Acoustic Research AR-M2

Our Price: £899.99

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High-Resolution Portable Music Player

The AR-M2 might look like a simple music player, in reality it is a tiny high-end Hi-Fi system, with separate pre-power amp, isolated digital & analogue circuits, one of the world’s finest DACs, an expensive Alps volume analogue control and the highest quality components throughout.Every element of the M2 has been optimised for Sound Quality and Musicality. Analogue and digital circuits have been fine-tuned to ensure the audio signature is true to the original Acoustic Research sound: rich, detailed, smooth, engaging, precise, fast, punchy, with deep, wide imaging – and above all musical.The all important headphone output uses a high-power/current, ultra-fast slew-rate amplifier with speed that reacts instantaneously to Hi-Res music and supports a wide range of ear/headphones. The M2 is capable of driving serious high-end headphones and is more powerful than many stand-alone headphone amplifiers.Even MP3s sound good, while HD music – the AR-M2 will handle all the current hi-res formats and more – is just stunning.

Key Features of the M2

  • Flagship Class Burr-Brown PCM1794A Current Output DAC
  • Future-proof High Performance Quad Core Processor
  • Unique high-current high-output Class A biased amplifier
  • Isolated Ground for Digital and Analogue Circuits
  • Audiophile-grade analogue ALPS potentiometer
  • Phenomenal Signal to Noise Ratio & Dynamic Range

Customised Android OS 4.3

In order to deliver precise music playback, a special version of the Android operating system has been developed for the AR-M2, with TWO distinct audio paths. As well as the generic Android audio system, used for Android apps handling lower-resolution music, the AR-M2 has a dedicated AR Music Player, with its own Hi-Res Lossless Audio path.Designed and tuned by AR, the AR Music Player is simple to use, yet delivers ultimate quality from high-resolution music, while its dedicated audio path to the outputs is a no-compromise solution, built on the founding principles of ‘musical truth’ guiding AR since it was founded more than 60 years ago. Simply, it delivers better sound.

Key Components

Media Processor

At the heart of the AR-M2 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, a powerful 1.2GHz Quad-Core system-on-a-chip (SoC) processor.

Sample rate converter

Using the Cirrus Logic CS8422, content is up-sampled to 24-bit/192kHz to reduce digital noise and enhance resolution.

Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC)

Converting the digital data to analogue audio is the audiophile-grade PCM1794A DAC from Burr-Brown, offering superb performance and best-in-class signal-to-noise ratio for greater audio purity.

Operational amplifiers

The analogue stage of the AR-M2 uses twin Burr-Brown OPA2134 op-amps as a preamplifier and to filter out spurious high-frequency noise.

Headphone amplifier

The all-important headphone amplifier section of the AR-M2 uses a very powerful current-feedback Texas Instruments TPA6120A2 amplifier, plus large capacitors from AVX Corporation, giving the AR-M2 the ability not only to drive smoothly at high levels, but also to cope with the most demanding headphone loads.


  • Model Number AR-M2
  • Display 5-inch(720 × 1280)HD IPS LCD
  • OS Android OS 4.3
  • Music Playback Application AR Music Player
  • Media Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926
  • CPU:Quad Core Cortex–A7
  • DAC Burr-Brown PCM1794A × 1
  • Audio Transceiver Cirrus CS8422 × 1
  • Audio Clock Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillators (TCXO)
  • 44.1kHz Group (44.1/88,2/176.4kHz) × 1、48kHz Group (48/96/192kHz) × 1
  • Operational Amplifier Burr-Brown OPA2134 × 2
  • Headphone Amplifier Texas Instruments TPA6120A2 × 1
  • Volume Control OS Independent stepless analogue audio potentiometer by ALPS
  • Built-in Memory 64GB
  • Memory Expansion Micro SDXC Slot (Up to 128GB)
  • USB-OTG Storage Support File system: FAT32 or exFAT
  • Power: 5V 100mA or lower
  • Internet Access 802.11B/G/N Wireless LAN
  • USB Connector USB Micro-B Interface (Recharge / PC Data Transfer / Connecting USB-OTG Mass Storage)
  • Output Headphone Output (3.5mm stereo mini-jack) × 1
  • Line Output (3.5mm stereo mini-jack) × 1
  • Maximum Headphone Output Voltage 3.7V
  • Headphone Output Power 6Ω: 319+319mW
  • 32Ω: 248+248mW
  • 300Ω: 43+43mW
  • Line Out 2V
  • Frequency Respons 20Hz – 20kHz (Sampling Rate: 44.1kHz-48kHz)
  • 20Hz – 40kHz (Sampling Rate: 88.2kHz-96kHz)
  • 20Hz – 50kHz (Sampling Rate: 176.4kHz or above)
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio 129dB
  • PC System Requirement Windows7、8 or above
  • Mac OS X 10.6 or above; Android File Transfer for Mac required
  • Built-in Battery 3.7V 4200mAH, Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Charging Time Full Charge 4 hours
  • Battery Life 9 hours (PCM 24bit/192kHz playback), 7 hours (DSD128 playback)
  • Power Sources for Charging Supplied AC/DC Adapter, PC/Mac USB connection, third party mobile power bank
  • THD+N Less than 0.001%, full output
  • Sound Effects Equalizer: Normal、Classic、Dance、Flat、Folk、Heavy Metal、Hip Hop、Jazz、Pop、Rock、User Bass Boost
  • 3D Effect (Three dimensional spatialization)
  • Supported Audio Formats FLAC/ALAC/DSD64/DSD128/WAV/DXD/APE/AIFF/MP3/AAC
  • Dimensions Width: 70mm × Height: 136mm × Depth: 15mm
  • Weight 240g
  • Accessories Carrying Pouch / USB Cable / AC Adapter / Quick Start Guide

EAN: 4897050510834
More products from Acoustic Research


PDF AR M2 leaflet (1017.2 KB)

AR M2 Leaflet


Press Reviews

Hi-Fi Choice's '5 Stars' awardHi-Fi Choice's 'GROUPTEST WINNER' award

, July 2015

The AR-M2 is the best sounding hi-res audio player at this price 5 / 5.

What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision's '4 Stars' award

, May 2015

A £900 high-resolution music player that looks and sounds like a premium hi-fi product 4 / 5.

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