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The Official Echobox Explorer Thread

post #1 of 1898
Thread Starter 

ANNOUNCEMENT - WE ARE NOW DOING R&D ON EXPANDABLE STORAGE DUE TO OVERWHELMING HEAD-FI FEEDBACK! KEEP THE SUGGESTIONS COMING, WE WANT THIS TO BE THE PERFECT STREAMING PLAYER THAT ANY HEAD-FIER WILL BUY!



 



TELL US WHAT YOU WANT AND BE PART OF OUR R&D RIGHT HERE IN THIS THREAD!!!!!



 



Greetings, fellow audio addicts...



Echobox Audio https://www.facebook.com/echoboxaudio) has arrived at CES 2015 bearing post-holiday bundles of portable audio joy. And this isn't just any old juiced-up MP3 player.


Allow me to introduce you to the Echobox Explorer X1 - the first affordable media player designed from the ground up to cater to each and every one of the modern audiophile's needs and desires.





Have you ever owned a flask? It's one of those little things that you never really think you need, but once you've owned one and used it, it's hard to let it any further away than your jacket pocket when the occasion calls for it - just like a great pair of portables or earphones. A flask is the discreet, socially acceptable, yet rascally way around paying ten bucks a shot at a fancy bar or club without looking like a sketchy teenager sneaking around with an oddly-colored water bottle. It's one of those little secrets to life that not everyone discovers, but becomes a staple in your life once you do

While we don't encourage stashing a real flask on your person at all times (that's a bit excessive...even for us), you can fill its weekday void in your jacket pocket with the Explorer X1 and your favorite portables - and we are fully prepared to accept and cater to a very flexible definition of the world "portable." With it's discreetly flashy metal and genuine wood styling, a powerful 300 mw/channel 3.5mm spout that can drive all but the most demanding cans with finesse and ease, and an impressively neutral 24/192 Texas Instruments PCM1792 DAC that will put all but the most expensive portable DAPs to absolute shame, the Explorer X1 has the kick and the flavor to make serious full-sized cans shine, while keeping even the most sensitive IEMs hiss-free with a sub-1 ohm output impedance.

Now you might have noticed that we really want to show just how intentionally we've chosen every component of this player, and if you're as obsessive about the details as we are, you're still wondering what puts this pocket-sized gem so far ahead of the competition. While the Explorer holds its own against, and in some cases trounces, more expensive competition in terms of both form and functionality, we’ve got an ace up our sleeve. Actually two; after all, this is Vegas, baby

The Explorer X1 fills in one crucial component that has been missing from audiophile pocketables, and we wonder why the other guys didn’t see this one coming down the river: streaming

Even though most popular services aren’t up to audiophile snuff, Echobox knows that even the most critical audiophiles sometimes just want to rock out to some tunes we haven’t heard in a while, and the Explorer’s open Android OS puts just about every licensed streaming service at your fingertips, from the crowd-favorites like Pandora, Spotify, and Google Music (these last two now sport 320kbps streams, for those recoiling in compression-induced horror), to the truly audiophile-friendly lossless streaming services like TIDAL, WiMP, and Qobuz. That’s right - in case you’re behind the curve, the Android ecosystem has come into a handful or so of true lossless streaming services in the last few years, and they pack a punch. Nobody lives up to our full 24/192 potential yet, but seriously, we’re talking about enormous libraries of CD-quality music at your fingertips. Constantly.


But the Explorer’s streaming capabilities don’t stop at pulling fresh tunes from the cloud. To top it all off, the X1 sports an open bar of protocols to connect to nearby devices and pull music straight from them. Whether you keep your real collection on your phone, laptop, tablet, or whatever the hell else you’ve got stashed behind the bar, you can drink straight from the bottle by hooking up via WiFi or DLNA/Airplay to pull anything your heart desires from your collection right onto a handy little portable screen. (By the way, if you don’t mind the wires, we threw in an optical out. Just for you.)


And believe me, there’s more to come. Echobox is taking connected listening to a whole new level, using music to bring people together over great distances in true Head-Fi spirit. Just wait til you see what we’re sneaking into the party next - something we can share with everyone.

If you're in town, come stop by our booth (22060, South Hall) and take a pull from the Explorer X1. Oh, and our new all-titanium earphones (yeah, the whole housing, inside and out) that feature exclusive German-designed PEEK drivers and a tuning filter system, and punch at about double their $199 price point.




Also check out our website! www.EchoboxAudio.com
Edited by EchoboxAudio - 7/31/15 at 9:21am
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post #2 of 1898

Is the memory expandable? Just posted the same question on your fb page, too...

post #3 of 1898
Thread Starter 

Heydoublea 71.Thank you for your input .Unfortunately our streamer does not support expandable memory at the moment. But we do provide lossless music streaming for variety of music selection.

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post #4 of 1898
Quote:
Originally Posted by EchoboxAudio View Post
 

Heydoublea 71.Thank you for your input .Unfortunately our streamer does not support expandable memory at the moment. But we do provide lossless music streaming for variety of music selection.


Thanks for the response. I think it will be something you will need to add in the future and the flask design is....interesting. Best of luck to you guys.

post #5 of 1898
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your feedback! We want to do whatever we can to make our product perfect. Our research team is working very hard to improve our product. We will definitely have them start working on the expandable memory feature as soon as we can.

 

Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram:) and thank you for the support!!


Edited by EchoboxAudio - 1/7/15 at 10:27pm
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post #6 of 1898

Interesting product. However, I foresee a major design faux pas with the flask styling, as many audiophiles listen to their DAPs at work and leave them lying around on e.g. nearby desks. Would any employee want his boss and colleagues to incorrectly assume that he was drinking at work?!? As the design screams flask = liquor. Sure you can inform co-workers that your `flask' is a music player, but there's always a chance that the CEO may wander by and notice your flask. :eek: 


Edited by smial1966 - 1/8/15 at 1:46am
post #7 of 1898

Why is this front page? 

post #8 of 1898
Quote:
Originally Posted by smial1966 View Post
 

Interesting product. However, I foresee a major design faux pas with the flask styling, as many audiophiles listen to their DAPs at work and leave them lying around on e.g. nearby desks. Would any employee want his boss and colleagues to incorrectly assume that he was drinking at work?!? As the design screams flask = liquor. Sure you can inform co-workers that your `flask' is a music player, but there's always a chance that the CEO may wander by and notice your flask. :eek:

 

I like the look of it ...its quirky. Lets face it, if you were having a sneaky drink in the office you wouldn't leave the evidence lying about I.

 

Lack of Micro SD expandability would be a show stopper for me though.

post #9 of 1898
Low output impedance is one of the single most important things that people in the market for a new DAP are going to be looking for. What is the output impedance of this device?
post #10 of 1898
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schopenhauer View Post
 

Why is this front page? 

Echobox is a sponsor.

post #11 of 1898

Love the flask design, great idea!

post #12 of 1898

price needed (for 64gb) and will need expandable 64gb for many to consider

post #13 of 1898
Quote:
Originally Posted by kryten123 View Post

 

 

Lack of Micro SD expandability would be a show stopper for me though.

 

Yup. Only reason not to have it is the "Apple" business model - Let us charge you obscene prices for minimally upgraded storage space.

This alone will be a deal breaker for most audiophiles. I'm not always able to stream when going portable. Space might be an issue, but it's worth a little extra size for the expansion. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by smial1966 View Post
 

Interesting product. However, I foresee a major design faux pas with the flask styling, as many audiophiles listen to their DAPs at work and leave them lying around on e.g. nearby desks. Would any employee want his boss and colleagues to incorrectly assume that he was drinking at work?!? As the design screams flask = liquor. Sure you can inform co-workers that your `flask' is a music player, but there's always a chance that the CEO may wander by and notice your flask. :eek: 

 

I'm also of the opinion to try to avoid even the appearance of something unseemly. While I think the design is unique, I'd rather not have people thinking that the player is a flask while I'm studying in the library on campus, in the office, using any form of public transportation, at the store shopping, pretty much anywhere I'd be using a portable player except for home. 

post #14 of 1898

Hey all, I'm actually a rep for Echobox (MOT label should be incoming, I've informed the Head-Fi staff of my affiliation), so I'd be glad to answer any questions anyone has about the product :)

 

@smial1966 Luckily the LCD panel is on the side that's facing up, so if the DAP is laying on your desk, it's going to be pretty obvious it's not a real flask. A headphone jack sticking out of it should be a pretty solid giveaway, too. I'm sure any misunderstandings could be easily explained with a little show and tell.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by smial1966 View Post
 

Interesting product. However, I foresee a major design faux pas with the flask styling, as many audiophiles listen to their DAPs at work and leave them lying around on e.g. nearby desks. Would any employee want his boss and colleagues to incorrectly assume that he was drinking at work?!? As the design screams flask = liquor. Sure you can inform co-workers that your `flask' is a music player, but there's always a chance that the CEO may wander by and notice your flask. :eek: 

 

@Schopenhauer I can think of a few good reasons. For one it sounds awesome ;) The 24/192 TI PCM1792 is a great DAC that has been featured in more expensive home audio products, so the portable implementation here at under $500 price point with 150mW straight from the headphone jack is pretty impressive in it's own right. Optical out doesn't hurt, either, and isn't something you'll see on other products at this price point.

 

For two, it's one of only two (to my knowledge) 24/192 capable DAPs that are Android based and thereby have access to streaming services like Spotify, Google Music, Pandora, and some pretty impressive new lossless streaming services like TIDAL. It's one thing to have a bunch of rips and vinyls taking up gigs upon gigs of memory, but streaming really is the future of the majority of audio consumption, and we're trying to bring audiophiles, enthusiasts, and music professionals into the future and put as much music as possible at their fingertips without compromising quality.

 

For three, it costs about half of most DAPs that are truly capable of squeezing the real potential out of something like an HD650. I've heard a few slightly less expensive players that don't do a half bad job, but they don't have 150mW ouput, touchscreen interfaces, or support any kind of streaming, let alone full access to the Android market.

 

Also (four), this announcement doesn't especially highlight what is perhaps my favorite feature: it can connect to another device like a computer or iPad via WiFi or DLNA/Airplay, to act as a DAC/AMP combo instead of a standalone DAP. To my knowledge there is no other player on the market that has this feature.

 

Let's be real for a second: how sweet would it be to be relaxing at your desk, listening to your best cans, and not have to unplug to go grab some food or a beer from the fridge, smoke a cig, or take a quick bio break? I know it's petty, but personally I'm a bit obsessive and I really hate interrupting my listening sessions for little stuff like that; it's way easier to be able to stick your DAC/AMP into your pocket real quick and just keep listening, not to mention the fact that you can get the exact same quality from a very respectable, very reasonably priced product that can serve as your home rig or a portable DAP. IMO that's pretty sweet; it's always bugged me to go from my home rig and then be a bit let down when I'm stuck listening to my phone, and honestly I don't think I would ever personally buy a DAP for this much just to use on the go, but the fact that it performs like a decent mid-fi home rig by pairing with your existing storage, AND can go with you just about anywhere...well, I think that's pretty sweet.

 

Oh, and five (or I guess six, that kinda unintentionally turned into another one), we're at CES in Vegas right now, and we're a new, small company, so it's an awesome opportunity for real enthusiasts to come see a cutting-edge product before it hits the market. That's the kind of insider news you'll only ever get from being on Head-Fi.

 

Did I mention it's as quiet a source as I've ever heard, period? My SM3 hiss noticeably with everything I've ever paired them with, except the Explorer X1. Not going to pretend I've tried them with everything out there, because I haven't, but it was a nice surprise to plug them in and be greeted by a black background.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schopenhauer View Post
 

Why is this front page? 

 

As the company account mentioned (hey Bernie ;) ), an SD card slot shouldn't be much trouble, and while we're trying to emphasize the streaming services to show everyone how awesome it is to have anything you want at CD-quality or better at your fingertips anywhere you go, it really is true that most audiophiles will want more space for their own vinyl rips and personal collections they've accrued over the years, and we get that.

 

It's not an especially difficult feature to implement, and we're still pre-production until the end of the month, so I imagine it's a feature we'll see by Q2, if not sooner.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryten123 View Post
 

 

I like the look of it ...its quirky. Lets face it, if you were having a sneaky drink in the office you wouldn't leave the evidence lying about I.

 

Lack of Micro SD expandability would be a show stopper for me though.

post #15 of 1898

As mentioned above, a microSD slot is in the near future.

 

You don't think a fluorescent LCD screen and headphone cable running out of it will be a dead giveaway?

 

To be honest, a lot of folks don't even realize that it looks like a flask when they come up to our booth...until they pick it up, of course.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kamakahah View Post
 

 

Yup. Only reason not to have it is the "Apple" business model - Let us charge you obscene prices for minimally upgraded storage space.

This alone will be a deal breaker for most audiophiles. I'm not always able to stream when going portable. Space might be an issue, but it's worth a little extra size for the expansion. 

 

 

I'm also of the opinion to try to avoid even the appearance of something unseemly. While I think the design is unique, I'd rather not have people thinking that the player is a flask while I'm studying in the library on campus, in the office, using any form of public transportation, at the store shopping, pretty much anywhere I'd be using a portable player except for home. 

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