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Portable Android music streamer offers high-end audio

Dec 11, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 1,422 views

Echobox has launched a high-end, portable “Explorer X1” Android music player, with a 3.5-inch screen, quad-core RK3188, TI DAC and amp, and earphones.

There are five days left to pick up Echobox’s high-fidelity “Explorer X1” portable music streamer on Indiegogo for $299, including three free months of the Tidal music service (the $249 early bird version is sold out). You can also pay $329 for the same deal with the addition of Echobox’s similarly high-fidelity Finder X1 Titanium Earphones topped off with three pairs of Comply T-400 Isolation Tips. The Finder X1 and Comply on their own go for $99. Shipments are due in April for the Explorer X1, and January for the earphones, but you can pay $40 extra for a $329 combo package delivered by Dec. 21.

Explorer X1 in three woody flavors

The Explorer X1 is a smartphone-sized portable streamer with a 3.5-inch, 720p touchscreen. From the back, the combination of the rounded shape, large volume bezel on top, and mahogany, maple, or black walnut wood veneer make it look like a whisky flask.

Explorer X1 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The price is high for a typical Android music streamer, especially at the eventual $499 retail price, but you’re paying for a high-end, 24-bit PCM1792 DAC from Texas Instruments Burr Brown with a 129 dB (4.5 V rms) dynamic range in stereo. There’s also a powerful 300mW per channel (to a 32 Ohm load) OPA operational amp from TI. The Explorer X1 has an output impedance of less than 1 Ohm to a 16 Ohm load, says Echobox.

The Explorer X1 runs either stock Android 4.2, or Android with Echobox’s own UI skin, on a quad-core, Cortex-A9 Rockchip RK3188 clocked to 1.6GHz. The device is equipped with 2GB DDR3 RAM and 64GB flash, with up to 32GB more available via a microSD slot.

There’s also 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, a 3.5mm stereo output, and a micro-USB port for charging the 3700mAh battery, as well as for data transfer. The hardware knob controls the screen, power, and analog gain.

There’s no point in using a device like the Explorer X1 with a pair of crappy earphones, and Echobox would prefer you use their own high-end Finder X1. The earphones have 96dB/mW sensitivity, 15-35Hz frequency response, 22 Ohms impedance, and less than 1 percent THD, says Echobox. The device is touted for its durability, three-year warranty, as well as its 9.2mm peek dynamic driver from PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone).

Finder X1
(click image to enlarge)

The Finder X1 features titanium housings and plug, with a silver plated, 1.2-meter internally braided cable, and gold-plated 3.5mm jack. You can customize the sound with Interchangeable acoustic filters, as well as a variety of Comply isolation tips.

Further information

The Explorer X1 portable music streamer is available on Indiegogo for five more days at prices starting at $299 with three free months of Tidal, or $349 with the Finder X1 headphones and Comply isolation tips. Other prices are listed above, and additional packages are listed on the Explorer X1 Indiegogo page. More information can be found at the Echobox website.

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