High-end audio remains a niche market, but as of late we’ve been seeing the genre inching further and further straight into the mainstream. As an example, several from the well-known headphones we’ve covered in 2012, including the best noise canceling headphones, pack the prowess to handle extra fidelity, even inside the wireless space. What’s much more exciting for audio lovers is high-end manufacturers are specializing in more capable mobile HiFi solutions. Not do you really need a full-fledged desktop stack to obtain righteous playback.
It just so happens We‘re given this type of device to review, a HiFi digital player that’s powered by Android created using a company having a lengthy history inside the audio scene – Onkyo. The Japanese-based manufacturer is primarily recognized for premium A / V home theater and stereo equipment, but that’s now changed like the DP-X1 bursts straight into the elite hi-res player arena. We’ll examine if Onkyo built the best mobile HiFi player solution in your Onkyo DP-X1 Android Audio Player Review.
Price: $672 on Amazon
Available: June 2016
Summary: The DP-X1 is Onkyo’s first mobile audio player, and it also hits the bottom running having a high-end dual DAC / amp system, full Android support, all of the features for today’s audiophile, and also a premium metal build. An understated design and modest battery slightly hold it back, to not mention the top-end pricing, however the DP-X1 remains a champion in your books overall.
What We Liked
- Unrestricted Android software
- Balanced output option for enthusiasts
- Support for a wide variety of audio formats.
- 432GB total storage capability
- Sound quality is top-tier and of the best in its class
What We Didn’t
- Design is a little flat for a high-end device
- Need to use balanced output to unleash the sound’s full capability
- Screen quality and battery life could be better
|Display||4.7" 720p LCD|
|Storage||32GB internal + two microSD card slot (up to 200GB each)|
|Battery||1,630 mAh (up to 16 hours in unbalanced mode)|
|Software||Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop)|
|DAC||Dual ESS Sabre ES9018K2M|
|Amp||Dual ESS Sabre 9601|
|Audio Outputs||Standard 3.5mm or Balanced 2.5mm (TRRS) ports|
|Audio Formats||DSD (DSF, DSD-IFF), FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, Ogg Vorbis, MP3, AAC, MQA|
|Impedance||Unbalanced: 16 - 300 ohms
Balanced: 32 - 600 ohms
|Frequency Response||20 - 80,000 Hz|
|S/N Ratio||115 dB or more|
Onkyo aimed for any design that‘s just the maximum amount of effortless as it‘s premium to its top-tier portable audio player. The device’s rectangular, hard-edged form can be too basic and understated to its high-end price tag, but wait until you will get your hands onto it. The DP-X1 is entirely encased inside a premium metal unibody, save to the front glass to the display and a little glass strip on the rear in the direction of the bottom (which we assume can there be for antennas that cannot work with the metal like WiFi and Bluetooth wireless connections ).
Usually there are some extra elegant touches, though subtle, all around the chassis. As an example, the circular volume knob includes a ridged texture and also a gold lining, and also the back casing is interestingly bent to taper in it. This unique design choice gives the DP-X1 character but additionally causes it to be therefore the volume control is accessible coming from the front or back.
You’ll find all the DP-X1’s features on each edge. Starting at the highest, we Haven‘t one, but two audio output ports – a typical 3. 5mm jack to the common headphone, you that‘s 2. 5mm for balanced output (TRRS 4-pole connection ). Many high-end audio manufacturers are including balanced capability with their products today, due to its ability of the cleaner output, and Onkyo Didn‘t enjoy being left out.
The DP-X1 includes a feature that almost all HiFi audio players don’t – the software capabilities in an Android device. This flexibility enables it to become much not only a music player. You should use it to watch videos, browse the web, play games, or maybe pretty much anything that Google’s Play Store enables for.
Running the show behind the scenes is Android version 5. 1 (aka Lollipop ), which isn’t the newest version from Google, but it’s not removed from it either. Many of the Material Design interface aesthetics still in play inside the latest smartphones today are present, such like the 2-motion pull-down notification shade and also the Recent Apps carousel.
Onkyo in fact throws in its own audio-centric software touches, but the majority of it revolves around it’s own HF music app, which we consider to become perhaps one of the more quality and refined bits of player software available.
Among Onkyo’s software tweaks are in fact the addition of specialized audio options, accessible from either the internal system settings as well as Onkyo app. Many are usability controls, as a system volume limiter or volume lock to the knob, while others allow audio gurus to alter the sound’s characteristics bit by luscious, luxurious-sounding bit.
The rationale why anyone buys a dedicated music player lately is perfect for superior audio upon the go, otherwise a typical smartphone can serve a similar purpose just fine. Half the DP-X1’s internals are taken up by dual-ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DACs (digitial-to-analog converters ) and dual-ESS Sabre 9601 amps. What’s more, there’s the choice for balanced output with two separate modes : a typical BTL drive proficient at more power, or perhaps a specialized ACG (Active Control GND ) option that produces a good cleaner sound more enhanced separation. And although everything sounds great in writing, will it mean anything in real world listening?
What’s more, There‘s full-fledged Android support – a rarity among audio players – and also the dual DAC / amp system proved to us that It‘s the chops to contend with the large boys. This can be a superb start for Onkyo during this market, and also a must-have to the high-end audiophile in most of us.
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