2017 Editors’ Choice: Portable Music Players

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With the AK380, A&K has created a flagship that transcends the genre of audiophile-quality portable players. To be sure, the device delivers superb sound—the best AT has heard from a portable player—via its duel AKM DACs with 384/32 PCM and native DSD support. Additionally, through a set of optional dock and peripheral offerings, the AK380 can rightfully serve as the digital front end to any hi-fi system. When fully accessorized, the fully balanced AK380 can rip CDs, wirelessly stream music from a DLNA NAS drive, and send the analog output of its formidable DACs through XLR connections. Replete with ample storage, a large bright display, and stunning sound, the AK380 is the portable player to beat.”

JH Audio Lola $1,599 Review

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” When it comes to in-ear monitors, everyone has their preferences. Someone who’s a sound engineer may want something more balanced and neutral like the 16V2. Someone on stage, who hears more than just their own contribution to their music, may want something like the Lola or Layla/Roxanne depending on the type of emphasis they’re looking for. As for audiophiles, the jury is out on that one.”