Test 1 Design
Is there style to match the substance?
Of the five players, Astell&Kern’s is the prettiest, with its glass back and gorgeous AMOLED display. The monolithic Onkyo is redeemed by its superb build quality, swoopy back and knurled volume knob, while Pioneer’s offering hides its rectangles between two funky plastic bumpers. We don’t recommend putting any of these sharp-cornered players in the pockets of skinny jeans, although we wouldn’t recommend using a karabiner clip for the Pioneer either: that bumper is removable, so we wouldn’t want to risk it. The FiiO is the most unusual here. It’s modular: the amp module at the bottom can be unscrewed and swapped for other audio components.
And then there’s the Opus#1. It looks like a batphone, an off-centre rectangle surrounded by plastic polygons. It looks hideous, and it’s not much better in the supplied leather case.