Best DAP For 150-300 CAD?
May 8, 2015 at 1:00 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

NSJB

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I currently have a set of 1964 Ears V3's being built and I am looking to upgrade my audio player for them, as my current mobile setup is just my Nexus 5 with a Fiio E07K.
 
While I enjoy the sound through my E07K, it's a bit unwieldy to carry around with me.  Because I am graduating high school this year portability will be a must as I will be taking a large amount of public transportation to and from university.
 
This is my first post so I will try my best to describe the sound I'm looking for.
 
I am looking for a DAP that would be well suited for Jazz (Herbie Hancock), Funk (Sly & the Family Stone, Vulfpeck), Avant-garde (Mr. Bungle, Diablo Swing Orchestra) and Old School 80-90s Hip Hop (Beastie Boys, Native Tongues, The Pharcyde).
 
I would prefer a neutral-ish transparent sound signature with smooth, airy treble, tight, weighty, articulate bass and a decent sound stage.
 
While I would like to have all that in the sound I realize I am going to have to compromise somewhere at my price range, what would be the ideal DAP in my price range to come as close as possible to my sound preference? I am currently looking at the Fiio X3II.
 
I'd appreciate any help and expertise the Head-fi community could offer.
 
Thanks, NSJB
 
May 8, 2015 at 1:40 PM Post #2 of 6

DrKC

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I don't know what the exchange rate is, but I would recommend the Fiio X5.  It's $350 US.  It has dual SD card slots, so it can hold 256GB of music.  I have it , the Fiio X3 (first gen), and the iBasso DX90.  I think it will cover most of what you're looking for.  This, of course, is my opinion - others may disagree.  It has a lot to like about it despite some who say the interface is clunky.  At least it's not the futzy touchscreen on the DX90.  It drives me nuts.  The player itself is fine - just getting to your tunes is a PITA.
I've heard some good things about the new X3.  The old one isn't too bad either.
I would recommend the X3 if you can't move up a little and get the X5.
I'm sure you'll get some more suggestions as there are a number of good players around.
 
May 8, 2015 at 1:53 PM Post #3 of 6

NSJB

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HI,
 
Thanks for the replay DrKC, but with the terrible US to Canadian exchange rate the X5 would be close to 425 CAD before taxes and I can't really stretch my budget that far.
 
Thanks again, NSJB
 
May 9, 2015 at 12:30 PM Post #4 of 6

DrKC

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Understood, as I said I didn't have any idea that the exchange rate was that wide.  Looking at Amazon.ca, it seems that the Fiio X3 gen2 will eat up most of your $300Cdn.  I have a slightly used DX90 (See my review in the DX90. 2X Sabre,1st page: Downloads, info&inst.... section under Portable Source gear, Pg 781) to get my assessment of it and why I'm selling it.  I can get close to $300Cdn, but not quite that low.  PM me if you're interested.  If not, the X3 is still a very good player and I don't think you can go wrong with it.  Check the output power specs on the new one and your headphone's sensitivity to make sure you have plenty of drive.
 
And good luck with your search.
 
May 9, 2015 at 1:19 PM Post #5 of 6

Raketen

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I've been liking my Sony A17 Walkman. 64 gigs onboard and a microSD slot for about 300 US... the A15 with 16 onboard and sd slot is 70 dollars less which I think would fall within CAD budget. Exceptionally good battery life (25-50 hours depending on what you're playing and dsp effects, bluetooth use etc...). It is small and pocketable- similar to the clickwheel iPod Nano, longer and slightly thicker, worse build quality (reasonably solid though- plastic case around an aluminum chasis with a metal faceplate), very good UI imo, supports fair number of formats including FLAC, works with windows file system management.
 
It has higher output impedance at something like 3 ohms- the only multi BA earphones i have (two driver ATH-IM02) play well with it- though v3 is 16 ohms which is about half of the IM02, may or may not cause problems (i guess solvable with your amp, but then lose the extra portability- at that point the X3 is probably the more compact choice). Fairly weak output too, if you plan to use any hard to drive cans without an amp.  On very sensitive phones like the IM02 there is a slight audible hiss when music isn't playing.
 
I guess I'm dinging it a lot, but it really is a nice sounding player, with some good bonus features, at least worth trying out at a store once you get your CIEM. Or you could buy 6 or 7 clip+/zips for the same price
biggrin.gif

 
May 9, 2015 at 4:23 PM Post #6 of 6

NSJB

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Thanks for all the help, after a lot of back and forth and some new reviews on here, I have decided to order an X3II.

I really appreciate all the help, NSJB
 

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