Pioneer have been busy recently, launching a couple of products aimed squarely at the headphone market. True to their name they have used their vast experience to create the worlds first portable Hi-Res audio device, the XDP-100R, featuring the ability to play the MQA (Master Quality Assured) format. If you like your high resolution audio on the go, then this is definitely worth serious consideration. Also available now are their excellent high end headphone the SE Master 1 featuring brand new technology. This is another product that is perfect for getting the most out of those high resolution files.
The XDP-100R portable high resolution audio player is very solidly built (as are all things Pioneer) with a aluminium body and a large touch screen, ideal for browsing your music or indeed watching youtube videos. It's an android system giving you access to anything on the Googles play store, so you won't have any problem using music services like Qobuz, Spotify and Tidal. Its primary function is to play your music back to a high standard and that is exactly what it does. It uses well respected Sabre DAC technology that will deal with pretty much any Hi-Res audio including DSD and it is compatible with the MQA compression format. There are also software tweaks Pioneer have built into the the XDP-100R to help you get the most out of the player namely the ability to turn off all parts of the system that may affect the purity of the audio, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the LCD, with just a screen press. This is great stuff and it is a joy to use.
The first pair of SE1 headphones from Pioneer were made in the 1960's. With such a long heritage in high end headphones much was expected from the latest incarnation of the SE1, the SE Master 1. The design is impressive and it's all crafted by hand. The diaphragm is a brand new design where a thin piece of aluminium is coated with ceramic and then housed in a low resonance floating structure. With the help of Air studio's technical director, Tim Vine-Lott, the guys at Pioneer have done an excellent job in creating a headphone that is both comfortable and highly enjoyable to listen to. If you are interested a high end headphone the SE Master 1 is definitely worth an audition and maybe you should do that with their great value for money U-05 headphone amplifier. This offers the option of using the SE1's with the optional balanced cable for a very satisfying listen indeed.
All three of these products are available for you to listen to in store, so feel free to come and try.