Acoustic Research AR-M2 Portable Player

First impressions are very good and in terms of spec and price it looks set to be pitched against Sony's eagerly anticipated NW-ZX2 - which sadly was not available to take part in this roundup. Its percentages mean it seems more like a smartphone than every other digital audio player (DAP) in the evaluation, and it is easily the most stylish and desirable model here as well as the large 5in High Definition-IPS touch-sensitive display is simple to navigate and fast to get to grips with. If there needs to be a negative it is the positioning of the onscreen info, which frequently clashes with the album's art text when they overlap at the top of the screen.

The M2 can join to wi fi, which likewise supplies access to NAS drives. Also you'll be able to download apps like Qobuz and Spotify Tidal for streaming music.

Installing and downloading the Android file transfer applications to my desktop computer is clear-cut enough and enables me to drag-and-drop hi-res music files to the ARM2's 64GB internal storage with no dilemmas that are actual. Usefully, the metadata and album artwork remains intact within the transfer. A MicroSD card slot is compatible with cards up to 128GB, and reinforces storage capacity.

Sound quality

As a recognizable hifi brand but among the newest names in digital sound portables the ARM2 sets out to be the adversary to competitors that are similarly priced, and Acoustic Research has its work cut out when it comes at the cost to sonic performance. But the challenge is definitely met head on and the AR-M2 does an expert job with playback via its own hi-res music player app with all substance across a wide array of qualities and formats.

Changing to something a bit more rocky, and the clarity of the vocals and also the way the AR-M2 places instruments over the frequency range expertly in the combination makes it the easy listen of the group. Treble details and bass are in excellent symmetry, but in case there is a lot of EQ adjustments in case you need to fine tune the AR-M2 the sound balance to satisfy your personal preference of. There's additionally an effective bass boost and also a 3D control that tries to widen the soundstage.

Acoustic Research AR-M2 Portable Player photo