Are DAP's outdated?
Jun 25, 2015 at 12:45 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

audiowatts

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It’s mid 2015 and they seem to be getting somewhat popular (here on Head-Fi anyway) I’m not sure about the general market population since the advent of the “smartphone".
 
I tried some out and they sound real good, but then realized something was missing. Something like the more modern UI, look, feel and touch I have been so used to on my all in one device. Then I realized how good the sound quality was on the internal DAC of the iPhone 6 and came to the conclusion “Do I really need these other DAP’s?”
 
Someone pointed out in another thread that stand alone DAP’s are a nice escape away from social media alerts, texts, emails and especially calls and at first I felt that way too.
 
But let’s be honest, if your phone rings and you’re listening to music will you answer it? Maybe or maybe not. But if you ignore it, it’s one swipe on the same device. If you choose to answer while using a stand alone device you have to pause the song, take your headphones off and grab your landline or cell anyway.
 
So I guess it’s a matter of choice and once again all subjective. Besides for those hours where music is all that matters I welcome AIRPLANE MODE!
 
After giving stand alone DAP’s a shot I decided to welcome mid 2015 and the rest of future technologies to come.
 
What about you?
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 1:16 PM Post #2 of 19

h1f1add1cted

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Sure for the most people this is a good deal. They will be happy with a great audiophile smartphone paired with a good IEM, but this is not enough for all music lovers.
 
My current solution is, I own three devices - first a modded iBasso DX50 as real DAP and works additional as a source to feed my strong dacs & amps for real headphones which needs more power, or as stand alone for IEMs only, than I have a modded Samsung S4 (works only as a player no SIM card, always air plane mode) paired with a USB dac/amp for streaming (WiFi and Bluetooth) and other stuff, what my iBasso can't provide. And last but not least a real smartphone is my Sony Z1 compact which is damn small and always present and available.
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 1:25 PM Post #3 of 19

audiowatts

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  Sure for the most people this is a good deal. They will be happy with a great audiophile smartphone paired with a good IEM, but this is not enough for all music lovers.
 
My current solution is, I own three devices - first a modded iBasso DX50 as real DAP and works additional as a source to feed my strong dacs & amps for real headphones which needs more power, or as stand alone for IEMs only, than I have a modded Samsung S4 (works only as a player no SIM card, always air plane mode) paired with a USB dac/amp for streaming (WiFi and Bluetooth) and other stuff, what my iBasso can't provide. And last but not least a real smartphone is my Sony Z1 compact which is damn small and always present and available.


Makes for an interesting discussion for sure.
 
Besides portable DAP's, I've often wondered what some people are using on their home Hi-Fi systems these days for storing music locally.
 
Computer based? I wonder if more people are just headed towards streaming. I still want to have my collection stored locally. No net? NO MUSIC!
mad.gif
 
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 1:30 PM Post #4 of 19

H20Fidelity

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My outlook is my smartphone(s) (Galaxy S3, S4, original Note and Note 2) are all media workhorses or 'droid slaves' as I call them. They're used so heavily for social media and internet I've never really bothered playing music with them. One reason for this is battery drain. I'm really in the mindset of using dedicated music players, even sacrificing UI for sound. Of the smartphones mentioned above I've never played music through them.
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 1:40 PM Post #5 of 19

audiowatts

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My outlook is my smartphone(s) (Galaxy S3, S4, original Note and Note 2) are all media workhorses or 'droid slaves' as I call them. They're used so heavily for social media and internet I've never really bothered playing music with them. One reason for this is battery drain. I'm really in the mindset of using dedicated music players, even sacrificing UI for sound. Of the smartphones mentioned above I've never played music through them.


I like the UI of the iPhone probably because I simply got familiar with it. But I've always said, like many others I was never happy with the battery life once it's being used for many purposes. But one thing is when charged at 100% and just listening to music whether through headphones or even bluetooth, battery life is pretty good for music and music alone on the iPhone IMHO.
 
But I'll say it again, sound quality is so good with nice portable cans that I just can't bring myself to carry another device around any longer.
 
That along with 128GB of space for carrying a large collection is a true convenience we now have offered to us.
 
Exciting times now and ahead to be a music lover!
gs1000.gif
 
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 1:47 PM Post #6 of 19

H20Fidelity

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I like the UI of the iPhone probably because I simply got familiar with it. But I've always said, like many others I was never happy with the battery life once it's being used for many purposes. But one thing is when charged at 100% and just listening to music whether through headphones or even bluetooth, battery life is pretty good for music and music alone on the iPhone IMHO.

But I'll say it again, sound quality is so good with nice portable cans that I just can't bring myself to carry another device around any longer.

That along with 128GB of space for carrying a large collection is a true convenience we now have offered to us.

Exciting times now and ahead to be a music lover! :gs1000smile:  


I think another thing is, I've become accustom to having dedicated DAP's around since my audio hobby spiralled out of control. They're always close and a big reason I've not bothered trying my smartphones. I will add being active on the forums I'm seeing an increase in smartphone (as dedicated DAP) threads. Some swear by the Note 4, or iPhone 4S.

Your chosen path is definitely happening.
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 1:50 PM Post #7 of 19

ngs428

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Makes for an interesting discussion for sure.

Besides portable DAP's, I've often wondered what some people are using on their home Hi-Fi systems these days for storing music locally.

Computer based? I wonder if more people are just headed towards streaming. I still want to have my collection stored locally. No net? NO MUSIC! :mad:  


Home system: plex media server, network wired to a roku 3. Access to the entire media library. No streaming there.

I do sometimes use Amazon music or pandora to stream.
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 1:55 PM Post #8 of 19

audiowatts

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I think another thing is, I've become accustom too having dedicated DAP's around since my audio hobby spiralled out of control. They're always close and a big reason I've never bothered trying my smartphones. I will add being active on the forums I'm seeing an increase in smartphone (as dedicated DAP) threads, some swear by the Note 4, or iPhone 4S.

Your chosen path is definitely happening.


You're right my friend. Using the forum can have major influence on those buying decisions which is why they warn you about your wallet! lol
 
But I just read a post in the A&K Jr thread where a known YouTube reviewer mentioned that he could listen to music without checking his FB or email while relaxing to music.
 
You can do that using Airplane Mode on an iPhone with great quality and similar OFF functions on other phones as well and save $500!!!
 
My guess is he likely got the unit for free and could care less as long as he helps the company $ell!
evil_smiley.gif

 
Jun 25, 2015 at 2:04 PM Post #9 of 19

H20Fidelity

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It's true.

If you read enough on Head-fi you'll develop (unwillingly) a mindset smartphones were never designed for high fidelity music playback, especially years ago. It's pumped into your brain you must and should own a dedicated DAP or you're not extracting the headphones full potential. Then bring in the (sometimes) awful measurements, crooked output impedance issues, lack of output power the general reader writes these devices off as garbage.

But! I think that's what changing. With the ever increasing headphone choices now available there's demand for better sound, the phone companies are delivering, therefore why such threads are surfacing on Head-fi.

I'll still be sticking with DX90 for example, for now personally.
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 2:05 PM Post #10 of 19

audiowatts

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It's true.

If you read enough on Head-fi you'll develop (unwillingly) a mindset smartphones were never designed for high fidelity music playback, especially years ago. It's pumped into your brain you must and should own a dedicated DAP or you're not extracting the headphones full potential. Then bring in the (sometimes) awful measurements, crooked output impedance issues, lack of output power the general reader writes these devices off as garbage.

But! I think that's what changing. With the ever increasing headphone choices now available there's demand for better sound, the phone companies are delivering, therefore why such threads are surfacing on Head-fi.

I'll still be sticking with DX90 for example, for now personally.


Great post!
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 2:45 PM Post #11 of 19

Ike1985

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I think another thing is, I've become accustom to having dedicated DAP's around since my audio hobby spiralled out of control. They're always close and a big reason I've not bothered trying my smartphones. I will add being active on the forums I'm seeing an increase in smartphone (as dedicated DAP) threads. Some swear by the Note 4, or iPhone 4S.

Your chosen path is definitely happening.

 
Im getting the ZX2, it'll be the first and last dap I ever buy until it breaks.  There is no need to ever go higher than the SQ it provides, doubtful even the most golden ears could tell a difference between it and daps costing 2-3 times as much.
 
Also agree that the market for phones with excellent sound quality will increase.  I do not believe the market for daps will die, it doesn't have to be a one winner scenario, both will coexist.  There will always be people who want a dedicated device and others who do not want to lug around another device.  Both will exist.
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 3:25 PM Post #12 of 19

h1f1add1cted

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Makes for an interesting discussion for sure.
 
Besides portable DAP's, I've often wondered what some people are using on their home Hi-Fi systems these days for storing music locally.
 
Computer based? I wonder if more people are just headed towards streaming. I still want to have my collection stored locally. No net? NO MUSIC!
mad.gif
 

 
I use my own build x86 hardware DIY Daphile music box for home HiFi: http://www.head-fi.org/t/690364/daphile-a-new-thread-title-appears#post_11628456 amazing setup which fits all my needs.
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 3:42 PM Post #13 of 19

mosshorn

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I debated this over the past couple weeks. Would I be happier with another DAP, or a DAC/Amp that i could attach to my phone? My conclusion was a DAP. Why?
 
 
1) I won't be wearing down my battery by streaming all the time
2) If I don't want to stream, I have a SIGNIFICANT amount more storage for music.
3) most DAPs now can be used as DAC/Amps for your computer and in some cases, your phone. 
4) I personally enjoy leaving my phone away from me at times. I get distracted from the music. 
5) If I need true portability, I'll use my phone regardless. The S6 doesn't sound terrible at all with Viper4Android, and I keep a streaming subscription for those random urges to listen to an album.
 
If I got the 128GB S6 instead of mobile insurance giving me the 32GB, I would probably be here today with a different response.
 
Jun 27, 2015 at 10:15 AM Post #15 of 19

audiowatts

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  Cameras and cellphones coexist also. I like things devoted to specific tasks, rather than a Swiss army knife type of product when it comes to music.


This is an excellent point and so true. It almost reminds me of having both vinyl albums and digital files. They can both have their place, space and purpose. I digress!
 

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