amazon AR M20 reviews
Luxurious design, subtle and slightly hard
The AR M20 looks like a smartphone with a 5 inch screen and a small AR logo on the bottom. The machine’s edges are made of metal with a matte finish surface with delicate diamond trim. The top of the bezel is AR-M20.
AR’s previous M2 product had a rotation to adjust the volume at the top of the machine, but to the M20 it dropped the detail and used the buttons on the right. The edge also contains a power button, a micro-SD memory card slot for up to 200GB capacity. The bottom of the machine has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB charging port. The back of the machine is covered with glossy black glass printed in the AR logo in the middle which looks very luxurious. The M20 is 0.39 in. (0.9 in.) Thick, which is very thin compared to products from Astell & Kern or iBasso. Another drawback of the M20’s design is that the edges are not rounded so it feels uncomfort in the hand, but users will not be hold machine longtime as mobile as the phone so this is not a big problem.
To run the software smoothly, the company uses the Snapdragon 400 CPU. This is an old chip, but still quite strong for the player.
In terms of sound, AR uses the Burr-Brown PCM5242 DAC chip, which can read 32-bit / 384kHz music. The machine can also read DSD 64-128 but must be converted to PCM before playing, not directly. To amplify the audio signal, AR uses Texas Instruments TPA6120A2 Amplifier. It has a capacity of 32GB, but can be expanded with a micro-SD card. In addition, as a device running Android, users can expand their memory further using the OTG protocol via micro-USB.
Android software is minimalist
AR M20 is pre-installed with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. It has minimalist operating system, only one home screen, one app drawer, AR Music Player music player. While there is no Google Store, but an Android device, the M20 can install an external app with an APK file. The S400 is a pretty deep Snapdragon chip, but everything on the machine is smoother, less lag / jerk phenomenon. The M20 is also well equipped with basic wireless connections such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so it’s no problem to stream music using a Bluetooth headset.
The AR Music Player software is also designed for a minimalist, easy-to-navigate user experience, which can find songs by name, albums, singers, streams and even arrange music by folder. But perhaps the room is not perfect because it sometimes closes or turns off the music. This is a software issue, so AR can fix it with an update.
where can you get a AR M20 online
Acoustic Research AR-M20 Hi-Res compatible audio player(Japan domestic model): Buy it now
The AR M20 test was conducted with Earsonics Velvet, AKG N40, AKG K612 pro.
The older AR M2 player version has the ability to pull the headphones very strong. There have been reviews using the M2 with the HD800 – a pair of extremely difficult pairings of Sennheiser. The M20 is primarily designed to meet the needs of in-ear headphones and earbuds, so pulling capacity is also weaker. When coupled with in-ear earphones such as Earsonics Velvet, AKG N40, M20 gives enough listening volume at 60% volume scale. Try the AKG K612 pro, the M20 gives enough volume to hear at 80%, but the sound is lacking and not enough detail. So obviously, the M20 is not a good device to mate with many types of devices, only suitable for in-ear headphones and earbuds and will give the best sound quality with these types.
The M20’s bass range is slightly above average, even when the effects are off. This bass volume is not too much of a nuisance, but enough to realize, even when compared to the AK100 – a heavy bass product as well. Acoutic Research has adjusted to a large volume but the bass drum is not excessive. The sub bass is deep, showing the weight of this part. In Is not no sunshine with Velvet earpieces, the duo reproduces a very heavy contrabass, with a clear and rounded texture, layers. The drum sounds and bass instruments play focused, less diluted. The mid-bass section is also neat, not too long, though quite a bit. The level of detail in this bass is remarkable, the chords of bass guitar, contrabass are well peeled off. The M20 will satisfy bass-head needs with a heavy, but no loss of quality or buzz.
The mid-section is shown AR M20 forward, neutral and especially high detail. Compared to the AK100, the AR M20 reproduces advanced, streamlined, and lighter voice. Try with the vocalist Norah Jones in Painter Song, the voice is separated from the guitar, hear the small bits, the strings. Voice M20 reproduced with more accent than slightly, so feel more confident than the AK100. With some lyrical music, the AK100 is a slightly lighter, easier to hear and wet vocalist, but it is clearly down to the detail of the M20. When combined with the AKG N40 headphones use the High boost filter, the M20 controls the sibalance in the high midrange, though it is not dazzling but the vocal is still high and rolls off. This mid-range makes the M20 easy to pair with the headset, and it reproduces exactly the details, not the overly lurid.
When listening to two N40 and ES Velvet headphones, hi-hat, crash in Dave Bruback’s Take Five was well controlled and did not create sibalance. Even when using the N40 pair with High Boost filter, the sound is less annoying due to the dazzling sound.
One of the strengths of this player is the ability to reproduce very good sound. Of course, the results depend heavily on headphones. AR M20 will not be able to make the music scene of low-end headphones more spacious. But when coupled with high-end headphones, the machine will maximize its reproducibility. The amplitude of the sound field is M20 well done, the instruments are pulled apart enough to not resist or stick. The depth of the stage is not inferior, as is evident in Ottmar Liebert’s guitars, the instruments are carried around the listener’s head, giving a clear 3D feel, both in width and depth.