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The New iRiver AK100: A High-End DAP - Page 90

post #1336 of 8655
I really want to read the comparisons between the RWAK and the DX...they're about the same money...and even a used DX is only a C Note away from a new unit...so it seems that they're pretty much neck in neck..
post #1337 of 8655
Quote:
Originally Posted by icefalkon View Post

I really want to read the comparisons between the RWAK and the DX...they're about the same money...and even a used DX is only a C Note away from a new unit...so it seems that they're pretty much neck in neck..

 

This is me speculating here...but SQ-wise I'm actually not expecting the RWAK100 to "blow" the DX100 away. I'm going to guess that as you've said probably neck-2-neck and it's probably going to be more subtle differences that'll lead to personal sonic style preferences due to the DAC or OpAmp.

 

But aside from SQ, to me (and I'm definitely going to kill my potential DX100 sales here) the RWAK100 as a pocketable size DAP with an SQ as good as the DX100 makes it a winner. There are a few other little things that the DX100 may still have an edge over the RWAK100 such as the 1/4" socket which seems to provide better SQ than it's 1/8" neighbour, or an official lineout, and real amp power to drive high impedance cans reasonably well. But personally for me, all my cans, may they be headphones or IEMs, are under 32ohm.

 

The optical out (if it performs as well as the DX100) is also useful for me when it comes to DAC/Amp testing with my sound tracks.

post #1338 of 8655

I will be listening to the AK100 vs my DX100 at the Flamingo during CES 2013 in Vegas. This will be showed  by Red Wine Audio along with the Audeze LCD-3. Room 4056. I also will  have my ALO RXMark3B and my Ultrasone Sig. Pro headphones. I will post my findings from the Show.

post #1339 of 8655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwm48324 View Post

I will be listening to the AK100 vs my DX100 at the Flamingo during CES 2013 in Vegas. This will be showed  by Red Wine Audio along with the Audeze LCD-3. Room 4056. I also will  have my ALO RXMark3B and my Ultrasone Sig. Pro headphones. I will post my findings from the Show.


Looks interesting. What I do like about the DX100, is that you don't have to stack it when you need more power. It drives everything I own and does it well. For easier to drive phones and I guess if the AK has the output resistor bypassed, the AK would seem to be a nice solution to a small dap with hopefully very good SQ.

post #1340 of 8655

1000


Edited by uelover - 1/1/13 at 3:32pm
post #1341 of 8655

FIRST up I am one of the IDIOT'S who has purchased an AK100.... And I have not regretted the purchase. And no the apology is not accepted. People should be more considerate of fellow members than to use such language at other members. But given the BS in this thread I am going to break that and join in with my own RANT.

 

I've read right through the 90 pages of this thread before posting... I've held off hoping some really objective discussion finally came through... Sadly I have to say this has been the least helpful equipment thread I've read at Head-Fi. Some of you guys have really helped in the past through real world experiences of equipment you own or at least have thoroughly tested PERSONALLY. All these accusations about iRiver "lying" to the public about portability and the AK100 being unusable with IEMs is so exaggerated, that some of you people's credibility is out the door! I can't get over how so many of you have been ready to throw your reputations out the door! I won't be able to take some of you seriously in future. The use of graphs has not been OBJECTIVE at all as it has not been used to support real world listening experiences. It's been mostly subjective opinion and supposition on what one might hear with all (sensitive) IEMs.

 

Almost all the criticism of this DAP has centred on graphs and charts, based on two IEMs, one of which (TF10) is known to have a V-shape output most likely directly linked to its impedance curve. And the other a well respected pioneer of BA earphones. So the DAP gets blamed for the results of the tests. And comparing to the DX100 result is moot. That's the way it performs with that DAP. So what? Is it unlistenable? It is quite listenable... and I have HEARD it. Perfect? NO. But definitely listenable.

 

While I am no expert on audiology, I know a little about hearing since I get my hearing tested annually and know the level of hearing loss I have from optimal. And given that the highest note on a piano is about 4kHz, and that the average adult can only hear to about 12kHz with many lower and only a few higher, all the charts that have been produced showing treble roll-off or other variations seem to start at 10kHz and above, with most outside of human hearing range. If some of you had really listened to the device with your ears instead of your eyes you might have had a better perspective on this impedance issue. Do any of you know what other technologies iRiver may be using to give good sound that overcomes the impedance issue. And before any of you repeat any of your previous BS, I've read it to death. No need to go over it again. Move on....  

 

A couple of members who have posted some real time listening experience get shot down by the chartbusters... I am not saying graphs don't have a place in the debate, but surely they should be used to explain why certain real time listening findings have occurred. NOT simply to bag an item which is not alone in having a higher output impedance in the market. All this HOOHAA over sensitive IEMs when most of you techno-head boffins have libelled iRiver without any reasonable listening through a range of earphones and headphones is a disgrace!

 

Although I would like to single one member out in particular because of their rudeness and condescending attitude to most if not all contrary views without a thread of experience with the AK100, I won't because he's not alone... suffice to say, any of you who've bagged the AK100 without any experience or at best an hour or two's listening in some shop with all that background noise, dubious rips and so on have contributed nothing of value to this thread. Bloody hell, 90 pages and I'm still to see a review of an un-modded or even a modded RWA one! Yet anyone in the market for a new DAP who was put off the DX100 by another bunch of baggers is going to find it hard going to select one. The only device you would reasonably feel confident in is a Clip... at least you won't have blown a bunch of dollars!!!!

 

I posed in another thread my dilemma on choosing a new DAP and when I suggested the AK100 met my criteria and after reading many favourable reviews and even Mike's less than flattering one and had decided to order one on-line, a member who I have seen many valuable posts from suggested I read this thread through before purchasing. Well as I posted there, I had already pulled the plug.

 

After spending weekend worrying had I blown $700, my unmodded AK100 turned up and I've now spent several days listening to a range of FLAC and 320kbps MP3 tracks, through the headphones and earphones as listed in my signature, all I can say is, this little DAP is terrific. I've used both direct from the 3.5mm jack and also through my E17. I've also used the optical which is a line-out despite the miscellaneous misrepresentations herein, and it's good too. Can't say my IEM's have any boomy bass or roll-off or treble roll-off or any of the forewarned unusable sounds. And there is little difference between amped and unamped. Sure some sound different to my other sources, but all are completely listenable, however I will concede the TF10s are not the best, but then I have moved on from them. I lost a pair a while ago and replaced them. I shouldn't have.

 

I would like to write a full review on MY experiences with this DAP and may do so after a while longer with it. As I will likely draw nothing but flack from the arm-chair experts lurking this thread I don't feel much inclined to waste my time though.

 

But for those interested, I do have some observations which I will share:

 

  1. My favourite IEMs with the AK100 are my Westone 4Rs. They sound better out of the iRiver than any other source I have (iPhone 5, Rockboxed iPod Classic 80gb are most used previously). Someone asked weeks ago how these sound and I will answer fantastic to me. The clarity, sound signature and stage, lack of sibilance, wonderfully toned bass, deep but clear and no boom, is just how I expected these IEMs should sound. Bear in mind I am using the stock cables with these. Every genre I play, these sound good!
  2. As I said the TF10s are not so good, but then they don't sound good with my other sources anymore since I've had my Shures and Westones. But those graphs that have been posted support what my ears hear within the limits of human hearing range!
  3. I have both standard 535s and the special edition (red) ones. The SEs are definitely brighter and both brighter through the AK100 than other sources above. I would say I like their sound less than the W4R with this DAP but like them more with my iPhone and iPod. I guess that is the because the iRiver seems to have more treble with IEMs and may be explained by the high impedance (although at odds with the TF10). However, they can be markedly improved with EQ. Something I don't normally do and don't need to do with the W4Rs. Of course the std 535s are known to have forward mids and the SE 535s, even more forward treble so the results are in keeping with each of these IEMs profile.
  4. I have also tested the AK100 with a couple headphones. I have a pair of HRH-840s I use for keyboard practice on my Korg PA3x and SK-1 Hammond. I chose this can because it is closed back and rates highly as a neutral headphone. With the AK100, they are wonderful. So natural across all frequencies. Definitely the best sound for this DAP for me. But being closed back, and with our humid and hot climate on Australia's Gold Coast (it's 95F here today), I can't wear them for long which is a shame.
  5. They sound very good with my Bose QC-15 and although these apparently have only 15ohms at their lower impedance setting (73 at high), they sound just great although not as good as the Shure 840s.
  6. I love the UI. The volume knob is great. As someone finally reported after about 10 pages of knocking the knob, a full rotation only moves about 12 of 150 graduations so an accidental turn in pocket is not going to burst an eardrum. On the contrary, you can adjust volume while to UI is asleep without taking it out of your pocket. The side location is also good as its placed well for your thumb. And the FF, Pause, RW buttons are easy to use by touch after a little practice. All without reactivating the screen. Sure there could be better navigation to some things and I am sure it'll be like any touch screen device, they will change things with firmware upgrades. One I'd like is a quick scroll through albums/artists and so on...
  7. The ONE thing I am disappointed with is the current lack or Gapless playback. Before I re-rip my live albums into contiguous files, I'll give iRiver a little time to update the firmware.

 

I want to close by saying that this fixation with 1:8 rule (I don't see how 1/8 is appropriate to the debate) seems to be based on very old practice in audio circles. While some seem to adhere to it, even on Head-Fi, there are plenty who debunk the theory. I think those that insist that a device should only output 1ohm or less choose this low impedance to justify their insistence that you must apply the 1:8 rule. My receiver is a recent Yamaha Aventage RX-A3000. Its headphone output impedance is 100ohms. Should I buy 800ohm headphones so I here it properly? I don't recall any HOO HAA destroying Yamaha's reputation for producing an AVR that you can only use a handful of headphones with. Are there any headphones with 800ohm impedance? HANG ON, my Shures and Bose sound just fine with it. Oh and so do my IEMs although I don't usually listen to IEMs with a full receiver.

 

What I can say, is as a small portable, 24bit/192kHz device with a nice UI and brilliant design... I am very happy with it. I didn't choose a DX100 because of flaws in the UI (Old Android OS) and when I already have a iPhone 5, all the DX's bells and whistles were just bells and whistles. I just wanted better sounds from my portable and the AK100 delivers that in a nice package. And the AK100 sounds very nice indeed. I have no DX100 t0 compare to though and even then I think any of us can only comment on what our OWN EARS hear. Mine here this every nicely thanks...

 

Cheers and Happy New Year

post #1342 of 8655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpfe8851 View Post

 

After spending weekend worrying had I blown $700, my unmodded AK100 turned up and I've now spent several days listening to a range of FLAC and 320kbps MP3 tracks, through the headphones and earphones as listed in my signature, all I can say is, this little DAP is terrific. I've used both direct from the 3.5mm jack and also through my E17. I've also used the optical which is a line-out despite the miscellaneous misrepresentations herein, and it's good too. Can't say my IEM's have any boomy bass or roll-off or treble roll-off or any of the forewarned unusable sounds. And there is little difference between amped and unamped. Sure some sound different to my other sources, but all are completely listenable, however I will concede the TF10s are not the best, but then I have moved on from them. I lost a pair a while ago and replaced them. I shouldn't have.

 

 

 

  1. My favourite IEMs with the AK100 are my Westone 4Rs. They sound better out of the iRiver than any other source I have (iPhone 5, Rockboxed iPod Classic 80gb are most used previously). Someone asked weeks ago how these sound and I will answer fantastic to me. The clarity, sound signature and stage, lack of sibilance, wonderfully toned bass, deep but clear and no boom, is just how I expected these IEMs should sound. Bear in mind I am using the stock cables with these. Every genre I play, these sound good!

 

 

What I can say, is as a small portable, 24bit/192kHz device with a nice UI and brilliant design... I am very happy with it. I didn't choose a DX100 because of flaws in the UI (Old Android OS) and when I already have a iPhone 5, all the DX's bells and whistles were just bells and whistles. I just wanted better sounds from my portable and the AK100 delivers that in a nice package. And the AK100 sounds very nice indeed. I have no DX100 t0 compare to though and even then I think any of us can only comment on what our OWN EARS hear. Mine here this every nicely thanks...

 

Cheers and Happy New Year

 

That's what I wanted to hear!  Thank you for the review.

post #1343 of 8655
Thanks for the effort, but I stopped reading at 'Bose'...
post #1344 of 8655

Glad you like it but a lot of that is silly as well. I also took objection to the name calling in this thread but the output impedance issue is a real one for almost any BA or multi driver device. Much of it's intended market. Harmonics matter in music and if your willing to talk about 24/192 files, you better be on board with dynamics and bandwith as well. Can it still sound good with impedance induced tonal abberations? I'm sure it can and it will be variable by device used but I think the disappointment is in that it didn't need to be this way. It's feedback like this that makes things get better like RWA is hopefully helping with. By the way, somebody should try a stock one with a Klipsch X10. May get some highs back with how it responds to that impedance curve.bigsmile_face.gif

 

Forums are about black and white extreme positions on things when in most situations, reality lies somewhere in the gray.


Edited by goodvibes - 1/1/13 at 7:44pm
post #1345 of 8655
Quote:
Originally Posted by toads View Post

Thanks for the effort, but I stopped reading at 'Bose'...
See, that's your problem not mine. I fly about 35 trips a year... The QC15s are very good for flying... Better than anything else I've had including Sony and Senns or isolating IEMs.

Too many judgements on half the info in this thread...
post #1346 of 8655

This is pretty much what I've been waiting for - some feedback from a user with the player who is just using his ears. Charts certainly are helpful, but it isn't the complete picture. We will probably read impressions that are different and not as positive, perhaps from an owner with different sensitive iems. I hope to read more and more about what this impedance actually sounds like and it's unlikely, but a stock vs. rwak comparison would be very useful.

post #1347 of 8655

Nice to see some actual use and impressions. I don't agree on the frequency range with the suggestion that most people can't hear above 12khz. Even if you can't, their are harmonics and it is from these harmonics from higher frequencies that are way above human hearing, that give the impression of space and openness. The 8:1 rule has been around for some time, and has proven out with some variance. It is a known factor in an even frequency response and a better controlled. bass. Something with100ohms of output for headphones is just a shame and goes against known logic. Something may sound good, but how much better it could sound if everything is in balance is the point.


Edited by jamato8 - 1/1/13 at 8:46pm
post #1348 of 8655
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post

This is pretty much what I've been waiting for - some feedback from a user with the player who is just using his ears. Charts certainly are helpful, but it isn't the complete picture. We will probably read impressions that are different and not as positive, perhaps from an owner with different sensitive iems. I hope to read more and more about what this impedance actually sounds like and it's unlikely, but a stock vs. rwak comparison would be very useful.

 

I did post an impression on them somewhere in the start of the thread with my k3003 and TG!334s.

post #1349 of 8655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpfe8851 View Post

FIRST up I am one of the IDIOT'S who has purchased an AK100.... And I have not regretted the purchase. And no the apology is not accepted. People should be more considerate of fellow members than to use such language at other members. But given the BS in this thread I am going to break that and join in with my own RANT.

 

[...]

 

Although I would like to single one member out in particular because of their rudeness and condescending attitude to most if not all contrary views without a thread of experience with the AK100, I won't because he's not alone... suffice to say, any of you who've bagged the AK100 without any experience or at best an hour or two's listening in some shop with all that background noise, dubious rips and so on have contributed nothing of value to this thread. Bloody hell, 90 pages and I'm still to see a review of an un-modded or even a modded RWA one! Yet anyone in the market for a new DAP who was put off the DX100 by another bunch of baggers is going to find it hard going to select one. The only device you would reasonably feel confident in is a Clip... at least you won't have blown a bunch of dollars!!!!

 

Thank you for the courage to bag one for the team. Me and AnakChan will be receiving the first batch of the RWAK100 shortly (it's no surprise to see the lack of its review because the first batch had just been shipped out on Monday).

post #1350 of 8655
The postman just came by and passed me my RWAK100!!
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