Best high res audio players right now
Best high res audio players right now
Best high res audio players right now

The best Hi-Res audio players right now: The audiophile choice

The market has recently welcomed a variety of intriguing Hi-Res audio players, encompassing both updates to beloved models and brand-new introductions. This compilation, organized by retail price ascending, aims to showcase these noteworthy additions, offering a glimpse into the latest advancements and selections for audiophiles seeking high-quality music experiences.

8. HiBy R3 II

8. HiBy R3 II

Price – $179 

Operating system – HiByOS | Headphone outputs – 3.5 mm, 4.4 mm | DAC – ES9219C | Bluetooth – yes | Wi-Fi – yes

Pros – low price, nice design, decent power

Cons – for this price there are none

This device serves as both an external DAC and a headphone amplifier, equipped with a dual ES9219C chip for high-resolution audio processing. It supports 32-bit/384 kHz PCM, DSD256, and MQA files, featuring a dedicated clock generator for precise timing. With a powerful built-in amplifier, it offers two headphone jacks (4.4 mm and 3.5 mm) and includes a 3.2-inch touchscreen. Operating on HiBy OS, it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, and comes with music services like Tidal and Qobuz pre-installed.

7. ZiSan Z5

7. ZiSan Z5

Price – $190

Operating system – proprietary | Headphone outputs – 2.5mm, 3.5mm, 4.4mm | DAC – ES9039 | Bluetooth – yes | Wi-Fi – no

Pros – wide switching capabilities, high-quality DAC, good amplifier

Cons – no Wi-Fi, not the most convenient controls

The player features the flagship ES9039 DAC chip, offering four output connectors including balanced 2.5 mm and 4.4 mm, unbalanced 3.5 mm for headphones, and another 3.5 mm for linear analog output. It uses an RT6863D op-amp within an aluminum alloy body, a 4,200 mAh battery for up to 8 hours of playback, and supports Bluetooth with SBC, aptX HD, and LDAC codecs.

6. HiBy Digital M300

6. HiBy Digital M300

Price – $199

Operating system – Android 13 | Headphone outputs – 3.5 mm | DAC – CS43131 | Bluetooth – yes | Wi-Fi – yes

Pros – low price, latest Android, built-in FM radio

Cons – headphone output is only 3.5 mm

The HiBy Digital’s debut player offers a variety of content sources, including built-in music apps, file playback, and FM radio. It runs on a Snapdragon 665 processor and features a CS43131 DAC chip from Cirrus Logic. With 32 GB of internal storage expandable to 2 TB via microSD, an aluminum alloy body with tempered glass panels, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with LDAC, a 4-inch IPS display, and Android 13 OS for app installation, it ensures up to 29 hours of music playback with its 2,000 mAh battery.

5. TempoTec V3

5. TempoTec V3

Price – $199

Operating system – HiByOS | Headphone outputs – 3.5 mm, 4.4 mm | DAC – AK4493SEQ | Bluetooth – yes | Wi-Fi – yes

Pros – good DAC, great sound, good power

Cons – the first batch had software problems

TempoTec’s new portable player offers great value, featuring a maximum power of 610 mW at 32 Ohms with a balanced connection and digital-to-analog conversion via a dual AK4493SEQ chip. It supports 32-bit/768 kHz PCM, DSD512, and MQA files. Running on HiByOS, it comes with Tidal and Qobuz pre-installed, supports LDAC and aptX HD Bluetooth codecs, and has a 3,500 mAh battery for all-day music playback.

4. iBasso DX260

4. iBasso DX260

Price – $949

Operating system – Android 11 | Headphone outputs – 3.5 mm, 4.4 mm | DAC – CS43198 | Bluetooth – yes | Wi-Fi – yes

Pros – DAC on eight top chips, good power

Cons – I would like a 2.5 mm jack

This player features a DAC unit with eight CS43198 chips from Cirrus Logic, achieving excellent dynamic range and low distortion. It incorporates the FPGA-MASTER 2.0 algorithm for enhanced clock and filter coordination, runs Android 11, and uses a rotary wheel for volume control. Offering 1,015 mW per channel at 32 ohms with balanced output, it includes digital coaxial, USB-C, and a card reader, all powered by a 4,400 mAh battery for up to 14 hours of usage.

3. Astell & Kern Kann Ultra

3. Astell & Kern Kann Ultra

Price – $1,540

Operating system – proprietary | Headphone outputs – 3.5 mm, 4.4 mm | DAC – ES9039MPRO | Bluetooth – yes | Wi-Fi – yes

Pros – high power, top DAC

Cons – only price

This top-tier player boasts unmatched processing and output power, featuring a dual ES9039MPRO DAC chip for superior digital-to-analog conversion and an eight-core processor for advanced signal processing. It offers high voltage on balanced outputs, customizable sound through digital filters, both unbalanced and balanced headphone jacks, USB-C connectivity, proprietary power noise reduction technology, a large 8,400 mAh battery, and 128 GB of storage, setting a new standard in high-fidelity audio playback.

2. HiBy R8 II

2. HiBy R8 II

Price – $1,999

Operating system – HiByOS | Headphone outputs – 3.5 mm, 4.4 mm | DAC – DARWIN-MPA | Bluetooth – yes | Wi-Fi – yes

Pros – proprietary DAC, switchable amplifier operating mode, original housing finish

Cons – Price

The player features a durable stainless steel body with an Alcantara back panel for grip. It incorporates the DARWIN-MPA architecture with a 16-channel DAC, offering class A and AB amplifier modes for either sound quality or battery efficiency. The battery has a 12,000 mAh capacity. It includes dual output stages, high-quality components, and runs HiByOS on Android 12 with a Snapdragon 665 processor. A 5.9-inch 1080p display adorns the front, ensuring a premium user experience.

1. Cayin N30LE

1. Cayin N30LE

Price: $4,999

Operating system – Android 12 | Headphone outputs – 3.5 mm, 4.4 mm | DAC – AK4499EQ | Bluetooth – yes | Wi-Fi – yes

Pros – fully balanced circuit, tube amplification, choice between several operating modes

Cons – price.

For its 30th anniversary, the company launched the N30LE, a flagship portable audio player featuring a fully balanced amplifier with KORG Nutube 6P1 Nuvistor tubes, offering class A or AB amplification. It includes DAO and DOM technologies for versatile sound output and a HYPER mode for peak performance. Powered by a Snapdragon 665 processor and running customized Android 12, it has 256 GB of storage (expandable to 1 TB), uses AK4499EQ DAC chips, and supports high-resolution audio. The device boasts a 6-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, and multiple digital ports.

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