RMAA: Onkyo DP-X1 24-bit single-ended and balanced — ohm image
RMAA: Pioneer XDP-100R 24-bit — ohm image
RMAA: Astell&Kern AK70 24-bit — ohm image
RMAA: Astell & Kern AK70 Kai (Ryuzoh mod) 24-bit — ohm image
This thing sounds good. Real good. It really fits in a front pocket. I has a real hold switch. And a damn fine balanced output. That it costs just ~350$ in Japan and another Benjamin abroad is shocking.
Its myriad drawbacks divide between cheap factory work and anti-human interface/hardware decisions. The screen is awful, the UI is decades old. The search function is older than that and harder than nails to use. Browsing libraries larger than 50GB will make you go blind. And you’ll develop carpal tunnel syndrome.
But it sounds good. Onkyo promise a plethora of new features and stability improvements. Among them is true gapless playback. I’m down. The DP-S1’s battery gets through a whole day. And all of my music days begin and end with Bruce Springsteen’s In Concert/MTV Plugged. Gaps are no one’s friends.
Neither is exponentially increasing THD and IMD. Like the DP-X1, the DP-S1’s THD and IMD start relatively - though not audibly - high. Under load, they ramp up predictably, but never more than 25x base. The DP-S1’s balanced out is impressive, though can’t hold a candle to Ryuzoh’s AK70 Kai mod spitting single-ended signal, or its older sibling, the DP-X1. Single-ended is another story. The DP-S1 is virtually in line with the DP-X1 and spits nearly the same amount of voltage. This is a DAP costing 350$ to 450$. If broad-measure performance is the goal, this money well spent.
One thing to note is that I note no volume increase when going from single ended to balanced unlike with the DP-X1 which required me to lower the Lynx HILO’s sensitivity from +6dBv to +18dBu. In other words, if you’re looking for more power, the DP-S1’s balanced isn’t going to get you there.
The following Rightmark Audio Analyzer tests were conducted through this equipment.
Source: Onkyo DP-S1
ADC: Lynx Studio HILO LT-TB
Computer: 2012 27" iMac
Cables: 1,5m Hosa Pro 3,5mm stereo to dual 3-pin XLR (around 8$); bespoke y-split 2,5 TRRS to dual 3-pin XLR made by Musashi Sound Technology.
NL - no load
SM2 - Earsonics SM2
ES7 - Audio Technica ES7
DT880 - Beyerdynamic DT880/600
SE - single ended
BAL - balanced
24-bit single ended @VOL 60/60 high gain (roughly equivalent to AK70 max output)
24-bit balanced @VOL 60/60 high gain (equivalent to AK70 max output)
24-bit single ended VS Onkyo DP-X1
24-bit balanced VS Onkyo DP-X1
In my Headfonia review, I complained a lot about the DP-S1’s interface and quality control. Both are germane to Onkyo’s luxury/quality name, but perhaps not to the audiophile who’s just out for audio performance. The DP-S1 is surprisingly good for the price, and a nod to what is to come, especially at the middle end of the portable audio player market.