Best DAP for my purposes under $500
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PoSR77

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I've already researched this and am leaning heavily towards the iBasso DX160.

But I'm wondering if I'm missing another good option.

I want an Android based DAP with a slightly warm sound (which would meld well with most of the content/mood I will use this for: classical, jazz, acoustic, and world, while reading outside during "relaxing time") and wide sound stage (something I gravitate towards in general and find IEMs especially need help with and I'll be using IEMs mostly with this DAP).

The DX160 seems to be this.

I have looked at the FiiO M11 and Hiby R5 and found them wanting a bit in comparison, at least for my preferences. I haven't looked at the Cayin N5iiS and Shanling M5s much as I don't think they are Android based.

I'd like to stay away from brands like Pioneer, Sony, etc.

So is the DX160 pretty much the best choice here?
 
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corgifall

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As of right now yes. The only thing a step up is the R6 pro. That will get you in the $550-560ish range here in the states. The m11 is fairly clinical and lean when it comes to low end. I still think it's the best dap under $400 but both ibasso and hiby's stuff is known for having wifi interference noise issues. I had the r6 pro for a bit and any time I went out for a walk in town used it at my apt with wifi on I would get irritating noise until I turned off the wifi which was a deal breaker for me. If you use the player as mainly a local player then the m11 does well with power amp and you can clean up the lack of low end really quickly. Once you start to use regular android apps you end up out of luck though.
 
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PoSR77

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Thanks for your input.

It seems some have an issue with "background whine noise" on the iBasso while others don't. It's still in the lead for me. I'll probably order one later today. I'll use it primarily for listening outdoors around the house (patio/deck/gazebo).
 
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corgifall

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If it’s being used around a house I think the wifi noise will not be a problem.
 
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bland125

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I own to the DX160 and I don't consider it very warm. It's relatively neutral but mostly with an in your face kind of sound presentation. My ZX507 is much warmer.
 
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Elbonja

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I own to the DX160 and I don't consider it very warm. It's relatively neutral but mostly with an in your face kind of sound presentation. My ZX507 is much warmer.
I think the dx120's better despite of having "less"
 
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Mhog55

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Hiby R5 uses the same dac chips - smaller form factor.
 
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PoSR77

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Surprised to still see replies to this thread; I bought the DX160 awhile ago and am very pleased. Sounds great with the CFA Solaris 2020's if the presentation is a bit "in your face" or fatiguing (I enjoy it as an exciting alternative to my main set up).

Thanks for all the input!
 
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