet. The battery should last 8/9 hours,but that depends on use,of course.
The Pono comes with 64GB already installed. A Micro 64GB SD also comes with the unit, for extra storage. So you have 128GB of space.
From what I've read,the DAC converter,that was designed by AYRE of England,is very similar to the one used in the OPPO 105.
The transfer process,once the music is downloaded,is a drag and drop process,to begin the transfer to the PONO. Transfer times for standard CD REZ are very fast, HI REZ transfers take more time. The couple I've done so far took about 10 minutes each. But again that depends on the length of the transfer.
So the big question is, how does it sound?
Ive listening to both standard CD REZ and HI REZ titles, in the car,on headphones and on my home stereo.
Compared to a Apple ITunes device, the Pono sounds fuller,with a warmer sound and great soundstage .The music seems to have more presence,than I've ever heard from my IPad.
My listening included Dire Straits Communique, and Wes Montgomery Full House,both at standard CD REZ. Also Fleetwood Mac and Rolling Stones Let It Bleed,both at HI REZ.
Frankly its hard to believe that such a small and light device can produce this kind of high fidelity sound.
So thats my brief experiences with PONO so far.
Im very impressed.
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-19-2014, 06:10 PM
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Sony NWZ-A17SLV

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrevo2u View Post
Looking for a good hi-resolution player for music on planes, etc. Was going to get Ponos, now not sure.

http://store.sony.com/64-gb-hi-res-w...ll-MP3-Players
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-07-2015, 11:29 PM
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Sony looks very interesting! Thinking about it too.
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-13-2016, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrevo2u View Post
Thank you; I'll research the ak240. Would you say that the sound rivals an audiophile 2 channel setup? I am so done with super compressed music.

I would hope so for $2,500. You said you are hesitant in regards to the Pono? Can you specify? I really like the Pono and it gets great reviews. I'm just curious.

Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier | Marantz CD5005 Compact Disc Player | Music Hall USB-1 Turntable | Onkyo TA-R240 Cassette Tape Player
Monitor Audio Bronze BX2 Bookshelf Speakers | Audio Technica AT95e MM Cartridge | AudioQuest Evergreen Interconnects
Quote:
"My CD's don't earn interest...they play sweet music."
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-13-2016, 02:25 PM
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You may want to check out the new Onkyo Portable Music Player that is being released soon. It has a 32bit/192kHz TI Burr-Brown PCM1795 DAC and long life lithium-ion battery and 128 gig storage. I believe it was just announced at CES.


Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier | Marantz CD5005 Compact Disc Player | Music Hall USB-1 Turntable | Onkyo TA-R240 Cassette Tape Player
Monitor Audio Bronze BX2 Bookshelf Speakers | Audio Technica AT95e MM Cartridge | AudioQuest Evergreen Interconnects
Quote:
"My CD's don't earn interest...they play sweet music."
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-03-2016, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrevo2u View Post
Looking for a good hi-resolution player for music on planes, etc. Was going to get Ponos, now not sure.
I've never had a great experience with apple products. I prefer android myself.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-15-2016, 12:51 AM
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I upgraded my iphone with a Oppo Portable DAC and a Nexum Aqua (kickstarter). The two make my phone sound waaaaay better!
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post #11 of 13 Old 04-23-2016, 10:19 PM
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The Fiio x7 is also getting some good reviews, although is a bit on the heavier/wider side.

It has swappable amps, right now they have the AM1 (stock), AM2 (medium power), and AM5 (high power) ones out, soon there will be AM0 (no amp/DAC- only mode) and AM3 balanced amplifiers.

It uses the full 8 channel 135db SNR ESS Saber32 9018 DAC and can surf the web, listen to music, stream music from online apps, DLNA streaming (from a NAS/network drive) among other functions. Also from what I understand it can be used as a DSD DAC for a full blown home audio system.
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-07-2017, 11:48 AM
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I think cowon's offerings are worth a look. They excel at sound quality, and long battery life, at a budget.
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-17-2017, 01:09 AM
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I will vote for Sony. They work perfect on audio equipment.
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