Acoustic Research AR-M20 & M2 Digital Audio Playerssearch

Acoustic Research AR-M20 & M2 Digital Audio Players

Acoustic Research AR-M20 & M2 Digital Audio Players

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The M2 sounds analogue and much more holographic than the Fiio X7 mike, D200, Hiby R6 whatever new DAP with ESS9028 dac due to its highly esteemed BB1794 dac and Class A output stage. One does not need to listen attentively to immediately spot the difference. Even SE output sounds better than the low power 2.5mm balanced output of the said DAP. Stereophile said it is on par with AK240 which is priced double as much as the M2, and almost 5 times as much as the price of this drop. The other AP DAP that is on Stereophile Class A Equipment list is SP1000. The bluetooth is just a gimmick and never sounds better than wired, full stop. I have got the M2 for 2 years and driving the MrSpreakers Aeon Flow Closed sounds fabulous and musical. The M2 can drive all sorts of items. All one needs is an IFI iematch or ibuddy. Even the Hiby R6 needs an additional impedance adaptor to drive sensitive iems properly, so what is uncommon with M2 behaving similar? I missed the last drop and will be keen to buy another one as spare if the drop revives.
Hi. Do these two models (M2 and M20) have bluetooth connectivity? How about aptX?
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That's why I'm confused! What's the point of upgrading through additional 200$ when the more expensive device has less function than the cheaper device!
bungochari
Guess the M2 has better DAC and Amp? Thats the only main thing i could think of ... hehe.
And I'm guessing these don't run Android?
LaserGuidedSock
The AR M2 Music Player runs on Android OS 4.3 I am not sure about the AR M20
Amazing i want it
Is bluetooth supported?
For once a true bargain !! Too bad I already have a NW-ZX2 and a DX80 in working condition
"Flagship" with no balanced outputs? Oh hell yeah what a deal.
Shagatron
That is the most recent fad... Perfect to drain the battery... Happy those who can't tell the difference !
Flognarde
If your equipment isn't good enough or your hearing is too poor to tell the difference, then lucky you! Unfortunately I can absolutely hear the difference thanks to my current setup.
this is one of the hottest running daps I've ever used. If you're planning on using this for extended periods of time beware. That being said, I believe there is much better in this price range, especially if you're willing to go for used (or just about any other brand).
not a fan of the output impedance, not a good fit for sensitive iems :(
Blind person here, does this version of android support the Google play store? Can I download and use talk back on it? , Don’t want to sound dumb but, I don’t see MP3 as a supported format! Peace!
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DrummingMan
Even if it doesn't you can always sideload apps including an appstore to just about any android
DrummingMan
It does play MP3. The player does not come with Google Play store. An alternative is to install third party app manager like apkpure.
I own the AR-M2 and love it... It's one of my favorite on the go players, especially since the new firmware. My wife knew I loved it and surprised me with the AR-M20 for my birthday, she did not realize it was literally the same exact player minus a few small physical features. So I have a BRAND NEW AR-M20 for sale, will let it go for $400 shipped. ;)
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Qobuz. Lovely interface, great algorithm used for suggestions. Will reportedly be available in the US soon.
J_Rey
Sounds great, I could use a Tidal alternative if they offer the same student discount. Apparently Deezer has a hifi option too but it doesn't look like you can apply the student discount to it.
This player may be worth a second look and some background research, on merits of high sound quality, good pocket size, and slightly longer 15 hours battery runtime. Acoustic research may not be well-known in the headphone community (apparently the brand has been around for like 60 years), but a friend of mine who writes professional reviews has the older Acoustic Research M2. Apparently, it has unusually high sound quality, and beats the sound from his other DAPs (including FiiO X5 mk III) and smartphones including the LG series, which it should since it’s a purpose-driven music device.
I have been looking into the AR M200, their latest, least expensive player, because it has a balanced Pentaconn output and I have a cable for that. I got to hold one and borrow it for the night from a friend at CanJam NYC, but it slipped my tired mind and I forgot to give it a listen. For having a balanced output and an amp operating in Class A for most headphone loads, the player was impressively small and pocket friendly. My FiiO X7 isn’t so pocket friendly, it’s very thick and square and you need big loose pockets, not the kind of thing you can ignore when worn.
I’ve only found AR players from a few vendors (M200 only direct from the Manufacturer), and $200 off is a nice deal.
One concern/question I would have about this “bigger brother,” is it running Android to allow for downloading Spotify/Tidal offline music? Some players have proprietary OSes and can only stream, while others like my FiiO have weird partition schemes and can only hold like 20 songs, any attempt to download songs from Spotify to the MicroSD card fails.
Edit Oct 19, 2018: Apparently, they solved this issue by having 2-way Bluetooth. So, the AR players use a Purpose-made proprietary OS, and can be a source to transmit Bluetooth audio out to Bluetooth headphones... but also can connect to a Smartphone with Bluetooth, allowing the user to stream almost any audio from a phone to the high-quality guts of the AR DAP and then play through wired headphones. In this scenario, your phone becomes like a wireless remote control while you can use any headphone with the wire routed where it won’t get in the way (to your backpack, under a shirt, to a pocket or bag that isn’t easy to access). Sony just added this feature to many of their latest DAPs in a firmware update, Shanling players have had this feature for years, and other examples of this feature many exist.
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Yep they made their name in tower speakers and other electronics oh so long ago, went under, came out as an accessory brand (really great value cables) and have since been relaunched as an electronics company.
Yeah, it's used as a badge now, they used to be HUGE way back when in the speaker industry but have been bought and sold and are now merely a badge used by audiovox....
Yeah, I'm not sure this is a crowd pleaser, the hiby r6 is still going for 10 dollars more, and is better than this in almost every conceivable way (aside from output impedance, most likely).
This is for a small group of people who don't like sabre or AKM DACs I guess.... Honestly wondering if this actually appeals to anyone who is looking for a DAP beyond a "collector" who already owns several competitors.
Unusual proposal from a small brand. Feature-wise, it doesn't differ much from an audiophile smartphone like a LG V10/V20 (1 memory slot, 32Gb, Android-based, lacking a few navigation buttons that would distinguish it from a phone), but if you go beyond that, it is solid player with a decent autonomy. The price is relatively good as well (current price is higher indeed), but rather high if you consider you can get a LG V20 easily for half the price.
Tienbasse
I did exactly that, got the V20 which is 64gb + at least 256gb SD, plus an easily replaceable/upgradeable battery so it won't die off until the actual screen dies or the processor fries, can do GPS navigation, and I'm putting in a project fi data only SIM so it can be a backup to my Pixel 2 XL.
I guess this is mainly if you want the BurrBrown and possibly native DSD without using the Android software decoding apps for that, right?