Best Hi Res Audio Player 2017 – Buyer’s Guide

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Best Hi Res Audio Player Buyer's Guide 2017
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Choosing a single product is really a tough job when you have a lot of options to choose from. That’s why we have compiled a list of hi res audio player 2017. So you can have a look at the best and choose the one which suits for you. 

The article will guide you in deciding what your most suitable audio player is by comprehensively considering the key features and specifications of various audio players from different manufacturers.

Hi Res Audio Player

Best Hi Res Audio Player 2017 – Buyer’s Guide

Model NumberBrand
Fiio X5 3rd GenFiio Check Price
Xduoo X10XduooCheck Price
Sony Walkman NWZA17SLV SonyCheck Price
Astell&Kern AK JrAstell&KernCheck Price
Fiio X3-II FiioCheck Price
Xduoo X3Xduoo X3Check Price

FIIO X5 3rd Gen—The new born digital player

Overview

This device closely resembles a smartphone largely due to the audio players components size. Its size, 4.2” screen resolution, headphone amplifiers, condensers and a battery of very high capacity will mistake you for a smartphone. It is designed with quad-core processor which works hand in hand with Mali graphic to ensure maximum smoothness for audio app interfaces.

Presentation

FiiO X5 III comes professionally packaged in a leather stitched case that protects the incredible audio player while at the same time gives access to controls of the device. It comes with a USB cable and also a short coaxial adapter. It is greatly designed with visible inputs, outputs and the controls. It only measures 66.2mm x 114.2mm x 14.8mm at only 186g weight. It is a sexy, highly portable audio player that is designed to last.

Features and functionality

Whats amazing about this hi res digital media player is its li-polymer 3400 mAh battery that charges so fast. The battery lasts around 8 to 10 hours while operating the device. It takes pride in internal memory of 32 GB. However, about 3 GB is taken up by the device’s OS living the rest of the space for app installation and audio files storage. If the storage space is not enough for your needs, extra two MicroSD slots that can support up to 256 GB cards are available.

The versatile HD music player has the balanced and the unbalanced headphone output and a line output that you can connect to, say, an integrated amplifier. The X5 can also be connected to an external DAC by using the output line as a digital coaxial S/PDIF output.

You will love the magic FiiO did to this digital audio player. The company realized Android EQ limits the audio stream sampling rate and thus developed an app the perfectly communicates with the integrated DACs to efficiently read HD audio files. This therefore means, 24 bits/192 kHz as well as DSD formats can natively be handled. You need to activate the ‘Pure Music’ mode to enjoy this function of the device.

The audio player has the ability of sorting audio files by the album names, artists, or title. However, you have to properly tag your files or else the app will not be able to effectively index your tracks. To solve this, you can install apps that will enable you to download the tracks’ metadata and update your files as well.

The FiiO X5 III was created with very good audio system in mind. It has longer lasting notes and the ability to adjust volume levels without having to experience auditory fatigue. The combination of the two sound features brings a great audio balance in the media player. Soundstage is perfectly layered and built tactfully.

It has the ability of performing fast and accurate scanning of audio files. With the two tested apps, Pure Music and HibyMusic, you can efficiently scan through about 1,500 tracks in just 30 seconds.

Pros

  It has expandable storage space

  Incredibly designed

  Highly flexible

  Longer battery life

  Gives you value for your money

Cons

The fact that you cannot use the audio player as an external USB DAC is a setback.

Xduoo X10– The 3rd generation audio player from Xduoo

The XDuoo X10 is a sequel of the popular XDuoo X3 that boasts of improved storage capacity and other features than its predecessor. The device has two microSD slots that support up to 128 GB, a storage space enough for about 5000 lossless files or even 50,000 MP3 files.

Design

This incredible media player comes packed with a warranty card, a manual, recording cable, optical cable and a USB cable.

It has been built to serve you for a very long period of time, regardless of how frequent you use it. The flashy diamond-cut, CNC-machined, and also sandblasted to a very smooth finish is small enough to fit in your hands and definitely in your pockets making it highly portable.

It has high-contrast full HD 2 inch screen that can also be visible enough even in bright surroundings. It is elegantly black in color and it only measures 53.0 mm X 107.5 mm X 16.5 mm dimensions on just 141 grams weight.

However small this awesome digital audio player might seem to be, all its inputs, outputs are well and strategically displayed on the device. At the top are the power button and the microUSB line; to the bottom are the 2 level gain switch, phone out line and the optical line out. To the side are the volume adjustment buttons and the two microSD slots. At the front face you find the screen, apart from the amazing 2” screen, there are four buttons that, from left to right, gets you to the previous song, gets you to the previous menu, gets you to various options and the fourth button that gets you to the next song.

Also on the front face, are a perfectly placed play/pause/confirm and a turnplate that allows you to turn 360 degrees in operations. You can conveniently turn anticlockwise to move down and clockwise to move up.

Specifications

  • Output power: 240mW
  • Display screen: 2-inch, 240 x 320 of 262K color vertical screen
  • Aluminum alloy shell
  • Size: 53 x 107.5 x 16.5 mm
  • Weight: 114g
  • Battery capacity: 2400 mAh
  • Charging time: <4 hours (push DC5V 2A)
  • Playback time: 9 hours
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20K Hz
  • S/N: >112 dB
  • Cross talk: >70 dB
  • Line output level: 1.7 Vrms
  • LED indicator
  • Lock key
  • CPU: JZ4760B

Functionality

The X10 is equipped with AKM AK4490 DAC chip and the very powerful MUSES8920 opamp that gives you the ability to play all the common lossless and lossy formats up to 24 bit /192 kHz and DSD.

This hi res audio player lets you transfer files through the microSD line from your computer and also uses the same line to charge the battery capacity of 2400 mAh guaranteed to serve you for over 9 hours of play time.

It has great sound out put than its predecessor with more improvement being made on the sound balance. You can listen to the device with just any kind of head set. Additionally, you can connect it to a hi-fi amplifier through the line out.

You can sort your tracks by album, artists, and titles among many more. You can play your files on repeat mode, repeat all modes, order and reshuffle. It is one of the greatest digital audio players you can ever own.

Pros

  Highly portable

  Designed to last

  Long battery life

  Greatly displayed controls

Cons

The audio player is great but the screen is actually quite small

The X10 has number of features and functionalities to not ignore. If you are considering buying a digital audio player that will bring you value for your money, the excellent X10 is definitely a go for!

Sony Walkman NWZA17SLVBluetooth Audio Player

We could not have done this list without this incredible tiny digital audio player. The sony walkman NWZA17SLV comes in awesome color displays, equipped with intuitive navigation buttons and an outstanding 64 GB internal storage space. And as if that is not enough, you can add a microSD card of storage space up to 192 GB. This storage space is enough to store over 600 FLAC files of very high resolution.

It comes in sleekly designed in great colors. It is quite small to fit in your hands and pockets making it not only highly portable but also incredibly flexible. All the controls, output and input lines are conveniently placed to suit your needs.

Features and Functionalities

The first thing that impresses you about this hi res digital media player is its longer lasting battery life that can serve you for almost 50 hours of playtime. How awesome is that? Additionally, the battery charges up so fast.

It has the ability of handling quite a number of audio formats that range from the standard CD-ripped tracks to the 24 bit/192 kHz high resolution audio. This digital audio player delivers up to 6-times resolution sound compared to the standard CD. Some of the audio formats it supports include MP3, WMA, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, AAC, and lossless.

It delivers quite efficient, spacious and fully natural sound output. It comes designed with two features specifically for quality sound output,  the S-Master HX digital amplifier uniquely for hi res audio playback. The DSEE HX it is equipped with works in two ways for quality sound, it has the ability to restore high frequency signals that are stripped by the process of audio compression and it also has the ability to expand audio signal bit-depth instantly to hi res quality sound.

The A17 gives you the capability of streaming your music wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Pros

  Very long battery life

  Stylish

  High quality sound output 

  Gives you value for your money

  Designed to serve you for a long period of time

Cons

 What I did not like about this audio player is the storage space. It has great internal storage space but the expandable space should have been more

If you are looking for an audio player that is stylishly designed and comes equipped with great performance features, look no further than the incredible Sony walkman A17. Though the storage space might not be enough if you are a large music consumer, the features will impress you and it sure will give you value for your money.

Astell & Kern AK Jr—Small weight, powerful function

It is quite small. It is a slim but fully made of aluminum, it only weighs 93g but the features of this device, however small, are quite weighty. The AK Jr is designed with a 3.1” touchscreen that is quite sharply visible even in the brightest conditions. It is a highly flexible and portable digital audio player.

The ports and buttons are well spread around the digital media players edges that are convenient for the user. The metal play/pause and volume buttons are on the left, to the top are the standby button and the headphone jack that offers 1.9V VRMS of power output. And at the bottom is the MicroUSB charging port.

Features and functionality

One feature that users go for in any portable device is the battery life and the AK Jr’s battery life of 1450 mAh will not impress you. a digital player of this caliber should have a more reliable battery life though it is meant to serve you for about 9 hours of play time. This is a setback from the manufacturer.

It has an internal storage space of 64 GB which is quite good. Additionally, you can expand this by up to 128 GB through a microSD card slot. This is a reliable space for your music files for this hi res audio player.

The hi res digital media player supports variety of audio files including the WAV, AAC and FLAC. it also supports the DSD audio formats created by sony and Phillips. It uses the single Wolfson WM8740 DAC to play files. It has some great sound output with neat, natural and swift frequencies in the sound quality output.

Pros

  Designed to last

  Works as DAC amp

  Balanced, brisk sounds

  Great levels of volumes

Cons

 Sharper edges

 The battery life should be more

Despite its few setbacks in design and the a little unreliable battery life for a device of this status, it is a great audio player that highly reliable when it comes to performance features. I would definitely recommend Astell & Kern AK Jr.

FiiO X3 II—Top sale of digital music player

When you unpack the FiiO X3-II from a silicon sleeve it comes packed in, you find a USB data/charging cable, jack to RCA coax out cable, spare screen protector, pattern stickers, start guide and warranty card.

Apart from the accessories, what you find is the amazing digital audio player in the case. It is perfectly designed with buttons and ports perfectly placed on the device. At the front you will find the screen, four conveniently placed buttons for back, forward, repeat and the option button. Also at the front is the play/pause that is perfectly placed. To the side are the volume adjustments and the standby controls while to the other side is the microSD slot. To the up top are the headphone jack along with the line/coax line outs while at the bottom is the microUSB connection port.

Features and Functionality

 FiiO is a reliable company when it comes to designing sound devices. It has never, for once disappointed. It plays a number of lossless files such as FLAC, APE, ALAC, AIFF and so on, it also decodes SACD files to enable you experience music in a way that you have never before. The audio technology is perfectly designed to this elegant device for best listening experience. The company incorporated the following chips into this hi res audio player.

  • DAC: Cirrus logic SC4398 that supports up sampling up to 24 bit/192 kHz and the DSD decoding.
  • SoC: ingenic JZ4760B for powerful processing and the 720p display of videos
  • Output: TI OPA1642 plus TI LMH6643 for creation of smooth response as well as powerful output in audio.
  • Low Pass Filter: TI OPA1642 for high quality sound with ultra low distortion.

The FiiO X3 second generation has very impressive bass that extends to the lower notes thus offering a great sound experience. Everyone loves bass in their audio player and FiiO had this in mind. The bass is not lazy that it bleeds into other frequencies unlike some media players, it rather integrates well with the frequencies.

This audio player has a perfectly balanced midrange, treble, natural tonality, soundstage and bass qualities to bring the best quality sound in music. The voices in music are very clear as well as each instrument in the songs that play.

However, all music files are only stored on the microSD cards only. Though the digital audio player can support up to 128 GB microSD card, I felt this is not enough since it does not have internal storage space making it quite a setback for the company. Users love their devices with internal storage spaces for convenience and it is not understood why FiiO overlooked this fact.

Pros

  Natural tonality

  Elegantly designed

  Great sound output

  Value for your money

Cons

⊙ Lack of internal storage is a big setback for the device.

The company keeps making progress with its digital audio players and FiioO X3 II is proof. This device is highly flexible and sleekly designed for your needs. With its vast features, it will give you value for your money without a doubt.

Xduoo X3—The best hi res audio player around 100 USD

We could not have done this list without the XDuoo X3 for sure. It has a combination of sleek elegant appearance with powerfully amazing quality sound as well as modern intervals for satisfying audio experience. It is a music player that does not disappoint.

It measures 6.1” x 3.1” x 2” on a package weight of only 261 grams. I would say it is as small and portable as other devices we have reviewed above but still, very flexible. It comes with a battery of 1500 mAh that charges very fast. It fully charges in less than 2 hours. The battery life is guaranteed to serve you for about 8 hours of playback time.

Specs

  • OS: Linux
  • Shell material: aluminum alloy
  • Support music formats: WAV, ALAC, FLAC, ACC, OGG, WMA, MP3, APE,DSD, AIFF.
  • Screen: 1.3” OLED screen
  • Battery: 3.7V / 1500 mAh
  • Output power: 250mW
  • Gain: +6 dB
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz

It is uniquely designed like a music player you have never seen before. However, the uniqueness in the design will sarcastically have you mistake it for a remote control. It has scattered buttons on its small size. It comes built in aluminum case thus guaranteeing a long time of service to you.

The ports, slots and buttons are well placed on the sides of the device for users’ convenience. It has 2 microDS card slots that can support up to 128 GB each.

The audio player operates on firmware version 1.0 which, my humble opinion, does not offer a lot of features. Additionally, this device has no equalizer controls except two settings for toggling the interpolation slope of the CS4398 and switching to +6 dB high gain mode.

Overall, the X3 gives a well balanced quality sound as well as audio quality not common among music players in its price range, making it the best choice among other music players in the price range it comes in. moreover, XDuoo did magic in reducing the background noise in this device to almost zero, and this, would be appealing to any user of the device

Pros

  Greatly design and durable

  It has display that is excellent and the user interface

  Balanced and general quality output in sound

  Well-optimized features and software

Cons

 The body is susceptible to scratches

 The layout of buttons is not as great to easily get used to

The XDuoo X3 is not the best there is in digital audio players but it is among the top considerations. When choosing a device like this, the goal is to get the best features and functionalities with the least possible cost. With its vast features, it is definitely a music player not to ignore in its price range.