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Hi good review. Quite impresive player.
Leaves me a bit confused more than anything Nik. Must sound exceptionally unbelievably good - because: poor battery, no DAC, single slot, less power than X5ii, more impedance than X5ii, no tag browsing, no gapless, very basic gui - and the model you reviewed is almost twice the price of X5ii ....... yet same score you gave the X5ii? What is the difference between the M2S ($649 reviewed here), M2 Pro ($499) and M2 ($349)? I guess I'm struggling with the value proposition a bit. I really liked Aune's X1S, and was looking forward to seeing how the M2 stacked up. With a base model at $350, and this feature short, I'm struggling to see any value.
[user=170914]@Brooko[/user] Can't say I know everything about the differences, but take them the same way people see Noble's Prestige series - some people pay dramatically more for a model that doesn't have much improvement, just because they can. When people reviewed the Savant, they didn't question the $1600 price tag for the Prestige model, but instead talked about the $600 base model. I suggest the same be applied here.
After hearing both, I do think the M2 sounds a tier higher than the X5ii - although I was impressed by both. And mine is the basic, $350 version - the same price as the X5ii.
[user=170914]@Brooko[/user] and if we're doing comparisons, please update yours against the DX90 when you have a chance ;)
[user=170914]@Brooko[/user]: The model I reviewed is the standard M2, which is $349. Unfortunately, Aune decided to make a blue pre-production M2 and then changed their minds about that and made the blue color exclusive to the M2s. I thought I pointed out in the review that this is a pre-production M2. I don't think I ever referred to the model I reviewed as the M2s. I'll edit that review and try to make that more clear.
As [user=380530]@avitron142[/user] said, the standard M2 sounds very good and is competitive with DAPs in a higher tier. [user=411422]@hakushondaimao[/user] has the M2Pro and said it's even better than the standard M2. As far as seeing the value, it comes down to very good sound quality and a quick, no-nonsense UI. I mentioned in the last paragraph that for people who are married to more "feature rich" DAPs, the score could be a 3-3.5. However, not everyone wants or needs their DAP to double as a USB DAC. Not everyone cares about tag browsing. Some people prefer a simple, straight-forward UI, and what people consider simple and straight-forward might be different. In my opinion, for those pursuing a no-nonsense pure DAP that is super fast and dedicated solely to sounding great, the M2 is a 4 star product. Of course, YMMV.
If someone just wants sound quality and a basic UI, how is this only a 4 star product at $350?
Excellent review,if Aune get working on the UI,gapless and art, I would give it 5 stars!
[user=171585]@Stuff Jones[/user]: Good question. If you are just looking for SQ + Basic UI, then perhaps you'd give this a 4.5 stars. I tried to balance the rating between the high SQ and the low feature set. As you can see from Brooko's comment, some people place high value on a large feature set. I tried to balance the rating between these competing viewpoints.
Needs for higher rating while still keeping things simple:
1. Fix AAC & ALAC issue
2. Add play mode that just plays the current folder once
3. Add play mode that plays through folders
4. Better gapless support (remove the need for CUE sheets)
5. Higher battery life
6. Rounded edges on rear of case
7. Coaxial Out
8. Higher-contrast text on case
Of course the last half of the list are suggestions are for the next iteration. The first half of the list should be fixable in F, though.
Boy, with this DAP, I've gotten it from both sides. My rating was too high for some, too low for some. I just try and call it like I see it and am reluctant to hand out 5 star reviews unless I've run across something very, very special.
nice review Nikolaus ! definitely got me interested in M2. wonder how the new upgraded blue M2Pro version sounds different than the regular pro model or the standard model??
@ [user=386104]nmatheis[/user] Thanks for the explanation. I'm coming from the Shozy Alien so my expectations for features are pretty low. Battery life is a little bit of a bummer though. I hope the claims of improved battery life with the new firmware are correct. Has anyone corroborated yet?
Thanks for the review btw :)
[user=386104]@nmatheis[/user] Awesome write up! :D
Nikolaus, thanks a lot for reviewing! I wonder how M2 compares to N5 strictly soundwise? They are priced quite closely, but N5 is more feature-rich... And, how about Shozy Alien? ;)