Pioneer DAP Review

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Pioneer is a famous consumer name in the audio-video market. The brand has been popular in many countries around the world. Started in 2015 with their first portable audio player XDP-100R, Pioneer has released several audio products in the Portable Audio market. In this Pioneer DAP Review article, we show you the 2020 latest update of their products for your consideration.

High-resolution DAPs (Digital Audio Player) will contain high-end audio circuitry inside, coupled with internal high-powered DACs (Digital-to-Analog Converter) and powerful amplifiers allowing you to drive a broad range of audiophile-class headphones.

Pioneer has now merged with Onkyo, and this cooperation will allow the strengths of both corporations to work together and create more advanced and powerful products in the audio market.


Higher Demand of Digital Audio Player DAP

Digital Audio Player (DAP) is an audio player that can play digital music and is usually a portable device.

With the introduction of Digital Audio Player DAP in the market, more people are asking for high-quality on-the-go music. More manufacturers are coming up with better products and enhanced features in their audio players. All these factors are pushing higher demand for the DAPs and we expect consumers like us to have a wider variety and more choices.

The 2 specifications you may want to pay particular attention to are:

  • resolution (in bits)
  • sampling rate (in kHz)

For high-res DAP look for at least 24-bit and 192kHz players to power your headphones.

Pioneer DAP
Pioneer DAP has high-quality performance

Latest Pioneer DAP XDP-300R Features

This Pioneer latest DAP was introduced in 2017 and has been selling pretty well in the market. The design and look of this portable Digital Audio Player also appeal to many music lovers. It will be popular and in high demand sometimes before a new competitive brand/model come into the market.

Pioneer XDP-300R is able to do streaming from Spotify and Tidal, which is a trending demand from the younger generation. This is one factor driving the demand for this model too.

  • drive a wide range of audiophile-class headphones
  • support FLAC (free lossless audio codec), DSD (direct stream digital), ALAC (Apple lossless audio codec), MQA (master quality authenticated)
  • Android-based User Interface (version 5.1)
  • Dual ESS Audio chip ES9018K2M DAC
  • 2 Sabre 9601K op-amps
  • contain Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor
  • 2.5mm TRRA balanced output (2 x 150mW, 32~600 ohm)
  • 3.5mm unbalanced output (2 x 75mW, 16~300 ohm)
  • 2 micro SD card (some users try using 2 Sandisk Ultra 400GB Micro SDXC and it works fine)
  • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n/AC) and Bluetooth AD2P (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile -> the Bluetooth Stereo allowing high-quality stereo streaming over a Bluetooth connection)
  • 32GB internal storage memory
  • High Precision EQ-HD / Club Sound Boost
  • A high-precision graphic equalizer that can adjust the volume of up to 16,384 bands (frequency band)
  • micro USB-B/OTG output (for power& data transfer)
  • 4.7″ display with 1280×720 resolution
  • 1630mAh battery (3.8volt) can last 16hour
  • support aptX, allowing wireless playback with near CD-quality audio sound

Pioneer XDR-100R Feature Overview


  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • introduced into the market on 2015
  • single DAC and single Amp
  • hi-resolution DAP
  • micro USB port (including a micro USB cable for charging)
  • having a smooth wheel knob on the left side
  • dual microSD slots
  • speaker at the bottom
  • Android OS 5.1.1
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functions
  • data copying software “X-DAP Link”
  • display 4.7-inch, 1280 x 720 dot resolution
  • 1630 mAh battery
  • 32GB internal memory
  • weight 203g (with bumper)

XDR-300R Vs XDR-100R Comparison

The XDR-300R weighing only 200g and made of black brushed aluminum casing

  • 2 micro SD slots
  • 1 volume knob
  • a gold-plated headphone jack
  • physical dimensions and weight are the same for these 2 models
  • 300R version has additional balanced output than 100R
  • both models have 4.7″ 1280 x 720 resolution LCD

Pioneer XDP-30R


  • dimensions = 2.50 x 0.60 x 3.70 inches
  • weight = 4.16 ounces
  • support MP3, FLAC, ALAC
  • price US$199.99
  • color: black
  • first available on April 2017
  • micro USB port (include a micro USB cable for charging and transferring music files)
  • balanced output (2.5mm/4-conductor)
  • headphone jack (3.5mm/3-conductor)
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features
  • 2 micro SD card slots
  • support data copying software “X-DAP Link”

Pioneer XDP-02U


  • support Hi-Res audio formats MQA, DSD 5.6MHz playback, FLAC/WAV 192KHz/32-bit, 44.1kHz/16-bit CD audio
  • 10-band EQ with 3 digital filters
  • dual-band 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology
  • 16GB built-in memory
  • 2 micro SD card slots (supported SD card format: FAT, FAT32, exFAT)
  • weight 120g
  • rechargeable battery 1630 mAh
  • display 2.4 inches with 240 x 320 dot resolution

Different Brands of Digital Audio Players

Here are some of the common brands you can find on the internet. Have a read and consider them as other alternatives.

  • Astell & Kern SA700 – This is a high-price product (about US$1,299)  which not many of us can avoid. If you have a deep pocket, you will love its features and functionality. It can be used as an external DAC and a headphone amplifier, with your PC.
  • Astell & Norma SR15
    • 2 audio DAC chips
    • price at US$479
    • 2 Cirrus Logic CS43198 DACs
    • native support for 24bit/192kHz PCM audio and DSD64
    • 1 microSD card slot (support additional storage up to 2TB)
  • Activo CT10

    • price at US$299
    • MQA and aptX HD support.
  • Toshiba Gigabeat
    • 30GB internal memory
    • Supports WMA Lossless, WMA, MP3, WAV, WMV, DivX, and JPEG formats; built-in FM tuner
    • 2.4-inch WVGA display with 320 x 240 resolution
    • measures 2.38 x 3.94 x 0.62 inches (W x H x D)
  • Fiio X5-III or X7-11

    • dual micro SD card slots
    • Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX and DLNA
    • 2 dual-channel OPA1642 chips for the low-pass filtering stage
    • 2 AKM AK4490eN DACs
  • Cowon Plenue D

    • 32GB internal storage memory
    • micro SD slot
    • SNR 123dB, THD+N at 0.004%, -105dB crosstalk
    • 24bit high-quality stereo DAC
    • 192kHz high definition sound
    • FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, APE, MP3, WMA (Windows Media Audio), OGG
    • wide-angle touch screen
    • 100 hours music playback

Where to get this Pioneer Hi-Resolution Audio Player



Final Thought

With current pricing, Pioneer’s latest DAP XDP-300R is a good deal to get if you want to enjoy all your songs while on the go. There are some essential features which a good DAP should contain:

  • audio codec support – you need lossless, high-res music files. At least should support ALAC, DSD, and FLAC files
  • user interface – friendly and familiarity such as Android operating system
  • volume button location – able to manage by one hand
  • transferring songs – prefer drag and drop copy
  • storage capacity – minimal internal storage of 32GB and at least 1 microSD card slot
  • DAC spec – convert digital signal to analog signal, high bit resolution and sampling rate in kHz (at least 24bit/192kHz)
  • Native DSD playback – most DAP convert DSD to PCM, so choose one play DSD natively
  • Bluetooth – require the DAP to support aptX which provide near CD-quality wireless playback
  • streaming services –


  • run Android over Wi-Fi allow you to download apps, send & receive emails
  • excellent sound quality at FLAC and lossless format
  • can apply custom mixer settings on a per-song basis


  • cannot import playlist
  • limited support on Pioneer website

See how the Pioneer XDP-300R Hi-Res DAP look like in the below video

Comments 12

  • Thank you 

    There is a lot of information here about audio players that seems complicated to me. However, my partner was super excited about all these products as he is a DJ and also produces music. He was getting into all the specifications in great detail so thank you for providing these reviews as they have been a great help. He likes the idea of the Pioneer DAP and is hoping is compatible to the rest of his equipment.

    Greatly appreciated


    • Hi Imelda,

      Glad that your partner love music player and he will enjoy the Pioneer device, once he decided to get one for himself. 

      Thank you for your comment and I look forward to hear more about the experiences of listening to this Pioneer DAP.

  • An incredible review on the product i must say. I have had some Digital audio players before now and could not really find a place to get good reviews. I got into several challenge because i got the wrong product. Your review is actually awesome when i compared the facts you stated out in the article. If anyone gets the wrong deal, then its their fault. Thank you very much for the effort put into the content.

    • Hi Lucas, 

      Good that my review share some insight for you. 

      We are seeing more people getting a separate device for music listening, and Pioneer has been the market leader in the music player industry for many years. It is absolutely no question about choosing this brand. 

      Let us know when you have more music listing to share with us. We all love music and will be happy to come together and enjoy our mastermind.

  • Thanks for this really nice article. I have so much love for this product and going by all u have sen here I have to admit that its one of the best that I have seen in a while and the features are really good. It just saddens me that the playlist can’t be transferred and even at that, I really like it and I would not mind taking that sacrifice 

    • Hi Justin,

      Glad that you like Pioneer DAP and would consider to get one for your music listening.

      Pioneer has been in the audio player industry for many years and they have good experiences in designing and producing high quality products from Japan. 

      The 2 micro SD card slots allows you to expand its internal memory storage size, and also transport your song list to another device simply insert the micro SD card to another player. 

      Do check out those models listed on Amazon website and get one as Christmas gift for the coming holiday.

  • Oooh, I really like this topic!  What’s hot in the market for electronics has always been an interest of mine.  Audio players aren’t something I’m running out and buying, but certainly like the information and reviews.  I do like the video reviews, nice touch!

    I did get a little lost in some of the reading simply because it is a technical topic, but still very well done and informative.  I definitely look forward to more reviews and would love to see some reviews on home audio systems and the latest and greatest car audio as well.  Take care and thanks for the read!


    • Hi Bruce,

      Car audio topic sound a great one for me to write about. With a lot of car lovers in the market, I should be able to draw more traffic to my site for Audio Player reviews. 

      Thank you for giving me this suggestion and I am glad that you like my review of the Pioneer Digital Audio Player DAP. With technology keep advancing each day, newer functions and possibilities will come into play in the coming years. I believe voice activated DAP will be the future and the display will get more stunning in the next few models.

      Feel free to come back this Hot Electronics Products In The Market website for more product reviews. Electronics has been driving the world economies for many decade and I strongly believe it will propel our society even further.

  • Oh my my, I think this is good because you didn’t recommend just one or two different types but you have a lot do that j can decide to make my own research about the whole thing and see which of the digital audio players can work for me. I commend you for being able to give an update about this issue. This is good stuff. Thank you very much.

    • Hi Suz,

      I am happy to see that you enjoy this Pioneer DAP review and benefit from it. This article hope to provide you various models in the market currently and give you options to explore all the Digital Audio Players currently selling in the market.

      Comparing MP3 player, DAP give you more features and power to store your favorite music on the player and give you remote control when you are out of your home.

      The sound quality of Pioneer DAPs have improved since the first model introduced years ago, and I believe with Pioneer years of music experiences and producing great product, more advanced models will be coming out soon. However, our enjoyment should not hold till the future if we can afford it. 

      Let’s visit Amazon website and get the loving DAP and start enjoy our lovely music today!

  • I own 2 units.
    Don’t buy Pioneer XDP 300R, it has 2 major design issues.
    – Jacks are made of plastic and break easily.
    – USB stops charging the device.

    Both are broken.


    • Hi Ma,

      Thank you for the feedback. It will be good for Pioneer to make further improvement in their design, in particular next generation.
      For my unit, it is still in good condition. Perhaps next model manufacturer can come with sturdy design for better physical strength.

      I like Pioneer products, partly for their strengths in audio quality and casing design. These are the factors I pay attention to.

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