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Feature suggestions for X7 flagship DAP - Page 2

post #16 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
 

 

 

Also, I'll suggest a "no-argument" rule - individual states what (s)he'll like to have in a DAP and the others will respect his/her opinion as it is even when disagreed personally.

 

 

I appreciate the sentiment of your suggestion, and I understand your concern that we don't want this thread to risk becoming a public mud-slinging match but, on the other hand, I see no harm in debating something

 

From my thread-opening post:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

It is just meant as a starting point for discussion of possible features.

 

 


 

 

Interested to hear people's thoughts on the above proposals (including James!)

 

.


Edited by Mython - 4/24/14 at 4:05am
post #17 of 68
It was really great ide with selling empty X7 with possibility to mount mSata ssd
Fiio wouldnt need to care about ssd price in this case

This would be the state of the art what nobody has now



And one guy offered we dont.need to reinvent a bicycle and just use an ipod style
But added so many options to change that the only.thing would stay from ipod would be the itunes software

First think and then talk
I hate to be that as****** but i have to
post #18 of 68

Yes SD and MSATA especially is great but the manufacturer loses the opportunity to gouge the customer on flash. Look at Apple, they charge 300$ for 15$ worth of flash. That's profit. :)


Edited by eugenius - 4/30/14 at 7:39am
post #19 of 68

FiiO is not Apple :happy_face1:

 

I think we need @JamesFiiO here to tell us from the list what are the things he can really implement?

 

High capacity is a must I think we all agree. Balanced output is something a flagship product deserves. At least 8 hours battery life with standard 16 bit flac/wav playback.

 

What do you say James? You are probably the only dap manufacturer who comes here and talks with us to get things done correctly. Will you be able to bring a dap as we tried to explain in the first post of this thread?

post #20 of 68

I think a better differentiator than balanced is multibit DAC and replaceable internal ssd.

 

Hifiman tried it with the HM801 - that wasn't a good implementation at all. Do better. :)

post #21 of 68

Let's suppose for a second that the X7 really is going to look like the render on the far right in this screengrab:

 

 

Then it's going to be a pretty large device, with a pretty big screen.

 


 

  • Anyway, for a light-hearted (but real) suggestion, I vote for the FiiO logo being functional --- the Walkman logo on my F886 flashes whenever I toggle the volume up/down, or change tracks, play/pause. The X7 could do something similar.
  • Also, no shiny chrome textures, please. The shiny strip underneath the screen of the X3 annoyed me to no end whenever I took the X3 outdoors.
  • A matte metal finish is much more acceptable.
  • The smartphone recharge function first introduced in the E18 would be a nice feature to include as well.
  • As I mentioned in another thread related to the X7, an independent, power-saving "mid-fi" mode for extra-long play times would be an interesting feature.
  • Discrete transimpedance I/V conversion? Opamp-based is fine too.
  • No DC blocking caps?
  • Selectable digital low-pass filters, in conjunction with defeatable upsampling
  • Independent ultra-low phase-noise clocks for 44.1 and 48 kHz multiples, or at least a <1 ps jitter multi-clock generator running off a high-quality master XO
  • High-quality regulators, e.g. ADM7150, TPS7A47/33
  • IGZO OLED screen? Heh. Not really necessary.

 


Responses in Bolded Green:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post

 

  1. Multiple dynamic playlist creation ability (if this is too difficult/expensive to develop in-house, then it would be nice to allow use of 3rd-party software).
  2. 20mm maximum thickness I think that's reasonable. A more liberal interpretation could be 20mm sidewall thickness, excluding beveled surfaces and screen thickness? That might work too. Total absolute thickness would be around 23mm or so.
  3. 230 gram maximum weight (ideally 200gm max)
  4. 100mw minimum power output
  5. <1 ohm output impedance
  6. Must have hardware buttons for [REW] [Play/Pause] [FFW] [Vol - / Vol +] (all these buttons to be on one side of the DAP, so that squeezing the DAP to press a button cannot cause another button to be accidentally pressed at the same time). Sony NW-ZX1 is an excellent example of good button design.
  7. No slider-controls (e.g. Calyx-M volume control)
  8. No rotating controls (e.g. X5) I've always wondered if FiiO intended to implement a feature where they would daisy-chain two X5s and allow a user to do live DJ mixing via the line-out --- it'd at least make the crazy spinner wheel somewhat unique. (only a half-joke)
  9. Does not have to have a full touchscreen, as long as it has ergonomically-correct hardware buttons (like Sony NW-ZX1) Can you expand on this statement?
  10. Proper Gapless-play implementation in all modes
  11. No laggy interface, it should be as responsive as possible.
  12. Don't mind if DAC chip(s) Cirrus or Sabre or Ti, but request the flagship one and make it sound natural. Not dead flat, not extremely colored either. My inclination is that most of the "color" of a DAC comes from the I/V conversion stage and digital filters. The DAC chip itself might affect some timbre-related things, depending on DC offset, jitter rejection, oversampling settings, etc.
  13. DSD not necessary -- 24/192 playback is enough. (but some people will disagree with this) It isn't, but the market sort of dictates it. If FiiO wants to appeal to the home stereo crowd and to general "spec mongers", it will elect to support 32/384 and DSD64/128. This doesn't really matter much; it's not like 24/192 playback will be degraded somehow if they enable these features. Nearly all flagship-level DACs do 32-bit input and DSD via DoP over I2S.
  14. Line-Out
  15. Digital-Out (prefer Coax) If the X7 is TOTL-level D/A conversion, then why a S/PDIF output if the line output is so good already? Unless you want to chain it to a DAC that can do balanced XLR output? I've always been unsure why digital-out is absolutely necessary, especially for a portable solution. Implementing a digital-out would require soft-programming the digital receiver stage, and unless the jitter management is implemented correctly and carefully, you might gain both a degradation of SQ in the DAP and a jittery S/PDIF signal.
  16. Balanced HO and LO (so dual dac likely). Ideally RSA type or (preferably) Hirose type connector rather than 3.5 or 2.5 TRRS.
  17. Minimum 8hrs Rebook .flac playback duration (preferably 12 hrs or more)
  18. 2 fullsize SD preferred,     or   (less good):   1 fullsize SD+ 1 MicroSD         (but not 2 MicroSD)
  19. I realise there are size and power requirements which might be problematic, but I would nonetheless like to open the topic of mSATA drives for discussion. These are not cheap, but they are competitive with fullsize SD cards, and, if one is willing to pay extra, they can currently reach 1TB capacity (http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/uk/html/about/SSD840EVOmSATA.html). I'm not proposing that the X7 actually be sold with an mSATA drive, but that (maybe) it could have the option for users to buy an X7 empty and then fit an mSATA drive of their choice. http://www.dabs.com/search?q=msata     I'm not pushing this issue, I'm just interested in discussing it, as it could potentially be a killer feature for a groundbreaking flagship DAP (remember the X7 won't hit the market until 18-24 months from now, so mSATA 1tb drives will be cheaper by then). FYI, mSATA dimensions are 55 x 30 x 4.85 mm. That might sound relatively big, but it really isn't much larger than 2 x SD slots. Why not just have the OTG HDD option, like they're doing with the X5's FW2.0 firmware?


Edited by tomscy2000 - 4/30/14 at 11:11am
post #22 of 68

I may sound noob, but isn't the ability to play music through spotify/mog etc. services would be a good feature too?


Edited by ankurjhunjhunwala - 4/30/14 at 10:38am
post #23 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankurjhunjhunwala View Post
 

I may sound noob, but isn't the ability to play music through spotify/mog etc. services would be a good feature too?

 

It's a luxury, but it would add unnecessary bulk to the core purpose of an audiophile DAP. You can discover new music through spotify etc. on a smartphone/phablet/tablet/ultrabook/notebook/desktop PC, then buy the music in hi-res, then transfer it to the memory of an X7 to play it.

 

The AK240 includes Wi-Fi, but A&D removed Wi-Fi from their Calyx-M DAP, to make room for another memory card slot (and a few other changes) and I personally feel that was a wise decision.

post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

It's a luxury, but it would add unnecessary bulk to the core purpose of an audiophile DAP. You can discover new music through spotify etc. on a smartphone/phablet/tablet/ultrabook/notebook/desktop PC, then buy the music in hi-res, then transfer it to the memory of an X7 to play it.

 

The AK240 includes Wi-Fi, but A&D removed Wi-Fi from their Calyx-M DAP, to make room for another memory card slot (and a few other changes) and I personally feel that was a wise decision.

Thank you! That explanation cleared many doubts..

A good listening experience does need some effort to be achieved!

post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

It's a luxury, but it would add unnecessary bulk to the core purpose of an audiophile DAP. You can discover new music through spotify etc. on a smartphone/phablet/tablet/ultrabook/notebook/desktop PC, then buy the music in hi-res, then transfer it to the memory of an X7 to play it.

 

The AK240 includes Wi-Fi, but A&D removed Wi-Fi from their Calyx-M DAP, to make room for another memory card slot (and a few other changes) and I personally feel that was a wise decision.


I second that completely.

post #26 of 68
Thread Starter 
My responses (Mython) posted in PURPLE
 
 
 
Quote:

 

 

Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

Responses in Bolded Green:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post

 

 

  • 20mm maximum thickness I think that's reasonable. A more liberal interpretation could be 20mm sidewall thickness, excluding beveled surfaces and screen thickness? That might work too. Total absolute thickness would be around 23mm or so    I would still prefer 20 max, on the basis of my difficulty trying to walk with a DX100 (27.5mm) in my jeans pocket - one has to actually try this to realise how impractical it is. I appreciate that it's not easy to engineer a high-performance DAP at 20mm or less, but the Calyx-M (14.8mm) proves it can be done (although one would hope the X7 would offer more power output than the 90mw quoted for the Calyx-M)

 

 

  • Does not have to have a full touchscreen, as long as it has ergonomically-correct hardware buttons (like Sony NW-ZX1) Can you expand on this statement? NW-ZX1 is a masterclass in button ergonomics, because, unlike many competitors, they have had the good sense to:
    • Keep the buttons slightly proud, so they can be easily located by touch, in one's pocket
    • Make the volume buttons a different size to the control buttons, so they can be easily differentiated, by touch, in one's pocket.
    • All buttons placed on one side of the DAP, so squeezing the DAP in order to press a desired button does not result in unintentionally simultaneously pressing a button on the lefthand side/edge of the DAP.
    • Only slip-up of the NW-ZX1 buttons (which, curiously, was avoided on the NWZ-F887) is the inclusion of the power button alongside the volume and control buttons. The power button should have been located on the top edge of the DAP (as per the NWZ-F887), so it cannot be accidentally misidentified by touch.
    • No silly slider controls (a la Calyx-M)
    • No rotating controls (a la X5) which may, perhaps, yield reliability issues.

 

  • Don't mind if DAC chip(s) Cirrus or Sabre or Ti, but request the flagship one and make it sound natural. Not dead flat, not extremely colored either. My inclination is that most of the "color" of a DAC comes from the I/V conversion stage and digital filters. The DAC chip itself might affect some timbre-related things, depending on DC offset, jitter rejection, oversampling settings, etc. Was only speaking broadly, and I bow to your greater knowledge on the finer technical aspects of DAC choice.

 

  • DSD not necessary -- 24/192 playback is enough. (but some people will disagree with this) It isn't, but the market sort of dictates it. If FiiO wants to appeal to the home stereo crowd and to general "spec mongers", it will elect to support 32/384 and DSD64/128. This doesn't really matter much; it's not like 24/192 playback will be degraded somehow if they enable these features. Nearly all flagship-level DACs do 32-bit input and DSD via DoP over I2S. Yeah, I'm fine with it - my remark was only in the sense of not wanting Fiio to reject a particularly good DAC chip if, by chance, it should happen to not support DSD. Admittedly, that's rather unlikely in the current DAC chip marketplace.

 

 

  • Digital-Out (prefer Coax) If the X7 is TOTL-level D/A conversion, then why a S/PDIF output if the line output is so good already? Unless you want to chain it to a DAC that can do balanced XLR output? I've always been unsure why digital-out is absolutely necessary, especially for a portable solution. Implementing a digital-out would require soft-programming the digital receiver stage, and unless the jitter management is implemented correctly and carefully, you might gain both a degradation of SQ in the DAP and a jittery S/PDIF signal. Again, I bow to your greater technical knowledge on this issue, but my wish for a D-O is from the point of view that I would be hesitant to purchase a TOTL device (no matter how decent the internal DAC implementation) if it was insular and prevented me from having the flexibility of connecting it to a home DAC/DAC-Amp, should I wish to, either in the present, or at some point in the future. Even extremely high-end fullsize hi-fi CD players invariably incorporate a co-ax D-O, in spite of their excellent internal DAC circuitry.    I still strongly believe D&A will live to regret their decision to omit D-O functionality from the Calyx-M DAP, in spite of them being so self-congratulatory of their implementation of the 1 x ES9018K2M DAC chip. I don't doubt that it will sound very decent, but I would still like to be able to listen to a playlist on my content-stuffed DAP, and arrive home with the ability to immediately hook it into a fullsize hi-fi DAC for loudspeaker listening, or a Chord Hugo for listening with cans. Not essential, then, but, IMHO, a legitimate request for the flexibility it offers. Even the humble iPod, X5 (and DX90) offer D-O, as does the NW-ZX1, DX100, etc.  So it's a common feature not requiring excessive levels of R&D.

 

 

  • I realise there are size and power requirements which might be problematic, but I would nonetheless like to open the topic of mSATA drives for discussion. These are not cheap, but they are competitive with fullsize SD cards, and, if one is willing to pay extra, they can currently reach 1TB capacity (http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/uk/html/about/SSD840EVOmSATA.html). I'm not proposing that the X7 actually be sold with an mSATA drive, but that (maybe) it could have the option for users to buy an X7 empty and then fit an mSATA drive of their choice. http://www.dabs.com/search?q=msata     I'm not pushing this issue, I'm just interested in discussing it, as it could potentially be a killer feature for a groundbreaking flagship DAP (remember the X7 won't hit the market until 18-24 months from now, so mSATA 1tb drives will be cheaper by then). FYI, mSATA dimensions are 55 x 30 x 4.85 mm. That might sound relatively big, but it really isn't much larger than 2 x SD slots. Why not just have the OTG HDD option, like they're doing with the X5's FW2.0 firmware? Why not just have an mSATA slot? :tongue_smile:

 

 

 

 

                                                                                     :beerchug:

 

 

 

 

 

.


Edited by Mython - 4/30/14 at 4:59pm
post #27 of 68

That was very nice mate. I think you and I share all the points.

 

We are still not clear whether James is considering those things or not.

 

I would imagine he could make a legendary product with open mSATA slot. That would be the capacity we have been waiting soooo long. For the rest, I think FiiO is really capable to make a good dap, X3 and especially X5 both showed us they can be very successful. I think at this point it is up to James. Will he just play safe and do things that has been done already many times (any other in the market) or invent new things and not follow other peoples ways.

 

Every dap in the market has some advantages and disadvantages. We want something that has little to none disadvantage, so it can be the real product we have been waiting for.

post #28 of 68
Responses in Golden Rod:ph34r::
Originally Posted by Mython View Post

 

Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

 

I would still prefer 20 max, on the basis of my difficulty trying to walk with a DX100 (27.5mm) in my jeans pocket - one has to actually try this to realise how impractical it is. I appreciate that it's not easy to engineer a high-performance DAP at 20mm or less, but the Calyx-M (14.8mm) proves it can be done (although one would hope the X7 would offer more power output than the 90mw quoted for the Calyx-M)

 

Well, if I had it my way, I'd want the DAP to be 12 mm or thinner. I'm just giving them the freedom to put in bigger components, which are in fact important for certain parts of the output stage, such as the analog low-pass filter. Do I think it's absolutely necessary? No. DAPs should be as portable as possible, in my book. People who want desktop components with desktop power in a DAP can perhaps petition FiiO to create a "head-fi meet machine" --- basically a desktop rig shrunken into the size of three Galaxy Note 3 phablets stacked together, with a 10,000 mAh battery strapped to it. I'd hardly slap the label "portable" on it, though.

 

  • NW-ZX1 is a masterclass in button ergonomics, because, unlike many competitors, they have had the good sense to:
    • Keep the buttons slightly proud, so they can be easily located by touch, in one's pocket
    • Make the volume buttons a different size to the control buttons, so they can be easily differentiated, by touch, in one's pocket.
    • All buttons placed on one side of the DAP, so squeezing the DAP in order to press a desired button does not result in unintentionally simultaneously pressing a button on the lefthand side/edge of the DAP.
    • Only slip-up of the NW-ZX1 buttons (which, curiously, was avoided on the NWZ-F887) is the inclusion of the power button alongside the volume and control buttons. The power button should have been located on the top edge of the DAP (as per the NWZ-F887), so it cannot be accidentally misidentified by touch.
    • No silly slider controls (a la Calyx-M)
    • No rotating controls (a la X5) which may, perhaps, yield reliability issues.

 

Without having to machine/mold different sizes, they could do something such as bevel-up for the volume up button, and bevel-down for the volume down button --- something like that.

 

  • Yeah, I'm fine with it - my remark was only in the sense of not wanting Fiio to reject a particularly good DAC chip if, by chance, it should happen to not support DSD. Admittedly, that's rather unlikely in the current DAC chip marketplace.

 

R2R DACs would be great for 16/44.1 PCM, and don't support DSD. However, the good ones are an endangered species, e.g. PCM1704UK, and thus very expensive and difficult to implement properly without superlative engineering. I doubt FiiO would go for a resistive ladder DAC and would rather stick with a modern multi-bit delta-sigma DAC because they're easier to volume source. Basically all of the flagship-level modern DAC chips from any of the major manufacturers support 32-bit input and DSD.

 

  • Again, I bow to your greater technical knowledge on this issue, but my wish for a D-O is from the point of view that I would be hesitant to purchase a TOTL device (no matter how decent the internal DAC implementation) if it was insular and prevented me from having the flexibility of connecting it to a home DAC/DAC-Amp, should I wish to, either in the present, or at some point in the future. Even extremely high-end full-size hi-fi CD players invariably incorporate a co-ax D-O, in spite of their excellent internal DAC circuitry. I still strongly believe D&A will live to regret their decision to omit D-O functionality from the Calyx-M DAP, in spite of them being so self-congratulatory of their implementation of the 1 x ES9018K2M DAC chip. I don't doubt that it will sound very decent, but I would still like to be able to listen to a playlist on my content-stuffed DAP, and arrive home with the ability to immediately hook it into a fullsize hi-fi DAC for loudspeaker listening, or a Chord Hugo for listening with cans. Not essential, then, but, IMHO, a legitimate request for the flexibility it offers. Even the humble iPod, X5 (and DX90) offer D-O, as does the NW-ZX1, DX100, etc.  So it's a common feature not requiring excessive levels of R&D.

 

I guess this is where we differ in opinion. A portable DAP should be a portable device, right? Giving it a digital output would turn it into a "sometimes non-portable" device. The wave of the future for portables is streaming digital, and I feel this is where the focus of development should be. The protocols and infrastructure are not in place yet, however.

 

  • Why not just have an mSATA slot? :tongue_smile: 

 

It should be fine if they can figure out how it can be easily accessible with a battery and everything. There's a certain sense of security and ease-of-use to hot-swapping SD cards over removing doors and hidden panels to get to an exposed mSATA board. People who are used to tinkering with computers and notebooks would feel right at home, but the average consumer isn't a techie --- even the average audiophile (though, from an overgeneralization of the head-fi caucus, it seems that the likelihood is higher).

post #29 of 68

DSD is useless in general and doubly useless without an MSATA slot.

post #30 of 68
Dual TOTL dac chip with native dsd playback. Use xmos/amanero/via vt1736 usb controller for 32 bit and DXD support
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