Originally Posted by SonyMDRer
1) On a normal day, you'll be carrying 2 things for good sound quality (cellphone + portable DAC AMP)
2) With the Fiio X3, you'll be carrying 2 things for good sound quality (cellphone [not for music] + Fiio X3)
So what I'm not understanding is that in the end you'll still always be carrying 2 devices, why opt for a 'portable music player' altogether? Why not just listen to all of your music on your phone, then add an amp if necessary?
If purely on the basis of smartphone+DAC-HPamp vs DAP and a smartphone (first one was mentioned already):
I. Battery life on the phone and DAP - you'll minimize the times you'll have to hook up the phone to a charger/powerbank because you're not using it for music.
II. Depends on ergonomics and trade-offs the user prefers, for example:
1. You can hear calls coming in, but...(see below)
2. You can listen to streaming services
1. Cables can be a mess, even if it's a custom, short data cable from the iPhone to an iDevice DAC, and might not fit in your pocket anymore as together they can be too thick for some pants or coats.
2. You can hear a call come through, but remember that DAC-HPamps don't have a contact for a headset mic, so the smartphone+amp that probably won't fit inyour pants pocket and is in your bag now has to be pulled out when you answer a call.
3. Some DAC-HPamp units might also get interference from the phone, as some might have been tested and designed with the iPod in mind (not really all that common).
DAP and a Smartphone
1. You're carrying two devices, sure, but you can have the phone in one pants pocket and the DAP in the other pants pocket. Keys in one back pocket/belt loop, wallet in the other back pocket, instead of one thick brick (does not apply as much to something like the DX100 or the HM901). Powerbank in your bag, or if you won't be out that long, you can leave that at home.
1. You might not be able to hear calls coming in, nor feel the phone vibrate in your pocket.
My solution (for now*) - Smartphone+easy to drive IEM:
1. I can take calls, and I'm looking for someone to make a custom cable that integrates a mic from a stock earbud properly without using a stiff cable wrap to secure the mic braided around it.
2. Lower SQ from smartphone's integrated audio chip (my S3's output is too warm for my tastes) is offset by: ambient noise where I am likely to use such a set-up, need to devote enough attention for awareness of my surroundings - traffic, street crime like pickpockets, snatchers, muggers, etc.
3. NeutronMediaPlayer (Android) or Accudio (if they get around to updating it for the latest iOS) has sound tuning features to correct some SQ issues with IEMs in general and even with their use with a smartphone.
*If the Fiio X1's bass-happy sound doesn't make my IEMs' bass overpowering (ie, if their claim of increased bass response to make it sound "fun" is similar to what NAD refers to as "added bass slam" on their CDPs), I'm getting one.