or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › 👍DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, AK380, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, ZX-2, FiiO X5, X5II, Chord Hugo, Mojo, Calyx M, Aurender Flow, Lotoo PAW Gold, PAW 5000, Soundaware M1, L&P L3, Shozy Alien, Cozoy Rei
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

👍DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, AK380, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, ZX-2, FiiO X5, X5II, Chord Hugo, Mojo, Calyx M, Aurender Flow, Lotoo PAW Gold, PAW 5000, Soundaware M1, L&P L3, Shozy Alien, Cozoy Rei - Page 16

post #226 of 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

This is where things are looking now: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The AK240: You are paying for a DAP that has better SQ than anything else, to the degree that it rivals desktop rigs. Unlike anything that might come close, however, it actually will fit in your pocket and power headphones quite well that it has no right to be able to do so given its size.

Best things: Outstanding sound, UI and design quality.
Worse things: Price! Balanced adaptors and excellent recordings required to be of any value.

The ZX-1: Given it is cheaper than an AK120 and, by way of being a fully-featured Android device with an excellent UI on a large screen, this might totally win if it weren't for the lack of memory or a removable SD card and the strange lack of volume. It also has something of a bright, sometimes annoying sound.

Best things: Large screen with excellent Android UI and thin, well-thought-out case.
Worse things: Lack of expansion. Weird volume limit. Slight harsh sound.

The HM-901: For its price, it might win on sound quality and capability over the Sony, but the scroll wheel and UI put me off wanting to use it. If I didn't have the AK240, I'd want to listen with the HM-901 more than the others by far.

Best things: Most engaging and listenable sound (ignoring the AK240). Balanced card is great with full-sized headphones.
Worse things: Chunky, clunky, 1990's UI. Balanced adaptors required.

The X5: A class act considering the price. It really needs playlist support and it would be almost perfect with IEMs. Add an amp for more expensive full-sized headphones. The value king by far and lacks very little in enjoyment when listening.

Best things: Cheap, but quality design both with software and hardware. Excellent sound for the price.
Worse things: Doesn't drive full-sized headphones well. No playlist support.

Omg Amos I agree with this 100%! It is eerie to see you spelling out almost my every thoughts on these players in a very structured way!

Hope you get to include dx90 (which you could probably arrive at a very similar "verdict" as the x5), and Calyx M.


My quick demo impression.
Edited by kkcc - 5/7/14 at 1:57am
post #227 of 1968

I haven't found a better standalone portable dap than the AK240 for SQ using IEMS.  If you start adding dacs/amps to compare then this will change obviously.  Hint adding a Chord Hugo to other daps then comparing the AK240 by itself kinda defeats the point unless you are using price to compare.  Here in Hong Kong, the DX90 and Chord Hugo would cost less than AK240 for example.

post #228 of 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMinor View Post
 

 

LOL, dude let the OP decide whether he wants to play around with more tests - blind tests or not, with or without the delivery system.

Rightly so......I'm just saying.......the results are in on the units mentioned in the heading.

post #229 of 1968
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purk View Post
 
Currowong,
 
Do you have a wifi hard drive nearby?  The ZX-1 will stream hi-rez content from a wifi drive without resampling the data.  This feature makes the the limited storage space less of an issue.

 

I completely forgot about wireless streaming, that's a good point.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMinor View Post
 

@Currawong, are you able to do a blind test (with someone's help) to pick up your preferred dap unit? That would be interesting when you actually don't know what dap you are listening to. Ask whomever helps you to throw in a few ipods and iphones to the mix as well. You are allowed to ask for vol adjustment at your disposal. While vol matching may be important, I believe it is not absolutely needed to be able to pick up the quality sound.

 

If I am not mistaken you are meeting AnakChan in Tokyo, correct? You two have the perfect opportunity to do these blind tests.

 

It'd be interesting to do, if I had time, however, here's why I probably wont:

 

1. I recognise that the differences between the DAP's sound quality to be significantly noticeable in many cases requires both excellent headphones and IEMs and equally high-quality recordings. I'm pretty sure that which DAP I'd choose on how much I like the sound alone would depend on the headphones and music to a large degree, and very much on my mood.

2. I don't expect anything when listening and I'm very aware of when I expect to hear differences (and thus the points when to discard what I think I'm hearing). Expecting nothing, I found I like the sound from the Hifiman a lot, which is unlikely to be bias as I don't like the unit's design at all -- if anything I'm biased against it because of the ergonomics. The Sony, on the other hand, is functionally awesome and I want to use it...but the "brighter" sound annoys me. It did the first time I tried it and, even with the firmware update (which seems to have improved things) I couldn't sit and listen for any length of time without becoming a bit annoyed. This leads to ...

3. I sometimes find a quick A/B between things to be as unhelpful as helpful sometimes. Even when there's only a knob or button to press to switch instantly, the jolt upsets my impressions. I find it is better to listen for a long time, then switch and see if my feelings change. Doing this a few times (to remove the possibility of anything else having influenced my feelings) I find more helpful. I've often had changes which I thought would make absolutely no difference turn out to have had some kind of effect -- or at least I felt something had changed, even if I couldn't pinpoint it exactly. There is no way those changes would be apparent in a quick DBT or ABX where I am under pressure to pinpoint differences. So...

4. I've decided that many differences are simply below a threshold of actually being important in many cases, if not below the point I could say, knowing myself, I could reliably differentiate them. I am sure that if I set up some tests, with the same music and IEMs, it'd result in the same conclusion. That leads back to point 1....*

 

*The dither noise audibility threshold discussion posted yesterday and today in the discussion about high-res files in Sound Science is a good example of this IMO.

post #230 of 1968

My 2 cents fwiw. I chose the sony above the X5 and AK120. The X5 was an easy choice, mainly because of the UI , and to a lesser extent the size. I didn't listen to it extensively as I knew I'd be sending it back, but what I did hear didn't offend or impress me particularly. The AK120 was much more difficult to return. I think the UI is good enough not to affect my choice. I also prefer the looks of the AK to the sony-not so phone like, as well as the ergonomics, particularly the small size and great volume knob. The storage expandability is obviously a big plus. My high res and lossless collection now takes up a huge amount of space and the 128Gb limit is a real pain. I am also now the owner of 3 128Gb cards. I'm using one in my phone, but the other 2 will have to wait for my next expandable Dap. The AK also score big by having a non proprietary connecter.

If the low volume limit had also been an issue I would have definitely sent the sony back, but with the hack it isn't. In fact the sony goes much louder than the AK. The deciding factor for me was sq, at least for my taste. I like the AK120 sound a lot . To me it sounded dark, smooth and organic. While I agree that the sony can sound harsh at times-I don't like my AK 3003's with it, with my ie800's and UM merlins the sound is really what I want. I feel the bass is significantly deeper and more impactfull than the AK. I also hear a lot more micro detail. While I was happy with the AK sound, after hearing the sony it just sounded too laid back-lacking detail and energy.

The more I listen to the sony with the volume hack the more convinced I become that there is something more to it than simply volume. It sounds cleaner and deeper to me, as well as being more energetic which I know is not to everybody's taste. 

So even though the AK wins in so many ways and I do miss it, I think I made the right choice with the sony.

post #231 of 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

The X5: A class act considering the price. It really needs playlist support and it would be almost perfect with IEMs. Add an amp for more expensive full-sized headphones. The value king by far and lacks very little in enjoyment when listening.

 

Best things: Cheap, but quality design both with software and hardware. Excellent sound for the price.

Worse things: Doesn't drive full-sized headphones well. No playlist support.

 

Hi, Currawong -

 

You're not kidding! The X5 simply didn't sound good with my Shure SRH840. I was surprised, since the 840 should be easy to drive.

 

Best regards,

Brian

post #232 of 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcarr112281 View Post
 

 

Hi, Currawong -

 

You're not kidding! The X5 simply didn't sound good with my Shure SRH840. I was surprised, since the 840 should be easy to drive.

 

Best regards,

Brian


I'm hoping to find something that pairs well with UM Miracles - I wasn't blown away by the X5 and the J3 is getting long in the tooth...I'm under the impression that the ZX-1 wouldn't be a good choice since the Miracle isn't a warm-sounding iem. That Calyx might work, but man, it's got a big footprint. Geez, maybe an X3 would actually make sense...

post #233 of 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post


I'm hoping to find something that pairs well with UM Miracles - I wasn't blown away by the X5 and the J3 is getting long in the tooth...I'm under the impression that the ZX-1 wouldn't be a good choice since the Miracle isn't a warm-sounding iem. That Calyx might work, but man, it's got a big footprint. Geez, maybe an X3 would actually make sense...
AK240 = I listened for 4 hours last week and on the plane home in a few hours will do again. I am using a balanced cable from Ted's Headfood Lounge.
One word. Nirvana!

The Miracles do such a good job with isolation paired with the 240 and the SQ is close to if not as good as the Mentors, I'll probably sell the Mentors.
Edited by Saraguie - 5/7/14 at 10:45am
post #234 of 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post
 


I'm hoping to find something that pairs well with UM Miracles - I wasn't blown away by the X5 and the J3 is getting long in the tooth...I'm under the impression that the ZX-1 wouldn't be a good choice since the Miracle isn't a warm-sounding iem. That Calyx might work, but man, it's got a big footprint. Geez, maybe an X3 would actually make sense...

 

Hi, doublea71 -

 

Yes, the Calyx M is big, and the sound quality apparently isn't too good--especially for the price. I get the impression it won't be worth the money.

 

Have you considered the AK100 or 120?

 

Also, the Fiio X7 is on the horizon. I like James, and I want to believe the X7 will be better than the X5.

 

Best regards,

Brian

post #235 of 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saraguie View Post


AK240 = I listened for 4 hours last week and on the plane home in a few hours will do again. I am using a balanced cable from Ted's Headfood Lounge.
One word. Nirvana!


Too rich for my blood - maybe in 5 years when they're down to $1K on the FS forums...

post #236 of 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post
 

Too rich for my blood - maybe in 5 years when they're down to $1K on the FS forums...

 

Oh, my goodness--tell me about it! The AK240 is probably ideal for me: It's small, powerful, and apparently highly durable, all factors that would help mitigate the limitations of my dexterity. Yet I am on a fixed income, so there's absolutely no way I could justify the price. Often I'm lucky to have food on my table; to blow $2,500 on a toy would be unforgivably irresponsible.

post #237 of 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcarr112281 View Post
 

 

Oh, my goodness--tell me about it! The AK240 is probably ideal for me: It's small, powerful, and apparently highly durable, all factors that would help mitigate the limitations of my dexterity. Yet I am on a fixed income, so there's absolutely no way I could justify the price. Often I'm lucky to have food on my table; to blow $2,500 on a toy would be unforgivably irresponsible.

 

No offense intended but you shouldn't have picked up this hobby :normal_smile : 

post #238 of 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

No offense intended but you shouldn't have picked up this hobby :normal_smile : 

Ah, but even a pauper can enjoy good music, can't he? :dt880smile:

 

Besides, I find that that a dollop of discipline and a jot of judiciousness go a long way. Take my home stereo: It's not the world's best, but it's certainly better than any mass-market junk you're likely to find. :cool:

 

Kind regards,

Brian


Edited by bcarr112281 - 5/11/14 at 10:00pm
post #239 of 1968

I bought a voice recorder for work and it came with some Sony earbuds that must be dirt cheap and they actually sound quite good...I'm half-tempted to write a review of them - with good recordings (Steely Dan's Aja, for instance), they sound, well, good! Anyways, sorry for the OT. So far it's pretty clear that the AK240 is the current Holy Grail of the dap world - I hope to audition it someday, just to torture myself.

post #240 of 1968

Cross posted from the discovery thread:

 

 

Quote:
 

LOL, I just got my Geek Out 450 today.

 

This <$150 device is better than the HM901 and ZX1 by FAR. When I first turned it on, I thought I had the crossfeed on, but it wasn't. Ha! 

 

Because of the awesome soundstage, I'm hearing details fleshed out in ways I haven't before. Textures are popping out and smacking me in the face in ways I didn't think possible.

 

I used to LOL at people who spent megabucks on DACs, but if this is just a trickle down of their DaVinci...holy crap. No, holy s*** (excuse my french).

 

I've been pissed off at the length of the wait, and I've been planning to sell the Geek once I got it...but I had a change of mind within the first few minutes. 

 

I think I've permanently found my desktop setup, all in the housing the size of a matchbox.

 

LOL!

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
  • 👍DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, AK380, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, ZX-2, FiiO X5, X5II, Chord Hugo, Mojo, Calyx M, Aurender Flow, Lotoo PAW Gold, PAW 5000, Soundaware M1, L&P L3, Shozy Alien, Cozoy Rei
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › 👍DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, AK380, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, ZX-2, FiiO X5, X5II, Chord Hugo, Mojo, Calyx M, Aurender Flow, Lotoo PAW Gold, PAW 5000, Soundaware M1, L&P L3, Shozy Alien, Cozoy Rei