Yes, I made the leap that stamps me as one of those crazy audio guy , this player is around 4 times the price of my last DAP purchase , let see what I think about it, mind you I don't have much gear to throughly test this on, I have been using this thing for a week or so . For my sound preference , I don't like boom boom noises, I don't like neutral sound either. So lets start on the basics
Gears tested for use and comparison
Ipod touch 4thgen +fiio e17
Samsung Note 2
Headphone and IEMS
FAD Adagio 3
Ultrasone hfi 2400
Design and Build quality
I bought the ak100 instead of similiarly priced player because of its actual size , the thing is actually smaller than an ipod 4th gen , its much much more easily pocketed than what it competitors do. The body itself is made out of aluminium , brushed i suppose , the back is iphone 4s style glass , on the front you have a small touchscreen that is just of the perfect size for the player , with nothing else, on the left side is 3 buttons each mapped to play, next and back, and to the right is a volume knob. I especially like the touch of volume knob in this player, it make it seem amazingly hi class and with the build quality to back that claim I think it can be viewed that way.
In comparison to the other player I actually have handled the dx100, these two represents two different design logic , the Ak100 is a thing of beauty, classy , the Dx100 look rugged, practical , manly sort. They are both build equally well from what I can tell, and would withstand day to day usage.
on the top you have your headphone out and optical out , and on the bottom micro usb and a door covered 2 micro sd slot, yes TWO microsd slot
I don't have any experience with the optical out , so I can't give you anything to say about it ,but the headphone out is better than what I have seen from my J3 and the Nova 1, it takes an conscious tug for you to actually remove it
This is a BIG reason for me to go to this player instead of something like the studio v , or hifimans 602, or even the Dx100. Its the UI , this is by far the best UI I have seen on high end audio player , its amazingly very ipod like. You can browse by artist/ album or by folder, the best thing is that I actually have to fiddle jack**** for this thing including the tags and album artwork to work , the time when I try the Dx100 , the UI feels clunky and I didn't really like it (if I ever buy it I will probably screw on poweramp if I can into it, screw higher bit rate I don't have anything higher than 24)
as I have stated before , to me who came from players with easy to use UI and not used to what is commonly used in head fi (folder browsing) , I found this UI to be very much a blessing. It came to me in a suprise though to find what is called as a high end audio player without any strictly UI quirk so far in
as for the features, it have an EQ , and well you can make playlists inside the player (think ipods on the go feature) but thats about it , there is no gapless, no games, no messing around the UI, it have no text reader or games or video player (which I don't think people here care about)
as you can see, i have no high end earphone , and no actual 500++ dollar headphone to test this player with, I will try to visit jaben or other headphone store (headfonias new store come to mind) to have a test with high end headphone (just write me a request somewhere)
First of all i can say this thing drives everything I have well enough , I listen to 50 or so volume and the player doesn't scream to my ear like the Nova 1 used to do. On to the "objectively" bad part is that this thing have JACK**** bass , the bass is dipped extremely short with a thump rather than a boom , its not sharp like the nova 1 , its there but its just so low and drowned by everything else.
the good part is that , everything else is a MAJOR improvement from whatever else I listed above , the sound is extremely clean with all headphone, the treble have that amazing sparkle that I like so much, the mid sounds amazingly lush , I can hear the vocals more clearly than any of the player , overall this thing is a well done replacement for me for my cowon j3
I will update this later on with a test result from other high end headphone up to maybe the HD 700/800 price range
note ;this is stock ak100 running the 1.33 firmware