Originally Posted by tienbasse
Glad that you realize that your situation is not exactly standard.
AK120 may be slightly inferior in SQ (and that's your opinion, I couldn't really hear a difference with a stock HM901), but for anything else, HM901 is just awful.
Not really portable.
Built like a Russian tank maybe, but the UI is also built like a 1990s Russian tank. No EQ, battery life: no comment.
The AK120, apart from its price, doesn't have any major downside. It is a real commercial product which you can use without having to mess with firmwares, DIY modifications and awkward tricks (special dedicace to iBasso, it's amazing how people can accept to be alpha-testers for such as a high price
Bear in mind : we are in the PORTABLE source gear section.
The HM901 is at best transportable, as you mentioned.
Having less than 10h of battery when you travel is a no-go, and when I fly, I have to keep luggage weight under 20kg. So no amp, no full headphones.
I hope you can appreciate my (different) point of view.
I shared the same view and bought the AK120 over the 901.... I tracked the 901 for a long time and even demoed it a few times. I made fun of the 901 aesthetics. It's size. The heat. And don't get me started on UI. Fully justified being first batch buyer of the ak120 and proud and happy enough to even join HF as a posting member to share this amazing DAP. I really liked the ak120 as an upgrade to the ak100 as price doesn't really bothered me that much.
That was, until I demo'ed the 901 one last time with the balanced amp board. Sounded too good. Bought it despite all thr flaws thinking to be using it at home where nobody would see me fiddling with it. Indeed it was tough getting used to its quirks and issues. I ended up using it more, and more, and still more and even have it in my pants pocket on my commute to and from work, or grocery shopping, or anytime I go out as long as it is sufficiently charged.
I'm a superficial guy had only deviate from my form over substance purchase philosophy twice with two headgear purchases, and 901 is one of them. I still kept the ak120, as a backup or if long battery life is needed as I almost never take it over the 901. And I kept it until the dx50 took even that role away from the ak120.
Looking forward to my preordered zx1. It would probably replaces the dx50.
So, in a nutshell, the major downside of ak120, to me at least, was the sound. YMMV.Edited by kkcc - 10/14/13 at 3:32am