Originally Posted by Q Mass
I'd buy the AK120, but......HOW much!!
I like Sony gear, but I've not had a DAP from them since the D2 came out, and the only upcoming DAP that really tempts me is the DX50 ( or maaayyybe the X5 ).
Sorry Sony :-/
I see the iBasso DX50 as being a potential market-changer.
It's not that the DX50 is a giant-killer (it isn't) but it offers a lot for the money, including decent build quality.
And, notwithstanding my misgivings over it's alteration in output power, the X5 looks set to offer good build and sound quality for mid-price (circa $500).
The X5 and DX50 herald significant changes, in terms of what customers will now expect for their money (and they embarrass iRiver's greed even further).
Sony are egotists if they continue to think they can charge more than $500 for their flagship DAPs whilst still hand-cuffing customers in terms of expandability and other features already present on cheaper competitors from China (like Fiio and iBasso). It is very obvious that Sony do watch what the rest of the world is producing, and this is apparent from their surprise release of an iPod-specific DAC quite recently, and their balanced armature universal IEMs, etc. But their arrogance will be their undoing if they think they can continue to ignore the likes of iBasso and Fiio. Sony may be much larger and may be able to produce their own amp/dac chips, but the age-old maxim that 'the bigger they are, the harder they fall' has never ceased to be true. Apple have faltered (IMO) since Jobs' demise, and Sony have suffered painful losses in the flat screen marketplace, this past couple of years. The point is that unless they start serving their customers sincerely, rather than serving their own selfish interests first & foremost, they'll end up shooting themselves in the feet.
Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with Sony.
I still own (and really rate) a couple of their D-777 discmans, and had a number of cassette walkmen (and non-flagship discmans) during the 1980s and 1990s. I have genuine fondness and respect for all of those products, and, as a whole, view Sony as one of the better mass-market electronics vendors. But I really dislike their sh1tty attitude towards handcuffing customers of their present-day DAPs, in so many ways, just like Apple do.
If they carry on like this, even these 2 giants (Apple and Sony) will become extinct. Self-serving dinosaurs are running out of time, in a marketplace where the likes of Fiio and iBasso (for the most part) listen to, and serve the needs of, their customers, and without hand-cuffing them in a selfish attempt to ensure planned obsolescence and forced upgrading every 2 years.
I hope Sony will grow up and serve the needs of their customers with this forthcoming flagship DAP, but I'm not holding my breath. What I do like about Sony's high-end DAPs is the relatively slick interface, generally decent audio engineering, and lovely industrial design, but their penchant for producing amp stages which are proprietary IC-based is unfortunate for those of us who prefer amp stages with a bit more emphasis on current delivery than on power efficiency.
Edited by Mython - 9/12/13 at 12:55pm