Best High Resolution Audio Players To Buy In 2017

Watch our expert reviews of the top 5 best MP3 players and DAPs of 2017 so far. Offering either amazing value for money or truly stunning audio quality.

We have looked at the best established DAP brands like Astell & Kern, Pioneer and Questyle as well as new entries into the market like Shanling.

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.


Shanling M2s – £189:

Shanling M3s – £269:

Questyle QP2R – £1299:
Coming Soon…

Astell&Kern AK70 – £499:

Pioneer XDP-300R – £499:

Browse All DAPS:



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Happy Listening !


android 47 says:

Compare these with lg v30

koolstup says:

Thanks guys – really enjoying my Shanling M2s, really nice increase in the quality of audio over the old Sony players and iPod I have

Robert says:

Sony zx300 or a35?

Az Madu says:

What the hell was that? Best for 2017 based on what metrics? Price? Did you mention any?

Features? They play stuff….

Where were the Fiio or the Sony in this list?

mohammed shan says:

In 2018?

Toh HongChun says:

I got to ask, so the ak70 or pioneer 100.
As far as I’m concerned I believe the ak70 would be for the sound quality
And the pioneer 100 is when I’m looking at the UI. Just wanting to know which one is so good that it can compromise the good(s) of the another.

Note: I can’t get my hand on pioneer 300.

almir says:

what about the pioneer xdp 30R?? i need answer please..

Quimet93 says:

What about the FiiO X5III

EMILIO mio says:

there is new AK70 II

Jay Bizz says:

But they all sound tiny, compared to a larger amp, just ok for portable…

Maxismaximal says:

Cayin N5 Mk2

George Saad says:

Ibasso and Fiio have a long way to go, I own the AK70 but I LOVE my Cowon Plenue 1 more!

Matthew Sporle says:

Can any of these devices play music on Spotify?

Sjrick says:

Just a tip. Face studs look ridiculous on men.

Stephen Saunders says:

I’d be more interested if you could analyse the producers of the hardware and the basic chassis and firmwaree they share. There seems to be a Chinese package out there that hasn’t made the western markets yet.

Taki A says:

Shanling DAPs make tons of noises when i use Bluetooth and Hibylink….

Polarizer says:

Focus more energy on your mixing level balancing of the audio in your posts

mildjohn says:

Why must these music player videos play such crappy background music?

Jay Bizz says:

I have the pioneer and I like a lot. The fiio x5 mk3 or 2 I can’t remember exactly the name, it is just ok.

yorusuyasoulYT says:

Zishan z3

Nephilim 81 says:

I love the Astell & Kern KANN. so incredible. Great build. Solid amp. 🙂

p1r70l says:

By God, your popping sound effects are way too loud compared to the rest of the audio. Sounds like an annoying background app. You might want to fix that in the future.

xDevilcryx says:

Are Fiio that bad that not a single one made the list?

Harrison Crutcher says:

For a good option I suggest Vox player with a newer iPhone with a headphone jack or the latest iPod Touch with is the 6th gen iPod Touch and that way you can get more than just music on the device you get. Also it has a headphone jack so you don’t have to plug in a silly jack maker attachment if you like analog audio more than and I think it analog audio with hifi stuff is better than “hifi” bluetooth audio and many audio producers, mixers, and music makers agree with me. For iOS in terms of audio quality I think that Vox player is the best and even playing things from the unlimited storage Vox cloud sounds just as amazing as if things are not played from the Vox cloud. It does support Flac files, but I just use the highest quality or medium quality mp3 available because I can not tell the difference between that and flac even with that player. I also use that with my audio technica m40x headphones and the eq on flat.I have an iPod Touch 6 and use it here and there with a with a mobile hotspot (data wifi maker) from my s7 and 10gb of data never seems to run out since I turn off data usage when in wifi mode and use data only here and there. I honestly think people need should review sound quality of mobile devices with different apps they like, but for the sound quality I can get for my music library it has so be Vox player and I can even use it on my mac and compared to ugh iTunes it sounded the best to me.

Matthew Davies says:

What player sounds the best, or the best for the money? That’s what we most want to know.

Hector Rouski says:

It’s a joke… And what about Cayin n3 and Cayin i5 they are the best in range price 300/500 €

david davidsito says:

2018 pls

Hyro Proto says:

no Fiio x5 3rd Gen ? No X7 Mark II ? WTF ??? Did you forget to say which player sounds better in a “Best DAPs of 2017” list ? Is this a fucking joke ?

Deniz says:

Hello , how is the sound quality of HIFI Walker H2. I just want to listen mp3 with that. How is the sound quality and power in comparison with Cowon D2 or generally with Cowon. And how long does the battery endure ? Thanks

Dave Cochrane says:

This idiotic drone doesn’t understand the difference between an input and an output. Otherwise, a generally crappy “review.”

a J says:

Hi, great video. One question, Which is the best Hi-res audio player that supports music apps like TIDAL, Spotify and other music streaming apps.

Kelany Said says:

Great Review. But can you or somebody tell me what is more important to get a good audio quality?
– The music Format
– The quality of the DAP or
– The quality of headphones
Because am asking myself whether it worth it invest so much money in a DAP if we only have MP3 format music on our DAP..

Atila Gn. says:

hiby r6

Alvaro Perez says:

God stop raping my ears with those sound effects and clips.

skypjuh says:

0:17 Then you should’ve picked the M1

In all seriousness, anything above the Shanling models isn’t really worth the price or just packed with unnecessary or counterintuitive features.
Check Skypjuh’s *Best High Resolution Players To Buy In 2017 (all Chi-Fi edition)* instead.

Everything between 50 to 130 EUR (not USD, I know)

(xDuoo X10)

(xDuoo D3)

(Hidizs AP60)
Though this one doesn’t have physical buttons but touch capacitive like the ones you find under smartphone screens. Hidizs does have good Bluetooth functionality.

(Hidizs AP60 II)
Has a combination of physical and touch capacitive buttons if I’m correct. Bluetooth aswell.

Fiio M3
I own this one. Very pocket-friendly. It’s made of plastic but there’s a case available through eBay. Lasts 24 hours if not longer (depending on volume, settings, format played etc. ofcourse)

(Cayin N3)
Has a very premium finish. Again, touch capacitive buttons not physical ones 🙁

(Aigo M6)

Nintaus X10
I own this one aswell. Built like a brick but has a battery life of 60 hours per charge. The UI is very rudimentary and the button lay-out is awkward but it does a real good job of everything else for an amazing price point.

(Shanling M1)
if you’re gonna go small, go all the way *John*

(SaoMai M4)
If you like ‘flat’ players. Comes with a free external amplifier.. though I can’t vouch for the quality of either the player or the external amplifier.
be sure to check whether regular (free and slow) shipping is available though.

These should give you an idea of what’s out there in terms of DAP’s.

Razz says:

I am using sony nwz- f886 but i want better sound than my sony f886. Plz suggest me better hi res mp3 player…

Störung says:

Ok I liked your 2016 vid on this but I can’t even finish this one for 2 reasons: sound effects are SUPER ANNOYING (one for each product pop up would be fine, all the others are driving me nuts!!) and no RRP. Qu’elle dommage

Caine Sonder says:

Didn’t even mention you’re selling these products at the start of the video, you are just attempting to mislead people to buying your overpriced products, all of these options are trash just use your Google Pixel to store your music and above all else don’t give this snakey and likely failing company any of your money for overpriced goods, which they are trying to mislead you into buying.

Luis Saavedra says:

Get the Sony gold edition is the best best money can buy

mrudula raman says:

Fake hi-fi

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