AR-M2 High Resolution Portable Music Player (Demo)

699  incl. VAT 24%

High Fidelity Hi-Res Music Player with Integrated Headphone Amplifier,

Now you can experience the full impact of recorded files with the AR-M2 High Fidelity Hi-Res music player that features the state of the art audio engine based on Acoustic Research’s proprietary M1 Music player. It enhances the accuracy in music playback by containing a flagship class Burr-Brown PCM1794 differential current output DAC and dual crystal oscillators.

AR Music Player runs on Android OS 4.3 and is equipped with Qualcomm MSM8926 processor, providing excellent playback stability. Additionally, AR has its own audio path application music player that gives the impact of AR’s unique circuit “AR M-Class engine” realization. AR-M2 supports the audio framework of Android which allows for the use of third-party apps.

Αμεσα Διαθέσιμο, 1-5 ημέρες

Pay a 50% deposit per item




  • DISPLAY: 5″ Touch Screen, 720×1280 HD image quality

  • SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Windows 10/ XP SP3/Vista/7/8 or newer / MAC OS X 10.6 or later
  • PLAY TIME: Up to 8.5 hours (PCM) / 6.5 hours (DSD) (Note: Updated based on 2.5.6 firmware with gapless playback)
  • BODY SIZE: 2.76in x 5.35in x .59in


Dimensions Width: 2.76 In x Height: 5.35 In x Depth: .59 In
Weight (Kg/lb) About 8.5 oz
Battery Type 4200 mAh, Up to 8.5 hours (PCM) / 6.5 hours (DSD)
Maximum Memory Expansion Micro SDXC card (Up to 200GB), USB-OTG
CPU Qualcomm MSM8926
Digital audio transceiver/clock master Cirrus Logic CS8422
Pre-Amp (Voltage Amplification) 2 x OPA2134
Crystal clock sources for audio Dual VCTCXO
Compatible Format Supported FLAC/ALAC/DSD64/DSD128/WAV/DXD/APE/AIFF
USB Reader Micro-USB (Data / Power / OTG*)
*Support USB storage requiring less than 5V, 100mA power
DAC Burr-Brown PCM1794a
Headphone Amplifier TI TPA6120A2 / Class A Configuration / Up to 3.7Vrms Output
Volume Control ALPS potentiometer (step-less full analogue)
Internal Memory 64GB
Wireless Network 802.11B/G/N
Audio Output Line Out (3.5mm) Headphone Out (3.5mm)





by Daryl Horler, on 2016-Apr-08

I’ve had this unit for a week & am beyond thrilled with the sound quality! I’m pairing it with Sennheiser IE 800’s for a sound that rivals center stage at some of my favorite clubs. Wattage stated honestly in the specs, no issues dragging CD rips onto SD card, sounds epic!! 🙂


by Tom Albrecht, on 2016-Apr-07

It may seem like a lot of money to spend for a portable music player, but make no mistake this is a piece of audiophile equipment. There arent enough adjectives to describe the exquisite sound of this player, extremely accurate, full sound with a low frequency sound that is beyond sublime


Sales Terms

Price for speakers are per pair, except when is declared per unit. All other items price is per piece, except in bulk cables, which is per meter and for some acoustic panels which is usually per set. (set of three, four, six, etc pieces)

Manufacturer’s Warranty is two years for all new items, except otherwise noted, covering production faults, not misuse by end user, i.e or due to thermal shocks, electricity power spikes or short circuit, water leakage, spill over, etc.

Warranty claims will be validated checked in person or through video meeting by seller’s authorized personnel.

Seller can repair or exchange or replace malfunctioned product under warranty at his discretion

Shipping costs are buyers responsibility.

Products travel/shipped insured on behalf and at cost with responsibility of the customer / buyer.

Please allow 2 – 5 business days for dispatching after payment has been  cleared.

All sales on special discounts  – offers in new / used / demo products or special orders / backorders are final. No Returns accepted, Refunds provided. Buyers online purchase regret only accepted within seven days after sale only for new products in stock in our warehouse, provided that product will be returned un-opened and at buyer’s expenses. A RAN (Return Authorization Number) is required and will be provided in just cause from the seller.


A £900 high-resolution music player that looks and sounds like a premium hi-fi product? Meet the Acoustic Research M2.

Acoustic Research M2 review

If you’re looking for a premium portable high-res player, then the M2 deserves a listen… Tested at £900


Looks smart, feels hefty, sounds fantastic – a few small issues aside, this is the best high-res player we’ve heard so far


  • Excellent sound quality
  • Superb weight and punch to sound
  • Plenty of detail
  • Substantial and stylish build quality
  • Extensive file compatibility
  • Easy to use
  • That volume dial


  • Some ergonomic/design issues
  • Limited Android experience
  • Battery life could be longer
  • That volume dial

A £900 high-resolution music player that looks and sounds like a premium hi-fi product? Meet the Acoustic Research M2.

This portable player’s all-metal construction is eye-catching, but it’s the superbly detailed and authoritative sound quality that really gets us excited.


Ths sound quality is superb – we haven’t heard a high-res player sound so punchy, detailed and dynamic

Ths sound quality is superb – we haven’t heard a high-res player sound so punchy, detailed and dynamic

Portable music players (either standalone players or smartphones) don’t always deliver that meaty, powerful bass depth you get with dedicated hi-fi kit, but the M2 comes admirably close. There’s a hugely satisfying weight to its performance.

We launch the pre-loaded AR Music Player and dive straight in with a 24-bit/192kHz FLAC recording of Hans Zimmer’s Gotham’s Reckoning – and are blown away by the sheer power and muscularity of the M2. Zimmer’s signature strings and percussions boom menacingly, with the low-frequency notes reaching incredible depths.

What’s all the more impressive is that it isn’t just a block of noise. The M2 is controlled and discerning enough to convey the texture of the strings and the rich layers of harmonies surrounding each drum hit.

It piles on the punch and power without ever missing a step when it comes to rhythmic precision.

Muse’s Supremacy is a rousing performance in 24-bit/96kHz, with basslines taut and rumbling, guitars crunchy and attacking, and every element working cohesively to deliver the most enjoyable and faithful performance.

Switch down to a CD-ripped WAV file, and the same characteristics apply. Each nuance and inflection of Nina Simone’s voice is laid bare in Feeling Good, but there’s plenty of space for the instruments to breathe.

But here, the gusto delivery can sometimes be too relentless, and we wouldn’t mind a touch more delicacy with the way it handles gentler pieces of music.

You’ll hear a drop in detail and clarity when playing MP3s, but the M2’s enthusiasm and delivery remains consistent. It performs best with well-recorded high-resolution files, but isn’t a complete write-off with anything less than CD-quality.


The M2 is a premium high-res player that’s portable, well made and sounds great

The M2 is a premium high-res player that’s portable, well made and sounds great

Acoustic Research has put just as much effort into the design of the M2. Crafted out of solid metal in contrasting black and silver finishes, the build quality is excellent and leaves you in no doubt that you’re holding a premium product.

It’s a solid, hefty player, and though considerably thicker than any current flagship smartphone, we have no trouble wrapping our hands around it.

The volume wheel on the top right edge gives the M2 a distinctive look. It’s a nice touch that’s sure to please the audiophiles (it’s an ALPS potentiometer, in case you’re interested).

The wheel is easy to use, and responds instantly to the slightest scroll. If anything, it’s a touch too sensitive, and gets easily nudged when placing it in your pocket or bag.

The buttons too – nicely machined as they are – are spaced in a way that we keep accidentally pressing ‘skip’ whenever we grip the player too firmly. Not an issue when you’re using it at your desk, but a little annoying when you’re on the move.

As a portable player, the M2 could have been fine tuned just a little bit more – the volume wheel could have a stronger resistance, for example, and we would’ve liked the SD card slot tray to snap shut more securely.

At the bottom edge of the M2 you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone output, a single analogue line out to connect the player to your existing hi-fi system, and a USB port for charging the device.

A velvety pouch is provided so you can carry the M2 in your bag and protect that expensive finish from any marks or scratches.


Avoid messing about with the Sound Effects settings too much – turning the effects off provided the most balanced performance

Avoid messing about with the Sound Effects settings too much – turning the effects off provided the most balanced performance

The M2 comes with 64GB of internal storage. It’s enough to start with, but you’ll soon find that space filling up once you start adding high-res albums. However, there is an expandable microSD slot, so you can boost the storage.

File compatibility is the best we’ve seen in a high-res player. Not only does it play all the popular formats – FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AIFF, MP3 – it also supports DSD (64 and 128) and DXD. Inside, there’s a high quality Burr-Brown PCM1794a DAC that handles files of up to 24-bit/192kHz.

The 5in touchscreen has a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels, with album artwork looking crisp and clear. The playback controls in the AR Music Player app have sharp edges, contrast is strong, and there’s no screen noise.

The player runs on a very basic version of Android 4.3, which gives you a degree of familiarity when you first fire up the M2 player. The settings, pull-down notification bar and app drawer are all there, but you won’t find Google Play Store nor any other features that encourage multimedia use.

Acoustic Research has stripped it bare to ensure sound quality isn’t compromised, bypassing the entire OS to create a dedicated lossless path straight to the proprietary Music Player app. The interface is sparse, but it’s neat, fast and easy to use.

However, the interface isn’t as smooth and fast as Android can be. There’s a slight judder when scrolling through the music list, and the home screen’s widgets linger for a split second too long in the background. Small hiccups, maybe, but hopefully they will be ironed out with future software updates.

The M2 has wi-fi and a web browser, so you can surf the internet while listening to music.

In the absence of the Play Store you can download and install APK files from streaming services like Spotify onto the M2. Otherwise, transferring files from your laptop is a simple case of drag-and-drop.

The M2 will reportedly last around nine hours on a full charge. That’s comparable to an Apple iPhone, though not as impressive as Sony’s claimed 32 hours for the NWZ-ZX1.

In our experience, the M2 lasted two long commutes of full music playback, with plenty still left over at the end of the day.


This is the first portable music player we’ve tested at this price. Sony’s NWZ-ZX1 was a smartphone-competitive £550, but the Acoustic Research M2 is in a different league.

But the £900 price tag is not without justification.

There are a couple of issues with the interface and design which mean the M2 doesn’t quite deliver the perfect, seamless experience.

But there’s no denying it’s the best sound quality we’ve heard. If you’re after a premium product that will do justice to your high-resolution music collection, you really need to listen to the M2.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world’s leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, New York and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

You may also like…