Ever since the iPod broke on the scene, portable digital audio players have continued to evolve. Now there are tons of portable Digital Audio Players (DAP) that cater to Hi-Resolution audio playback. With modern music streaming services, great-sounding DAPs are in even more high demand.
The hardest part is deciding which one is the best one for you?
That is why we put together a list of the Best Digital Audio Players out there.
So, come along as we see what each of them has to offer and which one might be the best Digital Audio Players for you…
- Top 10 Best Digital Audio Players To Buy In 2021 Reviews
- 1 HiBy R3 Ultraportable Touchscreen Hi-Fi Network Music Player
- 2 Shanling M5s Hi-Res Portable Music Player Bluetooth Music Player Wi-Fi Music Player (Black)
- 3 HIDIZS AP80 High-Resolution Lossless MP3 Music Player
- 4 Pioneer hi-res Digital Audio Player XDP-300R (B) (Black)
- 5 HiBy R6 High-Resolution Digital Audio Player Hi-Fi Lossless MP3 Music Player
- 6 Cayin N5iiS Android Based Master Quality Digital Audio Player
- 7 FiiO X7II 64GB with Balanced Module AM3A Android-Based Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.1
- 8 Sony NW-A45/B Walkman With Hi-Res Audio, Grayish Black
- 9 Sony NWWM1Z Signature Series Hi-Res Walkman
- 10 iBasso DX120 High-Performance Digital Audio Player
- Best Digital Audio Players Buyers Guide
- So What’s The Best Digital Audio Players?
Top 10 Best Digital Audio Players To Buy In 2021 Reviews
1 HiBy R3 Ultraportable Touchscreen Hi-Fi Network Music Player
A portable compact and lightweight music player with an elegant arc body. It provides you with high-resolution lossless audio whether you are at home or on the move.
This music player uses advanced 2.4G Wi-Fi radio. It is compatible with DLNA and AirPlay. Therefore, you can also use it to stream from cloud services such as Tidal. As a result, you have greater access to music files from multiple sources.
DNLA allows you to find music and movies with your mobile device or computer and send them to the player. You can quickly and easily move files on and off the player. Furthermore, it allows you to save and queue files for transfer.
It features Bluetooth 4.1 and apt-X technology. This allows the player to deliver high-resolution audio through a Bluetooth connection. The apt-X technology uses fewer bits per sample, and the result is smaller files sizes. The sound quality is actually better despite the smaller file size.
While the actual HiBy R3 does not have any internal storage, it comes with a micro-SD card slot. So, you can use a card with up to 2TB of space to save and store your favorite music. You can easily carry your music library in your pocket.
This best Digital Audio Player supports most Hi-Res and lossless formats. This includes FLAC, APE, AIFF, and OGG file formats. Along with a customizable audio system, your music will be full of flavor and sound terrific.
The 3.5mm headphone output works with all kinds of headsets and devices. It can even be connected to a large surround system for incredible sonic exposure. Any headphones with a standard stereo jack will work like a charm.
The battery can provide you with up to 11 hours of continuous play. It can easily be recharged, and while on standby can last for up to 60 hours. However, there is no USB connection, so you can’t charge it using your computer or laptop.
The 3.2-inch touchscreen allows you to control your music effortlessly. In addition to the touchscreen, there are side button controls as well. These let you pause/play tracks and skip ahead. It also has a power shutdown button. Therefore, you can control the player inside your pocket without the worry of accidentally hitting the touchscreen.
2 Shanling M5s Hi-Res Portable Music Player Bluetooth Music Player Wi-Fi Music Player (Black)
A digital audio player that is compact and portable. Natural and dynamic sound with bass that is tight and textured.
The housing of this DAP is crafted from aluminum that is strong and sturdy. It features curved glass for the touchscreen and fits comfortably and firmly in your hand. Additionally, it employs oleophobic and hydrophobic coating that reduces smears and fingerprint marks. This helps to improve screen visibility along with increasing overall durability.
It is also lightweight. It has the look and the feel of a normal smartphone. There are physical control buttons on the side. These let you control play/pause and track selection. There is also a volume wheel that allows you to adjust the audio level.
It features a 3.5mm output jack that can be connected to your home sound system. It supports all kinds of headphones and devices with a 3.5mm jack. There is also a 2.5mm input and a USB 2.0 port.
This DAP has a micro-SD card slot. It is compatible with expandable storage of up to 512GB. So you can easily store tons of your favorite tunes. The SD card slot has a small rubber cover for added protection.
The battery is rechargeable and delivers up to 17 hours of continuous use. It can be fully charged in 3 to 4 hours.
The M5s features advanced Digital-to-Analog Conversion technology with dual AK4493EQ DAC chips. These work to seamlessly convert digital sources to an exceptional-sounding analog format.
It can handle playback for most Hi-Res audio file formats. Listen to high-quality lossless audio without any sound degradation or delays.
It supports DSD playback for up to DSD256 and PCM playback up to 32-bit/768kHz. This DAP also supports DLNA, AirPlay, OTA, and Hi-Fi cloud libraries. As a result, you can stream music services from your home media devices to the M5s.
The advanced Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections allow you to connect to multiple online music services. You can pair this DAP with Bluetooth speakers or headphones. Furthermore, the Bluetooth is a two-way connection. This means you can send audio from the DAP to your computer as well.
The Wi-Fi connection allows you to pair this DAP with your computer or laptop. Therefore, you can easily transfer files directly to the M5s, and you can save them to the SD card.
It features support for LDAC, apt-X, ACC, and includes a bi-directional USB interface. Your music will come through full and clear.
The Shanling operating system is intuitive, streamlined, and offers lots of functionality controls. You can build playlists, queue tracks, select sound sources, and adjust the EQ.
3 HIDIZS AP80 High-Resolution Lossless MP3 Music Player
An ultra-portable digital audio player that offers excellent sound quality and is extremely small. This DAP is geared towards high resolution lossless audio playback. Every note and instrument is nuanced, detailed, and delivers with clarity.
The AP80 is incredibly compact and small. Despite is small stature, it is easy to use and has intuitive controls and functions. Likewise, the small size does not affect the sound quality in any way.
This DAP features a 2.45-inch Samsung full touchscreen. Easily control everything with a swipe of the screen.
There are physical control buttons on the side. There are play/pause and track selection control buttons. In addition to the playback controls, there is a volume control wheel. This is a very nice feature. The wheel design lets you incrementally increase or decrease the volume.
Furthermore, the wheel control locks into place, so you won’t accidentally turn it up and blow out your ears.
The battery is rechargeable and provides you with up to 15 hours of uninterrupted playback. It comes with a USB-C cable, so you can charge it using your laptop or computer.
A micro-SD card slot allows for expanded storage of up to 1TB. That much space is capable of storing up to 20,000 Hi-Res audio files.
This DAP can provide you with music from a wide range of sources. The ES9218P DAC chip is adaptive and offers amazing EQ possibilities. Your music will come through with lossless hi-res audio purity.
Being one of the best Digital Audio Players, it supports most high-resolution formats. Thanks to the new LDAC technology Hi-Res lossless quality audio is at your fingertips over a Bluetooth connection. Furthermore, the LDAC transmits three times the amount of data over a wireless connection. Your music will come through with stunning clarity and definition.
The bi-directional USB connection allows you to use this player with your smartphone or any other digital device. Use the AP80 as the audio source for your home sound system.
The lossless Bluetooth 4.1 bi-directional compatibility allows you to send and receive files between the DAP and your home computer. It has file format support for apt-X, DSD, FLAC, and so much more.
4 Pioneer hi-res Digital Audio Player XDP-300R (B) (Black)
This digital audio player is expanding the limits of portable audio players. The XDP-300R offers fantastic sound quality, convenience, and all kinds of audio and video possibilities.
This player has been designed to support every kind of sound source. From MP3s to music streaming from your favorite services, this player has you covered.
With DSD up to 11.2MHz and PCM at 24-bit/384kHz playback support, you can listen to online streaming services with an unparalleled definition. Furthermore, support for FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, and MQA formats means you have access to the best-sounding music from various sources.
This player uses two ESS technology DACs to provide you with amazing sound quality. There are also 2 ESS Sabre headphone amplifiers. The result is a sound quality that is out of this world. You have better control over the input levels to the headphones and speakers, which minimizes distortion and noise to signal ratios.
Additionally, the DAC and AMP circuitry is independent of the internal CPU. This kind of construction further eliminates noise and loss of signal quality.
Sound levels and equalization can be adjusted to your liking. There are more than 16,000 EQ bands and the ability to save up to 1,000 custom presets. You can craft and hone your desired sound without any loss in quality.
Integration with Google’s Android operating system makes finding music, games, and videos a cinch. The touchscreen works just like a smartphone. You can also download directly from the Onkyo Music Store without a PC.
Two micro-SD card slots add further user convenience. These provide you with up to 200GB of expandable storage. With 32GB of internal storage, you have enough space to hold your entire music catalog.
5 HiBy R6 High-Resolution Digital Audio Player Hi-Fi Lossless MP3 Music Player
The HiBy R6 is being touted as the most advanced Android Hi-Fi music player in the world. With a ton of hardware inside designed for the ultimate sound experience, it may very well be just that.
As one of the best Digital Audio Players in this list, it features Direct Transport Audio Technology (DTA). This architecture bypasses the Android sample rate conversion for all apps. The end result is that you get bit-perfect audio that is pure sonic bliss.
It uses two ESS ES9028Q2M DAC chips. These deliver unrivaled audio purity. High-resolution music is pumped into your ears with depth, detail, and breath of each note and instrument. Most Hi-Res file formats are supported, including Apple Lossless, FLAC, APE, ALAC, and DSF.
There is native support for DSD 128/256, PCM 32-bit/384 kHz, and iOS DSD. Therefore, this player is capable of handling a variety of streaming and cloud music services.
In addition, it features a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. This is a high-powered and fast CPU not found in most DAPs. It has 32GB of RAM and ROM. The CPU, along with the DACs and DTA are specifically tailored for Android systems. Not only are you getting high fidelity audio, but you also have a system built to handle all your favorite apps. It can connect with Spotify, Tidal, and Deezer.
The R6 incorporates dual-band 2.4G/5G Wi-Fi radio. This allows you to connect seamlessly to an assortment of streaming services and apps.
Furthermore, the Bluetooth 4.0 and apt-X lossless work to connect this player to all of your wireless devices. This also helps to deliver CD-like quality over a wireless connection.
This player has a curved casing and intuitive feel. It is very user-friendly and feels natural in your hand or pocket. A 4.2-inch HD multi-touch screen delivers incredibly vibrant imaging. And physical push-button controls give you greater control of your playback.
There are also several connection options. Therefore, it can work with all kinds of input and output devices. It features 3.5mm and 2.5mm outputs, along with a two-way USB port and coaxial digital output.
For those with a vast music collection, there is plenty of storage. It comes with 2TB of expandable storage and 32GB of internal storage. Take your entire library with you wherever you go.
The rechargeable battery is one of the fastest changing batteries. It can charge up to 70% in just 70 minutes and is fully charged in a little over 2 hours. It will provide you with 12 hours of continuous playback.
6 Cayin N5iiS Android Based Master Quality Digital Audio Player
An Android-based music player that delivers balanced and lossless sound. It has been upgraded with a stainless steel chassis and 3.5-inch LG Panel IPS touchscreen.
A quad-core processor provides you with extraordinary audio capabilities. It supports all common Hi-Res formats, including DST and DTS encoded.
It features an ESS 9018K2M DAC chipset. As a result, it can deliver high-resolution sound quality over wireless connections.
Streaming and third-party Apps are further enhanced with 2GB of RAM. Your services will be faster, and music will be delivered with a higher sampling rate thanks to a large amount of RAM.
Furthermore, this DAP features 64GB of internal storage. This is a very large amount of storage not found in most other DAPS. You have plenty of room to save your most used apps and services. And just in case you need expandable storage, there are two micro-SD card slots. These support cards with up to 400GB of storage. Therefore, you have a total of over 800GB of space, so you’re music library is with you wherever you go.
This best digital audio player includes a standard 3.5mm headphone output. It is compatible with any device that uses a 3.5m input jack and can be used as a 2V line out. There is also a 2.5 mm output. This can be used with balanced headphones.
The USB-C port offers a two-way connection. You can recharge the battery via USB. You can also use the USB connection as an output to a high-end desktop or laptop. The end result is that you can also move files quickly and easily on and off of the player.
Another great feature is the Audio Priority Mode. When activated, all wireless signals are turned off, background apps are closed, and any unnecessary operations are suspended. The result is playback with the utmost clarity and quality.
7 FiiO X7II 64GB with Balanced Module AM3A Android-Based Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.1
The X7 Mark II is an Android-based Hi-Res digital player. It uses an 8-channel ESS digital-analog converter and an interchangeable amp module.
Along with the 8-channel DAC that delivers optimized resolving power, dynamics, and soundstage, there are three crystal oscillators. Each of the oscillators handles different sampling rates. One is for DSD and 44.1 kHz, another is for 48 kHz, and one more for 384 kHz. Therefore, any sound source over a wireless connection will be delivered with exceptional precision and clarity.
This DAP boasts 64GB of internal storage. There are also two micro-SD memory card slots. You will never need to worry about running out of room for your favorite tracks.
A balanced and interchangeable amp module offers amazing sound quality. The module includes both single-end and balanced headphones outputs. The amp module also makes this DAP a powerful option for use with home sound systems.
The onboard Wi-Fi works with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. As a result, your streaming audio is more detailed and accurate. The dual-mode Bluetooth supports 4.1 and apt-X standards. You can easily pair this player with wireless speakers for an incredible sound experience.
This best Digital Audio Players comes with a customized Android 5.1 operating system. It has been tailored to bring you the best quality audio playback, and convenient access to all Android services and Apps.
8 Sony NW-A45/B Walkman With Hi-Res Audio, Grayish Black
The classic Walkman has been reborn for the digital era. This DAP gives you Hi-Resolution sound quality that is authentic and powerful.
The new soldering works to maximize clarity. The high-quality, lead-free solder produces more effective and efficient electronic connections.
The circuit board has been enhanced as well. It has been optimized to deliver an improved flow of electricity. This helps to make the power supply more stable and increases overall performance. Furthermore, the circuit board provides you with a more solid bass in your music and greater sonic purity.
The S-Master digital amplifier is built for high-resolution audio. It allows you to enjoy music in all kinds of lossless Hi-Res formats without distortion or noise.
This digital player features DSEE technology. It stands for Digital Sound Enhancement Engine. This works to upscale lossy files to near lossless high-resolution quality. MP3 and AAC music files will sound like they never have before. Your music will come through with astounding clarity at up to either 24-bit/96kHz or 16-bit/44.1kHz.
The DSD audio formats are detailed and natural sounding. The high-quality pulse-code modulation (PCM) makes your online music sound just like the real thing.
There is also a nice feature called Ambient Sound Mode. This mode lets you hear the world around and keeps you aware of your surroundings while listening to music. It is helpful when you are in an airport or train station and need to hear public announcements.
The conventional Bluetooth connection features full apt-X convertibility. It can also transfer data three times faster at up to 990kbps. The result is a wireless sound that is closer to the actual recording.
There are 16GB of internal memory along with a micro-SD card slot for expanded storage. The USB connection can be used to charge the battery. It also doubles as a DAC.
9 Sony NWWM1Z Signature Series Hi-Res Walkman
Sony continues its endless pursuit of audio perfection. The Signature Walkman offers unbelievable sound quality and performance.
This DAP features a very unique casing. It is encased in a gold-plated, oxygen-free copper chassis. This works to enhance the natural, acoustic sound of the player. It also helps to make it quite durable and sturdy.
Pretty much every Hi-Res audio format is supported with 32-bit/384kHz PCM playback. It has native support for DSD at up to 11.2MHz. No matter your audio source, you can enjoy lossless music from this player with ease.
With Sony’s Bluetooth LDAC codec you can expect incredible streaming playback. Furthermore, this codec allows for data transfer that is three times faster. Wireless music will never have sounded so clear and full.
The DSEE technology works to upscale compressed lossy files to near Hi-Res levels of sound. The result is better sounding audio that is more like studio-quality recordings.
This DAP offers up to 33 hours of continuous play. You can enjoy your favorite songs during a cross-country flight on just a single charge. And there is a huge amount of internal memory. 256GB of built-in storage, plus a micro-SD card slot means you’ll never run out of space. This much internal storage is not found in other DAPs.
Additionally, this player includes a 4.4mm balanced connection. It also supports 6.3mm and 3.5mm unbalanced connections. You can easily connect your favorite headphones or home stereo system for an unparalleled audio environment.
10 iBasso DX120 High-Performance Digital Audio Player
An entry-level digital audio player aimed at diehard audiophiles. This player is focused on technical enhancements for better sound quality, as opposed to multifunction use.
It uses a high-end AKXM AK4495 digital-analog converter chip which eliminates distortion and recreates natural analog audio. It features DSD support of up to 5.6MHz. This allows online music to be heard clearly, accurately, and in full high-resolution.
It features a quad-core processor and a dedicated USB sound card. There is also Hi-Res PCM of up to 32-bit/384kHz sampling rate. The speed and sampling ensure the highest degree of sound fidelity. It is also capable of handling all kinds of Hi-Res audio formats.
Furthermore, the full synchronization technology helps to provide you with even more detailed sound. There are less low frequency and low-temperature drifts, along with ultra-low phase noise. The end result is greater overall stability and more natural-sounding audio.
This DAP is fully balanced and has three different outputs. There is a balanced 2.5mm output, coaxial output, and two 3.5mm outputs. This means that you have several listening options. It can be used with headphones or Hi-Fi home audio components.
In addition to amazing sound quality, this digital music player has two micro-SD card slots. Each slot can work with cards that have 128GB of storage. There is no internal storage. The reason for this is because it frees up space for handling large media files. It’s another example of the commitment to the purest sound quality.
Best Digital Audio Players Buyers Guide
Now that we have gone over the best digital audio players, there is just one more thing.
Digital audio players are great for enhancing your music and media. However, there are some conflicts with Apple products and the players that have built-in Android operating systems. If you use Apple products, a digital audio player that does not have Android installed will suit you better.
So What’s The Best Digital Audio Players?
All of the DAPs we reviewed here produce amazing high-resolution audio playback. They are all portable, and most have tons of expandable storage. Yet, when all is said and done, one will stand out among the rest.
The Best Digital Audio Player is the…
We felt this player offered the best combination of incredible sound, connectivity, usability, and value. It has an awesome DAC chipset, great DSD sampling rate, and unreal amounts of storage. It is relatively affordable and can be connected to home sound systems easily.
We hope you found this information useful. And you are now ready to get your own digital audio player. So have fun surrounding yourself with amazing sound quality in a portable package.