Portable Music Player Reviews

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Tyll Hertsens  |  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  |  Sep 21, 2012  |  15 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  |  Apr 21, 2015  |  74 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.
John Grandberg  |  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  |  Jan 23, 2017  |  31 comments
After a substantial delay, the DAP roundup returns with its 3rd (and final) installment.
Grover Neville  |  Apr 27, 2020  |  0 comments
Typically I try to avoid reviewing particularly similar products so close together, however in this case I’m making an exception because I think the opportunity for a comparison of sorts is too good to pass up.
Grover Neville  |  Mar 31, 2020  |  0 comments
Astell & Kern’s T9iE recently passed across my review desk, and in the process of reviewing those IEMs, A&K also reached out to me asking if I’d like to review their then-recently released flagship DAP the SP2000. ‘Why not!’ was my enthusiastic response.
Tyler Schrank  |  Aug 25, 2018  |  26 comments
Every so often, I like to check the market to see if are any new digital transport products. In particular, I’m on the lookout for good SPDIF transports for those of us with relatively tight budgets.
Rafe Arnott  |  Apr 26, 2019  |  3 comments
Power is an aphrodisiac for many, which is why I think many individuals who identify as headphone-centric will fall for Astell & Kern's largish KANN Cube high-output portable. With a reported May 2019 launch date, an MSRP of $1,499 USD, the new Cube will be available in Astell & Kern dealers worldwide in June 2019.
Rafe Arnott  |  Dec 07, 2019  |  5 comments
There’s a 30-year-old photograph of me somewhere sporting a Public Enemy tour t-shirt, with a Sony Walkman in one hand. Fast forward to today and you can swap the Walkman for the Astell&Kern SR15 A&norma.
Rafe Arnott  |  Aug 08, 2018  |  9 comments
Despite continuing successes, A&K do not seem content to rest on their technological or industrial-design laurels. They continue to push the boundaries of their research and development, the results of which are the new SR15 and SE100 portable digital players.
John Grandberg  |  Feb 06, 2018  |  17 comments
Word on the street is that iRiver, parent company of the Astell&Kern brand, tapped a whole different design team to work on the KANN. I haven't been able to confirm this, but it certainly fits with the device being so different from prior AK designs. Is that a good thing? Let's find out.
John Grandberg  |  Dec 22, 2011  |  29 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  |  Sep 12, 2018  |  24 comments
Cayin's new N5iiS – a surprise release that hits the sweet spot. 
Tyll Hertsens  |  Jul 31, 2013  |  23 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.

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