Looking for new audio player

gwong

Member
My iPod Classic died after 10 years of use. I'm looking for a new audio player. It should have Bluetooth and USB audio. I intend to use Bluetooth ear buds when I go hiking. I intend to use Bluetooth speakers when I'm at home. I intend to connect it to my car's (Toyota Yaris) entertainment system through USB, as I did with my iPod Classic.

It should be easy to manage and organize music on the device from Windows. Apple had iTunes. Perhaps there is equivalent software for non-Apple products.

Visiting sites will provide me with a synopsis of their technique specifications but it won't provide me with any assessment of their product's usability and suitability. Most sites don't even mention how their product will work with a car's entertainment system, or what software may be used to manage and organize music.
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
Think most of us use our phones as music players these days, as good as any dedicated music player if you load a decent music app on it to find a track or album (I use the free android app called Audify) I have an Android phone with 256Gb storage, it just plugs in to your usb on the computer and you can drag and drop music files on and off easily without any proprietary software like iTunes (that's the beauty of Android)
If you don't have any music files of your own you can use a streaming service like Spotify, if your car has Bluetooth you can listen on the move from spotify without a wired usb connection. If you don't have bluetooth on your Yaris you can purchase a cheap Bluetooth adaptor that plugs in the cigarette lighter socket and transmits your phone's music via FM to the radio. Cool.
Amazon product

You can even copy all your music from the iTunes library on your computer to an Android phone as most will play the AAC format.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Other than a few toys this market tens now to be phones with streaming apps or expensive, often very, DAP’s which are more aimed at locally stored content.
Either way in the car nearly all will connect with Bluetooth, usb is often available but not always as successfully. In terms of sound quality in your car the two would be the same. Typically the car doesn’t interact with the player a great deal other than basic transport commands. Usually easier to make selections on the player.
Things have changed since the Classic but not necessarily improved.
 

gwong

Member
Think most of us use our phones as music players these days, as good as any dedicated music player if you load a decent music app on it to find a track or album (I use the free android app called Audify) I have an Android phone with 256Gb storage, it just plugs in to your usb on the computer and you can drag and drop music files on and off easily without any proprietary software like iTunes (that's the beauty of Android)
If you don't have any music files of your own you can use a streaming service like Spotify, if your car has Bluetooth you can listen on the move from spotify without a wired usb connection. If you don't have bluetooth on your Yaris you can purchase a cheap Bluetooth adaptor that plugs in the cigarette lighter socket and transmits your phone's music via FM to the radio. Cool.
Amazon product

You can even copy all your music from the iTunes library on your computer to an Android phone as most will play the AAC format.

I was inspired to take on a new project. I performed surgery on an Apple Smart Battery and added an SXDC card slot. This allowed me to use an iPhone 13 as a 2 TB SXDC media player (the internal 1 TB will be used for things other than music) with a 3,900 mAh battery capacity. The Yaris supports USB audio which is much better than using Bluetooth or FM transmitter. It was able to access metadata on both iPod and iPhone, and it allowed me to control both iPod and iPhone from the steering wheel.
 
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gwong

Member
Other than a few toys this market tens now to be phones with streaming apps or expensive, often very, DAP’s which are more aimed at locally stored content.
Either way in the car nearly all will connect with Bluetooth, usb is often available but not always as successfully. In terms of sound quality in your car the two would be the same. Typically the car doesn’t interact with the player a great deal other than basic transport commands. Usually easier to make selections on the player.
Things have changed since the Classic but not necessarily improved.

Initially, I was hoping to upgrade the iPod Classic to SSD and higher capacity battery, but this won't change the fact that it can not handle FLAC. However, the one thing the iPod Classic does very well is integrate with my car through USB. It allows my car to access metadata on the iPod which I can use to select an album or track, and to control the iPod from the steering wheel. Thus, I never need to touch the iPod. It rests in the small crack between my seat and the center console. I was able to examine the file structure on both iPod Classic and iPhone 13, they were identical. I tested the iPhone 13 on my Yaris and it behaved just like the iPod Classic. The Yaris read the metadata on the iPhone and allowed me to control the iPhone from my steering wheel. It seems on integration with a car's entertainment system, Apple may be ahead of the game on others.
 
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gwong

Member
I thought my iPod Classic died, but I managed to get it to boot up. First thing I did was backup all the music on the iPod. I found out how to use the iPod to restore what I originally had in iTunes. Now I have a backup of my iPod Classic on my iPhone 13. I got less pressure and more time to look for a suitable replacement because I anticipate the old iPod Classic will die.
 
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Yorkshire AV

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
I'm not sure if you've taken a look at any DAP's as of late and not sure what formats you are playing but the SR25 MKII from Astell and Kern is a reliable, high quality DAP with plenty of storage.


You can use software to manage your library for you or manage it yourself in folders. You also have the option of adding streaming agents on it. It comes with TIDAL out of the box, but has support for many others (Amazon, Qobuz etc) if you are a streaming user. You can download to the unit also.

A superb DAC - would far exceed that in your iPod by many many generations, powerful headphone amp and very nice looking.

I run an SE200 at home with my AK IEM's and it's a thoroughly enjoyable portable music solution :)
If on the go, I sometimes use just my IEM's and my iFi GoBlu if I don't want the expense / second unit with me and just use my phone.
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
+1 for iFi Go Blu
 

gwong

Member
I'm not sure if you've taken a look at any DAP's as of late and not sure what formats you are playing but the SR25 MKII from Astell and Kern is a reliable, high quality DAP with plenty of storage.


You can use software to manage your library for you or manage it yourself in folders. You also have the option of adding streaming agents on it. It comes with TIDAL out of the box, but has support for many others (Amazon, Qobuz etc) if you are a streaming user. You can download to the unit also.

A superb DAC - would far exceed that in your iPod by many many generations, powerful headphone amp and very nice looking.

I run an SE200 at home with my AK IEM's and it's a thoroughly enjoyable portable music solution :)
If on the go, I sometimes use just my IEM's and my iFi GoBlu if I don't want the expense / second unit with me and just use my phone.

Have you used Car Mode? Is the car able to display the contents of the Astell and Kern? Can the car control the Astell and Kern?
 

SeanBrothers

Active Member
I was in a similar position, and I ended up with a Fiio M11. I still use iTunes (Devil you know) for ripping and organizing my music, but I "sync" the music with Windows Explorer onto my 1TB SD Card. The big surprise for me was how much better it sounded than my iPod Classic.

Car integration was not what I hoped it would be. Although the M11 supports USB audio, I found the car interface worse than using the physical controls on the DAP. Being an Android device, I expected Android Auto to work, but my car does not recognise the M11 for Android Auto. Although I could use bluetooth, the DAC on the M11 is much better than the garbage they put in most cars, so using the auxiliary input is actually a better solution sonically.

Car/home stereo/headphone integration was crucial for me. The M11 supports headphone out, line out, and SPDIF.
 

jim1106

Active Member
I'm not sure if you've taken a look at any DAP's as of late and not sure what formats you are playing but the SR25 MKII from Astell and Kern is a reliable, high quality DAP with plenty of storage.


You can use software to manage your library for you or manage it yourself in folders. You also have the option of adding streaming agents on it. It comes with TIDAL out of the box, but has support for many others (Amazon, Qobuz etc) if you are a streaming user. You can download to the unit also.

A superb DAC - would far exceed that in your iPod by many many generations, powerful headphone amp and very nice looking.

I run an SE200 at home with my AK IEM's and it's a thoroughly enjoyable portable music solution :)
If on the go, I sometimes use just my IEM's and my iFi GoBlu if I don't want the expense / second unit with me and just use my phone.

I've got one of these, great sound and build. Can't fault it really.
 

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