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The Sad State Of The So Called Audiophile DAP Market - Page 35

post #511 of 1453

I'm not among those you are thanking, as I hadn't said anything previously, but yes - dbPoweramp is a great tool - well worth the cost of licensing,

post #512 of 1453

A comment on DigitalFreak's original post (sorry to interrupt the ongoing discussion)

 

Thanks for sharing your valuable views and thoughts. I too have the same feelings regarding high res players, especially those with incredibly bad firmware. I feel it is important to bring this continuous issue to light, so I wish to give some of my thoughts and experiences as well. After all, I enjoy music as much as DigitalFreak and many people do, but I also enjoy navigating through my library to find the best one fitting my mood at the moment.

 

I have lots of songs in my portable library (around 3000?), and navigating them on any iPod (except shuffle) was so effortless and fluid, that it felt so satisfying to find another song to listen to. The iPod firmware was so good right out of the box, with many user friendly (extra) features, and ergonomic interactive controls.

 

This was not the case when I tried my first "high end audiophile" DAP, the iBasso DX50. While it provided the sound quality and was able to play .flac's like I never did before on a portable device, the overall experience was anything but satisfying. I had to even create folders in the root of the memory for the sake of conveniently browsing, because if I used artists and playlists it would sometimes freeze, glitch, or just crash completely and need a hardware reboot. Perhaps it be that the Audiophile DAP companies think it unnecessary to focus on the software but instead more on the hardware? They think sound is all that matters, but I don't think that's fair. Even the iRiver and Cowon iAudio's java firmwares had better interface and usability.

 

Audiophile DAPs shouldn't only sound good, but also be practical and engaging, if not fun, to use. I have tried my friend's Hisound Audio Nova player, while it was small and shaped like an iPod nano, it lacked the smooth operation that the nano provided, despite the powerful and impressive aural performance. However he did not have a large portable music library, thus the lacking and sluggish firmware navigation and usability did not bother him as much as it did for me.

 

If only audiophile DAPs offered the same end user results and experiences iPods and Walkmans do, I believe more and more people will pay the boutique pricing. I know a dozen people and their acquaintances (from college and work) who are familiar with Hi-FI DAPs, and wants to up their music from 320kpbs MP3 to CD and studio quality, but have stayed far far away from them and just resorted to an iPod or an Android Mid-Fi player (or more often their phones), as they didn't want to bother adapting to it. Those who wanted to try getting used to it did not have enough expertise or time to customize or tweak such firmware.

 

How good will the user feel if they paid a premium for a player that came with firmware that feels like or worse than a random $50 Chinese MP4 knockoff from eBay? Even Meizu has started to make their firmware and controls "smarter" and snappier on their $50 DAPs! Buying an $80 E-Series Walkman will give a better UI similar to an iPod (without the click-wheel or touch screen) than any of the hundred-dollar audiophile DAPs.

 

For now, until the high res Hi-Fi DAP industry offer a firmware that feels more complete (not using Android) to go with the powerful hardware, when any of my friends asks me to recommend them a DAP, I will never ever mention hifiman, iBasso, hisoundaudio etc. Instead I'd say 'just get an used/new iPod classic', because it is the safer bet that they won't complain about the software afterwards.


Edited by stuartfang - 12/25/13 at 9:20pm
post #513 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by gelocks View Post

To the members that suggested dbPoweramp... a BIG THANK YOU!!
Very fast CD ripping, haven't tested all the FLACs I have created yet but the few I did sounded good.

The AK arrived and it's in my local post office. Can't wait to try it out.


NP...that what we are here for...:beerchug: 
 Enjoy and share our obsession...err... hobby.

post #514 of 1453
Thread Starter 

@stuartfang

Hello from Winnipeg and thanks for your kind words and posting your thoughts

 

@gelocks

Congrats on the AK purchase and good to gear db poweramp worked for you. I used it too and I like that program a lot.

 

@ the whole thread

 

Merry Xmas guys, sorry I haven't been in here the last little while but i've been a little busy lately.


Not sure if I posted the link in here before but I've recently been published on another site concerning the DX50

CYMBACAVUM went live with it a couple of days ago.

post #515 of 1453

@DigitalFreak

Hello to you too from Toronto. I really enjoyed reading your post and watching your video to truly see and associate with your passion; hope your words reaches the companies and that they develop better and better firmware updates to existing products and avoid the same issues in future ones.

 

Merry Christmas everyone!

post #516 of 1453

Am I the only one baffled at the number and price of headphones for sale in mainstream shops? And the extremely small number of DAP to connect these to? There's Sandisk, there's apple and there's a few sony still hanging in there but that's it.

post #517 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by wijnands View Post
 

Am I the only one baffled at the number and price of headphones for sale in mainstream shops? And the extremely small number of DAP to connect these to? There's Sandisk, there's apple and there's a few sony still hanging in there but that's it.

 

No offense, but I don't get the main point of this question, unless it is a rhetorical one, which it probably is. What shops are considered "mainstream," in YOUR definition? Apple? Windows Store? The Source? Small number of DAPs... Please don't say such a lame joke.

 

Nowadays, people tend to shop online more often anyways. Most targeted demographics are already familiar with Amazon and online department stores alike, also classifieds and store on a company's own website (Rock It Sounds does that very well, excellent product descriptions and customer support). Websites and forums like Head-Fi are especially designed and exist in the first place to help people identify and acknowledge the existence of products they may not have known, and also assist in helping them choose one.

 

Mainstream shops do not offer "extremely small number" of products. They just choose the most popular and mainstream ones in hope that impulsive customers will buy it on a whim without research. It is strictly based on convenience and profit, not an indication to the limited number of headphones and DAPs available for people to buy in this world. There's nothing wrong with mainstream shops selling a small selection of products. People are not stupid and if they really want something the stores don't have, they'd get it from somewhere else.


Edited by stuartfang - 12/26/13 at 3:21am
post #518 of 1453

Perhaps it was a bit rhetorical.

There's few apple stores and no windows stores here. And it's not a lame joke. If you must know. Apple stores sell ipods and beats headphones and that's it.

 

UK: Argos: philips, low end sony and apple. HMV, no players but 20 headphones on display.

Netherlands: Mediamarkt: Most of the sennheiser range as well as SMS, some shure sony and philips headphones. Players: noname things, 3 last year's sony and 2 samsungs and apple. Saturn in the same country: pretty much the same same view except they don't stock SMS and more denon.

Online: Amazon UK: Does sell the ibasso and the fiio. Bol.com netherlands. Apple, sony and philips and that's it.

 

Mainstream enough? All are big chains. All sell an extensive range of headphones from the 20 euro to 300+ euro range which according to your theory are bought on a whim.

post #519 of 1453

Could be that these 'mainstream' stores have done what DF has suggested and looked at the DAPs out there and selected the ones they feel are the most complete products that wont have issues and come back for warranty (or are the cheapest for them to hold on a shelf could be more close to the reality of it). This is only conjecture though. YOMV


Edited by bearFNF - 12/26/13 at 10:13am
post #520 of 1453
Thread Starter 
Let me put it this way, why would a store chain carry a boutique MP3 player that's pricey and has OS issues which will only lead to many of them being returned? They don't, it's the main reason why the box stores stick with brands they know they can sell and not the boutique stuff. The average consumer isn't going to waste their time with a buggy player. They're just going to return it and move along to the next shelf where the Sonys, Clips and iPods are located.
post #521 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

Let me put it this way, why would a store chain carry a boutique MP3 player that's pricey and has OS issues which will only lead to many of them being returned? They don't, it's the main reason why the box stores stick with brands they know they can sell and not the boutique stuff. The average consumer isn't going to waste their time with a buggy player. They're just going to return it and move along to the next shelf where the Sonys, Clips and iPods are located.

 

But that's just it in the uk, it's a.n other brand or apple. for the most part.  Yes we can order off the internet (and this goes for iems/headphones even more so) but that's a crap shoot.  No wonder the great unwashed (general public) are sticking to apple for the most part and that's why the situation repeats itself.

post #522 of 1453

If you sell headphones upto and including the Sennheiser hd600, if you sell cameras like the D800 why not stock the sony 866? Or the Fiio x3? Or even the Astell?

 

What are those 598s and momentums supposed to be plugged into? The samsung S4? The latest Sony Android phone


Edited by wijnands - 12/26/13 at 12:23pm
post #523 of 1453

Those of us willing to spend even $200 for a DAP (and nothing but a DAP) are among a very small minority.  Joe Consumer thinks he already has all the transport/player he needs in his smart phone.  

 

So, yes, those 598s and Momentums are getting plugged into Samsung S4s.  

post #524 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

Let me put it this way, why would a store chain carry a boutique MP3 player that's pricey and has OS issues which will only lead to many of them being returned? They don't, it's the main reason why the box stores stick with brands they know they can sell and not the boutique stuff. The average consumer isn't going to waste their time with a buggy player. They're just going to return it and move along to the next shelf where the Sonys, Clips and iPods are located.

 

Pretty much what I was trying to say. What's the use of a store carrying products that will likely be returned? Just search for something you want on Google and you are bound to find a website where you can buy it from. What products the mainstream stores currently have are enough for average consumers. Apple don't just sell Beats and iPods, they have a pretty large selection too, but mostly those with a licensed Apple 3-button remote, i.e. B&W, Logitech UE, Sony, Sennheiser.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

So, yes, those 598s and Momentums are getting plugged into Samsung S4s.  

 

Nothing's wrong with that in my opinion.

post #525 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

Those of us willing to spend even $200 for a DAP (and nothing but a DAP) are among a very small minority.  Joe Consumer thinks he already has all the transport/player he needs in his smart phone.  

 

So, yes, those 598s and Momentums are getting plugged into Samsung S4s.  

zilch0md has it right.  Not only are most music customer's not looking for audiophile DAPs, they don't even know/care that it will improve the quality of their listening.  They assume the headphone handles that end of it.

 

In addition to that, having worked in retail for a good chunk of time, buyers for these stores surely don't even have the brands WE know and love on their radar.

 

This gets back to another, crucial point: audiophile gear has been around for a long time - much longer than the envelope of apple products - and it's always been a niche market.  Most people listen to music for different reasons, and with different focus, than folks like us.  Even when I show off my equipment to the friends of mine who otherwise listen to their white earbuds and are amazed at what they hear, they're not of the opinion that they can't go back to their low-fi equipment, and they're certainly not going to shell out the bucks like some of us do (possibly far too often.)

 

It's not a supply-side issue as much as a demand issue.  If there were half a billion people clamoring to spend $200-$1200 for a quality DAP, surely the bugs would be worked out a bit faster than they have been so far.  The cell phone, whatever we might think of it, is overwhelmingly the audio source of choice.

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