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High Resolution Audio

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Tassos posted on Tue, Jul 23 2019 9:18 AM

Hello all!

I am planning to buy an high resolution audio portable player. The budget is around 300-400 euros. UNFORTUNATLY our beloved brand (B&O) does not produce any so has anyone any experience with High-Res portable players from other companies? I am planning to use it to feed a beoplay A2 active whilst in a let's say hotel room, and a pair of beoplay h9 headphones whilst on the move.

Thanks for the replies!

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If those are the two devices you'll be listening on an iPhone or Android will be good enough assuming you have one.

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The Beoplay A2  connects via Bluetooth (lossy) and i imagine a line in. The H9s connect again via bluetooth (lossy)  and line in.

Andy_js is correct in that you would be wasting your money as both products above particularly the A2 are not Hi-Fidelity devices and dont have stereo separation (A2). Most of the money of the H9s goes to materials and Noise cancellation.

 A phone will suffice but If you have an iphone the problem is confounded by the fact iphones dont support Bluetooth APxt which has supperier codes over bluetooth. The DAC in iphones are ok but not great. Some android phones like the LG V20 series are great all in ones as they have a fantastic DAC and its also a phone.

To get the most out of portable player (with a good DAC built in) you need hi-fidelity speakers/headphones. I have a chord mojo DAC (£399)  connected to my iphone via lighting/USB and i use either camfire Vega in ears (£1K) or my Oppo PM3 overear headphones  (£1K)

Have a look at this list for players.

For the most bang for buck -- keep your phone and get a Audioquest dragonfly Red for £150 which has a line out connector for your H9 or A2's. You will notice the better quality of sound for a good price.

Lastly you need hi-rez music, only Tidal (via MQA decoder which the dragonfly does) or Qobuz offer hi-res music steaming wise, unless you already have Hi-rez music collection in FLAC format ready to go.

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Mr 10Percent
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Might not fit with the budget but I drive an Astell & Kern AK70 mk2.

Nice compact PDP, runs Tidal (though I prefer Qobuz), pairs with P2, P6, H8, E8s, pairs with iOS for Beoplay App settings.


Not sure I would like to pay +£1300 for some of their higher spec machines, Kann, barely at £750. AK70 mk2 for £450-500, plus extra for smart tight-fitting leather case and MicroSD card.



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Tassos replied on Tue, Jul 23 2019 4:03 PM

Thank you all for the help you provided. As far as the connection between the hi-res player and the headphones/speaker is going to be by wire. I totally understand that the A2 is far away from a hi-fi speaker but I use it because of its portability (hotels, beach, trips etc). I already have around 100 GB of flac songs and I have a deezer hi-fi subscription along with a tidal one. This is the reason that I am very close to pick the pioneer XDP-02U. It has a big space (given that you buy two micro sds) it has deezer and tidal (MQA is supported) available along tunein (just in case caseSmile) Any further thoughts?

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TWG replied on Tue, Jul 23 2019 4:06 PM

with Android OS:

- Pioneer XDP-100r
- Pioneer XDP-300r
- Sony NWZ-ZX1
- Sony NWZ-ZX2

Companies own proprietary OS:

- Sony ZX300
- Sony A40 or A30 series
- Sony WM1a
- Sony WM1z
- Cowon
- Astell & Kern

If you prefer a pure button operation instead of touch screen:
- Sony ZX100

The A30 / A40 series from Sony is very small and portable. Nex bigger size (physically) is the ZX1, ZX2 and ZX300. The Pioneers are bigger (XDP-100r and 300r
Many of the Sony models with proprietary OS feature digital noise cancelling (with compatible headphones), too.

On longer travels I prefer the ZX100 or A30/A40 due to their great battery life! The other high resolution audio players don't have good battery life.

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