Acoustic Research M2 Audiophile-Grade Hi-Res Portable
Jan 13, 2019 at 5:03 AM Post #1,426 of 1,717

Eric31

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That was probably me! I notice at least one more has sold since I purchased mine just after Christmas.

I have used the M2 with the early firmware it shipped with, then the 2.56 firmware version and now the last 2.63 version as downloaded from the Acoustic Research web site. To my ears and using the Sennheiser HD 58x headphones, I find that the sound quality from the original AR Music Player is different than that produced from the newer AR Music Player PRO app. The original app seems to have a slightly deeper, fuller, more pronounced bass and maybe smoother, yet more lively mid range, which I prefer, when directly compared to the AR Music Player PRO app. Unfortunately, the original app is not as intuitive or easy to use as the USB Audio Player Pro based app but since I bought the M2 for ultimate sound quality, I find myself always using the older AR Music app. I don't know if this difference is simply down to default EQ sound choices made by the app developers or if its due to some technical difference in how each app utilizes the hardware.

Thanks for this as I'm close to have the same feeling about sound quality from the two different apps. I like the new features offered by the Pro version but I guess there is something that could explain the differences clearly heard when comparing both apps. My idea is that the way the two apps are integrated is different: maybe the first one is bypassing some Android system layers when the Pro version is closer to a standard Android app and uses system services that could affect the sound quality. In other words, the original version comes closer to the audio hardware than the new one. It could interesting to hear AR voice on this topic.

Enjoy the music with the AR M2.

Eric
 
Jan 13, 2019 at 5:12 AM Post #1,427 of 1,717

TomKorn

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I’m really happy that there’s still people who bought AR-M2. Thank you so so much! Deeply from my heart. It’s a really good DAP that should be promoted. Hope Acoustic Rssearch would works on their bugs, knowing that there are still people who appreciates their DAP.

Actually, I just wrote them concerning future Updates of the player and the installed apps.

They sell the player on their website and you can buy it in Hifi stores. Still they will not make any more improvements to the software. They practically abandoned the device.

You could have the Player Pro App since it is the USB Player Pro App from the Google Play store. But it is not possible to install since it required the Google Play store as a license server. I contacted the developer about it. The App is on Version 5.04 now. On the AR-M2 it's version 3.something.

Other Player apps you could install manually dont have the same sound quality. I tried Neutron and it was nowhere near the installed Player app.

Yeah. Amazing device Sad state of support
 
Jan 13, 2019 at 9:04 AM Post #1,428 of 1,717

tgibran

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Thanks for this as I'm close to have the same feeling about sound quality from the two different apps. I like the new features offered by the Pro version but I guess there is something that could explain the differences clearly heard when comparing both apps. My idea is that the way the two apps are integrated is different: maybe the first one is bypassing some Android system layers when the Pro version is closer to a standard Android app and uses system services that could affect the sound quality. In other words, the original version comes closer to the audio hardware than the new one. It could interesting to hear AR voice on this topic.

Enjoy the music with the AR M2.

Eric
Before purchasing the AR M2, I had been using USB Audio Player Pro (the app that AR Music Player Pro is based on) specifically due to it's ability to bypass the Android system and interact directly with external DAC's. It certainly would be odd if the version used by AR somehow does not fully bypass the Android system.
 
Jan 13, 2019 at 2:01 PM Post #1,429 of 1,717

surfratt

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Ordered the AR-M2 from the Voxx outlet on eBay. Too good of a price to pass up. Waiting for delivery. Did @Hawaiibadboy ever do his review/comparison of the AR-M2? I can't wait till this comes. Want to compare to some of my other gear. Hope it works well with my Phantoms and Kumitate Trio and Aeon Flow Closed. Bought iFi iEMatch just in case.
 
Jan 13, 2019 at 2:39 PM Post #1,430 of 1,717

TomKorn

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Ordered the AR-M2 from the Voxx outlet on eBay. Too good of a price to pass up. Waiting for delivery. Did @Hawaiibadboy ever do his review/comparison of the AR-M2? I can't wait till this comes. Want to compare to some of my other gear. Hope it works well with my Phantoms and Kumitate Trio and Aeon Flow Closed. Bought iFi iEMatch just in case.

Using iFi iematch too. Without you will have static noise and it is way too loud with my CA Dorado.
 
Jan 15, 2019 at 7:27 AM Post #1,432 of 1,717

tgibran

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In datashet of the TPA6120A2 i read that is a AB Class amp,

http://www.ti.com/product/TPA6120A2#

I'm confused, this dap is really a class a or a class ab and what are the advantages?

I found this PS Audio video helpful a while back in explaining the difference:

Google also came up with this:
https://www.audioholics.com/audio-amplifier/amplifier-classes

From the above article, it seems like Class AB can operate in Class A mode at low power. I have read elsewhere that the AR M2 uses the same amount of power regardless of the volume setting and that it is "biased" toward class A. This would lead me to believe that it somehow is designed differently than a typical AB amp, though maybe it's not a "pure" class A amp. Regardless, to my ears it sounds like it benefits from the qualities often attributed to class A amps...it even sounds somewhat like a tube amp to me.
 
Jan 15, 2019 at 7:34 AM Post #1,433 of 1,717

biscottino

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I have been using ar mr2 for 2 years and I am satisfied with it, I have recently taken a Beyer Amiron and the combo is extraordinary in quality and volume. I was just wondering if really this is a class A, or as the datasheet says is an AB class, it certainly will not change my opinion on this dap.
 
Jan 15, 2019 at 8:52 AM Post #1,434 of 1,717

Madcat207

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To be fair, the AR site specifically says it was configured to act as a class A. I will say you can hear the "pop" of the amp turning off an on, which i understand is a side effect of a class A, but i realize that is horrible confirmation.

That said, while i might be a bit upset if they weren't honest, with the quality of driving the player gives my LCD-2s, i am happy with whatever class it genuinely is.
 
Jan 15, 2019 at 9:13 AM Post #1,435 of 1,717

tgibran

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To be fair, the AR site specifically says it was configured to act as a class A. I will say you can hear the "pop" of the amp turning off an on, which i understand is a side effect of a class A, but i realize that is horrible confirmation.

That said, while i might be a bit upset if they weren't honest, with the quality of driving the player gives my LCD-2s, i am happy with whatever class it genuinely is.

I have certainly noticed this "pop" and even a click noise when starting a song sometimes(I think this might have been worse with some of the earlier firmware though). I seem to remember it was stated by AR that they wanted to avoid using filters in order to achieve the best sound from the amp (which was also the excuse for the noises heard directly when using very sensitive IEM's). Beyond physical filters, it seems like some sort of software solution might have helped with some of this noise, but I really have no idea. Worth putting up with for the quality imo.
 

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