Excerpt: This is a great item for those of us that want a high quality portable music player. UI is reliable and easy to use. SQ is very good. I use this mainly with Shure SE846 earphones. They pair well. Plenty of capacity, especially when Micro SD's are added. Build is truly high end. Highly recommended.
Potable HD Audio! DSD Audio Amazing sound Drives all my headphones without the need of a headphone amp or DAC!
M. Steel "Miller's "Audio House"", Amazon
16 April 2014
Summary: These AK120 and by association the other AK Portable Dual DAC Hi-Fi audio players are just flat out OUTSTANDING audio Devices, Portable or not. Hook this up to my IEM's and OMG what soul, play a 16bit CD file sounds great, 24bit, 48khz, better, 24bit 88K better still amazing, it should right, 24bit 192k OMG, and then DSD 64 the flood gates open, and you are in the Aural Space.
Excerpt: Listening to hi-rez music content (dsd, flac, alac, aiff). I'm able to become immersed in music and hear things I've never heard before in familiar pieces. But, because I use a mac to load music onto the device, and there is no mac version of the iriver music manager, i can't use all of the menu items - such as playlists, genres, artists, mqs, etc. So I'm feeling a bit disappointed.
Pros: Easy To Set Up, Great Sound, Simple Controls
Cons: Not Fully Mac Compatable, Not Fully Mac Compatible, Short Battery Life
Summary: I learned about this in the Absolute Sound. It is just wonderful. I moved all my 24 / 96 DADs over to the computer and then to this guy. Time in the gym goes so much faster now that I have this. Now that high resolution is easy to find via downloads this capability is even more attractive. It comes with an example of Chesky's 24 / 192. Oh my. This model *might* have an easier time with the new high resolution DSDs than the less expensive one.
Summary: I have only one complaint, the iriver software crashes. When it finally worked it proceeded to break up all of my albums (on hard drive) into seperate files and retitle them with new album names(audiobooks,childrens collections etc) picked randomly from the internet. Unless ripped albums have all information attached accurately, they are downloaded to the unit into an unknown file titled unknown albums.
Absolutely superb sound; atrocious usability and user interface
Nikko "nashtonhart", Amazon
2 February 2014
Summary: Everything about the sound of this unit has been covered by other reviews - and it is superb. However, the usability is frankly awful, unless you have very few recordings, or only listen to whole albums. What's missing: * The playlist function is almost nonexistent. You have to create them all from scratch; the only standard it supports is not implemented properly at all, so you cannot even export standards-based playlists and import them into the AK.
Summary: I read "Tim - Film Lover"'s 1-star review along with others elsewhere who expressed great dissatisfaction with iRiver's UI on these players. That gave me pause as I've had iPods whose UI I like, along with players like the HiFiMan HM601 whose UI I dislike. I bought a Cipher Labs AlgoRythm Solo (+ALO Continental v2) earlier so that I could stay in the Apple ecosystem. The continued good reviews kept interest high and I got one of these.
Summary: I also have the FIIO X3 which sounds almost as good sound wise but, the ak120 is so much better. Sound is to die for and it is a finished product that works and is user friendly as well as blue tooth and touch. If you can afford it the AK120 is the way to go. Edit: Another reviewer bemoaned the Iriver software that comes with the 120. I didn't like it either.
Excerpt: The AK120 costs you the equivalent of 5 iPod classics and gives you not much more storage (192 max with 2 cards vs 160GB plain). The iPod still being a good player, the difference in sound quality is phenomenal. You need headphones or loudspeakers of decent quality (Sennheiser upperline and Klipsch horns are mine).