Test 2 Soft­ware

Pure player or sim­pli­fied smart­phone?

Mac Format - - APPLE CHOICE -

There are two schools of thought here: there’s the pure mu­sic school, where the un­der­ly­ing An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tem is skinned to present an au­dio-only de­vice; and there’s the app-friendly school, where An­droid is largely left alone so that you can run apps such as Spo­tify and Tidal. Astell&Kern and Opus#1 take the for­mer path, but the Opus#1’s use of tiny, thin type­faces on its low-res screen is a school­boy er­ror. Astell&Kern’s de­vice is much bet­ter, and its soft­ware looks as good as the hard­ware.

We pre­fer the au­dio-only ap­proach – we’re not big fans of An­droid – yet the FiiO, Onkyo and Pi­o­neer do pro­vide con­trol of things: FiiO with its Pure Mu­sic mode, and Onkyo and Pi­o­neer with their Stand Alone modes. The for­mer boots the FiiO into a mu­sic-only ver­sion of the OS, while the lat­ter turns off Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth and the LCD for a clearer sig­nal path.

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