Fans went into a frenzy, storming retailers for remaining stock and paying grossly inflated prices on the second-hand market to secure one while they had the chance.
The rise of streaming apps and cheaper mobile data has dropped demand for the high-storage devices, but a new market is strengthening for people who want portable music players capable of higher-quality playback that many streaming services, and the iPod itself, can’t facilitate.
Digital Audio Players (DAP) with quality components allowing audiophiles to take their high-resolution collections of digital music on the road are growing in popularity.
Here are some of the best on the market, at price points for everyone.
Astell & Kern have been at the head of the high-res DAP market since first coming on to the scene in 2013.
The iRiver subsidiary has a new KANN player and an updated flagship releasing in the next few months, meaning there are some deep discounts floating around for older models with the same premium design and high-quality playback.
Being at the fore of the market means Astell & Kern’s devices often run in to several thousands of dollars, but they’re targeted towards those who know, and specifically want what they’re paying for.
Sony introduced portable sound to the mainstream with the original Walkman cassette players, and its spirit lives on in the new line of high-res digital audio players.
The ZX300 features a sturdy aluminium design and is capable of up to 24bit/384kHz playback.
Chinese audio company FiiO was founded with the mission to “raise the reputation” of products Made in China, and to that end its been majorly successful.
Its products have gained respect over the years, delivering quality players at more affordable prices than its competition.
The M9 player is a great entrant into high-resolution DAPs for those not wishing to jump straight into a device costing thousands of dollars.
Of course the price comes with compromises, resolution tops out at 24bit/192kHz and storage is dependent on microSD cards.