High End 2016: The fantastic Pioneer XDP – 100R – K Hi Res DAP

Pioneer 100R

What a clumsy name, the XDP 100R K, but what a fantastic device this Pioneer DAP truly is.

Under one slick aluminum machined body with removable bumpers lies a powerhouse of a portable audio player capable of everything. Full stop here. This is a serious Astell & Kern contender.



The thingy will play quad rate DSD and MQA files along with PCM all the way up to 384KHz, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, Ogg Vorbis/ MP3, and AAC thanks to the ESS Sabre9018K2M chipset. The 4.7 inch 1280×720 touch screen display is very easy to read even under low light and carries all the info you might want, including equalization settings! It has 3 adjustable digital filters, offers an internal memory of 32 GB but can carry up to an additional 400GB of music on two microSD memory cards and will connect with USB on your computer.

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Software wise the 100R is built around the Android 5.1 OS and will look highly familiar to those using Android cell phones or tablets but will also play well with iTunes. Supports both Tidal and Spotify which can be streamed through wifi which means there is absolutely nothing missing for a complete first class portable audio experience.

We gave it a try with Pioneer’s own headphones and a few MQA tracks and must admit the sound was very smooth, no sign of sibilance or “digitalitis” affecting the 100R.

For a weight of 200grams and a battery of 1630mAh good for 16hours of continuous playback and a MSRP of $699 I most definitely want one! (in black, thank you)

About Panagiotis Karavitis 212 Articles
Doctor and Editor @ Part-Time Audiophile Publisher @ Audiohub.gr


  1. Erm, Onkyo and Pioneer (under O&P Innovations) together designed two digital audio players with similar spec and almost similar body shells.
    However, both companies then customised each DAP with slightly different internals and custom Android music apps, unique to each device.

    The first of those devices is discussed in this article, the Pioneer XDP-100R.
    The second, strangely not mentioned, is the XDP-100R’s bigger brother, the Onkyo DP-X1.
    Internally they seem the same, but the latter has double the DAC’s and amps and thus is balanced.

    – XDP-100R: 1x ESS SABRE ES9018K2M DAC, 1x ESS SABRE 9601K amp

    – DP-X1: 2x ESS SABRE ES9018K2M DAC’s, 2x ESS SABRE 9601K amps.

    The DP-X1 has balanced output via 2.5 mm TRRS jack.
    It also has two types of balanced output:
    – BTL= 1x DAC/channel, 1x Amp/channel.
    This is the loudest option of the DAP.

    – Active Control Ground (ACG): 1x DAC/channel, 1x Amp set to ground (0v), 1x Amp for both Left and Right channels.
    This mode is (perceivably) louder than unbalanced, quieter than BTL, but has the lowest noise floor, thus greater clarity. My favourite version of balanced output.

    Yes, I own an Onkyo DP-X1, since importing one from Japan in January this year ^^

  2. Capable of a lot but not everything, no balanced out and that is everything to me.

      • Then go for the XDP-100R’s bigger brother, the Onkyo DP-X1.

        Onkyo and Pioneer are the same company (O&P Innovations), and both made near identical DAP’s, except that the DP-X1 is balanced and doubles up on DAC’s and Amps over XDP-100R.

        Both units should be available in the US by now ^^

  3. Did you try it out with the super sounding reputation of the Pioneer SE Master 1 headphones. This gets rave reviews…and of course should for its US$2.5K price… Might make a nice Christmas present…these are now on my list!

    • No Master 1, reason why I kept my playback comments shorter than usual. I wish we had them along with maybe an Audeze or top HiFiman for a deeper understanding of the sound qualities as well as the driving capabilities of the 100R. I was told that with the latest firmware upgrade there is much more juice on tap and will comfortably drive pretty much everything.

      As for the Master 1, they are great and comes down to personal taste on what to choose (between them and say LCD-X or the latest HiFiman Edition X)

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