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Old 03-01-2017, 11:59 AM   #1
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DAPs

Hey all,

I've been reading up on information concerning DAPs (Digital Audio Player) and it's high-end, audiophile market.
My question is: is it worth the investment? I'm currently looking into buying a Cayin i5, but I've seen some DAPs being sold at $3.999 (Astell & Kern)

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Old 03-01-2017, 12:04 PM   #2
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Re: DAPs

smartphone is more than enough

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Old 03-01-2017, 06:45 PM   #3
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Re: DAPs

Not enough info for us to make an objective decision.

Is what worth the investment? You mention 2 players.
Don't worry about things outside of your consumer bracket, you are not the target audience.
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:26 PM   #4
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Re: DAPs

I think as long as it has a decent menu system, enough storage, and stable software, you're set. Everything else is probably going to go into more expensive dacs and amps, but I think a lot of those players will let you connect your own portable stuff externally anyways, so you'll have room to upgrade if you feel you need it. I would start with one of the Fiio X-series if it were me, but I just use my laptop, and when I can't use my laptop, I probably shouldn't be jammin' to tunes anyways. I would do a little more research before dropping my cash on it to make sure that upgrade path is an option, but if it is, you could easily spend more on something like a portable Chord setup than you did on the original DAP.

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Old 03-01-2017, 08:32 PM   #5
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Re: DAPs

I play stuff over bluetooth on my rather nice component stereo all the time. I can hardly tell the difference between that and a direct audio input. Also, what are you listening on that will take advantage of the superior (I assume) DAC on this device? A signal chain only sounds as good as its weakest link. ;p

If I had an extra $399 sitting around right now that I had to blow on something frivolous, I wouldn't blow it on an iPod for bored old dudes with too much money who want to argue about minor differences in THD ratings on DACs all day--because I'm fairly certain that is who this is marketed to, you aren't missing out on anything.

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Old 04-01-2017, 09:08 AM   #6
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Re: DAPs

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Originally Posted by lolirl View Post
Not enough info for us to make an objective decision.

Is what worth the investment? You mention 2 players.
Don't worry about things outside of your consumer bracket, you are not the target audience.
Is it better to buy a quality DAP (FiiO, Cayin, Astell & Kern, etc) than a standard iPod?
Why do these things exist while the majority of the population will still buy an iPod, iPad, or smartphone? Or are DAPs reserved for folly artists, sound engineers, musicians, etc.

I've been listening to electronic music for 10 years, now; searching for a particular sound that I'm comfortable with (to produce) and I enjoy listening to. I've been producing my own sound for about 2 years and I recently came across DAPs and wondered if it's essential (for producing as hobby, for listening to a greater 'sound', but I don't classify myself as an 'audiophile) to have.

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Old 04-01-2017, 05:20 PM   #7
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Re: DAPs

I own a Fiio X3 2nd Gen.

I didn't buy it because it was a DAP, but because it was one of the cheapest players that could hold 256GB+ cards, and I wanted something with a decent menu system for sorting large amounts of music.

I can't tell the difference between FLAC and 320KB MP3, but playing through a DAP player does sound noticeably different than my iPhone and other MP3 players. I was really surprised to be able to hear detail on subtle things like reverbs, delays, stereo fx, and background ambience.

Maybe a DAP player is like listening through studio monitors vs a hi-fi. Flat, uncoloured, detailed.

there are a few other neat features on the Fiio such as an extremely accurate volume control. Something which has always annoyed me listening through my phone is that it's either just too loud or quiet. And being able to assign which buttons lock and which don't is really convenient, you barley have to look at the Fiio to operate it.

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Old 11-01-2017, 01:25 PM   #8
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Re: DAPs

Get a cheap, portable DAC converter that does 96khz first. If that doesn't satisfy your general listening requirements, you are an audiophile. In that case, either get rich or marry up.
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:29 PM   #9
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Re: DAPs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cypherclerk View Post
I own a Fiio X3 2nd Gen.

I didn't buy it because it was a DAP, but because it was one of the cheapest players that could hold 256GB+ cards, and I wanted something with a decent menu system for sorting large amounts of music.

I can't tell the difference between FLAC and 320KB MP3, but playing through a DAP player does sound noticeably different than my iPhone and other MP3 players. I was really surprised to be able to hear detail on subtle things like reverbs, delays, stereo fx, and background ambience.

Maybe a DAP player is like listening through studio monitors vs a hi-fi. Flat, uncoloured, detailed.

there are a few other neat features on the Fiio such as an extremely accurate volume control. Something which has always annoyed me listening through my phone is that it's either just too loud or quiet. And being able to assign which buttons lock and which don't is really convenient, you barley have to look at the Fiio to operate it.
Yeah I have the Fiio e10k (headphone amp / dac) to power my studio cans and it's ridiculous how much better the signal is compared to standard outs on phones, laptops etc.

Honestly think buying an amp or dac is the way to go before splurging on high end stuff.
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:31 PM   #10
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Re: DAPs

Also surprised that there's not much latency with the e10k when working in a DAW. I was expecting to have to do a lot of sync testing to get responsive input. But it's actually not too bad out of the box.
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:42 PM   #11
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Re: DAPs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammysong View Post
I've been listening to electronic music for 10 years, now; searching for a particular sound that I'm comfortable with (to produce) and I enjoy listening to. I've been producing my own sound for about 2 years and I recently came across DAPs and wondered if it's essential (for producing as hobby, for listening to a greater 'sound', but I don't classify myself as an 'audiophile) to have.
Even if you're just doing it for fun, I definitely think it's worth it. Particularly if you ever create or mix using headphones, or you use cans with higher impedance (over 50ohm). What I've found is that, when I mix on cans, it's much less frequent for me to playback on some speakers and hear a completely different mix.

I wouldn't say that the output from a DAC is more accurate. But the conversion process is better optimised (and probably sampled at a much higher rate)... and the drivers in your cans respond more truly to the frequency response curves on the back of their box.

What I've noticed is that at similar amplitudes the DAC/Amp output just sounds more real, or less distorted... or something like that...

Last edited by Jaded; 11-01-2017 at 03:11 PM..
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Old 15-01-2017, 11:56 AM   #12
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Re: DAPs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Even if you're just doing it for fun, I definitely think it's worth it. Particularly if you ever create or mix using headphones, or you use cans with higher impedance (over 50ohm). What I've found is that, when I mix on cans, it's much less frequent for me to playback on some speakers and hear a completely different mix.

I wouldn't say that the output from a DAC is more accurate. But the conversion process is better optimised (and probably sampled at a much higher rate)... and the drivers in your cans respond more truly to the frequency response curves on the back of their box.

What I've noticed is that at similar amplitudes the DAC/Amp output just sounds more real, or less distorted... or something like that...
Great; thanks for your advice, knowledge and sharing your previous and current experiences with DAPs.
What do you recommend? What headphones do you use with your FiiO?

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Old 15-01-2017, 10:36 PM   #13
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Re: DAPs

Wtf my Fiio X3 2nd completely died on me. Win 10 told me the device was misbehaving and it would fix it, I accidentally hit yes and Fiio stopped reading the sdcard. Thanks for shooting my best friend in the face, Microsoft.

It freezes on just about all the system menu screens, even the factory restore option lol

*factory restore the factory restore factory restore the factory restore* it's the start of an infinitely futile loop

I've gone through all the online fixes and nothing works

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