Hi-Fi player vs smartphone
Hi-Fi player vs smartphone
Hi-Fi player vs smartphone

Hi-Fi Player vs Smartphone: Top 10 real reasons to switch to a player

How to switch from a smartphone to  a Hi-Fi player ? And is this necessary? Does it make sense to let go of your phone for the sake of some unfamiliar musical brick? Let’s start the audiophile battle! The opponents are irreconcilable, the smartphone usually requires undivided attention, tempts with a variety of useful and useless functions, but the player is far from being so simple. Well, let’s get down to business.

Hi-Fi player vs smartphone
Hi-Fi player vs smartphone

Top 10 advantages of a Hi-Fi player versus a smartphone

1. Sound quality.

This is, of course, the main reason why you should upgrade to a Hi-Fi player. If you love music, if you feel drive and emotion in your favorite tracks, the difference between the sound of the player and the phone will clearly impress you. No music smartphones with a DAC can play like players even in the mid-budget segment. There is simply physically no room in the smartphone case to place the components of the amplification path and DAC with good wiring, and it is they that give the music volume, detail, and full-fledged naturalness of timbres. If you love live genres – classical, ethnic, rock, jazz and so on – then listening to music on your smartphone is simply a crime. You don’t get half of the real sound. But electronic styles will also be much more interesting to play on the player, especially in the FLAC format.

2. Battery saving.

The next obvious advantage of two separate devices instead of one. Even if you connect an amplifier to your smartphone for the sake of sound quality, all this will begin to eat up the battery. The only thing left to do is either attach a power bank or not listen to music. But a phone with a power bank is also two devices, and one of them is absolutely useless. But players can last a long time; they have to be charged on average once every two to three days, or even less often, depending on the operating time.

3. Saving money.

If you love music, but are not ready to choose a player, you start looking at music smartphones. And when you see the prices, very bad things become clear. It turns out that an average phone with a dedicated DAC can outperform smartphones with the fastest processor, more RAM, an excellent camera and a nice design. Overpaying only for musicality. But, as I already wrote, even an inexpensive Hi-Fi player outplays any phone. Therefore, it is more logical for each area to use equipment specially designed for this purpose; you will be able to meet the same amount or spend less.

4. Memory saving.

Even with a MicroSD card in your phone, you will have to divide the space between music and photos and videos. It’s unavoidable. I won’t talk about the mess that happens in such storage facilities. And even that using streaming services does not always mean the absence of a personal collection of your favorite tracks. But if you have ever used a separate player, you will never want to return your music back to your phone, you can trust me.

5. The potential of headphones.

If you have chosen and bought good  hi-fi headphones,  expecting high-quality sound, I want to warn you. No smartphone will reveal their potential like a Hi-Fi player. And it’s not so much a matter of subjective impressions, but rather stubborn physics. The sensitivity and resistance parameters are directly related to the final sound. Any headphones, dynamic or armature, need enough power to drive them. Smartphones cannot accommodate normal amplifiers in their thin bodies, so they are all low-power. If the headphones have high sensitivity, the volume will be enough, but the sound itself will be flat and harsh.

6. Immersion in music.

As trivial as it may seem, buying a separate player will help you avoid being distracted by calls and notifications while listening. You can’t imagine how many people have already appreciated this fact, how much in practice it allows you to relax and take a break from the endless Internet carousel.

7. Style and design.

I can’t help but say that modern Hi-Fi players are visually very good. This is not a reason to buy them all, but you will definitely get aesthetic pleasure from your audio device.

8. Compactness.

There are situations when we leave home without a smartphone and wallet, but we still wouldn’t mind listening to music. We are talking, for example, about a sports jog, a walk to the store around the corner, going out with the dog, smoking, and the like. Many budget Hi-Fi players are much lighter and more compact than smartphones, they simply disappear in your pocket, and in combination with wireless headphones they provide magical convenience.

9. Functionality and streaming.

By the way, about wireless headphones. Even entry-level players now support Bluetooth with APTX technology, allowing you to listen to high-resolution music on your headphones or speakers. The smartphone may not have APTX. In addition, the firmware of most players is based on Android. Wi-Fi support, over-the-air updates, application installation, streaming services without restrictions – all this is available on the player.

10. The beginning of a journey.

It may very well be that buying a player will be your first step down the long path of audiophilia. And guess what? It’s fun here. You will get a new reason to enjoy listening to audio equipment that produces very cool sound. There are not many pleasures in life, and the passion for music is one of the most enjoyable in the world.

5 best players in the entry-level segment

Now let’s talk specifically about choosing your first Hi-Fi player. The names of audio equipment manufacturers will not tell the average person much; I once also had to face this problem. Therefore, let’s get straight to the point and look at the models that are loved by everyone and have earned a reputation as the best in their class.

1. Hidizs AP80

This player gets first place from me for the ratio of price, compactness and sound quality. By design, it is a very small cube made of glass and aluminum. On the right side there are physical playback control buttons and a volume wheel, which can be used without looking. The screen is touch-sensitive, the interface is not the smoothest, but within normal limits.

DAC: ES9218P. There is Bluetooth with APTX and LDAC. Unfortunately, there are no streaming services. Can work as an external DAC, as well as as a digital transport. There is a radio and even an audiophile pedometer. Opening time is about 11 hours.

The most important thing is the sound. The AP80 impresses with its crispness, natural tones and unexpectedly high-quality detail. The sound is emotional, but without any harsh excesses. In my opinion, the player plays much more expensive than its price; combined with other advantages, this makes it a winner.

2. FiiO M3K

The player earned second place thanks to the reasonable price and familiar sound of FiiO. Its body is small, also made of aluminum, has an elongated shape and rounded edges. The controls are touch-sensitive, but there are large, clear volume buttons on the side; you can use them to switch tracks while the screen is locked; there is also a pause button.

fiio m3k

DAC: AK4376A. The interface is fast and pleasant. Continuing the parade of unexpected audiophile functions, I will say that there is a voice recorder. But there is no Bluetooth and streaming, which is a pity. Can work in DAC mode. Operating time is approximately 20 hours.

The sound of the M3K is neutral, spacious, rich, has good body and richness. As I already wrote, the characteristic style of FiiO is very noticeable here. The music is presented with drive and assertiveness, with excellent tight bass and legible high frequencies. For its price, it’s just a tramp, listen to it yourself sometime.

3. FiiO M6

Third place in my ranking. The player is slightly larger than the above devices, but it is the thinnest and lightest. Thanks to its flat design, the M6 ​​melts instantly into your pocket. The assembly is impeccable, the front and back panels are made of glass, with an aluminum frame between them. The controls are touch-sensitive, the firmware is fast and responsive. On the left side are physical volume buttons, as well as a pause button. Traditionally, while locked, you can use the volume buttons to switch tracks.

FiiO M6
FiiO M6

DAC: ES9018Q2C. There is normal Android, Bluetooth with APTX HD and LDAC, as well as Wi-Fi and – finally! – access to streaming services. Functions for working as an external DAC or digital source are also present. Operating time is about 13 hours.

The sound presentation of the M6 ​​is neutral, the player is characterized by smoothness, transparency and good intelligibility. There are slight accents on the bass and high frequencies so that the sound does not seem bland. However, in my opinion, he is still sluggish. This is my main complaint in this case, since the player is not the most compact and not the cheapest. I like the ratio of low cost and excellent sound quality in M3K better. But if you need streaming, the choice is obvious.

4. Shanling M0

This is the smallest Hi-Fi player in existence. It’s similar in size to a square lighter, except it’s thicker. The case is metal, on one of the faces there is a volume control, the rest of the control is touch-sensitive, using gestures. The screen is small, the interface can be difficult to navigate, I warn you right away. And in general, it’s strange why nothing is provided for blind control, except for adjusting the volume and double-clicking on the wheel, where you can set different settings.

Shanling M0
Shanling M0

DAC: ES9218P. The little one reads DSD files up to 128, there is Bluetooth with APTX and LDAC, and even the power for driving headphones is quite good considering the compactness. There is no streaming, of course. Working time 10-12 hours. The player can be used as an external DAC or digital source. However, it is primarily intended for sports. There are many accessories that will allow you to hang it, for example, on your arm, connect wireless headphones and forget about everything except moving to the music.

What about music? Alas, the player plays on a fairly low budget. Bass, percussive and weighty, occupies the main place in the sound picture. The mids and highs lack resolution; they play somewhat synthetically, albeit with drive. We have a compromise in the name of tiny size. However, this is the first small player whose sound reaches even this level of quality. It can be compared with expensive music smartphones, but there the overpayment will be significantly higher.

5. xDuoo X3 II

If you like on-ear or full-size headphones, then feel free to move this player to the first place in my top. If you like pure button controls, too. The aluminum body of the X3 II is slightly larger than the others, it looks less like a lighter and more like a pocket voice recorder. But we have a good powerful amplifier and the ability to blindly control on the go.

xDuoo X3 II
xDuoo X3 II

DAC: top AK4490. There is Bluetooth with APTX, the ability to work in DAC mode, and also, as already mentioned, a very powerful amplifier. There is no streaming. Operating time 12 hours.

And finally, about the sound. It can also be called neutral, but it is far from icy monitory. The player plays smoothly, with pleasant tones and good three-dimensionality of the scene. The bass is fast and fairly controlled, the mids are clear, and the highs show good resolution. A larger body and a more powerful amplifier allowed the sound engineers in this case to produce a presentation that was slightly superior to its price class.


I think the outcome of our audiophile battle will not be in doubt. The smartphone is an excellent multifunctional device, but both its photo capabilities are far from professional cameras and its potential for playing music cannot keep up with the quality of Hi-Fi players. If you’re interested in sound and want a slightly more enjoyable experience when listening to your favorite albums, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or effort. Come to our showrooms in Kyiv, Dnipro and Odessa or call us, we will help you choose exactly the device you are looking for. And believe me, a good player will definitely become your faithful and sensitive companion in joyful and difficult moments of life, it will fit familiarly in the palm of your hand and will hum in your ear what is so important for you to hear.