Originally Posted by GrmanRodriguez
...In terms of music quality when compared to a smartphone
Yes. One main reason - battery life. I have an iPhone 5S but prefer listening to my music of a dedicated music iDevice.
Re the "better quality" - it is true that audiophile-oriented DAPs have more power and are better designed to work with a variety of headphones. But if you are going to be listening to the music with a high-quality headphone, you'll probably want to get an amp. And if you are amping, the iDevices work very well as a transport.
The best case is using an external DAC - esp now that iOS 7 lets you extract digital audio out via a CCK.
However, even if you have an iPod Classic with a 30-pin connector and use its LOD, you'll be hard-pressed in a double-blind test to tell a significant difference between that and the line out from something like a DX50 or X3 - the differences are smaller than the variance introduced by user bias and placebo. The user interface of the Apple devices makes the device so much easier to use.
I own a DX50, an X3, an AK100, 2 Classics and an iPod Touch. The differences in the line-out from them (except the Touch, which doesnt have a pure lineout) are very, very small. If Apple makes a 128GB Touch, the DX50 and X3 are both gone. Life is too short to spend days and weeks trying to get a player to read your memory card.
Edited by vkalia - 2/16/14 at 8:21am