In the years that followed the release of Apple’s original iPod in October of 2001, the global MP3 player market became a multi-million dollar industry, though the rise of the now-ubiquitous smartphone has resulted in a marked decline of mobile digital audio players. A new Kickstarter project is aiming to alter that trend, however, in the form of the Shanling Q1, a retro-styled, pocket-sized, portable high-fidelity music player.
Available in a variety of bright colors and sold with a matching silicone protective case, the Q1’s design was inspired by mid-century Americana visual themes. Measuring only 2.95” at its widest point, the gadget is surprisingly durable — sporting a zinc alloy construction, 7H tempered glass over its full-color 2.7” touchscreen, chrome hardware buttons, and an analog jog volume wheel. Thanks to a potent USB-C rechargeable battery, the Q1 offers up to 21 hours of playback time. Instead of going with the built-in memory storage route, the Shanling team instead opted to bestow the Q1 with a Micro SD slot capable of accommodating cards up to 2TBs. Best of all, the Q1 can be connected to computers, smartphones, Bluetooth speakers, and other smart devices to serve as a high-fidelity Bluetooth amplifier. Slated to begin shipping in early 2020, the Q1’s Kickstarter camping is currently offering a 25% off early bird special for $89, or $169 for the Shanling Q1 Portable Hi-Fi Music Player and Shanling Bluetooth Earphone bundle.