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Just how good can a portable DAP be?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've noticed some DAPs go from $1000-$2,000. My question is just how good are expensive DAPs? What kind of headphones would be used with a $1000 or $2000 DAP?
post #2 of 21
The DX100 AK100 & C4 Pro are expensive DAPs . Any DAP in this price range will be geared towards being able to run large headphones like the Sennheiser HD800 without needing any more amping.
They need to be listened by you first to see whether you can either tell or justify the difference in sound quality with the IEMs or headphones that you have
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
What kind of headphones could a good $200-$300 DAP power? Maybe something along the lines of the Sennheiser HD600?
post #4 of 21
Wouldn't have thought so, unless others have come across one? You'd need to amp something like that to use an HD600 without straining it
post #5 of 21

Actually a lot of the 'audiophile' DAPs out now have much more powerful amp sections than typical mainstream players.  My Studio V3 is 'class A' inside, and has no problems with either the HD600 or Beyer DT880s.  I think the Fiio X3 / X5 etc are also designed around the amp sections from their E17 which also has enough power to drive the HD600 without extra amping.

 

Note that the DAPs I've just mentioned are in the $250-$500 range ......

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Interesting. I didn't know about these kind of DAP's...I never would have thought high-end headphones could be driven by a little device..a portable one too.
post #7 of 21
Yep there are plenty of players out there that can get rid of the clutter of cd player amplifier dac and speakers.
For most of us it'll be an addition a day add to the clutter. Consumerism. ......
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Is there a downside to these type of players? Compared to a regular setup and amp?
post #9 of 21
I can't think of one offhand. You upload the music onto the dap plug in your headphones and you're away. And you can also do the same thing when you're on the bus or on your hols or out for a run
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by willitblend View Post

Is there a downside to these type of players? Compared to a regular setup and amp?

 

Most of the time the UI isn't as fully featured or as user friendly as the excellent UI found in the Apple eco-system.

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

 

Most of the time the UI isn't as fully featured or as user friendly as the excellent UI found in the Apple eco-system.

On top of that the C4 and DX100 are quite bulky, and well like you questioned are more expensive. Also poor battery on top of that the DX100 does not use USB for charging which sucks for car trips or using it at school.

 

I guess personally I always feel like my DX100 has soo many advantage over ipods such as a much better DAC section, much better internal amp, 64gb external memory+ expandable micro SD, line out, 1/4" jack and 1/8" jack, line out, optical, and coaxial. 

post #12 of 21

And usually there are quite a number of bugs in the firmware in the early release :)

 

Cons:

UI not as friendly/fluid as mainstream

Shorter battery life

Bugs bugs bugs

post #13 of 21

If you can live with smaller amounts of memory (64GB or less), another route is an old iPod Touch and a DAC/amp that works with Apple devices.  Apple sells a refurbished iPod Touch w/ 64GB memory for $300 currently, and if you stack that with a high-end DAC/amp like the Centrance M8 or the CypherLabs Theorem 720, you are at the low-end of these high-end DAPs.  You have two devices to charge, and the setup is bulkier, but the sound can be fantastic.  

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzman7 View Post
 

If you can live with smaller amounts of memory (64GB or less), another route is an old iPod Touch and a DAC/amp that works with Apple devices.  Apple sells a refurbished iPod Touch w/ 64GB memory for $300 currently, and if you stack that with a high-end DAC/amp like the Centrance M8 or the CypherLabs Theorem 720, you are at the low-end of these high-end DAPs.  You have two devices to charge, and the setup is bulkier, but the sound can be fantastic.  

 

Similarly you can do this with Android phones also (with more ubiquitous USB DAC support, larger storage capacities via storage expansion, and easier 24-bit output if that is desired).

 

Another option is to use a wireless storage device with either iOS or Android devices in order to have greater storage (obvious disadvantage being adding another device into the mix).

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
With a $600 budget would you think it would be better to get a $200 pair of cans and a $400 amp or $300 cans and a $300 amp to for iPod use?
I would think more expensive amp right?
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