10 Audiophile Dream Systems That Can Fit in Your Pocket

The iPod may no longer be popular, but luxury media players never stopped evolving.


Storing music on a dedicated portable device may be a thing of the past for the average person, but for the audiophile, the portable revolution is just beginning. Single-purpose music-listening gadgets have begun achieving sonic heights that were once thought only possible with full-size dream system equipment.

A pioneer of high-end digital audio players (DAPs, also referred to as a portable media players or PMPs), Astell&Kern has spent the last four years developing a robust product line with various styles of DAPs to fit different needs. A multitude of companies followed suit after seeing the success of the original AK100 and AK120 products, including major name brands in consumer audio such as Pioneer, Sony, and Acoustic Research. These products boast luxurious, all-metal construction with well machined components, but the real differences between players are found in the internal designs, including which digital-to-analog (DAC) microchips are used.

Audiophiles are no longer confined to one location for premium sound, so pick up your music and follow us on this journey of personal audio…