ACMEE MF01 Review – A Powerful Budget DAP

Acme MF01

Its been a while since I last did a full DAP review on this site. No other reason than there has been so many headphones and earphones to review. However, the Acmee MF01 has slowly become my go-to portable player over the past few weeks, and when I’m traveling or commuting. It has saved my dragging around my Astell & Kern AK240 or Xuelin X8 both of which I consider stay at home units due to their size and cost. The Acmee as you are going to read is not perfect, it has all the quirks and compromises of any other unknown Chinese DAP but the price to the sound quality is exceptional.

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What is the Acmee MF01?

Acme MF01

The MF01 is a small ultra-portable digital audio player. It has been designed with portable audio enthusiasts in mind. As such uses a lot of highly regarded audio parts and yet costs far less than you would expect a DAP with those parts cost from an established brand.

The DAC unit inside this player is the well regarded AK4490EQ chip. This is a part that is used in many high-end DAP’s that cost far more than the ACMEE unit. It is known for its low level of distortion and excellent sound quality. It has support for DSD, PCM up to 384Khz/32 bit along with many other lossless file types.

The Amp section is by far the most interesting portion of the DAP from a technical standpoint. ACMEE makes very little mention of its inclusion but it’s there on the spec sheet. The Op-amp is a Muse02 one I am very familiar with from years of rolling Op Amps in another device. To me, it was surprising to see a muse included in this build. Muse 02’s are one of the more expensive models you can buy and given that the Acmee MF01 doesn’t cost a whole lot, to begin with, its definitely a pleasant and welcome surprise in implemented correctly.

Build Quality and Design

The Acmee MF01 is a small compact player. Its simple design might fool you on the pictures but don’t be this thing has outstanding build quality. When I got the device in hand for the purpose of this review I was mightily impressed. It has a tank-like construction.

The body of the MF01 is all metal, from top to bottom there are no compromises. The quality of the build also gets the thumbs up as nothing seems out of place, poorly made, or cheap. I really like the materials used and the way it has been put together. Even the buttons and volume pot are constructed of metal.

The form of the player is as you would expect the main control portion of the device with 4 directional buttons and one center select button. They are all within easy reach with 1 handed operation. They get clear but simple instructions as to there function. the left and right are for skipping forward and back. The bottom button is the back button and the top is used to enter the menu system.

Above the buttons, there is a tiny screen that is a two-tone low resolution black and blue panel that is easy .to read in direct sunlight. It is definitely not fancy but it saves on price and battery consumption whilst at the same time is able to display all the necessary information. Its definitely harder to browse a large file collection on this but you do get used to if fairly quickly.

On the bottom, there is just a power port which unfortunately is Micro-USB and not USB-C. Next to that is a TF card slot.

The left-hand side is blank and the top has a standard 3.5mm headphone out and also a line out.

The right-hand side is my favorite part of all the design. it has a large volume control pot. There are also some metal runnings that look like a heat sink but I’m 100% certain the are not functional and are just used as a guard for the volume control. The control itself is silky smooth but with enough resistance to not easily be pushed out of place when in a pocket. I’m a sucker for a volume pot and this doubles up as the menu control as well helping you rapidly and easily scroll through the menus.

Branding is done very discreetly and simply and overall I think this is a very well designed player built with industrial yet top quality materials. It feels rugged and premium and should last for many years to come.

Operation & Menu

The operation of the ACMEE MF01 is extremely simple but the firmware is not without its quirks. However, that’s no reason to write it off because despite those quirks it was simple and intuitive. Operating system ticks are part and parcel of using any proprietary many systems and very common with Chines audio players.

The firmware here is stable and having looked at Acmee’s own website there seems to be continued development and updates. You navigate the UI via drop-in file systems on a carousel platform using the 5 front-facing buttons of the device.

Menus are clear and well thought out making it easy to get into the correct subfolder. I also found it to be responsive and snappy and devoid of the import lag my Fiio H3k suffers from.

The screen is very small and of course, it’s not colored but to me, that just translates to better battery life.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is fantastic and it is the real star of the show with this device. It was a device designed to produce the best sound quality possible for the price and the Acmee MF01 delivers and more. I found it very hard to distinguish between this and my Xduoo X3 ii as they both have such a similar sound signature. The other DAP that I compared this to was the Fiio M6. The Fiio is very feature-rich and a thoroughly modern DAP but it is slaughtered on sound quality by the Acmee. I get more detail, more soundstage and blacker background.

The lows and highs are the two areas that suffer in a budget audio player but that’s not the case here. You get a full and meaty extension to the low end and a flat and true response extending right up through the highs. The ability to power my headphones to their full capacity was outstanding, especially on my higher impedance rated Beyer’s.

Detail retrieval is strong as is clarity. A lot of this is due to the very black and noise-free background that is presented. There is very little to distract you from your listening and the fact that the MF01 is transparent and uncolored. I want my DAP’s to be as clean as possible with the sound. If I want some “flavor” added to the sound I want it to be done via my headphones or EQ settings. The ability here to remain neutral is perhaps its greatest strength sonically.

Conclusion – Do we recommend the Acmee MF01?

If you are content with having an old school digital music player that focuses on basics like sound quality a great build this is impossible to beat for the price. If you have desires for touchscreens and the like we have lots of options over on our best cheap music player list. Given the transparency of the sound and the ease of use I’m giving this player the thumbs up and I will be adding it into my own rotation as a budget DAP standard for future reviews. It’s by no means the perfect all-rounder but it does sound so well it’s impossible to ignore.


Audiophile Onhttp://www.audiophileon.com
Audiophile On is a website dedicated to high-end audio products. With over 15 years as a reviewer, all articles are hand-written by one person to allow the comparison of products. Headphones, earphones, speakers, amplifiers, or DAC's we cover here.

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