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What a pile of crappy comments from people who haven't heard this DAP and are only looking at spec sheets to draw conclusions.
Not saying it's a great deal, it would fare better at around 1500$, but comparing AK380 to cheaper DAPs like DPX1A or X5iii show how ignorant people are.
Even midrange DAPs like DX200 don't have it all: crappy capacity, crappy battery life, crappy UI, and you have to buy additional amp modules to get proper sound...
WM1A is not bad soundwise, but AK380 is competing more with WM1Z in terms of features and sound.
Assuming that DAPs with the same dac will sound the same shows how little you know about DAPs. If you reason like this, go ahead and continue to use your smartphone for music, and don't come here to spout complete nonsense.
And if you can't afford expensive DAPs, don't feel offended and compelled to bash something you obviously know NOTHING about.
MD community at its lowest ever...
I'm not sure if you realize that you are self-contradicting here. I definitely agree with you that DAPs with same DAC don't necessarily sound the same, but to believe a DAP with a 3yo slightly outdated DAC would sound significantly better than one with a more advanced DAC, you must have taken some placebo. OK let's assume it is true, then you should be the person to go ahead and try out different smartphones - although they all use sub-optimal DACs but according to your logic, they could be better sounding couldn't they. "They may have used some secret recipe in design that you won't know by only looking at the spec sheets."
Also, according to your own logic, your comment about smartphones is crappy nonsense as well, because you certainly haven't tried all smartphones in the world. (I'm not using smartphones to listen to music; I'm just pointing out your double standards.) It's OK to defend your beloved DAP, but better with common sense and good logic. That others don't agree with you doesn't mean others are "low"; it could just be the other way around.
I thought that MD's members had some knowledge about the design, the material ... But none of that! They do not know anything about it! Go compare an Opel to an Aston Martin, we will laugh in the face!
The community always trashes audiophile items. This is no surprise.
Thank you. Some logic rather than believing in pure audio voodoo. Specs do matter.
I'm sure that this player sounds very good, it better for the price. No doubt AK does good engineering.
But there is a difference between a "spare no expense" TOTL DAP and this. This would be equivalent to a $2000 gaming laptop that has integrated video with the CPU and a 1tb 5400 rpm HD. The specs just fundamentally don't match the price. Like I said, it might be well built, but it's like they put a v6 from a kia optima into a Ferrari and just insist it's fine.
Show the others what you know about the design and material, especially of this product. I doubt you are able to answer unless you are one of the A&K engineers. And most importantly, show us how materials and designs lead to good audio quality beyond what the outdated DAC is capable of producing.
It's almost like saying an old computer with 4GB RAM and outdated CPU can outperform a new computer with 64GB RAM and the latest CPU. It is simply impossible, no matter what design and material the old computer uses. It is probably true to say this item has better sound quality than other DAPs using the same DAC. Anything beyond this statement is hilarious. If I repackage a 10 year-old PC with Windows 98 with some fancy materials and some alleged "superior" designs, and I try to sell it to you for $5k, would you buy it?
I do agree that A&K has to price its products so high and make people believe they are superior - because whoever believes in such Voodoo and goes purchase them is minority. With such a small fan base, if A&K sells products at the price they deserve, then it will not be able to sustain its business.
I can not explain how it's done, but I can explain the sound! Certainly it's expensive, I would have preferred in the $ 1500, but the sound is much better than some of your example ... How I know, well because I have already tried! !
Well, so you actually don't know anything other than your own feeling. I don't question your integrity or honesty, but it is widely known that humans' feeling can be easily tricked and biased. Search the word "placebo", and you will see that people claimed some great medicine helped them with their diseases but in reality what they took was just flavored water. It would be more convincing if you actually did a lengthy and serious A/B blind test.
It is not just about money. $2K is not a price that people cannot afford. Many audiophiles, including me, have many headphones that are more expensive. If A&K is really superior and deserves the price tag, I believe it would have a much bigger customer base.
You make me a little laugh!
When I say it's better than some dap, I already made the direct comparison!
And yes the problem of AK is that it is too expensive! That's all! Just like the Sony 1Z etc! A Cowon P2 or Sony 1A is enough for the price but if I prefer the P2 ...
The AK380 is the same level as the 1Z, with a slightly different signature, but at almost the same price!
Before you laugh, please read my response closely. I said A/B blind test. You have to test them at the same time, and without looking at them. This is the only way to get rid of placebo effect and memory effect. Otherwise, whatever comparison you make is not convincing.
I know what I say, looking at the dap or not, there is a difference of sound, undoubtedly! Vs DX200: 380 is warmer, softer, less open but deeper! Vs X5III: the 380 is better in everything !!! much more precise! Vs M1s: same comment as the DX200, with less detail ... By cons, I did not test against the 1Z but it is just hotter than the AK380 ... Anyway! I stop there! Do what you want, but a tip: try if you can, if it's not possible and you do not want to take a chance, go your way!
Honestly having compared a lot of DAPs, I'd rank even Sony's NW-ZX300 above the AK380. Resolution is pretty much on par however all of the AK devices are way too clinical for my liking... The ZX300 (as well as the WM1A/WM1Z) all have a much more... fun... sound signature coming from them.
The AK380 is more detailed than the ZX300 which is below the 1A ...
and there is a question of signature!
Otherwise concerning the Zx300, it is good only in balanced! No interest to use it in single, so buy an A45!
The Sony devices (and this includes the ZX300, which is so close to the WM1A It's a truly marvel deice) are more full bodied. Better low end, smoother highs, more depth, a better rendering of 3D sound (eg positioning of instruments). Only pro for the AK380 is the soundstage is slightly (and I mean ever so slightly) wider than the Sony devices.
The ZX300 doesn't even compare to the A45.
There is already a PC company that does that. It's called Apple.
Lol, one has to be crazy enough to compare A&K with Apple. Apple (1) uses decent hardware in their products, (2) has had several innovations that lead the industry, and (3) prices their products higher than competitors' but never twice as high. What about this AK380? (1) It has an outdated DAC, (2) it has no new design and no breakthrough in performance (SQ may be better but not significantly, and its fans here and on Head-Fi always refuse to do a blind test - for whatever unspeakable reason), and (3) its price is 4-5 times higher than products with same specs.
A&K = Apple in the audiophile world? No. Bloody. Way. Its pathetically small customer base, despite many years' of advertisement (and good reviews from reviewers who were given A&K products for free), proves something.
Well in the spec sheet. My brand new Macbook uses hardware that scores the same as many ultrabooks from 2 generations prior. And if you self build it will be half the price of a imac/macpro at times. Decent hard is an iffy thing to justify for Macs. They are decent but you aren't getting bargain deals for the decent quality. (Unlike self build or even hackintosh)
Win vs Mac, Apple does has a low customer base.
You sound like a rich asshole with too little brains.
Obviously we wanna compare, why in the world would we wanna spend so much money if we can get a cheaper product with similar performance for less money?
And yes, I have heard the ak380, abit not critically, off line out to a amp as they just pass me the source during my visits to multiple headphone stores.
And No, it is not worth the money, ya sure, it sounds great, just not $2000 great.
ffs its a price of a whole desktop setup with a terrible form factor. I would take a zx300 or a dpx1a over a ak380 anytime of the day.
Get off your high horse here you shitface.
The thing is those who intelligent will often be modest and stay quiet. As they know for their wealth and awards doesn't put them on a pedestal. (So I doubt he is "rich" he probs needs this to show to people that is superior than others)