DAP vs. amp/dac combo
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dschultzy327

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Hi All,

I know there are some DAP threads already (I did utilize the search function :smirk:), but I didn’t want to hijack anyone’s thread. Can someone explain the advantages of buying a DAP versus an amp/dac combo to use with my iPhone/iPad? I understand the phone battery drain issues as well as being able to listen to lossless files, but are there any other important advantages that I’m missing? Is it more about personal preference?

Convince me!!! Any good DAP recommendations <$500? Sound is top priority and I need to be able to stream Spotify, but those are my only real requirements. Oh, and BT would be nice, but not required.

Or.....should I just get a q5 or mojo? The first and only portable amp I own is the Fiio e17.

Thanks a ton! :beerchug:
 
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PurpleAngel

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As whatever you get DAP or DAC/amp) will just be connected to a computer (PC, Mac, Linux, etc)
And the source will store the audio files (computer) or streamed thru the computer from Spotify
Can't see any reason for getting a DAP.
So a simple DAC/amp should do the job.
If you already have the E17, which is a DAC/amp, why buy another?
What headphone/IEM do you currently own or plan to buy?
 
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dschultzy327

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As whatever you get will just be connected to a computer (PC, Mac, Linux, etc)
And the source will store the audio files.
Can't see any reason for getting a DAP.
So a simple DAC/amp should do the job.
If you already have the E17, which is a DAC/amp, why buy another?
What headphone/IEM do you currently own or plan to buy?
I’m currently using the e17 with my Dunu DN-1000, but I’m looking to purchase the CA Atlas in the coming days. The e17 has served me well as a nice starter amp, but thought it might be time for an upgrade.
 
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kukkurovaca

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Hi All,

I know there are some DAP threads already (I did utilize the search function :smirk:), but I didn’t want to hijack anyone’s thread. Can someone explain the advantages of buying a DAP versus an amp/dac combo to use with my iPhone/iPad? I understand the phone battery drain issues as well as being able to listen to lossless files, but are there any other important advantages that I’m missing? Is it more about personal preference?

Convince me!!! Any good DAP recommendations <$500? Sound is top priority and I need to be able to stream Spotify, but those are my only real requirements. Oh, and BT would be nice, but not required.

Or.....should I just get a q5 or mojo? The first and only portable amp I own is the Fiio e17.

Thanks a ton! :beerchug:
Eh, hmm.
  • EQ, if you need/want EQ. Some iOS apps will have their own EQ, of course. (A very few DAC/amps also have their own EQ settings)
  • You own a lot of music and you don't want to mess around with iTunes
  • You like physical volume and playback controls
  • You find stacking a phone and DAC/amp to be fussy, either b/c the package is too big, or b/c you end up having to use a CCK, which is a PITA. (Wireless DAC/amp is a solution here.)
If you mostly listen via Spotify, then that's a strong argument against using a DAP, especially if you download from Spotify.
 
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dschultzy327

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Thanks - I forgot about the eq capabilities.

Have you heard the EarStudio es100? I’ve read good things here about the BT functionality and little to no loss in quality. I’m not sure it would be a considerable upgrade to my e17, however.
 
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PurpleAngel

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I’m currently using the e17 with my Dunu DN-1000, but I’m looking to purchase the CA Atlas in the coming days. The e17 has served me well as a nice starter amp, but thought it might be time for an upgrade.
I would say some of the cost for higher priced DAC/amp is for the more powerful headphone amplifer.
As you using IEMs which are lower impedance (Ohm), you really have no need for a lot of head amp power.
And chances are the audio files you listen to will not be more then 16-bit/44.1K.
So not really pushing a DAC function to it'a limit.

Maybe just get a FiiO Q1 MK II DAC/amp?
 
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dschultzy327

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I would say some of the cost for higher priced DAC/amp is for the more powerful headphone amplifer.
As you using IEMs with are lower impedance (Ohm), you really have no need for a lot of head amp power.
Thanks, PurpleAngel. I'm leaning towards a nice amp/dac combo versus the DAP (maybe a q5) - The added expense of 1 or more SD cards for storage is something I hadn't thought about either.
 
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PurpleAngel

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Thanks, PurpleAngel. I'm leaning towards a nice amp/dac combo versus the DAP (maybe a q5) - The added expense of 1 or more SD cards for storage is something I hadn't thought about either.
If your willing to play for a FiiO Q5, go for it.
 
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I know there are some DAP threads already (I did utilize the search function :smirk:), but I didn’t want to hijack anyone’s thread. Can someone explain the advantages of buying a DAP versus an amp/dac combo to use with my iPhone/iPad? I understand the phone battery drain issues as well as being able to listen to lossless files, but are there any other important advantages that I’m missing? Is it more about personal preference?
Not going insane or going bald is a good reason to stick with iOS/iTunes. Most people who use that can't even fathom waht drag n drop is, or why other people want to use that, on top of manual file tagging.

I did the opposite and tried an iPod before and I wanted to destroy the damn thing. Then I got an iPad as a gift, and wanted to destroy the thing again.

It's for the sake of your sanity. If your brain likes how one OS works, stick with that.
 
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