post #1306 of 1306

It would really depend on your needs, headphone choices and music collection size. Personally I'm stuck in the apple ecosphere due to having a large music collection. I say stuck, but I rather have come to love the sound of my ipod to JDS C5, and have used the same main ipod 5th gen for almost 9 years. I like clean transparent sound, so the C5 amp serves my need nicely. But The X5 while powerful enough to drive most of my IEMs, has too small of a cap of songs that it can play. If you are in the camp like myself that wants to have tens of thousands of songs on tap, than a X5 won't fit your bill of needs. I'm upgrading my ipod so  I can put hundreds of thousands of songs on it within the month. My ipod-C5 combo is very portable, but being female it won't fit in my pockets and while smaller than your Fostex stack is still bulky for even a hoodie pocket. If you have a modest collection of under 8000 songs, or even don't mind updating your selections often you may find the X5 or other offerings suit your needs. If you have easy to drive headphones, any of the top DAPs on the market should suit you SQ wise and power wise. I rather enjoy the built in DAC of my 5th gen ipod, and mixed with the C5 power, I like my setup for now. Only you can decide what you will like, and what aspects of a DAP you desire and need. Buy a X5 off amazon and return it if you don't like it. If the Fostex is too bulky try one of the smaller amps and run it from line out on th ipod. Maybe try a 5th gen ipod to see if you prefer the Wolfson over the Cirrus DAC. You are the master of your domain here.

And since this is subjective, I much prefer the sound of my ipod 5th gen + LOD + C5 over the X5, but you may prefer the X5 signature unamped more than I. And that is alright, this is all about personal enjoyment, not what other people think of your gear. Good luck <3