PREVIEWED: Onkyo DP-X1 Digital Audio Player

CE China, Shenzhen: A peek at this new compact and great-sounding Hi-Res Digital Audio player makes us dream of our next long-haul trip

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Ignore the bad movies, send the food back, and just bring some decent headphones. Music is what pulling the long haul is all about, and if you’ve never just sat back and put your favourite albums on while at 40,000ft, TravGear throughly recommends it. If you’ve got an Onkyo DP-X1, even better.

Hi-res in review

Sighted as a source for some of the great headphones on show at the CE China exhibition in Shenzhen last week was this brand new, upcoming, not-yet-actually-available to buy Hi-Res Audio Player from Japanese brand Onkyo. It handles all the existing Hi-Res formats you can think of, including MQA, and it’s slated to go on sale in June for about £699. Blimey … it had better be good.

MP3: time to die

It’s better than good. If MP3 was the globe switching-on to digital music on the cheap, there’s surely now plenty of room for hi-res audio. Our TVs have got bigger; our music has not. In our brief test we had some Chinese pop – possibly K-Pop, actually – playing from the DP-X1, and while that’s not our bag (not being teenagers from Asia), it demonstrated one thing very (very) clearly; if you’re not swayed by hi-res audio, you weren’t really a music fan to begin with.

Clarity, bass …

The clarity, yes, is awesome. So is the refined low frequencies. But what surprised us most of all was the background details, the tiny harmonies and instrumentation that you just don’t hear on the radio/in the car/from your phone. Ideal for long journeys? The Onkyo DP-X1 is as good as reason as any to travel.

Price as reviewed: £699 (on sale June 2016)

Buy the Onkyo DP-X1 Digital Audio Player