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Are good DAPs extinct?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I have a J3, which is great, but it is starting to behave strangely so I've been looking for a replacement. I've looked around but can't find any current DAP that comes close to what I'm looking for. It seems like with the prevalence of Android and IPhones, there's not really much of a market for dedicated DAPs and that's not going to change any time soon unfortunately. 

 

I think the parameters for a solid DAP are clear. Good sound quality, battery life (30 + hours), storage capacity (64 gb + expandabilty), usability (i.e. no crappy screen like the C3), form factor (no clunky design like the hifiman), build quality, price (i.e. not IBasso). And because of smartphones, we don't need all those extra features that we paid for on previous DAPs like the J3. A new DAP should hit on all those criteria without forcing us to pay for gimmicks we won't use. Unfortunately no current DAP hits on all of those, and I'm not aware of anything on the horizon.

 

Is their any hope for DAPs in the future, or are we going to be left to choose from a similar array of poor options like we have now?


Edited by Stuff Jones - 12/14/12 at 2:19am
post #2 of 28
I think we are in transition phase. People thought phones could take place of dedicated players, so DAP manufacture and variety shrunk. We are realising that phones aren't yet perfect replacements for reasons ranging from limited storage, audio quality, media support.

I think there is lots of opportunity in Android-based players, look at Walkman, Cowon, DX100. I cant wait till we see the likes of Hifiman-quality-audio, etc in a smartphone-sized device with a modern Android UI.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by severim View Post

I think there is lots of opportunity in Android-based players, look at Walkman, Cowon, DX100. I cant wait till we see the likes of Hifiman-quality-audio, etc in a smartphone-sized device with a modern Android UI.

 

Personally I disagree. I don't want to pay extra for a device with the hardware necessary to run Android (or sacrifice battery life). Nor do I need something smartphone sized. I already have a smartphone. 

 

Just make it purely optimized for easily playing a lot of a music really well for a long time in small package.

post #4 of 28
I agree with you on pricing/performance. I think if I was a manufacturer it would be a hard sell for something like a J3 when compared against a similar sized device that you can access facebook on it as well.

As a J3 owner, it kills me that Cowon haven't refreshed it with more storage, but I just can't see them being marketable for Cowon in the current "smartphone age".

One product that is current and probably the closest to the J3 is the Creative Zen X-Fi3. Small size, expandable with microsd, and native flac support (finally!).
Edited by severim - 12/14/12 at 2:56am
post #5 of 28

Strangely enough, I still have a Cowon D2+ 16GB. Currently giving it a little listen at the moment. Barely use it these days. e.g. 1-2 times a year out of nostalgia.

post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 

I think the problem is devices like Cowens are stuck in no mans land. 

 

Because they offer a lot of nice features including the AMOLED screen, they're kind of pricey. And because they don't have true audiophile quality sound, they don't get the people who are willing to shell out good money for a DAP.

 

They're kind of stuck between a nice cheep dap like the Clips and a true audiophile device like the IBasso.

 

If I were them I'd aim at the "mainstream audiophile market". Cut price by pairing down the extra features and using a cheaper screen. Upgrade sound quality. But keep the awesome battery and reasonable UI and build quality. I would think if you could make a 64GB J3-like device with more audiophile sound quality in 200 dollar range, there would still be a nice little niche market.

post #7 of 28

A little bird told me that there may be a J3+ soon. Just what i heard though. Might be something to it.

 

I like the above D2 post, I just went from the Cowon D2 to the Colorfly C3 and love  how simple it is and really like what i'm hearing.

Hope the (NEW?) J3 will be beefed up .


Edited by nick n - 12/15/12 at 2:07am
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick n View Post

A little bird told me that there may be a J3+ soon. 

If this is true, there is no question about me preordering one...

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff Jones View Post

I think the problem is devices like Cowens are stuck in no mans land. 

 

Because they offer a lot of nice features including the AMOLED screen, they're kind of pricey. And because they don't have true audiophile quality sound, they don't get the people who are willing to shell out good money for a DAP.

 

They're kind of stuck between a nice cheep dap like the Clips and a true audiophile device like the IBasso.

 

If I were them I'd aim at the "mainstream audiophile market". Cut price by pairing down the extra features and using a cheaper screen. Upgrade sound quality. But keep the awesome battery and reasonable UI and build quality. I would think if you could make a 64GB J3-like device with more audiophile sound quality in 200 dollar range, there would still be a nice little niche market.

 

they've done that the C2 is basically that apart from the improved sound quality bit, i don't see how they can do much better considering the price...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by severim View Post

I agree with you on pricing/performance. I think if I was a manufacturer it would be a hard sell for something like a J3 when compared against a similar sized device that you can access facebook on it as well.
As a J3 owner, it kills me that Cowon haven't refreshed it with more storage, but I just can't see them being marketable for Cowon in the current "smartphone age".
One product that is current and probably the closest to the J3 is the Creative Zen X-Fi3. Small size, expandable with microsd, and native flac support (finally!).

 

i'm using my j3 with a 64gb micro sd card, that's 96gb of storage, not may flash memory based devices out there is capable of more.

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by milford30 View Post

 

they've done that the C2 is basically that apart from the improved sound quality bit, i don't see how they can do much better considering the price...

 

 

i'm using my j3 with a 64gb micro sd card, that's 96gb of storage, not may flash memory based devices out there is capable of more.

 

Isn't the C2 bigger with worse UI than the J3?

post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff Jones View Post

 

Isn't the C2 bigger with worse UI than the J3?

C2 measures 78.7*53.0*12.8 and the j3 measures 106.5*56.0*9.9 it's a bit thicker but i would say c2 is smaller. It seems that the problem with the ui is to do with the small buttons on a cheap screen, custom ui helps a bit in that regard 


Edited by milford30 - 12/15/12 at 7:12am
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick n View Post

A little bird told me that there may be a J3+ soon. Just what i heard though. Might be something to it.

 

I like the above D2 post, I just went from the Cowon D2 to the Colorfly C3 and love  how simple it is and really like what i'm hearing.

Hope the (NEW?) J3 will be beefed up .

 

Nice. Any idea what soon means? Cowon is notorious for being slow with their releases.

post #13 of 28
Quote:
And because they don't have true audiophile quality sound
Most people believe Cowons are audiophile players and you are right that this is only true to a certain extent. For the buyer DAPs are tricky purchases because it's difficult to know what sort of design decisions were made until you plug in the player. Did they balance the sound or is some part added or subtracted ? Is it reliable/durable and the quality of components. It can be very hard to see what the product design priorities were and what (if any) compromises were made. For audiophiles wanting a reasonable price hi-fi player the choices are limited because of the concentration on what the masses want.
post #14 of 28

The upcoming Fiio X3 looks VERY promising, have you seen the thread yet?

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopanthersgo1 View Post

The upcoming Fiio X3 looks VERY promising, have you seen the thread yet?

 

It does look promising save for very average battery life.

 

Is it coming out this Spring for sure?

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