A Survey of Digital Audio Players Part 2
I spent the first several months of 2015 rounding up a batch of portable audio players, hoping to gain experience with a broad range and nominate one or more to the Wall of Fame. That turned out to be easier said than donecomments on my initial article opened the floodgates for more suggestions of DAPs I should be covering. Meanwhile, new stuff comes out at a feverish paceI'm just trying to keep on top of it all. Right from the start I anticipated not being able to pack everything into one article. Little did I know I'd end up with three segments, totaling nearly twenty devices. That's a lot to cover, so let's get to it.
First things first: if you have not yet read part one, I strongly suggest you do so now. It will catch you up on the initial players I covered, and more importantly clue you in on my criteria for evaluating these devices. I feel strongly that there's more to these players than any single attribute, be it sound quality or aesthetics or whatever. So it's important to know exactly where I'm coming from with my categories. With only one exception, I've still got the lot of DAPs around from the initial article. So I am constantly going back to compare the new players directly as the new models show up in-house. You can imagine how time consuming this ends up beingI've been calling it "Little Sound 2015" to play off Tyll's Big Sound project. This time around I'll be covering the popular Astell&Kern AK100 II and AK120 II, the Suzanne from veteran Chinese firm Consonance, Neil Young's interesting Pono, and another popular Chinese model, the Cayin N6. I'm also throwing in a OnePlus One as an example of a reasonably high-end smartphone. How will it hold up? Do we even need to carry DAPs to get great sound on the go? We'll see.
Flip the page and we'll start with our first player.