I own both the X3 and AK100, quite tempted to get the DX50 to complete the collection, but it'll be silly since I usually only stick to listening to 1.
Just so you know, the AK100 is at least 2x to 3x the price of the X3/DX50.
So if you are asking which is the best price value to get, the X3 or DX50 would be the definite choice.
For now let me compare the X3 and DX50.
X3 pros and cons vs DX50
- Best value for features (USB DAC, DSD support soon)
- Firmware is relatively more stable than DX50
- Warm signature with a bit more emphasis in the bass area
- To some the bass sounds a bit bloated
- Build quality is lower compared to DX50 and AK100.
- Active support with their founder within the community forums
- Powerful amp out of the lot
DX50 pros and cons vs X3
- Buggy firmware (getting better with each firmware update)
- USB OTG support. Suits your need if you want to take all 600gig of FLACs with you. Heard it was able to power 500gig ext harddisk, however screen colour becomes faded due to lack of power.
- Build quality better than X3
- Neutral sound. Better clarity and more clean than X3 (subjective)
Now for AK100 vs X3 and DX50
- Best build quality (DX50 not far behind)
- Signature in btw DX50 and X3
- SQ is not worth the 2x/3x price gap
- More clean sounding (subjective) with the darkest background out of the 3.
- Flawed with the 22ohms output which affects most low impedance phones esp multi BA driver types.
- Size is the most portable of the lot
- USB DAC, bluetooth support
- 2 Microsd card support, total 160gig
- Firmware more stable except for noticeable MP3 files that skips few seconds after each track.
Simply put, X3 is fun and dynamic sounding, DX50 is more reference type and AK100 is in btw both.
Which do u prefer? Edited by Levanter - 10/30/13 at 1:32am