Best high resolution audio players to buy in 2016 – Expert Review

Watch our expert reviews of the top 10 best MP3 players and DAPs of 2016 so far. Offering either amazing value for money or truly stunning audio quality.
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We have looked at the best established DAP brands like Astell & Kern, Acoustic Research and Lotoo as well as new entries into the market like Questyle and Pioneer and great value offerings from FiiO.

DAPs are audiophile quality digital audio players that support 24 bit formats such as FLAC, OGG and WAV as well as compressed formats such as MP3. These high end audio players are often capable of driving the best full size and on ear headphones.


FiiO M3:

FiiO X3-II:

Lotoo PAW 5000:

Astell&Kern AK Jr:

Opus #1:

Pioneer XDP-100R:

Questyle QP1R:

Acoustic Research AR-M2:

Astell&Kern AK320:

Lotoo PAW Gold:



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Happy Listening !


Nate Ellis says:

I need something that will play WAV files off a USB Drive. : ) this has a USB DAC does that mean it will do that?

Twin Turbo says:

What no Sony ?

Roshan Valsan says:

Hello there! Great review..
I’m searching for a good sounding dap with search function and relatively lag free interface. I use senn hd598, audio technica ath m50, fidue a73 and rha t10. File management is a must and the option to delete the song from the player itself.
I’m considering fiio x7, sony zx2 and onkyo dp-x1. Anything else I should look at? And your pick among the players satisfying my criteria?
Thanks a lot in advance.

Vráťa Hůla says:

Where is xduoo X3 ? Thats much more better sound then fiio x3 !

lorddarphyve says:

Please invest in a pop filter for your mic

OmShantiShanti496 says:

i’m probably in the wrong place but the research is exhausting. here’s my idea. i want to get a dedicated laptop for uploading and storing all of my CDs as my collection grows. i don’t want to connect to wifi or use itunes, google play etc. i want it all self contained.i probably have 2000 cds and steadily growing as i travel. i want to have the ability to burn a cd for people or for my car when traveling. then i stumbled upon this type of player which i wouldn’t mind having to take my collection everywhere i go in a small package to use with headphones, connect to car stereo or home stereo. i want simple but top notch. i’m not a true techie but open to advice on what and where to go with this. i’m currently using itunes for everything and i’m tired of the wifi needed to hear my music. any help would be great. thanx!!

Mathieulh says:

this review is crap, no Sony or Onkyo DAP here. The Sony nw-zx2 alone sounds better than the ak240 for 3 times cheaper. There are way too many good options that were left off.

sandechoir says:

only fiio my budget that i can afford it

Jake Mix says:

Your voice alone is “HiFi” so good to ears

Brian Wong says:

This is the best! XDuoo X2 Portable HiFi Music MP3

Alosious Prince says:

I know you are so busy. I hope you don’t my help me out . I would like to listen to Hi-res Audio Files on My PC. So I I have bought 24 bit External USB Sound Card. is that all i need to feel the high fidelity experience ? What about the Speakers or Headphones plug-in to this external sound card. Should they be also Hi-Res Audio Compatible, I mean should they have the capability of Handling high frequency ranges like Hi-res headphones or Hi-Fi Speakers ?

Adam Smith says:

the bit opus 1 > xp 100 r pionneer.

Mohd Azri Mohamad says:

are all of these dap can be use as Usb Dac?

Kris Dougherty says:

Between the OPUS #1 and the XDP-100R which one would you say is the better choice?

jfbaquero says:

Were is the Cayin i5??? Winner of best DAP of the year 2016 in Headfonics and Headphone Guru, and second place in Heafonia. It seems you are doing your job pretty badly.

ivan aleman says:

no Walkman in this list

AussieBlokeGordo says:

Fuck me dead look at the prices of some of these units, are you kidding me

Saiyianka Chege says:

Hello, what would you reccomend in terms of an mp3 that has both bluetooth and fm

Andres Arvan says:

Where are are the Cowon players??
Seems like you are marketing specific brands.

Rave Snave says:

Why was the Cayin i5 not included? Did you not consider it worthy?

Free Beats by Remi QX says:

Sony didn’t make the cut? Really?

Rodney Thomas says:

shit review

Matias Rubilar says:

what is your opinion on the Ibasso dx80?

Cisneros 123 says:

How much better is the paw gold comparing to Fiio x3? How can price vary that much differently?

wael well says:

Which do you think has better sound, the “Fiio X1 ” or the “Sony walkman NWZ A15 ” as they are close in terms of price ? Thanks.

crowguns says:

FIIO —> Ipod Classic HD-Less or Flash-card in… kkkk

widM says:

How can FiiO M3 be so cheap? Where is the catch?

Enja der Headbanger says:

Ich liebe HD Musik

xorkatoss says:

lolall of these shit are so expensive they make apple products look cheap

Miko K says:

Please in future sort out your plosives. This was terrible to listen to with headphones

Francisco Postigo García says:

I’m starting in this, do you recommend ten Sony A25HN???Is this a good player for 230$??The IEMs included are good??

sathish kumar says:

background bgm name pleas….

Fred Fonacier says:

Why would I buy one of these when I can just use a studio monitor or monitor headphones

Didtok Nan says:

That’s not really a review, it’s more a specs recitation.

Maro Vok says:

Fares Collin was able to learn not to speak with this annoying accent ..

davidofchinkov41 says:

could you do a comparison with lotoo pawa gold with sony’s recently announced Walkman mp3 player? also, you got yourself a new sub! ^ 4^

E RD says:

hifiheadphones which is the best music player for audiotechnica athm50X please tell..i mean which audio player gives the best audio output fro that headphones

Altex lan says:

The M20 seem to be worst then China product. only the sound is a bit better than others.
I cannot connect USB to be it, the menu is a junk. no forward button. each time I have to press ON switch,slide the screen to forward a song. seem to be a silly design. This is their latest design. what a joke. I email them regarding the problem. those as hole don;t understand it. I am electronic technician and those layman talking rubbish to be.

hemidesign says:

you missed the Cowon players.. they’re amazing!

Cisneros 123 says:

How much better is Fiio x3 comparing to samsung galaxy s7 in terms of music quality?

Badhon Ebrahim says:

Pioneer XDP-100R cn also play mp3 format??

TensaZangetsu63 says:

why the Pioneer XDP-100R and not the Onkyo DP-X1?

Erik Leonardi says:

you must be crazy to not include the cayin i5

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