Digital Audio Players have their personality/Balanced?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by JaeYoon, Oct 9, 2017.
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  1. SilverEars
    Headphone load varies, although it's informative to provide power output per load to get a decent idea of loudness for different levels of impedance, but they measure it with resistive load, and spec'd at a specific frequency.

    Various driver types can be put under load of the source. I'd like to see many measurements in that domain to realize any consistancies of FR to be drawn from it. We have planars that are pretry much resistive, and BA and dynamic drivers that phase and impedance varies across the spectrum being a reactive load.

    Load responses of various driver types are what I'd like to see as well.
     
  2. castleofargh Contributor
    yup, the main reason why I liked Fiio from the start despite a few years of really poor UI designs. showing more relevant specs doesn't make the DAPs better magically, but at least we can have a better idea of what we're paying for. and maybe some cues that the device is fit for specific uses or not.
    as a general rule, I'm always for more measurements. there is such a thing as too much information killing information, but we're far from reaching such a point with audio gears. very far.
     
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  3. bigshot
    There are three problems with published specs... First of all, too many specs don't tell the whole story... for instance with headphones, they often give a frequency response range without telling you what the frequency balance is. Without a +/- dB number following the response, it's pretty much useless. Secondly, absolutists grab onto testing methodology and try to poke holes in it. The second a company publishes specs, there are three obsessive compulsive types on internet forums spitting out reams of "AHA! They missed this (extremely rarely occurring) exception!" posts. Thirdly, audiophiles tend to shop for better specs regardless of whether they can hear the difference or not. A well built unit with terrific usability may end up on the outs because a poorly built unit with an awkward user interface happens to measure a few tics better in the range only bats can hear. We've seen that vividly demonstrated in this forum recently with a couple of posters going to the mat to defend the importance of inaudible frequencies and noise floors beneath the Earth's crust. Even rational hifi nuts have to fight that urge sometimes. It's human nature to never be satisfied with reaching a goal... we always want to push the goal post a little further away.

    It's easier for manufacturers to avoid all this and just focus on general statements regarding quality and lean on unsolicited anecdotal testimonials from customers. That stuff is non-specific enough to fly under the radar of nit-pickers and people with advanced cases of OCD. It gets the idea across without stirring up the wasps nest.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  4. JaeYoon
    Would it be easier if I just chose a DAP based on useability and features and compatibility with my favorite formats like AAC/MP3/FLAC.

    Rather than going for high spec players, I'm highly thinking that is best case for me.

    I feel like I'm also worrying too much on measured daps.
     
  5. Brooko Contributor
    Most of the specs that matter (THD, crosstalk, SNR etc) are well beyond our hearing range anyway. Virtually all competently made DAPs should sound good - IE audibly transparent. If I'm buying, the main things I consider are:
    • flat frequency response
    • low OI
    • overall build quality
    • reasonable battery life – at least 8-10 hours
    • easy to use (well thought out and implemented) interface
    • power output - ability to drive both low impedance and (within reason) higher impedance cans without additional amping
    • enough storage to hold either my favourite albums in red-book, or my whole library in a reasonably high resolution lossy format (for me – aac256)
    • gapless playback
    • reasonable EQ
    • bluetooth/wireless if available
    • value for money
    As you can see - most of that list is feature based.
     
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  6. JaeYoon
    Thanks brooko!
    I can definitely see X7ii fitting into that category!
     
  7. bigshot
    For me, I realized that the best DAP was the one I already own... my iPhone. Its only problem was storage space, so I got a micro SD card reader and now it has 256GB of music on it.
     
  8. Killcomic
    I can easily see the X1ii fitting into that category at only a fraction of the cost... shame about the interface though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  9. JaeYoon
    Well tbh even an Ipod of any of older gen is a extremely good device. X1ii should be no exception :p

    It just depends on features you need and want.
     
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  10. Strangelove424
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  11. Brooko Contributor
    Its just a pity that its interface is a little laggy, and that it doesn't have the same power output. So guess it depends on what variety of transducers you're driving. Saying that, I still use the X1ii (and X3iii) quite often. Its portability is really good.
     
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  12. Killcomic
    Hey guys, I've just discovered something interesting.
    As I've mentioned before, my Fiio X1ii sounds quite different to my Galaxy S5.
    Well, it turns out that the Fiio X1ii has a headphone mode and a line out mode. I switched from headphone to line out mode and something quite interesting happened. It sounded exactly like the Galaxy S5!
    I'd assume that line out mode bypasses the amp, and if so, the amp was colouring the sound.
    How about that?
     
  13. bigshot
    I always compare line out to line out. Too many variables with headphone outs
     
  14. castleofargh Contributor
    a line out is on principle made to deliver somewhere around 2V into a very high impedance amplifier(several thousand ohm). so the design doesn't have to make sure it can deliver a lot of current because it's not expected that it would ever need it. instead the focus will be placed on getting the right voltage amplitude and ideally low noise floor.
    the output of the line out will usually be somewhere around 150ohm(even if that number can vary a lot from gear to gear), so it doesn't take an EE to see that low impedance IEMs might not be a good idea.
    IDK what is the impedance output of the samsung or if there are other parameters, in fact did you mention what you're plugging into those sources?
     
  15. Killcomic
    ATH LS70 and ATH M40X... And I think your idea of what a layman knows about impedance is a bit advanced.
     
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