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Acoustic Research AR-M200

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by audionewbi, Aug 12, 2017.
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  1. ThomasHK
    Could not resist for that Massdrop price.
  2. Extrasensory
    I am keen on buying this at the current massdrop price.

    More ideas, updates or reviews would be much appreciated!
  3. darksmile
    Also checking out reviews on this unit due to the recent sale on massdrop. Can't seem to find it anywhere but does it support Cue sheets? SQ wise, how would it compare to other entry-level DAPs that offer balanced jack (such as pioneer xdp-30r which was on sale for ~$140 during black Friday). Thanks!
  4. darksmile
    Would you mind elaborating on the pros and cons compared to M0 and M6? Thanks!
  5. crabdog
    Both the M0 and M6 have better battery life plus a more modern and much more responsive UI. They both have a more intuitive menu setup for enabling and connecting with Bluetooth (whether transmitting or receiving). Also, the M6 and M0 (IMO) are better suited for pockets!

    I'd say there are 2 things the M200 does better: it has a balanced output and to my ears, it sounds a little better than the others. Despite the M200 having a slightly better sound, I would pick the M6 or M0 all day because, for me, the overall experience matters more than any single aspect. I found the M200 frustrating every time I had to interact with it.
    Reinhold, darksmile and trellus like this.
  6. Matpar
    I went in there too, could not resist... Let's see this BT and 4.4 combo where It leads me... :)
  7. darksmile
    Thanks for the prompt response. Hmm, if the SQ is just slightly better than say, M0, I would pass this one as it might be too much to deal with the inconvenience for the small improvement in sound.
  8. se7en7
    Okay my opinion.

    Good build for price it is at now.
    Sound quality was good to very good with a warm detail.
    Balanced 4.4 mm excellent
    Bluetooth worked very well.

    Battery life
    The screen
    The GUI is an absolute mess up down left right can't see albums unless you go into SD card on screen more button presses.
    To fast forward rewind hold down a button forgotten which.
    In the end the navigation around GUI was too much to take.

    But if you do get one it's not the worst dap sound or balanced or Bluetooth wise.
    trellus likes this.
  9. Matpar
    Thanks for the Infos.

    Btw, how does exactly the BT works? I mean, It cannot act as an external wireless DAC, It merely takes sound elaborated from the wireless source and brings It to the cans, Is It?
  10. trellus
    It's taking a compressed, digital audio stream using a specific codec -- possibly, aptX HD, aptX, or worst case, SBC (lowest common denominator but which actually isn't as bad as it used to be by far) -- from the source and then decompressing that compressed digital audio then converting it to an analog signal, so yes, in fact there is a DAC. With cheap Bluetooth receivers, it's usually an integrated system-on-a-chip, but in higher-end Bluetooth, there is a discrete DAC. The AR-M200 has a discrete DAC doing the conversion from digital to analog, a highly respected AKM4490. The output stage I think is Burr-brown OPA2134 according to the Massdrop specs, and the amplification to the output for the headphone jacks is provided by a Class A TI TPA6120A2 amplifier.
    Light - Man and Matpar like this.
  11. Matpar
    Ok, I Will see once I receive It.

    Edit: got the pic now. If i.e. my smartphone supports Aptx HD, then when It "sees" the DAP will Connect and stream to It.

    I will study the issue better though, but thanks so far !
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  12. trellus
    Yes, basically, you put the M200 in BT receive mode and then pair it with your smartphone. It will essentially present itself as a Bluetooth speaker or headphones, in a sense, to your smartphone.
    Matpar likes this.
  13. Structures
    Hello, does anyone (maybe @crabdog ) know if it can be used as an external Dac via the type C usb port, and if so what format and resolution can it support? thank you.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  14. crabdog
    I never tried that and no longer have the device so can't test it. Hopefully someone else can chime in.
  15. Structures
    Thank you !
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