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The pictures make it look like a brick...
Awesome review!! Does make me want to give this (really expensive) piece of a try ~
Great read. Much thanks for sharing, AnakChan.
From what I've read online, one of the main gripes (aside from price) has been battery life. Most reviews seem to indicate under 10hrs, which is rather disappointing if true. How much play time did you get on yours? Also, apologies if you've already mentioned this in an AK240 related thread, but what headphones/iems did you use during your sonic evaluation?
Another awesome review from anakchan, very good pic too.
Hi [user=378670]@kurochin[/user], I'm getting probably around 8-9 hrs on a mixture of 16/44.1 FLAC & DSF files (continuous without GUI flicking around - actually overnight run-in). I used it mainly off my FitEar TG!334 unbalanced as I don't have a balanced connector for it. Occasionally I did put on my SigDJ's and Alpha Dogs on it too.
Hmm. Am I alone in thinking that thing is pure ugly....?
M and possibly huge
Nice review! I was in Japan the previous week and found a ZX1 to demo in Akihabara, which sounded quite good to my ears. I was actually thinking about picking one up to compare to my AK240, but your review has somewhat satiated my curiosity.
I had a chance to try it on NY Headfi meet. My ZX1 has better synergy with Roxannes.
Also, wasn't impressed with X5 ether.
Though I haven't heard AK240 (yet), two things that go along with HM-901 is bass. It has incredible impact, it can punch really hard, and I can hear midbass hump clearly. And the soundstage, yes, to my ears it's more direct type so to speak, not as big as the one in, let's say, AK120. So yes, it's good to read that OP noticed the same things. For me HM-901 isn't mature, for me it uses brute force, very enjoyable one though : E
Nice lecture btw.
Though I haven't heard AK240 (yet), two things that go along with HM-901 are in bass department for me. It has incredible impact, it can punch really hard, and I can hear midbass hump clearly. And the soundstage, yes, to my ears HM-901 has it more direct, so to speak, not as big as the one in, let's say, AK120. So yes, I agree with OP. it's good to read that he noticed the same things as I did. But for me HM-901 isn't mature, my ears are telling me it uses brute force rather than anything else, very enjoyable one though : E
Nice lecture btw.
Though I haven't heard AK240 (yet), two things that go along with HM-901 are in bass department for me. It has incredible impact, it can punch really hard, and I can hear midbass hump clearly. And the soundstage, yes, to my ears HM-901 has it more direct, so to speak, not as big as the one in, let's say, AK120. Hence the intimacy part, I agree 100%. So yes, it's good to read that OP noticed the same things as I did. But for me HM-901 isn't mature, my ears are telling me it uses brute force above anything else, very enjoyable one though : E
Nice lecture btw.
Nice review, AnakChan! I find it fascinating that you mention in the future, we will be able to use the AK 240 as DAC for DSD files. I suppose that make eminent since iRiver did add the conversion on the fly capability to the AK 120 and even more so it should do so here since there is native capability on the AK 240. That would be a promising development for audiophiles who was to give DSD a try without forking out for a separate DSD-capable DAC. At least not immediately. :)
Im trying to sell anything of value to upgrade from my poor CowonD3 to this work of art. I only wish their was a picture of someone actually holding it. Aside from that I truly wish the battery had better life. Great review!
I think that it can only play 10 hours straight, is a major fault on it. :/
Great review Sean, wish the Japanese presentation would have been translated, I like a good story on how they went about the design. After getting over the form factor I learned to appreciate the circuit design and elegance of the UI, the price though is still a hurdle for me mainly because even if the implementation is very good I don't consider it to be at that price point but I definitively elevate it due to its UI and available functions. I know for sure that iRiver must have put lots of programming hours to get it to the level it's at. I am pretty sure the owners are very happy with its performance minus the battery life for some.
Anak, great review
Nice review..but what player u mean with: 'CLAS -dB/Duet'?
I cant find it anywhere on the web or on the cypher labs website..i do find the duet amp but cant find the player ur talking about anywhere..thanks for replying
I simply cant get behind a DAP for those prices that companies charge nowdays.
I tried a AK120 vs my cowon i9+Fiio E17 and I could not notice a quality improvment... just different signature.
It wasent a blind test, so maybe bias had something to do with it, but Dat price... Btw was using HE-400 moded.
I am happy there is finally WiFi and the possibility to stream because a Company like WIMP will benifit from their HiFi Quality Streaming Sound, but the Price is horrible,even when it Looks like it in build for eternity. The Sony ZX1 will come at 700 Euro wich is less than a third of the AK240, so I guess there will be difficult times ahead for this Player even when superb by all means.
I prefer the HM901
Very thorough write up AnakChan. Well done.
Congratulations getting your thoughts into a clear and coherently composed. I appreciate the effort. When will you compare to the AK480? :P
It looks cool in person, never failed to impress anyone I've showed it to.
As far as it using 3.5mm TRRS, the reason for the new 2.5mm standard is so you can't plug a random 3.5 plug into the balanced 3.5 hole and mess things up, as the pin assignments are very different.
Nice review AnakChan - sounds teasing to me but just can't get my head around the $2.5k US and $3.3k AU Melb price tags - especially when I will more than likely want to amp it or DAC it or both. The other con for me is the product lifecycle of iRiver and IMO the frequency of them upgrading products. Will sit back and watch. Either way yours and Amos's reviews are great
[This isn't directed to any particular reader but just a general response]
I think many already know that the AK240, just like most (but not all) of the audio component, the returns diminish as the price of the products go up. Very few products come with a surprise of great SQ for a low price. The AK isn't about that. The AK240 is just about delivering the top level SQ that one can squeeze into a portable device that fits in a hand comfortably.
In my personal opinion, to think the AK240 is for everyone is a mistake. In fact it's not even about an AK240 for those who can afford it 'cos I'm sure many can but when they think of what else one could spend same dollar on, they probably could think of a multitude of products or services to spend on. However it's merely an offering for those who just want it.
It's really up to each individual to know their audio budget limits and what they expect for it. I'm not here to convince anyone they should buy it but just to present my personal thoughts and personal findings and it's up to each individual to decide. I can tell you personally for me, as much as I like it, I wouldn't be able to afford the street price myself.
The reviewer didn't mention what IEMs he demoed the AK240 with, I think there id quite a difference between using the balanced and unbalanced output personally.
[user=157432]@Danz03[/user] Fair point. I used primarily a combination of primarily my FitEar TO GO!334 with a Tralucent Silver/Gold SE terminated. I agree with you that there is a noticeable difference between SE and balanced depending on which earphone is used, something I discovered only in the past 8 days (way after I wrote this review). More particularly I found dynamic driven or hybrid IEMs seem to benefit from balancing more than BA's - but there is one exception to this general finding though...the Noble Kaiser 10 seemed to have benefited from balancing as much as DD's and hybrid IEMs.
Sadly I don't have any headphones that's balanced to be able to make such a comparison.
For me, my AKR03 sounded similar using both outs when I first got them. But after a week of burning in, they started to sound quite differently between the 2 outs, there seems to be a lot more bass boost with the SE out, but quite balanced sounding with the balanced out. Maybe be I should get my other IEMs' cables re-terminated to balanced too to see what it'll be like.
No specifications ?
[user=178645]@zorin[/user], nope. Sorry. This is more an impressions rather than an introduction of a product.