Our Verdict 
A fine idea but the HiSound should sound better to justify the no-frills styling
For 
Scale, detail and dynamics to sound
good earphones
robust build
Against 
No extra features
uninspiring screen/interface
sound isn’t class-leading
Reviewed on

The HiSound PDAA-1 aspires, to put it plainly, to be an audiophile's portable music player.

Eschewing extra features, colour screens, slick interfaces and slimline designs, the player aims to major on sound – and sound alone.

Nothing fancyIt's a no-nonsense block with minimal buttons that feels sturdy and looks smart enough but isn't particularly pocket-friendly.

The two-tone screen is small and basic, but navigating your 8GB HDD – loaded via simple drag and drop – is easy, even if its design is notably without finesse.

You can load FLAC, MP3, WAV and WMA files too. There's a huge battery life, claimed at over 100 hours, an SD card input and an FM radio.

More after the break

A bit of hissThe supplied earphones are decent and sonically there's good detail and insight, though a hint of hiss at times.

Foals' Total Life Forever is a tricky track to deal with and, although it gives it a good go, the HiSound does toughen up a little at the top end.

There is, though, plenty of excitement and only a little space and scale is missing. Bass lines lack a little oomph but they're agile and light on their feet.

It's a capable player but doesn't quite make it to the top of the audio tree: better sound, along with features, style and ease of use, is available elsewhere, leaving this product a little lost.

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