This Aluminium Box Is Pioneer's Take on the Portable HD Audio Player 

By Jamie Condliffe on at

While most people now rely on their smartphone for music, there’s recently been a steady trickle of portable HD audio players that provide the option of a little more sonic clarity. This is Pioneer’s new take on the idea, crafted from a slab of aluminum and stuffed with an Android OS.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the XDP-100R is machined from a solid piece of aluminium, while inside there are two circuit boards — one for the regular processor to run the OS, another for the audio components in order to “eliminate the effects of digital noise,” according to Pioneer.

Elsewhere, there’s a 4.7-inch 720p display, 32GB of internal storage, and two MicroSD slots, each each supporting cards with up to 128GB of storage. The Android-running device will support lossless FLAC, MQA, and ALAC, as well as DSD audio up to 11.2MHz being played from all that memory. All of that hardware occupies a frame measuring 5 by 3 by 0.5 inches wide — so you’d notice it in your pocket.

It’s hard not to compare it to Sony’s reborn Walkman, the NW-ZX2, which seems similar in terms of spec and size. However, the Wall Street Journal does report that Pioneer’s device will cost around $700 (£450-ish) when it goes on sale in Japan later this month — which compare favorably to $1,200 / £950 for the Sony.

If, of course, an HD audio player is really worth it. Your ears can only ear so much, after all. [Pioneer via Wall Street Journal via Verge]