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Android phone as a DAP - Advantages and disavantages

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking about the possibilities I have in the table for a portable DAP. Let me give a liittle introduction:

 

- Recently I bought the Sennheiser Momentum, and if I was pretty satisfied with any kind of source for my Koss Porta Pro, in this case I noticed that the source plays a big part in the sound quality

- I thought about using my Nexus 7 as a DAP, but the DAC quality is meh. It gets better with a Fiio E11 amplifier I tried, but with it came electronic noise, static, etc, so I was not satisfied

- The Nexus 7 (without custom firmware) does not support digital audio out via USB, so I can't use an external DAC

- In either way, I would prefer something smaller, since the tablet is only good to use when sitted / at work, etc... not really portable

 

I created a list of the things I would like. I got here:

 

- Digital audio out. Even if it has a nice internal DAC, I guess it's good to have the possibility to connect to a external DAC in the future.
- FLAC support. Preferably without mods, rockbox, etc... I like to keep thngs simple.
- Preferably, with the size of a mobile phone / iPod, etc... so that I can attach a portable AMP/DAC to it easily
- 32GB minimal storage, 64GB or 128GB would be nice
- Wireless, I use Google Music a lot
- A nice interface for use in the car would be a nice extra (my car has 3.5 input, USB and iPod interface)

- Not uberly expensive. Not it the order of $500 at least :)

- Preferably, not sharing the phone function, since I would like to attach the amp, and that's not very practical to hold in the hand while answering a call

 

So...

 

In order to thick all the boxes, I spent some time thinking about that ideal player, and I got to an Android Phone, but with no sim card inserted. One with dual-core and ICS at least. I have a Galaxy Express (I8730), it was cheap with a plan, and the performance is more than acceptable. However, I don't know if this phone supports digital audio out. (S3 / S4 and Note 2 support it).

 

I could keep this phone for DAP usage, and buy another one later. (if it has digital out)

 

What's your opinion? Would appreciate any help in this, as I'm kinda lost here... so many options :)

post #2 of 6

Looks like you are in the market for a Sony F806/807.  They are Android based DAPs but not phones, and thicked all your boxes.  I tried my 806 with the Momentum with 16/44 FLAC CD ripped and they sounded execllent.  Too bad in the US you can only get the 32Gb F806, and this was why I returned mine and getting an imported F807 with 64Gb.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSheep View Post

I tried my 806 with the Momentum with 16/44 FLAC CD ripped and they sounded execllent.

 

The internal amp is powerful enough to drive the Momentum?

 

Does it have digital out?

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by rfcarvalho View Post

 

The internal amp is powerful enough to drive the Momentum?

 

Does it have digital out?

Yes I tried it with the Momentum and it is great unamped, and I only need the volume to set to less than 40%.  It does have a digital LOD from the WM-PORT to some of the other Sony dock speakers, however, I have yet to find an amp that will work in this mode for Android.  I tried it with both the Sony PHA-1 and V-MODA VERZA but they both failed to work.  However, the PHA-1 does come with the much needed WM-PORT to 3.5mm LOD cable, so you can amp the 806/807 in analog.  FiiO has the L5 LOD for $10, so you can definitely pair the 806/807 with any other amp of your choice.  One thing of note is that for some reason the 806 I tested works with my Klipsch G-17 on Apple AirPlay, so I don't even need to dock it with anything if I don't want.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

The F806 surely seems to have a great amp, it's a nice player. But not that cheap.

 

The Fiio X3 is being released now, it doesn't have the convinience of having Android, but I'm still deciding if that is nice feature to have or not.

 

The iPod Classic is surely gaining more and more my attention... it's a quality player and I love the size, usability, quality... the sound quality is also excellent.

 

A "pure" music player has physical buttons, don't crash, don't hang, etc etc, in sum if all we want is to enjoy the music, having a dedicated device is not that bad...

 

The Android DAP's suffer from the problem of not having the latest Android versions - the 806 is still in Gingerbread 2.3 am I right?

 

I don't want to go back to 2.3... had it for too many time in my Galaxy S - which stuck in 2.3 with no further upgrades - and that kinda sucks.

 

What's your opinion on this?

post #6 of 6

The F806 runs 4.0.4.

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