Help in DAP choice
May 9, 2015 at 3:18 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

Darth79

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Hello there. My name is George and I am from Greece.

Here's the deal. I currently own a rockboxed sansa clip zip. I am not an audiophile. I enjoy having a good sound quality and clarity but I am not obsessed in having top notch quality and in those terms I think that my sansa is great. My main concern is having a portable media player that can play as loud as it can get. I don't care if if I can watch videos in it. I mean it wouldn't be bad but my main concern is audio playback. Another concern of mine is being able to play windows media player and winamp playlists. I prefer the sound to be warm and full, no hollow basses and no extra treble.

Previously I owned some other basic MP3 players and they all were a bit average. What I enjoy most in my rockboxed sansa is that it is actually very LOUD. What I do not like is its battery life. I am thinking of buying a new DAP and I am thinking of two alternatives.

The first one is the Fiio X1. There are some issues with this one that trouble me. I know it is supposed to have a great sound quality BUT is it loud? Compared with my rockboxed sansa is it equally loud? Is it louder and if not is it significantly less loud or is it about the same thing? Another concern of mine is if it has a limit to the number of files it can support and how much that limit is. And finally the battery life. It is supposed to have 12 hours of audio playback and with the firmware update this limit goes to 15 hours. My sansa is supposed to have 15 hours of playback but it usually is depleted in 8 hours. Will the Fiio be able to really last 15 hours or its battery life is the same as my sansa's?

The second alternative is a used cowon d2. I know that it can play loud though I don't know how is it compared to the sansa. I know it has a great battery life and repleacable battery. There are two concerns. The first one is a bit silly and I think the answer is a no Brainer YES but here it is. It uses an SD card, can it play with a microSD by using an SD to MicroSD adaptor? Second question, what is the maximum size of the SD (or adapted microsd for all that matters) size it can support. Final question, what is the maximum number of files it can support( with all of the firmware updates included)

If anyone can help I would be greatful. Thank you.
 
May 9, 2015 at 3:38 PM Post #2 of 9

H20Fidelity

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I can tell you FiiO X1 will go as loud if not louder than the sansa players, it has more output power.

Going off memory the file limit is 5800 files? but this only means it's limited to the artist, album, genre sorting system. With X1 you can also browse simply by folder, in this case there's no file limit.


X1 is quite good and you will get 12 hours no problem, 12 real hours. It's quite efficient.

Cowon D2 is a decent sounding player but it's aging touch screen and navigation is not so good compared to X1. It will take micro sd card inside an adapter, I have tried this.

If your budget allows, a real sweat spot for players imo is iBasso DX50. It's a great little unit. Or maybe you want to consider FiiO X3K.
 
May 9, 2015 at 9:04 PM Post #3 of 9

Darth79

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I was thinking of the ibasso and x3 too but my budget is very limited. Perhaps some time in the future. Another option would be the cowon j3 but the thing is that the d2 I've found is only 50 euros and it is in a very good condition and I like it's great battery life. Do you think it's worth it?
 
May 10, 2015 at 2:35 AM Post #4 of 9

ProtegeManiac

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The first one is the Fiio X1. There are some issues with this one that trouble me. I know it is supposed to have a great sound quality BUT is it loud? Compared with my rockboxed sansa is it equally loud? Is it louder and if not is it significantly less loud or is it about the same thing? Another concern of mine is if it has a limit to the number of files it can support and how much that limit is. And finally the battery life. It is supposed to have 12 hours of audio playback and with the firmware update this limit goes to 15 hours. My sansa is supposed to have 15 hours of playback but it usually is depleted in 8 hours. Will the Fiio be able to really last 15 hours or its battery life is the same as my sansa's?

The second alternative is a used cowon d2. I know that it can play loud though I don't know how is it compared to the sansa. I know it has a great battery life and repleacable battery. There are two concerns. The first one is a bit silly and I think the answer is a no Brainer YES but here it is. It uses an SD card, can it play with a microSD by using an SD to MicroSD adaptor? Second question, what is the maximum size of the SD (or adapted microsd for all that matters) size it can support. Final question, what is the maximum number of files it can support( with all of the firmware updates included)

 
The audio chips used in more mainstream players (if not brand then by circuit design) like the Clip and the D2 usually have an integrated DAC+HPamplifier chip rated anywhere between 5mW to 15mW. That's generally the same kind of chip used in smartphones. Given my Aurisonics ASG-1.3, I only need two presses of the + button (from total silence) to get adequate volume with my Galaxy S3; three presses and it's "oh here's my favorite song!" loud; four presses it's "my favorite song but I'm in a noisy metro train" loud; five is at "TURN IT DOWN FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TURN IT DOWN TURN IT DOWN!!!!!!!" loud. It depends a lot more on your IEM - the efficiency across different IEMs, let alone headphones, varies a lot more than the gain on these smartphones. In your case though I suppose the difference is that locally sourced smartphones follow EU output level restrictions, while the Sansas and Cowons that are not really sold locally do not.
 
In any case, the X3 has around 100mW - that's potentially 20X more than the power output, and I don't think the gain is too low either, so as long as you're using an IEM with a 100db sensitivity at least it's sure to have the capability to tear your eardrums.
 
May 10, 2015 at 9:33 AM Post #5 of 9

Darth79

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Those were very helpful answers. If I correctly understand, the maximum volume level depends on the power output of the player + it's gain and the headphone's Db density. Thank you both but what about d2's SD size limit and file number limit?

Edit: something else I completely forgot about. Which of the Abbey mentioned DAPs support gapless playback?
 
May 10, 2015 at 12:45 PM Post #6 of 9

ProtegeManiac

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Thank you both but what about d2's SD size limit and file number limit?

Edit: something else I completely forgot about. Which of the Abbey mentioned DAPs support gapless playback?

 
No idea on these anymore though. You could search for the D2 here, there's bound to be a thread. Or actually just search for the D2 plus each of those features you want to check on Google, it will likely take you to the exact page/s on the Head-Fi thread where those are discussed.
 
May 13, 2015 at 7:02 PM Post #8 of 9

Badfish5446

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I can only comment on the Cowon J3 and the FiiO X3 G2 (X3K).  I loved my Cowon but it certainly shows its age when compared to my X3 G2.  The X3 purchase prompted me to pickup a whole bunch of new IEMS as there is no contest between my J3 and the X3 G2.  Any of the players that have been mentioned should provide more outpout (volume) than your sansa (I bought one for my niece and maxed it out to ensure it wouldn't damage her young ears).  If you want info on the xDuoo see this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/748909/xduoo-x2-small-lossless-player-with-microsd-and-oled
 
May 14, 2015 at 2:07 AM Post #9 of 9

cel4145

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The Sansa Clip+ was measured at 7.5 mW into 32 ohms. The X1 is rated at 65 mW into 32 ohms. So yeah. The X1 will definitely get louder.

Battery life is dependent on (a) how much power your IEMS draw at the volume you listen to and (b) how much you have the screen on. So average battery life, which I would guess is probably sometimes a bit optimistic anyway on the part of manufacturers, certainly could be significantly less depending on how you use your player. But you know you could get one of these and give your player some power while on the go to charge it up: http://www.amazon.com/Anker-Astro-Lipstick-Sized-Portable-Technology/dp/B005X1Y7I2/. The Fiio X1 has a 1700 mAH battery, so you should probably get about 1 1/2 charges off that battery backup.
 

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