Portable Media Player Reviews

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Bob Katz Posted: Feb 02, 2016 23 comments
I'm not a shy guy. If I don't like a headphone, I'll pull it off my ears within five minutes! So far, I've had the Astell & Kearn AK T1p on for over 40 minutes and I keep wanting to check them out—so there must be something about them that's keeping me listening.
John Grandberg Posted: Jan 22, 2016 11 comments

The market is jam-packed with DACs and DAPs. Every size, shape, and price is well represented. Aurender's unique FLOW is something else altogether. But what? And why do we care?

Read on to find out....

John Grandberg Posted: Oct 03, 2015 40 comments

Round two of my portable audio player comparison—the competition heats up with entries from Astell&Kern, Pono, Cayin, and more.

John Grandberg Posted: Apr 21, 2015 73 comments
Editors Note: In an effort to produce a Wall of Fame page for digital audio players, John Grandberg has set about surveying the territory to uncover the the great from the merely good. In this first installment, seven players are considered.
Tyll Hertsens Posted: Mar 26, 2015 90 comments

...a spine tingling run of notes starting at 2:28 in which you can hear audience members gasp at the crescendo of notes and intensity. I was swept right along until, as the song wound down, I opened my eyes to see, yet again, my fingers hovering motionless above the keyboard.

"Damit, I'm not going to get anything done with this Pono gadget playing in my ears."

And then it hit me, the Pono Player was delivering exactly what it promised: a deep connection with the music.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 10, 2014 55 comments
At $2500 this is the most expensive portable media player I've had the pleasure of experiencing. It's sexy, plays native DSD, streams hi-rez files from your home network, acts as a USB DAC, does over-the-air wi-fi firmware updates, and much, much more. But is it worth it?

Sorry about your wallet, but I'm going to have to say yes. This thing is SWEET!

Tyll Hertsens Posted: Jul 31, 2013 28 comments

Nine days of motorcycle riding in the back country of Montana is superb...but there are NO wall outlets along the way to keep gadgets for music and phone calls charged. This is the story of a little kit of gear I put together for solar recharging and playing music off the grid.

Some products were great, but one made me crazy with frustration.

Tyll Hertsens Posted: May 17, 2013 21 comments

Ooooo baby! This is a much anticipated device. With a max capacity of 192Gig of storage and the ability to playback multiple file types up to 24bit/192kHz rates, this thing promises to be the audiophile portable media player. The question is: Does it deliver?

John Grandberg Posted: Sep 21, 2012 17 comments

Meizu, former maker of DAPs (Digital Audio Players---back when that was a word people used for non-iProducts), attempts to reinvent themselves as a contender in the smartphone world. Their latest is called the MX 4-core, and it aims to beat Samsung's new Galaxy S III at its own game. With competitive specs, unique features, and a few surprises up their sleeves, Meizu just may pull it off...

...at least as far as audiophiles are concerned.

John Grandberg Posted: Apr 27, 2012 21 comments

With Apple selling millions of the new iPad in a very short period of time, it seems appropriate to once again discuss the best ways to use the device. I covered a lot of points in my prior article but there are always new apps launching and new things to try. I'll also touch on a few basics for those who may be new to the iOS world. Some of these uses might seem obvious---others may surprise you. Read on to find out what I mean.

John Grandberg Posted: Feb 24, 2012 15 comments

The iPod Touch has stood unopposed in the marketplace through 4 generations, without any direct competitors boasting similar feature sets. That's finally starting to change with several new Android-based devices being released from Philips, Samsung, Sony, and others.

I spent some time with the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 to see if it makes the grade for discerning listeners.

John Grandberg Posted: Dec 22, 2011 28 comments

The Apple iPad is a versatile device. It's a game-playing, movie-watching, internet-browsing, email-sending, video-chatting, picture-taking, overall fun time-waster. And it can even help you get some work done too. But is there any way to use it as part of a serious audio system?

Let's have a listen!

John Grandberg Posted: Sep 28, 2011 14 comments

If you’ve been around the forums reading about portable audio players, it’s likely that you’ve come across the term “Rockbox”. You probably wondered what it was. Maybe you even looked into the matter further but stopped pursuing it when it got complicated. In this article I intend to arm you with enough info to help you understand what Rockbox is, what it does, and ultimately if it is something worth trying.

Interested in hot-rodding your portable audio player? Read on.

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