Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Do you need an audiophile grade MP3 player when you already have an audiophile grade portable amp?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do you need an audiophile grade MP3 player when you already have an audiophile grade portable amp?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 

I was looking at some MP3 players like the Colorfly C4, iBasso DX100, etc. and they look really nice and I kind of want to buy one. But I have an iPhone and was thinking if i needed to get one of those MP3 players if i had a "good" amp like a Fiio E17 or something. If i were to get one of those MP3 players I would probably still get an Amp anyways. So I guess i was wondering if the amp would make the sound quality between the two be significant? iPhone + Amp vs MP3 (Colorfly C4, iBasso DX100, Cowon J3, etc) + Amp?

post #2 of 54
Thread Starter 

After researching a bit more I think that the Amp bypasses the devices controls or something and the audio goes through the amp and filters it out i guess. So because i now know this i also know that I don't need an Audiophile MP3 player.

post #3 of 54

Do a little more research. An amp won't bypass a device's mediocre DAC. Garbage in, garbage out.

 

Three steps: Source > DAC > Amp.

 

Thus you do need an audiophile grade MP3 lossless audio codec player or an iDAC like the CLAS, HP-P1, Go-DAP4, VAMP to use with your iPhone.

post #4 of 54

Is there a tutorial or something here on Head-Fi or somewhere else that can go over the basics of this?

post #5 of 54
Thread Starter 

Yeah I meant Dac...wink_face.gif From what I have seen(...) Other MP3 Players(Not Apple Related) don't have a line-out so i can't use an Amp or whatever and they usually already have a "decent" Amp/DAC already installed. So I guess i have another question. How would the iBasso DX100 compete with an iPod Classic + a decent AMP and DAC(Something like CLAS and RXMKII)? I know the iPod Classic loadout is much more expensive but it has 160GB and I like the iTunes store thing, but I just want to know purely sound, which loadout is better confused_face(1).gif

post #6 of 54

DX100 is 64GB; insert a 64GB µSDXC formatted in FAT32 and that's 128GB. Plus if you have it in a carrying case with a few µSD slots, you can have even more GB's of music. And it accepts ALAC material; so iTunes compatible.

 

Best SQ, well, most agree that the DX100 rivals some desktop solutions, so...

AFAIUI, the DAC in the DX100 beats the one in the CLAS, and the amp in the DX100 is ≥ to that of the RX MK2, but the amp in the RX MK3 that has been released recently could be ≥ to that of the DX100.

 

For more info, and especially reviews from those who have auditioned different solutions, and if you're courageous —search tool helps tons— check out the >500pgs DX100 thread. First page contains direct links to pages with reviews, and quite some useful background info.


Edited by the wizard of oz - 8/28/12 at 1:20am
post #7 of 54
Thread Starter 

So um i checked out the first page and wow a lot of info! But i still have some questions. 

 

1. Can you go on the internet and access things like Head-Fi and Google on the iBasso DX100?

 

2. How/If do you connect an amp to the iBasso DX100? I know that the amp in the iBasso DX100 already has a really good amp in it but later I am hoping to get even more power for really inefficient full size headphones. I will also be using this rig for portable and desktop setup. I know that a desktop setup will be superior but I would rather have portable that is why i am so consistent on having the best of the best in portable.

 

3. On first page of the iBasso DX100 thread on the specs section of the device someone posted that the max amount it can "take in" externally is 32GB of Micro SD. But i have seen other posts where people say they use 64GB SD cards but i don't know if that's full size, micro, or what? 

 

4. If the iBasso is so Great and Mighty, why do so many people have the iPod classic with amps/dacs that all together cost as much or more than the iBasso when they could've gotten the iBasso. Also, I don't think i have seen anyone(i have only read thru like 10~20 pages but still..)with the iBasso as their portable rig. 

 

5. Any recommendations on open headphones under maybe $500~$700? I will be using them with this setup for desktop and the V-Moda "M-100" for portable use. I listen to really anything but Metal, Country, Classical, and Jazz. 

 

6. There have been rumors or something of new DAPs that will be even better than the DX100 arriving in the NEAR future, can anyone confirm these rumors? If so, I might just wait for those and just keep saving up.

 

Thanks again guys!

post #8 of 54

1. Yes you can. But not very confortably, and WiFi browsing while playing music back isn't recommended at all for seamless audio playback and for the battery life.

 

2. The DX100 can drive cans ranging up to 600Ω, and it has been reported to drive even the HD800's pretty well. Not as adequately as a very good desktop amp, but most were impressed by the power on-board the DX100.

 

3. Officially 32GB µSDHC, but when formatted to FAT32, it will handle 64GB µSDXC's.

 

4. A. Most already have an iPod.  So adding hardware on can be more cost effective, and the iPod UI is still one of the best. I for example didn't own an iPod Classic, and adding a CLAS + amp or the HP-P1 is indeed more expensive. And apart from the iPad, which isn't quite as portable as one could wish, only the DX100 supports 24bit/192kHz natively, and in terms of players with flash memory, the iPod Touch is limited to 64GB (sure the Classic can be modded with a 256GB SSD, but that bumps up the total price by quite a bit). To be totally precise there are also the Colorfly C4 and H801 that support HD audio, but their UI didn't appeal to me at all, and their design not so much either.

B. Separate elements still has —and understandably so— great appeal in the HiFi world, even portable. One can always upgrade / replace part of the chain.

 

5. I'll let others chime in here, I haven't tried so many open headphones as yet, and not in that price range.

 

6. Indeed, HiFiMan will be releasing an H901 supposedly before the end of the year. The UI looks much improved over the previous iterations of their HD players.

 

Hope that helps!

post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooby View Post

Yeah I meant Dac...wink_face.gif From what I have seen(...) Other MP3 Players(Not Apple Related) don't have a line-out so i can't use an Amp or whatever and they usually already have a "decent" Amp/DAC already installed. So I guess i have another question. How would the iBasso DX100 compete with an iPod Classic + a decent AMP and DAC(Something like CLAS and RXMKII)? I know the iPod Classic loadout is much more expensive but it has 160GB and I like the iTunes store thing, but I just want to know purely sound, which loadout is better confused_face(1).gif


Still won't be on par. Ipods DAC are pretty good but still not up to par with a sabre DAC. Even if you use a good Amp they won't be on the same level regardless. Wishful thinking however. Even a CLAS/Amp paired with an ipod still won't be on par with a single DX100. They will be close but considering the expense of the CLAS and the ipod (and the bulk) its not even worth it. Even if you use a line out you are still using the DAC of say the ipod. So as one said, garbage in, garbage out. Ipods aren't bad in any means but aren't anything special either when sound quality is in mind. They are mainstream, nothing more and nothing less. I also wouldn't say the Fiio E17 is a high end amp either. Its a good amp but there are a lot better out there and even at reasonable prices to performance (Leckerton UHA6 MKII).


Edited by lee730 - 8/29/12 at 3:44am
post #10 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooby View Post

So um i checked out the first page and wow a lot of info! But i still have some questions. 

 

1. Can you go on the internet and access things like Head-Fi and Google on the iBasso DX100?

 

2. How/If do you connect an amp to the iBasso DX100? I know that the amp in the iBasso DX100 already has a really good amp in it but later I am hoping to get even more power for really inefficient full size headphones. I will also be using this rig for portable and desktop setup. I know that a desktop setup will be superior but I would rather have portable that is why i am so consistent on having the best of the best in portable.

 

3. On first page of the iBasso DX100 thread on the specs section of the device someone posted that the max amount it can "take in" externally is 32GB of Micro SD. But i have seen other posts where people say they use 64GB SD cards but i don't know if that's full size, micro, or what? 

 

4. If the iBasso is so Great and Mighty, why do so many people have the iPod classic with amps/dacs that all together cost as much or more than the iBasso when they could've gotten the iBasso. Also, I don't think i have seen anyone(i have only read thru like 10~20 pages but still..)with the iBasso as their portable rig. 

 

5. Any recommendations on open headphones under maybe $500~$700? I will be using them with this setup for desktop and the V-Moda "M-100" for portable use. I listen to really anything but Metal, Country, Classical, and Jazz. 

 

6. There have been rumors or something of new DAPs that will be even better than the DX100 arriving in the NEAR future, can anyone confirm these rumors? If so, I might just wait for those and just keep saving up.

 

Thanks again guys!

 

Not sure whats so hard to believe about someone using the DX100 as their portable rig? Just read through the thread and you'll see all the owners posting regarding the unit. I use one as well. But it also isn't my only portable rig. I also use a Studio V 3rd ANV. You had mentioned other flagship DAPs coming to market soon. The Hifiman 901 may be up your ally. Not sure if it will be better than the DX100. That still remains to be seen. Many times new products are hyped and they fall short of what they were really made out to be. So I'd say don't rush into it unless you don't mind being a beta tester yourself.

post #11 of 54

It seems nobody mentions RWA (or other) I-Mod any more --- is there a reason for this? Or is it only because people only get excited about newer players?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

 

Not sure whats so hard to believe about someone using the DX100 as their portable rig? Just read through the thread and you'll see all the owners posting regarding the unit. I use one as well. But it also isn't my only portable rig. I also use a Studio V 3rd ANV. You had mentioned other flagship DAPs coming to market soon. The Hifiman 901 may be up your ally. Not sure if it will be better than the DX100. That still remains to be seen. Many times new products are hyped and they fall short of what they were really made out to be. So I'd say don't rush into it unless you don't mind being a beta tester yourself.

post #12 of 54

Yes

post #13 of 54

Yes, I think you want a high quality player to go with your amp, in whatever form that takes (some disagree of course, but like much of this it comes down to personal preference).

 

Personally I like using my HeadAmp Pico USB DAC/amp with my Galaxy S3 via USB audio out, others are using iBasso products with it too (and various other USB DACs). 

post #14 of 54

Ah yes, of course there the Android ICS with USB audio out support solution! Fellow member DanBa reminds us of it enough but I forgot to mention it here as a very valid option! Android ICS device > USB OTG > USB DAC / Amp > head/earphones.

I guess since the OP stated he had an iPhone it didn't enter my mind so soon.

post #15 of 54
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the answers, really opened my eyes. So from the looks of it the iBasso DX100 is the best DAP at this time and i guess i will be buying it soon. But how do you put music onto it? Might sound stupid but I am really familiar with the iTunes thing and don't have any idea on how to put music on the damn thing. Also, what are the best audio files to put on this thing? I have heard about lossless(?) and FLAC(?) and Wav(?) what are the differences? 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Do you need an audiophile grade MP3 player when you already have an audiophile grade portable amp?