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Need help choosing a DAP... upgrading from clip+

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have used a sansa clip plus for years now, having replaced them multiple times due to failure. They are so affordable i have been willing to repurchase as necessary. I will still use the clip at the gym, but I want something higher end for everything else I need a portable player for, something with better sound, more power and better durability.

Current collection:

IEMs:
Shure SE535 bronze
Westone 4r
etymotic Er4s

Full sized:
Sennheiser HD600
Grado hf2

I usually stick to my IEMs when on the go, but I wouldn't mind getting a DAP with enough power to drive my HD600s. Love those things.

I really dont know what im looking for, budget is secondary. I will spend up to 500 but want the best value possible.

My research has brought me upon the colorfly c3 and the hifiman 601 slim just to give u an idea of what I am looking at already. I have read great things about both. Would appreciate any suggestions and recommendations.

My preferences:
-must be pocketable in a pair of jeans
-asthetics are less important than sound
-Im the type who likes to spend a little extra the first time for better quality
-good battery life is a plus, but of course secondary to sound.
-must be expandable
-durability is important, if I pay for a device like this it cant crap out like my clips have. im sort of rough on my portable stuff.

THANKS for looking and any help you can offer.
Edited by loghead - 1/4/14 at 7:09pm
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

Add the Fiio X3 to the list of players I'm considering.

 

I'm just hoping someone can provide a practical comparison of some of my options in this price range.

post #3 of 5

I posted this in the C3 vs. X3 thread:

 

[ The C3 is certainly more of a budget friendly DAP and features a much simpler list of functions. The X3 has higher quality components including a better DAC and amp section. Not to mention it offers multiple gain settings, USB DAC functionality, and coax/line out. (Also costs about $100 more)

 

That being said, I'll give the comparison a go. Bear in mind that I never had the two at the same time for A/B comparison but hopefully my memory will serve. 

 

The X3 has a more colored signature of the two. It's rather warm in character, as is the norm for Fiio products. It also offered slightly better resolution, especially with a brighter pair of headphones. 

 

The C3 is a little more neutral in presentation. To me the C3 is very musical and offers a better soundstage than the X3, but because of its lesser components, did not resolve some of the micro-details that the X3 could.

 

I can't say that one has markedly better SQ, as it really will depend on what you prefer. If you're someone who enjoys a brighter or more analytical headphone, then I'd say go for the X3. If you lean a little to the warm or dark side, the C3 may be what you'd like. I recently sold my DX50 because I didn't feel it offered enough as a standalone DAP to uproot the C3. ]

 

 

Another DAP to consider is the IBasso DX50. Both the X3 and DX50 have a stronger amp circuit, so if you're looking for a pocketable solution for all the cans you listed you'll probably want to count out the C3. The X3 has a slightly warmer sound signature which may pair well with your cans as none of them are very warm. The DX50 has a brighter sound which would pair better with warmer sounding cans. 

 

Both the X3 and DX50 are memory expandable, exhibit excellent build quality, offer similar battery lives, and are similarly priced (X3 $200, DX50 $240). Neither UI's are fantastic, but certainly not dealbreakers either. 

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Wow! That's exactly the information I was hoping to get! Thank you tremendously.

I see amazon is selling the x3 with a 64 gb micro sd and audio cable for only 200. Im pulling the trigger.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by loghead View Post

I see amazon is selling the x3 with a 64 gb micro sd and audio cable for only 200. Im pulling the trigger.

Good call. That's a great deal. If I needed another DAP, I'd certainly consider that one!

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