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Which DAP pairs best with Roxanne's?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
As the topic suggests, I have a pair of JH Roxanne's that I am currently using in conjunction with a Iphone5...I am a subscriber to Beats audio app and love it (this is similar to lose less music, correct?) and am looking to upgrade my dap to bring out the perfectness of the Roxanne's

I'm not a bass head per say, but I do like a strong bass presence, I like warm and detailed mids with accurate treble. I listen to primarily rock, oldies, hip hop, country, and modern (think billboard top 100) It would be nice to be able to use my beats app with whatever dap I get if possible. I've been considering the Ibasso Dx 100 and 50, the Fiio X5, and the AK100 or 120 (I'd love the 240 but don't want to spend that much) and the sony ZX 1.

Would anyone have any input or recommendations for me to look into? I am not sure I have even heard true lossless flac/WAV music before, and very much want to get the best audio experienced I can, for the $/performance ratio. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and give any suggestions.
post #2 of 15

I'm sorry, I don't have a Roxanne so I can't help you. I do have questions, if you don't mind

 

Do you have a custom Roxanne or universal?

 

Is the 15db hardware boost not good enough for bass presence with the iPhone 5?

 

The Roxanne is said to be thick sounding. Do you find the iPhone 5 pairing lacking in midrange warmth? Can you compare the sound to another earphone or headphone?

 

How's the treble with the iPhone 5?

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry, I'm fairly new to the "audiophile " scene, but I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

I have the Custom Roxanne's (ordered on Feb 1st, received on April 3) and the fit and sound is excellent. It sounds good on my iPhone 5, but these are so good I can almost hear the compression of the 326kb music I'm streaming from the beats app, if that makes sense.

The base boost is excellent, it increases the punch of the base, without distorting anything else. It's very well done and executed. I've left mine on the 3 o'clock setting as I find this about perfect for my taste (it's my understanding JH 16 level is around 2:00 setting)

I'm not sure what you mean by "thick" but I find the sound very fluid, the bass is well done, the mids remind me of my first high end headphones (shure se535's) but even better, the highs are eloquent and smooth , I find myself listening to classical music just so I can enjoy it even more. I find the sound very liquid sounding (in a good way)

But again, take this with a grain of salt, I'm fairly new to the scene and I am not listening to true lossless music (as iphone5 does not support flac that I know of) and my only comparisons are to b&w p5, p7, shure se 530& 535 and Bose (I know I know, but better than Beats right!) quiet comforts
post #4 of 15

Okay, thanks for answering.

 

You seem to be looking for (I'm guessing) a better streaming format?

 

You can put ALAC files on your iPhone. That is lossless and just as good as FLAC. You can put FLAC files on your iPhone and use one of several FLAC players from the App Store.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
I really do want a dedicated DAP, and am still looking for opinions please
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Also looking at DX90 now....

So x-5, dx90, or ak120?
post #7 of 15

I'm in the same shoes as you.  I'm looking for the right DAP for the NT6 I'll be getting soon.  

 

Recently, I had a chance to audition the AK120 and 240. Before taking a listen, I thought they were just overpriced(well, they actually are given their prices) DAPs not better than the cheaper ones, and I was wrong, they were much better sounding than my Galaxy S4 for sure. They both sounded better than X3 and X5.  Maybe they fare well with CIEMs or possibly they work well specifically with UERM only which I was monitoring with.  

 

I currently have high hopes for the DX90, and hoping it will trump the AK240 so that I can purchase it for my NT6 since there is no way in hell I can affor the $2.5k AK240.  :D 

 

I hope I can get the best setup for best sound quality with the NT6 and DX90.


Edited by SilverEars - 4/6/14 at 9:44pm
post #8 of 15

People have said that the DX90 beats the AK120 but not the AK240. I would say go for the DX90, you can't really go wrong. 

post #9 of 15
Idk about the roxannes, but my dx50 definitely powers my SM64 and heir 4ai just fine. Much better than an iPhone 5.

As your roxannes are quite high end and very resolving, a DX90 would be good. Much more affordable than an ak120 and definitely sounds as good.
post #10 of 15

astell & kern players

post #11 of 15

Sansa Clip+/Zip

post #12 of 15

I'm keen to know as well.

 

I tried a demo for a few min with Sony ZX1. It makes the Rox's warm sound signature sounded brighter. Thus feeling the treble extension, tighter bass. It does improve quite abit with my Galaxy S2.

 

Would love to hear more opinion on your pairing with Rox.

post #13 of 15

For me, IMO - sound quality that is measured from 1 to 100 percent of perfect - the headphones affect the quality in multiples of 10 percent while the DAP affects in multiples of 1 percent. However, music file quality can also have quality effects in the 10's of percent range depending on file resolution, recording, mastering, song/performance quality. Going from mp3 to AIFF will likely have the effect of having some MP3 songs that sound really good but having most sound average or bad on your playlist to AIFF having some songs that sound bad but most step up to sounding better than average or great. The MP3 ones that sound good may sound even better in AIFF format if you have a player that can support HIRES properly. Only then does the extra multiples of 1 percent that a DAP adds can even be heard. I can even hear the difference in file format on my lower sound quality iPhone 5 and 5S. Converting to a AIFF file format was the greatest gift I gave myself before even buying good gear and was what got me started in looking for what was possible in improving sound quality. Remember that this sound quality range that I am talking about is not additive, but limited by the lowest sound quality item in your chain. So if your music sound quality is figuratively holding you down to say 85 percent of perfect, then your Roxanne paired with the highest quality DAP will still be limited to 85 percent.

 

You already have a TOTL CIEM so you have a great basis to hear high quality sound in the 90 percent range unless you are being held back by the music quality. Do yourself a favor and try burning some of your favorite CDs to AIFF in iTunes and give it a try. Remember, it will not make poor recordings sound great, but will make more of your collection sound noticeably a little better - over time as you get used to it - taking your music quality it to the next level. You will start to hear new things in your music and start to get drawn in a little deeper and easier to the good recordings. Again, remember that crappy music that is mastered and recorded perfectly and placed in AIFF format will still sound like crap so be choosy.

 

As for the DAP, if the rest of your chain is ready for high quality sound, I don't have the Roxanne, but my Hidition NT6pro CIEM is very noticeably better paired with my X5 and my DX90. It takes them to the next level providing more drive, clarity, and texture that you can feel. However, with a DAP it is all about pairing which you will only know when you audition them correctly. My X5 and DX90 are easy picks providing best bang for the buck as exclaimed on Head-Fi so they are a safe starting point. FYI, my X5 pairs a little better with my NT6pro than the DX90 as it has a little more power and blacker background that pairs well with the NT6pro signature. As a point of interest, I'm not much of a believer in DAP burn in, but the DX90 seems to be catching up in quality over time where it matters less which I use.

 

Good luck in your choices.

post #14 of 15

Barra,

 

iTunes can import in both ALAC & AIFF - - they are both lossless formats - are you saying (and do others agree) that the AIFF file can sound better than the equivalent ALAC file using the same computer, the same DAP, the same CD?

 

Again, with the influx of new gear and finally untethering myself from the Apple ecosystem for music, I am realizing there are a lot of variables...

post #15 of 15
I personally cannot tell the difference between the various lossless formats including AIFF, FLAC, or ALAC (apple Lossless) and have all three in my collection. However, hopelessly entangled in the apple ecosystem too and using iTunes to rip my CDs, I chose to default on aiff simply because I have no space issue so why not.
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