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DAP for 320kbps mp3s?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello!

Not too long ago I picked up a pair of V-moda M80 headphones. Since getting them I love how good my music sounds. However, after reading a bunch of information about the importance of a high quality source (and a high quality DAC chip) I have started to look at the FiiO X3 as a replacement for my US Galaxy S3. My question is this: I don't have any FLAC files and my music library primarily consists of 320kbps mp3s. If I am not listening to FLAC files would it make sense for me to buy the X3, or should I just be content with my S3 until I start making the move towards lossless? I would be using the device as a portable DAP as well as a USB DAC for my MacBook Pro.

 

Edit: Edited title to more accurately reflect contents of thread


Edited by Saaki - 6/17/14 at 8:41am
post #2 of 23

Sure you can! We have a science section where members debate no difference between 320kbps and FLAC, and there's a high possibility in a double blind test (highly popular in the science section) you'd never pick the two files apart anyway! So with that said you're good to go with MP3 files and X3. Then maybe you can add a couple of FLAC files as you please and see what you think, but by no means because you only use 320kbps should you not consider upgrading your DAP. 

post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saaki View Post
 

Hello!

Not too long ago I picked up a pair of V-moda M80 headphones. Since getting them I love how good my music sounds. However, after reading a bunch of information about the importance of a high quality source (and a high quality DAC chip) I have started to look at the FiiO X3 as a replacement for my US Galaxy S3. My question is this: I don't have any FLAC files and my music library primarily consists of 320kbps mp3s. If I am not listening to FLAC files would it make sense for me to buy the X3, or should I just be content with my S3 until I start making the move towards lossless? I would be using the device as a portable DAP as well as a USB DAC for my MacBook Pro.


Hi there,

 

can't say much about the X3 but I had the same "problem" a while ago when I was on the verge of deciding for the DX50. Since the performance seems to be very similar, I think my experience could still help.

Most of my files are 320kbps mp3's or even lower. Coming from an Cowon S9 I was really afraid that I would waste my money on a DX50 but that was absolutely not the case! I'm glad I went for it :)

All my Mp3's, no matter which bitrate, sound so much better. I couldn't even believe it was possible with Mp3's.

 

Since I got it I also ripped many of my CD's in FLAC and to be honest, I barely notice the difference and only use FLAC when I listen to whole albums.

 

So I would definitely say go for it even if you stick to mp3 :)

 

cheerz

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

Great! Thanks for the replies. I'm pretty set on getting one in the near future. Another question for all of you before I go out and buy. I don't particularly like the look of the X3's UI and buttons, I much prefer the look of the X5. However, I do like that it is pretty much an all-in-one device. I would mostly be using it as a DAP for my headphones and as a DAC for my computer. The alternative to buying the X3 would be to wait until the X1 (I can't afford X5) comes out, then buy that and plus another device (maybe an E17 or E07K) to use as a DAC with my computer. So here is the question: in all of your opinions, is the X3's UI (hardware and software) good enough that I should stop worrying about this and just buy it already, or should I wait and see what people say about the X1? Many thanks for you input.


Edited by Saaki - 6/16/14 at 2:31pm
post #5 of 23

Have you heard of iBasso DX50?

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 

I have heard of it, don't know too much about it. After your post read a few more reviews and its starting to look more and more interesting. I like that it uses a touch screen with android (which I am well versed with) and I like that it uses Galaxy S3 batteries, which I have many of. The thing that initially pushed me away from it was the bad reviews of the UI which is important to me. Have some of those issues been resolved with firmware updates? Also, would I be able to use it as a DAC for my MacBook Pro? I am open to having my mind changed and would love to hear your opinions. I guess its back to gadget researching!

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saaki View Post
 

I have heard of it, don't know too much about it. After your post read a few more reviews and its starting to look more and more interesting. I like that it uses a touch screen with android (which I am well versed with) and I like that it uses Galaxy S3 batteries, which I have many of. The thing that initially pushed me away from it was the bad reviews of the UI which is important to me. Have some of those issues been resolved with firmware updates? Also, would I be able to use it as a DAC for my MacBook Pro? I am open to having my mind changed and would love to hear your opinions. I guess its back to gadget researching!



When DX50 was first released it was rather unstable, even myself was upset with the unit, many months later on firmware 1.2.8 (the most recent at this time) it's now stable unit. So you're going to find dated reviews from last year that gave the player a hard time. Its safe to purchase now so rest assured. As for the DAC functionality apparently that is in the pipe works for a future update. 

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

Interesting... after looking at some more reviews its starting to look like the more attractive option of the two. Its also very nice that its future proofed with the exFAT microSD card format. How is the touch screen, pretty accurate? Any chance you have used both and can tell me to your side by side observations? I suppose the fact that you have a DX50 and not a X3 says it all.


Edited by Saaki - 6/16/14 at 10:02pm
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saaki View Post
 

Interesting... after looking at some more reviews its starting to look like the more attractive option of the two. Its also very nice that its future proofed with the exFAT microSD card format. How is the touch screen, pretty accurate? Any chance you have used both and can tell me to your side by side observations? I suppose the fact that you have an DX50 and not and X3 says it all.



I haven't heard X3, the reason for that is I'm not typically fond of FiiO's house sound which to my ears leans rather warm with their previous amps, I've heard FiiO X5.for 10 days, while it did lean closer to neutral I still prefer DX50 from line out with a decent amp, doesn't seem to strain as much in detail retrieval at lower volumes. For example, atm I'm running DX50 with a little amp made by Topping that only cost $40, it sounds great, though I tend to use another amp called Tralucent T1. Sure, the touch screen works well for me. 

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hmmmm... would I also need to get an external amp to run along with the DX50? If I do that's kind of a deal breaker unfortunately.

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saaki View Post
 

Hmmmm... would I also need to get an external amp to run along with the DX50? If I do that's kind of a deal breaker unfortunately.



No, you don't absolutely need one. Being on an audio forum you're amongst enthusiasts who like milking every last inch of sound quality, therefore we add amps. Many members find adding an external amp to DX50's line out allows them to flavour to the sound and gain improvements. 

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hahaha, yes of course! That makes sense. How does the DX50 do with bass heavy electronic music? I primarily listen to house, trance, techno and the like as well as have a lot of downtempo and ambient. Thanks a ton for all your help! In about a week I have a 14h flight down to your part of the globe (Straya ;-) ), and would really like to enjoy some quality music while I'm en route.

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saaki View Post

Hahaha, yes of course! That makes sense. How does the DX50 do with bass heavy electronic music? I primarily listen to house, trance, techno and the like as well as have a lot of downtempo and ambient. Thanks a ton for all your help! In about a week I have a 14h flight down to your part of the globe (Straya ;-) ), and would really like to enjoy some quality music while I'm en route.

DX50 measures practically flat as it's intended because you want to reproduce the true frequency curve of your headphones tuning. So it will be honest of the headphone you use. You want a good EDM thump find a bassy headphone or you could always tweak up the DX50 EQ
post #14 of 23
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saaki View Post
 

Hahaha, yes of course! That makes sense. How does the DX50 do with bass heavy electronic music? I primarily listen to house, trance, techno and the like as well as have a lot of downtempo and ambient. Thanks a ton for all your help! In about a week I have a 14h flight down to your part of the globe (Straya ;-) ), and would really like to enjoy some quality music while I'm en route.


Big advantage of the DX50 is also that you can Rockbox it (It's very simple to do so). With rockbox you have an awesome eq, better ui and seperate bass/treble adjustments.

I'm just using the bass/treble under rockbox and the bass presentation is incredible!

Also if you have a 14h flight, the DX50 has an exchangable battery (S3 battery actually) :)

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