Audiophiles in Chicago have their pick of fantastic home entertainment and theater equipment options, and given the variety of brands we carry at Quintessence Audio LTD, we know there’s not just a lot of great gear out there—there are also a lot of audiophiles clamoring for high end audio in Chicago. But while your options are virtually limitless when it comes to listening to your music in the perfect setup of your own home, what about listening on the go? What are the best portable options for audiophiles?
Nowadays, as more and more people grow less and less interested in how their music sounds, the popularity of listening to music on even a basic MP3 player is in decline. Younger people—and even many older people—have become so attached to their phones that Apple, recognizing a shift in the market, has killed off the iPod Classic, one of the first and best dedicated MP3 players that wasn’t also a phone, web browser or app repository.
Since the death of the iPod Classic, it might seem like the opportunity to have high end audio on the go is passing us by. However, there are some other options on the market, including some very new ones that are being specifically marketed to audiophiles. Here’s a look at a few of them:
- PonoPlayer: Created by Neil Young’s company, PonoMusic, and in the works for several years before finally being released in February, the PonoPlayer is a distinctive, triangle-shaped player geared toward the playing of lossless audio files. While the player produces fantastic sound, its design is somewhat awkward and it suffers from poor battery life. Still, if you’re looking for sound over convenience, the PonoPlayer does the one thing it’s meant to do—play music—very well.
- Sony Walkman NW-ZX2: “Walkman” no longer means what it once did. Sony’s new device is a true luxury item, offering lossless playback capabilities, Wi-Fi connectivity and Android app compatibility. It sounds great, too. This comes at very high price, though, as the player retails for $1200. While leaving the Wi-Fi enabled runs the battery down much faster than it probably should given the cost of the device, the new Walkman certainly looks like it could be the latest in Sony’s long line of innovative products.
- Fiio X1: Finally, there’s Fiio’s new X1, which, at one sixth the cost of the Walkman NW-ZX2, provides wonderful high-resolution audio at a price budding audiophiles aren’t nearly so likely to balk at. Fiio’s entire line of portable audio players offers quality sound in a small package, but the X1 is particularly compact, and its user interface offers an improvement over Fiio’s other players. If your experience with MP3 and other portable audio players is limited to Apple’s iPods, the X1 could be your gateway into a whole new world of quality audio.
Remember, too, that listening to music while you’re out and about requires more than just a great player. You’ll also need a pair of quality headphones, and it’s not at all uncommon to find audiophiles willing to pay more for their headphones than for their player.
For everything high end audio in Chicago, visit the team at Quintessence Audio LTD. We’re always excited to show you the latest and finest products, and to provide you with the quality service you’ve come to expect.