The rather clunky, chunky steampunk looks of the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro won't be to everyone's taste, but the high-end portable music player has attracted rave reviews from industry experts and hi-res music lovers alike since first being outed at CeBIT 2010. Where the C4's supported audio resolution maxes out at 192,000 samples per second, each at 24-bits, Colorful Technology's new C10 player bumps the res up to 32-bits/192 kHz and supports native DSD128 decoding.

In certain respects, high resolution audio is similar to ultra high definition curved screen televisions. Each has its detractors who argue that users simply won't be able to hear/see any discernable difference between CD-quality music and higher resolution offerings, or flat screen UHD TVs and those with a curve. Each has its supporters, too, keen to counter naysayers with spec-heavy factoids and positive listening/viewing experiences.

If the huge number of audio products sporting the Hi-Res Audio logo at IFA last month is anything to go by, manufacturers are betting that music-loving consumers want to hear their favorite tunes in better-than-CD-quality. Where the vast majority of the audioholic-pleasing tech on show in Berlin maxed out at 24-bit/192 kHz, however, the red sandlewood-backed Colorfly C10 supports audio file resolutions up to 32-bit/192 kHz. That's not quite as rich as Astell&Kern's AK380, but you don't have to be quite as rich to be able to afford the C10.

The new player's system driving power comes in the shape of a JZ4760 processor running a Linux operating system, and the same Cirrus CS4398 digital-to-analog converter and Jitter Kill circuit as the company's C4 player. Boasting a total harmonic distortion of 0.003 percent and a signal-to-noise ratio of 112 dB, the maker is promising a full-bodied, rich, dynamic, solid and authentic sound performance.

The C10's 32 GB of internal storage isn't very generous considering the potentially huge file sizes of supported audio formats including WAV, FLAC and ALAC, but there's a microSD card slot at the bottom for storage expansion. The player also has native support for DSD64 and DSD128 decoding, and will naturally accommodate lossy formats like MP3 and AAC as well. Menu navigation and track selection are undertaken via an old school click wheel to the front and volume is adjusted with a sliding potentiometer.

Output is via 3.5 mm headphone output and line-out jacks to the top, and a 3.7 V/3,400 mAh battery is reported good for up to 8 hours of playback at moderate volume with the brightness of the 2.35 inch, 360 x 400 pixel resolution screen turned up to the max.

Initially released in China earlier this year, the Colorfly C10 is now available in Europe and beyond for €470 (about US$525).

Product page: Colorfly C10

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