Do you love to listen to your music on the go? Of course, you will need a music player that can really go the distance. This mighty machine needs to be very portable and lightweight, while also being durable.
There are a lot of things to factor in when checking out the best digital audio players, because music is one of the most important things in life for many people. And music players come in all shapes sizes, and styles.
So, here are some of the top products that are sure to get your toes tapping and put a song in your heart…
Top 10 Best Digital Audio Players In 2021 Reviews
1 HiBy R3 Ultraportable Touchscreen Hi-Fi Network Music Player
Do you want to be able to listen to thousands of tunes while on the go? The HiBy R3 Ultraportable Touchscreen Hi-Fi Network Music Player comes with a special micro SD card slot. This means that thousands of songs can be uploaded to the card to play while on the road.
Does not disappoint…
In terms of audio quality, this mighty model does not disappoint. The bottom end and lower mids are full and well defined, while the treble is well balanced.
The 3.2 IPS full touch screen is designed to be easy to use and very responsive. A progressive 2.4G Wi-Fi radio is employed to allow users to connect to their favorite stations. It is also possible to store songs on the cloud to avoid filling up the SD card.
Crash and burn
It should be noted that the HiBy R3 Ultraportable Touchscreen Hi-Fi Network Music Player tends to crash from time to time. This can be rather frustrating, especially when users are jamming to their favorite tunes. Once the audio player crashes, it can take a while for it to start up again.
However, this is a relatively small price to pay, considering all the benefits of this mean machine. Despite being powerful, it is lightweight and very portable. The two terabytes of storage also mean that users should be able to import their entire music library.
2 Shanling M5s Hi-Res Portable Music Player
Are you looking for a digital audio player that can handle a wide range of different types of files? The Shanling M5s Hi-Res Portable Music Player is compatible with virtually every type of file imaginable. This means that there will be no need to convert files to listen to your favorite tunes.
The sleek and seamless design is also sure to turn heads. This model is compact enough to fit easily in the pocket and will not lag or stutter when shocked. It delivers a very smooth performance that is ideal for people on the move.
Attack of the clones…
Despite a few modifications, users are likely to find that it is virtually the same as the Shanling M5. The main difference is that this model now supports up to 768 kHz files. However, anyone who owns the original model will probably want to skip the Shanling M5s Hi-Res Portable Music Player.
In terms of sound quality and overall performance, this is one of the best digital audio players around. Users are sure to love the special case that is supplied along with the model. The Shanling M5s Hi-Res Portable Music Player is also very easy to use.
3 HIDIZS AP80 High Resolution Lossless MP3 Music Player
If you are on the road, you will need a music player that is sturdy and durable. Of course, it should also deliver impressive sound quality. The HIDIZS AP80 High Resolution Lossless MP3 Music Player promises very stable and high-quality sound while on the move.
But does it really deliver?
The large touchscreen makes this model especially easy to use. Music lovers will have no trouble locating their favorite tunes. The HIDIZS AP80 High Resolution Lossless MP3 Music Player also offers stable Bluetooth connectivity and up to ten hours of battery life.
While this model works great, users should choose their headphones with care. Headphones that are rather sensitive tend to be quite noisy when paired with this model. However, this issue can easily be fixed by choosing different headphones.
Drop it and shock it…
At 70g, this is by no means the lightest model around. However, the HIDIZS AP80 High Resolution Lossless MP3 Music Player features a very solid metal build. Even when dropped and shocked, the music playback remains stable.
4 Pioneer Hi-res Digital Audio Player XDP-300R
If you are planning a road trip, you will want to be able to listen to all of your favorite tunes. However, it is usually necessary to waste time working out which tunes to store on your music player. However, this will not be a problem for people who buy the Pioneer XDP-300R.
Want to know the best part?
The already impressive 64 GB storage space can be further expanded to 400 GB. As an added bonus, the Pioneer hi-res Digital Audio Player XDP-300R supports a wide range of different file types. It weighs just 7 ounces, which helps to make this model especially portable.
The built-in amp means that the sound is really enhanced. The MQA audio format is also sure to impress people who want to be able to enjoy crisp and clear sounds.
Wired audio quality is simply sublime…
In addition to the standard 3.5mm headphone out, this mighty model features a second, pro-standard 2.5mm balanced output connection. Bluetooth 4.0 is provided and allows up-to CD-quality wireless audio streaming.
This model is also packed with a range of other features that are sure to impress. The 4.7 inch HD screen is ideal for watching music videos and other types of content. And, the Pioneer hi-res Digital Audio Player XDP-300R really excels when streaming from Tidal.
5 HiBy R6 High Resolution Digital Audio Player
With its impressive stainless steel build, the HiBy R6 High Resolution Digital Audio Player really catches the eye. This model is lightweight yet durable and is designed to fit easily in the hand. It also boasts a large touchscreen that really stands out.
But is it just a pretty face?
Users are treated to very smooth operation with no lags. And the sound that is delivered is detailed across all frequencies. It is very full-bodied while also being dynamic and reasonably punchy along with a decent soundstage.
The Android operating system is very stable and is very easy to use. The outer casing feels very comfortable in the hand and comes with solid physical controls. Users are treated to support for a wide range of file types and an expandable 2TB storage that really impresses.
Treble is a bit on the dark side…
However, the sound is not quite as impressive as it could be. While the bass is more than adequate, the treble is a bit on the dark side. It lacks the bite and clarity that some DAPs are able to deliver.
There is also room for improvement in terms of the Wi-Fi connectivity. However, with so much storage space to take advantage of, users can simply load up their tunes before leaving home. With more than ten hours of battery life, there should be plenty of power for most journeys.
6 Cayin N5iiS Android Based Master Quality Digital Audio Player
With its stainless steel housing, the Cayin N5iiS Android Based Master Quality Digital Audio Player looks and feels very solid. It is compatible with a wide range of file types and boasts an enormous storage capacity.
With two SD card slots, users are able to ramp up their storage capacity to 800GB. This means that there will be plenty of space for the entire music library of even the most dedicated audiophile. The 3.5-inch IPS touchscreen is very responsive and is easy to navigate.
Smart and easy to use control buttons…
The touchscreen allows users to effortlessly shuffle between songs, mute whenever needed, and adjust the volume. There are also smart and easy to use control buttons on the side of this model.
The Cayin N5iiS Android Based Master Quality Digital Audio Player supports third-party Apps. This means that users can download and run all of the most popular music applications. There is an impressive 2 GB of RAM to prevent lagging and freezing.
The best of both worlds…
Users of the Cayin N5iiS Android Based Master Quality Digital Audio Player are treated to a balanced driven 2.5mm phone out. However, this model also comes with a completely independent 3.5mm single end output. This helps to make this innovative digital audio player more versatile than ever before.
7 FiiO X7II 64GB With Balanced Module AM3A Portable Music Player
With clear and crisp sounds that are sure to make audiophiles sit up and take notice, FiiO has finally delivered. In the FiiO X7II 64GB with Balanced Module AM3A Portable Music Player, they have created a DAP that provides first-rate headphone amplification. Each module features different impedances, frequency responses, and even physical connections for pure versatility.
Falling a little short…
In terms of battery power, the FiiO X7II 64GB with Balanced Module AM3A Portable Music Player fails to impress. This model comes with a 3800 mAh Li-polymer battery. This sounds great until you realize that it delivers a maximum of eight hours of battery life.
In reality, music lovers are likely to find that the battery runs out after just five hours. This is not likely to be enough run time for road trips, and users will need to keep their charger close to hand.
However, the audio conversion really delivers…
Users are also treated to a wide range of connectivity options that help to make this model especially versatile. The Bluetooth streaming is designed to be especially smooth and makes it easy to enjoy music on the go.
8 Sony NW-A45/B Walkman With Hi-Res Audio
Way back in the ‘90s, Sony basically revolutionized the world of portable music with their Walkman. This was without a doubt the music player of choice for those with the bucks. Since then, Sony has kept its finger on the pulse to constantly deliver new innovations that really impress.
But how does their DAP measure up?
The ultra-slim and sophisticated design of this DAP is enough to make many people sit up and take notice. The Sony NW-A45/B Walkman with Hi-Res Audio supports Hi-Res playback and DSEE H to help restore compromised files.
As if that wasn’t enough, the S-Master HX digital amp is powerful enough to drive high-impedance headphones while also accommodating low-impedance cans.
Up to 45 hours of battery life…
It should be noted that the Sony NW-A45/B Walkman with Hi-Res Audio takes a long time to charge. However, users are treated to up to 45 hours of battery life. It is worth putting this digital audio player on charge overnight before hitting the road.
In terms of built-in amps and overall audio quality, this has to be one of the best audio players around. This impressive model also comes with built-in Bluetooth and NFC pairing for virtually effortless wireless connecting. However, style lovers are likely to be disappointed by the limited color choices.
9 Sony NWWM1Z Signature Series Hi-Res Walkman
With its sleek and stylish design, the Sony NWWM1Z Signature Series Hi-Res Walkman really delivers. The gold casing really catches the eye and makes it stand out from the crowd. This is one digital audio player that users are sure to feel proud to be seen with.
Take music streaming to the next level…
As you would expect from Sony, users are treated to impressive sound quality. The innovative Sony Bluetooth LDAC codec is designed to take music streaming to the next level.
As an extra bonus, the Sony NWWM1Z Signature Series Hi-Res Walkman comes with special headphones. The new MDRZ1R headphone and TAZH1ES amplifier helps to ensure that users don’t miss a single nuance of their music. The pairing has been specially designed to provide the perfect balance.
Going the distance…
With an impressive 33 hours of battery life, the Sony NWWM1Z Signature Series Hi-Res Walkman really delivers. With this powerful DAP, users can be sure they will be able to listen to tunes throughout the whole journey. In terms of longevity, this is sure to be one of the best digital audio players around.
With 265 GB of internal storage, users can be sure that all of their tunes will be able to come with them. This also means that there is no need for users to purchase an external SD card. Of course, Sony has provided a slot for this card for those who appreciate the extra space.
10 iBasso DX120 High Performance Digital Audio Player
People who enjoy tweaking their sound are sure to enjoy the iBasso DX120 High Performance Digital Audio Player. While this DAP offers impressive sound, it also offers numerous ways to manipulate that sound. This means that users can enjoy a fully customizable experience.
Users are treated to around twelve to fifteen hours of great music with this sweet model. In addition to the superb sound quality, there are also plenty of other cool features for users to enjoy. The large and colorful screen is a nice touch, while there are two sound ports for maximum storage potential.
But there’s a catch…
Users are likely to notice that there is a design flaw with the case of this model. The USB-c cable does not fit through the hole in the iBasso DX120 High-Performance Digital Audio Player case. This means that users have to take off the case every time they want to charge this digital audio player.
The response of the touchscreen also needs to be calibrated. While it works well at first, it tends to lag after a relatively short time. While the iBasso DX120 High-Performance Digital Audio Player gets many things right, there is definitely room for improvement.
Best Digital Audio Player Buying Guide
There are lots of different things to think about when checking out the best digital audio players. Of course, music lovers will want to make sure that the audio quality is very high and dependable. But, here are some other things to consider when looking at the different digital audio players on the market.
Many modern digital audio players come in a metal chassis that looks cool and offers plenty of protection. This is a much better option than the older plastic versions, as it is more durable. However, it is a good idea to make sure that this chassis will not scratch easily.
In terms of storage, more is always better. Most digital audio players come with a certain amount of built-in storage, although this is not always the case. It is essential that the player features at least one SD slot so that users can increase their storage options.
High-definition audio files can take up huge amounts of hard drive space. In fact, the required storage space can be tens or even hundreds of times bigger than MP3s.
It is more than likely that you will have different music tracks and media in different file formats. Therefore, make sure that the digital audio player is compatible with all these file types. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to choose a DAP that covers all the bases.
The digital audio player should come with a touch-sensitive screen that is large and responsive. It will be a bonus if this screen displays in color, although this is not really essential. The main criteria is that the screen should be very easy to read and use.
Staying In Control
Of course, users will want to have full control over their music and other media. Recessed volume controls are especially useful, while the buttons should also be tactile. This will help users to manipulate the buttons very easily.
All About The Sound
The digital audio player you choose should deliver outstanding audio quality. It should also have the ability to recognize and play any lossy, lossless, or high-resolution audio file format. Choose a DAP with the ability to deliver digital audio sampled at up to 384 kHz in standard PCM wav formats.