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Pioneer Throw Down Gauntlet To Over Priced Astell + Kern High Res Media Players

Pioneer whose products are distributed in Australia by Powermove is set to shake up the High Res audio market with a new top end portable media player that comes with a neat pair of premium ear buds.

The estimated $699, XDP-30R digital audio player (DAP) and the SE-CH5BL ear buds, is half the price of the new overpriced Astell + Kern KARN 24Bit player which is selling for $1,394 without the $300 worth of free SD memory that US buyers get.

The new Pioneer XDP-30R player has 2.5mm four-pole balanced output, support for up to 5.6MHz DSD native playback, up-sampling of compressed audio up to 192kHz/32bit, and separate 44.1kHz and 48kHz clocks for both types of audio formats. It’s set to go on sale in Australia shortly in black or silver.

Other features include a 2.4-inch capacitive touchscreen, 3.5mm unbalanced headphone jack with line out mode, 10-band EQ with six built-in presets and three customizable settings, three digital sound filters, bass enhancer for five levels of bass, and remote operation via the company’s DuoRemote app. The player chassis is milled out of a single block of aluminum, while the twin headphone amp chips are symmetrically laid out on the circuit board and separated from the power supply to minimize interference, said Pioneer.

It also comes with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 16GB of storage that’s expandable up to 528GB via two 256GB MicroSD slots.

The SE-CH5BL ear buds have a 2.5mm four-pole balanced connector; 9.7mm drivers with two-layer brass and aluminum housings that reportedly absorb excess vibrations; ribbed ear tips; and Pioneer’s Airflow Control Port, which is an internal tube that adjusts low-frequency sound pressure to give improved tonal balance.