5 DAPs to choose from. Opinions needed.
May 3, 2018 at 10:16 AM Post #16 of 28

mesmerized

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Thank you, EagleWings

If I'm going to use Sony WH-1000xm2 (i.e. noise cancelling headphones), should I even consider ZX300? I suppose those cans won't be able to benefit from the balanced output because they only come with a regular jack. Am I right?

Also, in one of the previous posts you mentioned that if I were to buy IEMs in the future, Sony WM1A would be the best choice. Does it mean that ZX300 with IEMs wouldn't be a good combo?

Thanks again!

EDIT: How about Sony NWZ-ZX1? Would that be a good choice? I could get one second-hand.
 
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May 3, 2018 at 12:29 PM Post #17 of 28

EagleWings

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You are welcome. It really depends. Are you going to be using it in wireless or wired mode? If you are going to be using in wireless mode only, no need for the ZX300 as you can get the cheaper A45 and get the same result. But if you will be using it wired, then ZX300 would definitely sound better than the A45, even on Single Ended.

People I know have tested both ZX300 and the 1A and have confirmed that the 1A is the better sounding device, if you were to use IEMs. Also the reason I suggested the 1A was, some people are selling their 1A for a very good price. You could pick up a used one for around $750. So if you are going to spend $600 on the ZX300, it may be wise to go with the 1A. Unless you are getting a good deal on the ZX300, in which case, it would make more sense to go with that.

I hear the ZX1 has a slow and buggy UI. And its a very old model. I am sure ZX300 has a better sound than the ZX1 when using IEMs.
 
May 4, 2018 at 8:10 PM Post #18 of 28

mesmerized

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Thank you once again, EagleWings.

1) Wouldn't AK70mk2 be a better choice at the price point of WM1A? I'm currently based in Asia and I don't see many of those players second-hand.

2) I'm wondering if ZX300 is going to be replaced by a new model soon. I've read somewhere that Sony's got a new model in the works.

3) As for IEMs - I'd like to get those somewhere sometime down the road, but I wouldn't even know what model/brand I should go for. I've checked Michelle Limited and that's pretty much it.
 
May 4, 2018 at 10:39 PM Post #19 of 28

EagleWings

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You are welcome bud.

The reason I suggested the 1A was that, you could use it for your IEMs as well as take advantage of the LDAC for your bluetooth headphone. With AK70II, you would get good sound quality on your IEMs, but it doesn't have LDAC. Once you get the IEM, if you know you will not use your bluetooth headphone much, then it would make sense to go with the Ak70II.

ZX300 was released very recently and is probably not going to be replaced soon enough. What is being replaced is the wm1A and possibly a new flagship that is way too expensive. Yea expensive than the wm1Z is what the rumours say.

What's your budget for the IEM? There are plenty of IEMs these days that sound amazing. I have not tried the Michelle. Gone are the days when JH Audio IEMs were the only best IEMs. The IEM game has changed. There are tons of options to choose from these days. But if you have tried the Michelle and liked it, then that would be best route to take.
 
May 5, 2018 at 2:51 AM Post #20 of 28

gazzington

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Zx300 is def my favourite at the moment but I’m also really enjoying an iPod touch 6 with fiio q5. Sounds really nice.
 
May 5, 2018 at 11:08 AM Post #21 of 28

mesmerized

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Hello again!

I've just arrived in Japan and for some strange reason all ZX300's I've checked here in Sapporo so far only come with Japanese menu. I'll keep looking. They sell A45 with English menu but... the version that comes with 16GB only!

Now, interestingly enough... I've come across the Pioneer XDP300R and... it's really quite inexpensive here! About 350USD. I've seen those in Singapore for much more. Haven't been to Europe for a while, so I don't know the prices there, let alone the US. Onkyo X-DP1 is slighty more expensive but both of them are cheaper than the ZX300 (the Japanese menu only version) Of course, XDP300R doesn't support LDAC but I was thinking... perhaps I could just use Sony 1000xm2 or Hear On2 with a wire?

EDIT: As far as IEM's go... I wouldn't want to spend more than 200-300USD, unless something exceptionally well-sounding required a few extra bucks.
 
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May 5, 2018 at 11:43 AM Post #23 of 28

EagleWings

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Hi, I am sorry as I am not familiar with the XDP300R. But I have tried the DP-X1 and have heard very good things about the X1A. But yes, if you plan on using it with the cable, then you could very well go for one of these players.
 
May 5, 2018 at 11:26 PM Post #24 of 28

mesmerized

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Thanks to both of you!
I think it’d be too risky to buy zx300 and then try to change the software. I’ll do some research, but I think that getting Onkyo or Pioneer might be my best bet. That being said, I’m kinda tempted to go for the cheap solution, i.e. A45. (for starters)

Any recommendations for IEMs?
 
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May 6, 2018 at 4:10 PM Post #25 of 28

EagleWings

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As for IEMs, it really depends on what kind of sound you like. Also Japan is a great place to demo a lot of IEMs. Always better to get an IEM that you have personally tested and liked than the recommendations from others.
 
May 6, 2018 at 9:19 PM Post #26 of 28

mesmerized

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I listen to a lot of blues/swingy jazzy tunes/classic rock/some classical music.

Final question: would you go for the cheap Sony a45 or... pay twice as much (still, reasonably inexpensive) and get a Pioneer with a twin DAC?
 
May 9, 2018 at 11:58 AM Post #27 of 28

EagleWings

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You could look into Massdrop Plus, Etymotic ER4XR and ER4SR

If you are going with IEMs, I'd probably NOT get the A45. Don't be swayed by twin DACs marketing gimmicks. Its all about implementation. Plenty of DAPs out there that use a single DAC chip that perform better than DAPs with dual DACs. So what you should look for is the SQ of the headphone output regardless of what is inside. If you have read very good reports about Pioneer's SQ, then that is what should matter.
 
May 9, 2018 at 12:38 PM Post #28 of 28

mesmerized

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Hello again and thanks again!

Today in the evening (Japan time) I pulled the trigger on the Pioneer. I don't know if it was the right decision but in all honesty, I didn't hear much (if any) difference between the Onkyo DP-X1A and my Pioneer. The Onkyo was about 12.000 yen more, so I figured the Pioneer will be just fine. What's more I saved some money because of the tax deduction (8%) and another 5% due to the card payment.

As for the IEM's... I got Chord & Major 8'13. I was having a hard time deciding between FiiO F9 PRO and those... both within the same price range. I hope they will be good enough for starters. The FiiO's had great sound isolation but Ch&M had a bit more "space" (IMHO) and a certain silkiness in rock songs whereas the FiiO's seemed more like a multi-purpose earphones. I really couldn't decide, so I went for the slightly cheaper Ch&M. I might go back to FiiO's at some point.

Do I have doubts and am I second-guessing myself? Yes. I'm still thinking about that ZX300 and noise-cancelling Sony headphones... but we can't have it all, can we?

P.S. It's a shame that I read your post after I made the purchase because I must admit that this whole "twin DAC" thing was one of the reasons why I talked myself out of Sony ZX300.
 

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