Pioneer has just unveiled the XDP-100R, a premium portable music player running on the Android OS which is aimed at audiophiles and music fanatics who want the highest possible sound quality.
While MP3 players have pretty much been killed off by the conventional smartphone device, they still live on to some extent as devices for the serious audiophiles. Companies such as Fiio have established themselves on the basis of delivering better portable audio quality and we’ve seen it from more premium brands such as Sony. The latter recently debuted a new Walkman device costing over a thousand dollars, which is well out of reach to all but the most serious music fanatics.
Pioneer’s offering is much cheaper at $700 but still eats most wallets for breakfast. Aesthetically, it’s a funny looking thing with machined metal trim and a very angular design. Featuring a 4.7-inch 720p display, it should be good to use with most Android apps. A unique feature of the device is its ability to hold two 128GB microSD cards, essentially doubling storage to 256GB. Add this to the 32GB built-in memory and you’re looking at a pretty hefty amount of space for those memory-hungry lossless music files.
On the topic of playback capability, it comes with support for all major lossless formats including FLAC, MQA, ALAC, and DSD audio up to 11.2MHz. It also supports WAV files up to a whopping 384kHz / 24bit. Processing is handled by a SABRE ES9018K2M DAC, which is pretty much the best portable audio converter you can currently get. Pioneer has even isolated the audio board from the main board, which they say eliminates any chance of ‘digital noise’.
In layman terms, this is going to be one hell of a portable music player. If you have the cash splash on something like this, just make sure you have a decent set of headphones (and pre-amp) to make use of all that resolution!
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