They’re all good, but one of these HRA players stands above the rest
We didn’t read spec sheets or price lists before playing our music: as George Michael put it, we wanted to listen without prejudice. And when we listened, we kept coming back to the Onkyo DP-X1. It’s not the prettiest of players, and we’re not huge fans of its Android OS. But the sound it delivers is so good we’ll forgive it almost anything. While all the players here deliver
Onkyo’s DP-X1 has something extra: an X factor that makes it sound warmer and more inviting than the other HRA players in our group test
very good sound quality across genres, the Onkyo has something extra – an X factor that makes its sound warmer and more inviting than the others. We can’t quite put our finger on it, but it makes you want to buy all your old favourites all over again to hear them anew.
That doesn’t mean the others are bad, though. The Astell&Kern came very close to the Onkyo, and even our lowest-rated player performed very well. But if you’re spending serious money on audio equipment (not to mention amps, headphones and/or speakers) even very little differences can turn out to be a big deal. We’d like to own any of these players, but we’d love to own the Onkyo.
The Onkyo DP-X1 takes the circuits of the Pioneer and then doubles them: it has a separate DAC and amp for each channel.