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Help me find the right portable player

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone.

I'm a newbie here and in the world of Hi Fi.

I'm searching the first high quality music player to buy and I have read tons of posts on this forum, but I still nedd your help.

I'd like to buy an high end player, but reading the threads here on the forum I see that every model have some problems and I can't decide which to buy.

I'd like to use it on the go, so with iem and not big headphones.

I have taken in account many players.


For example the ibasso dx100: I read that most of you like a lot this player, but it's big, heavy and with a short battery life.

The hifiman 901 is interesting but continues to be postponed.

The iriver ak100 is interesting too, but I have read about lots of problems with different iem.

There is the red wine audio versione, but I don't know if it's available to buy in europe.

The tera player would be interesting at a lower price...


So I can't decide on my own


Which model would you recommend to me, keeping in mind that I'll use it mainly on the go?

Another important feature is the sound quality: I'd like to buy a player with the best quality obtainable on a portable player.

And last but not least: which iem would you recommend with it?


Thanks a lot to everyone for my stupid newbie questions, and sorry for my poor english.

post #2 of 7

None of the high-priced players feature exceptional battery life, which I think needs to be considered since you're using it on the go as you said. The RWAK100 should be available in Europe as they do list several distributors in EU-member countries. Here's the link: http://redwineaudio.com/distributors


Though it isn't a top-tier product, the Cowon J3 is pretty good for portable use. It has great battery life, expandable storage, a decent-enough UI, and good (though not spectacular) sound quality. They can be had for around $200 for the 32GB unit. If you're dead set on a high end unit, I think the RWAK100 may be the best choice - it gets around 12-15 hours on one charge and the sound by all accounts rivals that of the DX100 which is significantly larger and has a battery life of around 8-9 hours. It also has dual micro-SD slots.


I feel like players need to catch up to the iems and headphones - there is no end-all be-all player that does everything brilliantly - they all have their shortcomings. Good luck on your search!

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for your answer.

I'll try to contact some distributors of red wine here in Europe.


What is the problem that the "normal" ak100 have, solved by the modded versione by red wine?


I know that is difficult to advise about iem and headphones, but just to begin searching, which brand and model of iem would work better coupled with the rwak100?

post #4 of 7

It has an output impedance of 22 ohms, which causes problems with sensitive iems (this causes iems to behave in a way that is inconsistent with their intended frequency response). The mod by Red Wine Audio fixes this and makes it work properly with easy-to-drive iems, which is the whole point of having a small portable player, right? Who would want to be forced to use full-size cans in order to not screw up the sound with the wrong impedance ratio? If sensitive iems are used, who want to be forced to use a portable amp just to get the impedance right?  The general consensus is that iriver screwed up big-time with this aspect of the player. Pretty much everything else about it seems to be really good, though the battery life is just average.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ok, thanks again

I'll contact directly red wine audio.

And about mid class music player, which model would be suitable besides the cowon?

post #6 of 7
If portability an issue then buy Sony A series or F series walkman and add AMPs like RSA P51 Mustang, JDS Labs C421 and these with or without AMPs sound realy good with IEMs like Sony EX1000, W4r, Heir Audio 4Ai.
post #7 of 7



I didn't want to start a new thread. So I will just right my questions here. Currently I have Cowon J3 used mainly with Westone 3 and HD25-1-II and I am thinking about the source upgrade. Is it a good idea to go for rockboxed ipod classic + lod + external amp or it is just a waste of money and I should go for studio V or hifiman hm-602? 

Edited by StalkerRus - 1/19/13 at 2:57am
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