What's in the box:
After about 2 weeks of listening, and experimenting I am glad i choose this over the Fiio X7. The AK300 has a more fun-enjoyable sound with a crisp punchy bass. The sound reproduction of the lows is just so rich that it actually compliments the highs (specially in classical genre). I detected that the treble is a tad bit rolled of from what its supposed to be, but that was easily taken care of in the equalizer--thanks to the DSP used to control the equalizer, the gains and q value adjustments are far more accurate than the older AK's..( or is it just my ears )
Battery life is good: lasts more than 3 days for me with average listening of 3-4 hours a day... I do that using minimum brightness setting (thats is bright enough since its a TFT screen) and using the physical buttons to actually change the track..
However, if you have an old collection of flac or even loseless music.. The performance is sometimes sensitive to the quality of the recording.. In my case 1970's was not such a good recording era after all.. So you may need to upgrade your library to vinyl rips...
AK300 really shines when paired with a headphone/earphone that has a good extention in the highs, else you may in somecase feel a bit annoyed with to much low end ( not AK300's fault ).
Some people have complained about the AK300 not have eniugh power to really satisfy someone who like his music really loud. At first, I was also disappointed with the max volume levels, but then, I had to amplify and normalize some of my tracks and now i really dont go beyond 110! Keep that in mind!
The major thing that separates Fiio X7 from AK300 is that with Fiio you really need to tinker a bit with the equalizer to enjoy the sound..its way to neutral for my taste. With AK, I just forget all the tweaking, close my eyes and enjoy to the fullest. The detailing is tad better on the Fiio X7 though ( noticeable only after you have DSD's or very high quality loseless files )
thumbs up AK300! Thanks Hea...
But tends to hang once in a while.
Battery not great at all.
Miles Davis' "Sketches of Spain" (MFSL Sacd rip), an emotional experience of the positive kind. Miles was in my head, doing his thing in a way that I'd never heard before. There is this cohesiveness to the music, this natural tonality. This recording has always been difficult, the files being too bright/harsh/metallic/digital no matter which remastered version I listen to. But here, there is the OMG factor.
Eric Clapton - "Spiral" from "I Still Do" (24/192). Slowhand's back with a superb album. There's a lot going on in this track, guitars, drums, synths, vocals and its all presented cleanly. And it rocks as well.
Vivaldi - "Recomposed by Max Richter" (24/96). The Violins are front and center, a bit forward for my tastes, making them sound just a bit 'hot'. But in while I just forget about all that nit picking and let the music wash over me. Again this wholeness, organic quality to the music just removes all doubts.
Wahnfried - "Drums 'n Balls" (Mp3 320 kbps) This is mp3??? Could've fooled me. The electronic Drums reach down, down into the ground. Not a hint of Mp3 flabbiness in depths or harshness in the highs. Again its analog sounding. This is an electronica track with sampled drums and hi hats!
Soundstage: Yes, it presents an intimate soundstage, a bit like the zx2 but more open
Sound signature : Its warm and clean. Non Fatiguing, can listen for prolonged periods.
If I were to compare with the likes of the sony zx2, the sony has this lush, hi-end sound but with prolonged listening there comes this feeling that the player is modulating the sound.
The other great thing that the AK does well is the AK connect. It found my aries mini streamer over wifi and now I can listen to my 4TB collection from the AK. No hiccups so far!
The Meze 99's also edge out the NAD Viso hp50's (my previous headset). Again there is this naturalness to the music (Wooden cups...?)
Is it the AK doing the magic? The 99's?
In my humble opinion its them both. A marriage made in aud...