Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Introduction and help regarding the choice of a portable DAP
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Introduction and help regarding the choice of a portable DAP

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 



First of all, thank you for the help you already provided to me via different sections and guides on this forum.


Thanks to you, I have upgraded my audio gear and I am quite happy with the result but I won't surprise anyone by saying that I am looking for better gear already, I might have a bad case of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrom).


So, I used to listen to 128Kbps on an iPod classic with Sennheiser CX 300 II. I stil use the CX300 every once in a while but I followed the recommandations here and got some HD-25-1 II and I love that stuff. I also got a Fiio E-18 (using the line out of the iPod) and could notice a huge improvement, even if sommething is still missing (more on that later).

I am a bass player and get "aroused" by some frequencies you will usually find in clarinet, cello and some bass guitars (my Kramer 250B is by far my favourite one).


So I m pretty happy with my setup now but I would like to improve some aspects:

-No EQ means that some types of music are not played the way I like them (I have a Samsung Note2 but the E-18 is not convenient to use with it and I don't like darining my phone battery by using it as a music player anyway)

-My digital music collection was started nearly 20 years ago so lots of my tunes don't have ID3 tags and it makes the use of a library based player quite painful, I am looking for something with a UI allowing directory browsing

-Don't even get me started on iTunes or equivalent! (I use MediaMonkey but it is still very unconvenient)

-You can't polish a turd and let's be honest, the iPod classic is not a great player, far from it

-My music colleaction is already 150GB and is expected to grow fast as I try to have more and more high quality files and replace my 128Kbps encoded mp3s

-I am very happy with the high frequencies of the HD-25 (I am rediscovering most of my tunes and climax everytime I listen to Rodrigo Y Gabriella) but the bass seems a bit dry to mytaste, I blame the lack of EQ here since I noticed the same with my AKG 240 Studio

-I have a GrooveShark full account so any player allowing GrooveShark and WiFi would be a great plus for when I simply want to listen to something new/different

-Not an improvement but I love the battery life of my current setup


I almost forgot: Do I need my E-18 to drive my HD-25 II or my AKG K240 Studio with a Fiio X5 or any other DAP you could recommend?


For these reasons, I am currently looking for a proper DAP to replace my current setup (not sure yet if I ll keep the E-18 or not).


The Fiio X5 looks like a cool option on paper, especially since it has a DAC and powerbank just like the E-18, supposidely a similar clean sound as the E-18 and would be affordable for me. Unfortunately, it is not available yet and since I am in Europe, I am not sure when I ll be able to get it. I am a bit concerned by the battery life and charging time mentioned in some reviews. I also wonder if other players would fit the bill as well. My budget is not unlimited but I would consider going up to 1000$ including the SD cards (so 900-950$ for the DAP).


Thank you,



Edited by Apatride - 3/12/14 at 6:01am
post #2 of 5



New guy here as well. I would like to get more information on this as well. I'm currently using a pair of Westones UM3X. So far they've been really awesome even unamped with my iphone 4S. However, after making the switch to the iphone 5S, I realised the huge drop in sound quality.


I'm not really an audiophile, I just like listening to my music at 320kbps with the clarity and isolation that my UM3X provides. I don't mind .flac files if they're available, but I don't go out of my way to get it. I've been dissatisfied with the sound difference after switching phones so i'm considering getting a standalone DAP.


Would the previous ipod players be good enough in terms of sound quality or would i be better off getting a Fiio x5/ak120 and be done with it? Normally, based on the reviews, the Fiio x5/AK120 would be a no brainer, but I really like the UI, design and functionality of apple products (especially their playlist feature). Is the sound difference really that big from say an ipod to the Fiio x5 or the AK120?


Which DAP would you guys recommend? (Same budget as Apatride)

Edited by yeongman - 3/12/14 at 7:59pm
post #3 of 5

Herrow? Anyone there? A leetle beet of help would be very much appreciated.


Le bumpz.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Bump and update.


I have installed RockBox on my iPod classic and have fixed a few things this way:

Directory browsing

EQ is pretty efficient once you know how to use it

Cleaner basic sound

Can read any format


Battery is getting drained VERY fast

It is still bulky

I still need more space (I hope the X5 can actually use a HDD in OTG mode!!)

Still no Grooveshark access (I am considering buying a new phone and using my Note2 as a media player only but the connections and the strap make the use with the E-18 quite uncomfortable


So for Yeongman: iPod classic with RockBox + E-18 = pretty good option with a good UI but far from being perfect.


I still think I m gonna stick to it and buy the X5 when it is available. Of course, opinions are still very welcome

post #5 of 5
Yeah. I am currently looking out for the e-18 amp. Haven't been able to get my hands on one yet. Someone else in this forum recommended the upcoming ibasso dx90 though. Might be worth a look?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Introduction and help regarding the choice of a portable DAP