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DAP for Tidal Offline

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  1. Womaz
    Hmmmmm well I am having issues . I am abroad in Vietnam on my holidays and my dx200 is not up to the job I am afraid, it’s a blow to me as my music is important to me when I am away in my holidays .

    So I may now move to a phone as opposed to a DAP if this persists . Below is the message I have posted on the dx200 thread

    Hi guys I am looking for some feedback if possible. I have had my dx200 for over a year now and it has been flawless . If I am honest I don’t use it a lot and it’s almost exclusively used for TIDAL now. Offline tidal is a must as it will be primarily used when on my holidays. So I have a little issue. I am in Vietnam on my holidays and the albums I have downloaded from TIDAL stop playing. They play for a little while say an hour or so and then the listening becomes impossible. So I do a reboot and this helps , but only for a short while.

    Does anyone else have this issue. It’s a huge blow as I am away and my music and the beach are what my break is all about. luckily I have some FLAC files too but the reason I have a DAP is for my holiday use
  2. Ressex1234

    Just a quick question I currently have the Astell and Kern SR15 with a pair of isine 10 and upgraded to a reference silver cable 2.5 balanced one.

    The iPhone XS Max now can handle hi res via a separate app and if I use the headphones with the supplied cipher cable which has a built in DAC would this be the same quality when streaming tidal masters hi res as the Astell Kern unit or would the sound be far more superior through the SR15.

    Just wanting to check that I haven’t bought the Astell Kern SR15 for no reason when my current phone will apparently do the same.

  3. buonassi
    On the one hand I want to say that the SR15 will sound the better of the two because its amp and DAC are much more robust, purposely built, and not an afterthought like with the apple dongle. When I owned the SR15, I quite enjoyed it. On the other hand, I think you'll get the best sound from the cipher cable itself, because it performs DSP on the signal to EQ the iSine to sound their best. At least according to Audeze.

    I think the question you pose wouldn't be nearly as difficult to answer if you had a traditional 'passive' earphone.
  4. Ressex1234
    Thank you I appreciate that. So basically I just wasted my money for this because my iPhone will do the same job if not better.

    So tell me why would anyone buy the more expensive units when they can get a decent dac and use their phone.
  5. mattiav
    Because they can drive other IEMs and headphones better in a lot of cases? And some folks don’t want to stack extra stuff?
    buonassi likes this.
  6. buonassi
    I have an LGv30. By all accounts a great sounding 'quad DAC' with headphone amplifier. It makes my ipad sound like crap in comparison. Yet... My DX150 with Amp 7 sounds better than the V30. Even more.... My Cowon Plenue 2 sounds even better than my DX150. Of course by 'better' I mean it displays the qualities I'm looking for in a sound.

    So, that's why. Plus I agree with @mattiav , I got tired of stacking a DAC to my phone. Also, I don't like getting interrupted when listening and the phone had to be set to do not disturb. I'd forget to change it back and miss calls!

    I have no doubt that the SR15 sounds 'better' than any phone out there if you like warm, smooth mids, slow bass decay (which is great for BA transducers i may add) and top octave sparkle in the treble. Its sound stage presentation is also quite holographic/3D, and balanced is even a tad more-so.

    I don't think you're out of luck with your iSine, however. Why don't you try experimenting with the cipher out of your iphone and study its sound signature. Then, switch over to your SR15 with the fancy silver cable and see if you can EQ a similar tone. You may find you like it's presentation 'better' if you can first get the frequency response right. :)
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  7. Ressex1234
    Thank you.
  8. LTD078
    Hello Womaz,

    I am in a similar situation as I have a KANN which I love but really need Tidal offline for travelling. I mainly use the KANN to feed my home stereo as that is where the sound is most enjoyed. The perfect scenario would be if AK upgraded the KANN to handle offline but that may never happen.
    My KANN is for sale but I'm at a loss to find its replacement that will give the same sound.
  9. Womaz
    Yes I am now using my IPhone with an Ifi iematch. Its not as good sound quality as the DX200, but to be honest I am just getting used to it. It does sound good.
  10. kayLF
    Hi guys!

    Resurrecting this thread once again as I am on a seemingly endless search for the same: to be able to stream (with any service really, not bound to Tide) offline - as seamlessly as possible (aka without the need to side-load, etc), with a dedicated source that is not my phone. I don't even care for nor need / want all the extra, fancy features (though driving my 300ohm headphones without the need for an additional external amp would be idea, which by default eliminates many of the entry level DAPS, I believe) so I'm surprised that finding something like this isn't more straight forward.

    Wondering if any of you have any new developments with this or feedback / guidance to offer?

  11. buonassi
    @kayLF ,

    The key is finding any of the newer android DAPs that avoid SRC, such as hiby and ibasso (with DTA architecture). These are the pack leaders IMO because they finally addressed what was bugging us audiophiles and causing 3rd party apps' bitstream to be 'resampled'.

    I think that's why this thread has died down. It's not quite the challenge it once was. Heck, even AK has realized this and began allowing 'whitelisted' apks to be side-loaded on most of their newer DAPs without falling prey to the native android 'mixer' path.

    Since you're pushing 300 ohm cans, you may want to check out the hiby R6Pro. It's powerful, perhaps too powerful for some IEMs. If you want to drive very sensitive IEMs and get OK performance with 300ohm cans, ibasso DX150 with one of their discreet amp modules is hard to beat for the price (on the second hand market).
    CactoesGel likes this.
  12. mattiav
    My iBasso DX200 works perfectly well with tidal. And the stock Amp1mkII in balanced mode (and certainly the Amp8 card) should drive pretty much any headphone - including 300ohm ones - fine.
    buonassi likes this.
  13. stenog
    There are several daps available today. All of the following will drive your 300 ohm headphones very well. My pick would be the N6ii or DX228 if I were in the market for a new dap.

    Cayin N6ii
    Ibasso DX220 with Amp 8

    A bit cheaper:
    Ibasso DX150 with Amp 8
    FiiO M11
    Hiby R6 pro
  14. LTD078
    I bought the new KANN CUBE and sold my original on the same day. I really only upgraded to get the Tidal offline function and confidence in firmware upgrades. However along with the ease of having Tidal offline the sound stage is larger and more resolut compared to the first KANN, I'm really enjoying the unit as I use it more when travelling and am looking forward to using the XLR output for my home system.
  15. kayLF
    Thank you all so much!

    This certainly gives me a fair amount of choices to confidently consider. As I am on a bit of a “budget”, I will most likely be going for either the new M11 or seeking out a used iBasso.

    Thanks again for the input.. super helpful :)
    stenog likes this.
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