Portable High Resolution Audio Player – How to Choose the Best One?


Are you really one of those people who really appreciate every detailing of the sound? If you are good at judging the sound quality, which explicitly helps a person to differentiate between a regular MP3 and a lossless audio format, here we are available with a list of 5 best portable Hi Res Audio Players which might be of immense interest to you. The price of these high res audio players might disinterest somebody (who is least concerned with the audio quality) but to a music lover and an audiophile, this additional charge seems meager.
We are enlisting here 5 Hi Res Audio Players rated best in 2017. They are not ranked high just on the basis of their looks or ability to play lossless formats, but on the basis of various criterions like control button response time and ease, battery life, durability, UI, design and size, affordability etc. Affordability is the feature that we are concentrating more upon. The reviewed Hi-res music players are all under $400.
1. Sony Walkman NW-A25: ($200)

The name ‘Sony’ needs no recognition among the music lovers. This Sony Walkman NW-A25 is an international version, available to be sold across the world. The display size of this audio player in just 2.20 inches and it has a digital storage capacity of 144 GB. Isn’t that unbelievable? With a weight of only 2.4 ounces, this player tops the heart chart of music lovers. Unlike iPod, this audio player easily recognizes the folders, which makes it easy to organize the files on a bulky storage device of this much size. Transferring the music files on this player requires no-frills method. Just ‘drag and drop’, it’s that simple. The only drawback of this device is its bass which can be enhanced easily by pairing it with a powerful speaker or a good quality headphone.

2. FiiO x5 (Titanium): ($300)

With an all new designed digital audio architecture, this new Portable Hi Res Audio Player comes with a 128GB micro SD card storage capacity. Its black carbon skin of fiber and wood-grain themed skin gives it a really nice look. It weighs a little heavy than its competitors as it has an aluminum metal body. It comes with an adapter which is short stereo cabled, and two screen protectors. Its HD display comes with 4-5 different themes. It comes with wheels to shuffle the music and to increase the volume, just like an iPod. It supports all the file types be it mp3, mp4, ape, aac, flac, ogg etc. As compared to the 1st generation X5, the 2nd generation X5 is lighter and smaller.

3. Airmate Xduoo X3 WMA FLAC APE 24 Bit DSD Portable Mini Music Player:

This is again a music player with dual memory slot and a capacity to store music up to 256GB. It comes with a HD OLED Screen. It provides very high resolution lossless HiFi music. Its battery can run non-stop for about 8 hours. It works much better with lower impedance earbuds like Sennheiser CX500. Its sound is absolutely fantastic. Loading music files is very easy; it requires only drag-and-drop. For coherent organization, one can structure all the files with ease.

4. Cowon Plenue D:

This device comes with an anodized aluminium body amd 2.8” LCD capacitive-touch. Its UI is very friendly and it has interchangeable player skins. It has a on-board memory of 32GB and its micro SD card can support up to 128 GB of storage. It can reproduce lossless music of 24bit/192kHz and supports all formats of music like FLAC, APE, WAV, ALAC, MP3 etc. For sophisticated noise correction, it is packed with the feature of JetEffect 5. You will be amazed to know that this small audio player can constantly play MP3 files for more than 100 hours.

5. iBasso DX90:($399)

It again supports 24-bit 192 kHz resolution like other audio players. Its capacitive touch screen is of 2.4”. The volume control feature of this device is extremely unique in the sense that it comes with 3 gain settings of volume levels and 256 steps of digital volume control. Its on-board flash storage is 8 GB. It uses a 2100mAh battery which is similar to Samsung S3. The only drawback of this device is that it offers only 8 hours of playback and takes hours to charge.


Searching any Hi Res Audio Player with Bluetooth is not an easy task. Especially when, our search is further limited by the acceptable and affordable price range. To make this task easier for you, I am here enlisting some of the best audio players with Bluetooth capacity. The review and listing of these audio players is based on their unique features, design, and ease of use, portability, quality and price. Internal memory expandability is also the feature which is specifically taken care of. Although, the list may get lengthy, in the present scenario, no high res audio player fairs better than Sony’s NWZ 17 audio player.
1. Sony NW A25
2. iPod Nano
3. SanDisk Clip Sport Plus
4. Philips GoGEAR Azure
5. Sony NWZ WS613BLK
Sony NW A25:
Sony has packed this audio player with such functional features which has added more to its reputation. Some of its features are: playback support for Hi-Res media files, Bluetooth support, noise cancelation and SensMe technology. The body of this media player is of aluminum, which is very sturdy and stylish. This audio player comes in 5 colors: black, silver, lime yellow, cinnabar red etc. Its screen size is of 2.2” and the type of its screen is TFT-LED. Its battery life is its USP. With compressed audio formats, it can work incessantly for 50 hours and with high-resolution audio format, it can work for up to 30 hours.
iPod Nano (Seventh Generation):
This player comes in a variety of colors. It has a built-in storage of 16GB and a 2.5” of screen. It is one of the first devices which come with the feature of setting language preference. It is pre-installed with 8 apps: Podcasts, radio, photos, fitness, video, clock, music and settings. One can’t remove these apps in anyway. This device is well known for its intuitive ability. Although, the device is not meant for playing videos, then also, it can play video for 3.5 hours and audio for about 30 hours. It comes packed with Bluetooth 4.0 support.
SanDisk clip support plus:
This small device can store up to 4000 songs. With the Bluetooth support, this device supports audio formats like MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC and AAC. Its screen size is very small (1.44”). But as it has LCD display, it makes it easy to read in the lowest brightness settings as well. The device is completely water resistant. Its battery is weak as compared to iPod Nano and Sony NW A25. When using with Bluetooth, the battery lasts only for 7 hours.
Philips GoGEAR Azure:
There are many models of Philips GoGEAR Bluetooth players, but all of them are not equally good. The best one amongst them is Philips GoGEAR Azure is SA5AZU08KF. Instead of sturdy aluminum body, this player comes with a sleek rubberized plastic body. The screen size of this portable mini player is only 2.4 “. All the control buttons of this device are located on the face of this device. The device is embedded with Safe Sound Technology, which analyzes the sound level and alerts you about excess exposure and volume, which may have an effect on your long time hearing. There is one another feature in this device which is labeled as FullSound Technology. This technology makes the sound quality very richer. The battery of this device lasts for 36 hours when playing simple audio files, but on video playback it lasts 6 hours, and on Bluetooth playback for 12 hours. It has 8 GB of internal memory. The prize of this player is really affordable and it is prized under $100 only.
Sony NWZ WS613BLK:
Instead of an adapter, this device comes with a charging dock and Bluetooth support. This device is excessively sleek and is completely water resistant. It comes with an adjustable rubber band to fasten it tightly and securely over the head. Isn’t it incredible to find that this device can be used while swimming? For this, the device comes with differently sized Earbuds. To pair your phone with Bluetooth, you just have to click the pairing mode in the audio player and go in the Bluetooth settings of the phone to connect. The biggest drawback of this device is that, when paired with Bluetooth, the device works for a maximum of 2 hours only.

You can also consider amazing FiiO player:

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It is a common human tendency to get ‘more for less’. But, Sony’s Walkman NW-A30 and NW-A20 series high resolution audio players are exceptional and are a true example of ‘less is more’. The look and sound of these audio players are equally good. Bluetooth streaming and the intuitive touch of these walkman series is exceptional. Here, I am reviewing both the models, which may help you decide which one is best for you.
Sony’s Walkman NW-A30 series:
This model of Sony seems to be inspired by simplicity. The shape of this model is very simple, with no fancy lines or borders. This set of Sony comes bundled with Noise cancelling headphones, which lets one to enjoy endless music without any outer world distractions. The best part of this player is that its battery lasts for very long i.e. up to 45 hours. Even its charging takes a very short time. It uses LDAC (wireless codec), which makes the streaming of the high quality music through Bluetooth a pleasurable and lossless experience. It is prized slightly higher than NW-A20 series, owing to its size and other features. Let’s have a quick look at its specifications, to get a general idea of its look and performance.
1. Size and Weight:
Size: 55.9 x 97.5 x 10.9 mm
Weight: 98g
2. Charging Time (full-charging): Approx 4 hours.
3. Memory: 16GB
4. Connectivity: Hi-Speed USB 2.0 compliant, Bluetooth, NFC, MicroSD Slot, Stereo mini-jack, WM-PORT
5. Screen Size: 3.1”
6. Sound Effects: 6-band equalizer, Clear phase, ClearAudio+, DC Phase Linearizer, DSEE HX, Dynamic Normaliser, VPT
7. Operating System: Sony Original OS (Touchscreen).
Sony’s Walkman NW-A20 Series:
The design of this series is very fancy, the colors are very vibrant and its styling is highly distinctive. It also comes bundled with Noise Cancelling Headphones. You can easily note every detail of the sound with this player. Its High-Resolution Audio tracks provide far higher quality than MP3 or CDs. It offers an additional storage of up to 128 GB. Every person thinking to buy a portable Hi-Res audio player looks for a longer battery life and short charging time. Their search ends with this exceptional music player. This portable Hi-Res audio player has a capacity to play the music incessantly for 50 hours. It supports the oldest and the latest music file formats like MP3, WAV, WMA, AIFF, HE-AAC, AAC, FLAC and ALAC. Let’s have a quick look at its specifications:
1. Size and Weight:
Size: 4.4 x 10.9 x 0.9 cm
Weight: 66 g
2. Charging Time (full-charging): Approx 4 hours.
3. Memory: 16GB
4. Connectivity: Hi-Speed USB 2.0 compliant, Bluetooth, NFC, MicroSD Slot, Stereo mini-jack, WM-PORT
5. Screen Size: 2.2”
6. SOUND EFFECTS: ClearAudio+, Clear Bass, Clear phase, Clear Stereo, DSEE HX, Dynamic Normaliser, Equaliser (5 band), VPT (Studio/Club/Concert Hall/Matrix)
7. Operating System: Sony Original OS (Touchscreen).

For more info: http://bit.ly/1nWH5zv
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Conclusion: Both the music players fare equally well in the competition. The best buy option depends upon the choice of the buyer. If one wants a fancy design, small screen and vibrant color NW-A20 walkman is the best choice, and if a simple design and big screen with Hi-Res audio playback capability is the first choice of someone, NW-A30 Series is the best buy option. One thing is for sure that the audio quality of both the players is exceptional and uncompromising.


If you are deliberating about purchasing a music player than can give the best possible music playback, Pono is a good option for you. Although, the price of Pono is not low, it is worth for what it offers. For an audiophile, this is a no brainer. The best part of Pono is its audio quality. It includes a great DAC.
The look of the Pono Player is very attractive. It has a triangular shape and resembles a toblerone-bar. It measures 5 inches high and 2 inches wide. Doesn’t it makes you remember of the iRiver T60 player? The reason behind the big size of the Pono is that its size enables it to attach an efficient 2,950mAh battery.
The screen size of Pono is very small. The unique feature of its screen is that its orientation rotates irrespective of how you hold the player. The two triangular endplates of the player are attached with stereo jacks, headphone, micro-USB port and SD card insert point. Pono’s 64 GB internal memory is expandable up to 128 GB.
The process of loading the files on the PonoPlayer is different from other players. The audio files can be loaded on the PonoPlayer only through the PonoMusic World Desktop Application. This doesn’t mean that the player don’t support all file formats. The player can compatibly be used for different file formats; it’s just the process of loading the files on the player which makes it different. With this App, one can rip CDs or control different other wireless music players. The sound quality of the Pono player is very detailed, smooth and natural.
The player comes in two colors – yellow and black. As the body of the player is covered with rubber, it makes it susceptible to finger marks. But the navigation on the player is very easy and intuitive. All the albums, songs, playlists etc. can be browsed from the main screen. Let’s dig in the full specifications of this player.
Model No.: NY001BB
Weight: 127g
Battery: Lithium Ion Battery
Storage Capacity: 64 GB
Dimensions: 2.8 * 3.6 *12.4 cm
Battery Life: 8 hours (MP3)
Glitches: The battery life of the player is terrible. The unique shape of the player attracts at one point, but it makes it harder to stow. It is not equipped with the key lock feature, so the battery may drain faster or it can suddenly blast off your ears with full volume. At times, its touch screen is found to be working improperly and finicky. It doesn’t support Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

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Conclusion: Undoubtedly, PonoPlayer delivers an excellent high-end sound, which sometime even feels better than an iPod. But its bulky and complicated design, along with its short battery life makes it unworthy of the price it demands. It makes us feel that either the makers should roll the second advanced generation of the player in the market or think of a price cut.