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Music playing device / components

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone..  I am hoping to get some recommendations from the experts on what player device or components would be a good match for my new B&W P7s that I picked up recently.  I love these headphones as they are night and day better than anything I have heard before..  that isn't saying much, as I have never tried higher quality over the ear headphones, and they are an improvement on my Shure in ear "buds" which I also thoroughly enjoy..

 

I am curious, though, if it is worthwhile getting a new portable player offering better clarity to get even more enjoyment out of my music and the P7s.  I presently am using my Galaxy Note 3 to listen on my headphones, though I also have an ipod though I am not using it presently as my CD collection is copied onto my windows machine and not into itunes.

 

I read that the P7s won't respond significantly to an amp, but that their distortion levels would indicate a clearer input would make an appreciable improvement..  I do want to stay with a single device as much of my listening is while doing things or moving around, so I need something simple I can pop in my pocket.

 

Can anyone point me in a direction of something that will provide benefit?  Or am I likely not going to see a whole heck of a lot of difference if I get decent quality source music, and not spotify, on a memory card on the phone?  Any thoughts or advice is greatly appreciate as I am a complete novice at this higher quality sound thing.. ha.

post #2 of 14

What sort of budget are you aiming for and what genre of music do you listen to? 

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sorry.. both of those potentially helpful questions result in somewhat vague responses. Genre - pretty much everything. Budget is uncertain because i don't really have a frame of reference.. i guess around 300 and under? Thanks for any assistance despite my limited help in narrowing..
post #4 of 14

nah, it helps my friend :regular_smile :

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by witsbusa View Post

Sorry.. both of those potentially helpful questions result in somewhat vague responses. Genre - pretty much everything. Budget is uncertain because i don't really have a frame of reference.. i guess around 300 and under? Thanks for any assistance despite my limited help in narrowing..

And i noticed you are from the UK. My $300 is in U.S. dollars in the event you have any thoughts. Thanks again for the response.
post #6 of 14

Nah, I'm a relative noob, not familiar with the headphones or the Galaxy, I'm sure someone will be though :bigsmile_face:

post #7 of 14
I have the DX50. A bit better clarity, but definitely more powerful headphone amp than was in my Note 2 and now Nexus 6. If you feel like you are coming close to max volume on the amp in the Note 3, good chance you might get some benefits. Perhaps you might order an iBasso DX50 or Fiio X3 (comparable DAPs) and see if you like it?
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by witsbusa View Post

And i noticed you are from the UK. My $300 is in U.S. dollars in the event you have any thoughts. Thanks again for the response.

 

The new FiiO X3K should be available with in a week, guessing price will be around $200.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

OK, I am looking at the X3, X5, DX50, DX90 as independent DAP options and I think each would provide a significant improvement to my Note 3 player for my P7s..

 

As I was perusing reviews and discussions regarding DAPs, I became curious about another option..  As I do often use spotify at my home on wifi, I became curious about how the DAP option would compare to continuing to use my phone as the source, but supplementing it with an AMP, even something like the Asgard 2?  Is that going to provide a better result than if I go with, say, the X5 or DX90 alone for source and amp?  Are those DAPs head and shoulders above the phone as far as acting as source versus the phone? 

 

Is there a consensus as far as which would produce a better musical presentation - phone / amp versus standalone DAP - X5/DX90?

 

Any info is appreciated, as clearly I am just starting the process of learning about these components and what high quality options exist.  Thanks a lot for any thoughts!

 

Ben

post #10 of 14

Hi, just a little info on the x3. I use them hooked up to my pc  via the 3's built in Dac. This by passes your laptop/pc dac and offers a step on SQ imo. As a dap it out performs my HTC 8 hands down. 

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info..  updating my prior post regarding the asgard 2, I was just brainstorming out loud, and realize that is a desktop amp which must be plugged in..  since I'm looking for portable, that wasn't a proper example, so I guess any suggestions for portable fiio or whatever would be great, but still curious about the initial inquiry above re: stand-alone DAP versus note 3 / amp combo..

post #12 of 14
Depends on the phone and the DAP being compared. IMHO, first priority is having headphones you like. Second priority is having music files that are a reasonable quality. Third priority is having enough power to drive your chosen headphones appropriately. Fourth priority is having a DAC that outputs a clean signal to the amp. Fifth is everything else.

Where many new head-fiers fail is in not taking care of the first priority before deciding to worry about the fourth priority. The first priority is hard, and it can be expensive. So, they turn to the items that appear to be easier to upgrade - the amp and DAC. But, if you haven't taken care of #1 & #2, then you run the risk of just making bad sound louder by adding an amp, or hearing no real change at all by buying an expensive DAC or DAP to drive headphones that were already performing as well as you can expect.

Please note that I am NOT talking about your P7 headphones - I'm just speaking in generalities because you asked a general question. I have never heard the P7 and really don't know much about them. These are just my general thoughts on the topic of gear upgrades.

Just my 0.5 cents... smily_headphones1.gif
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Makes sense - thanks billybob.  Thinking about it some more, I think I have decided to go ahead with a DX90 for simplicity, and in the event I am using spotify from my phone as the music source, it seems that I can simply connect via micro-usb and use the DX90 as a DAC for those occasions if I feel the need, right?

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by witsbusa View Post

Makes sense - thanks billybob.  Thinking about it some more, I think I have decided to go ahead with a DX90 for simplicity, and in the event I am using spotify from my phone as the music source, it seems that I can simply connect via micro-usb and use the DX90 as a DAC for those occasions if I feel the need, right?

You better verify that. Not all phones work well with USB audio out, and not all USB dacs work well. If I am not mistaken, the DX90 requires that you load a drive into Windows to use it as a DAC, which means probably won't work with USB audio on a phone. But I don't know that for sure.
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