I need help finding a DAP with parametric EQ and usb out
May 18, 2021 at 12:23 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

grape ape

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Hi, I'm looking for a DAP that I can use with my current desktop DAC/Amp. I'm using windows currently but changing music on my tower is inconvenient in my studio. I want to be able to just pick up a small device and pick a new album to listen to while I work. I also want this device to have a parametric EQ or just a regular equalizer if the PEQ proves to limit my options to greatly.

I could just use my iphone if that's the way I should go but I have no idea if the PEQ apps are worth their weight.

I'd love to hear your opinions and draw from this forum's vast knowledge.

If it matters, I use either an OPPO HA1 or a Toppping DX7 pro with a pair of Audeze LCD-3's and occasionally a pair of HIFIMAN HE-560's the original 300-ohm version.
 
May 21, 2021 at 7:20 PM Post #2 of 16

samandhi

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Hi, I'm looking for a DAP that I can use with my current desktop DAC/Amp. I'm using windows currently but changing music on my tower is inconvenient in my studio. I want to be able to just pick up a small device and pick a new album to listen to while I work. I also want this device to have a parametric EQ or just a regular equalizer if the PEQ proves to limit my options to greatly.

I could just use my iphone if that's the way I should go but I have no idea if the PEQ apps are worth their weight.

I'd love to hear your opinions and draw from this forum's vast knowledge.

If it matters, I use either an OPPO HA1 or a Toppping DX7 pro with a pair of Audeze LCD-3's and occasionally a pair of HIFIMAN HE-560's the original 300-ohm version.
You obviously have the equipment, so I think a new DAP would be unnecessary IMO. But you could use Neutron Player which has PEQ. it has up to something like 60 channel (or down to, I think 6) PEQ if you choose. Or, you can just mix graphic EQ with PEQ (each band can be either, and you can pick the band frequency). I am not sure how well it performs on iPhone, but this sentence alone let's me know it works just like it does on android (which I can vouch that it is one of the best players for android):
It outputs hi-res audio directly to the internal DAC (including USB DAC) and offers a rich set of DSP effects for altering audio.
So you basically skip any sort of DSP that Apple adds to their player via a system EQ or etc... Just my 2¢!
 
May 21, 2021 at 7:58 PM Post #4 of 16

samandhi

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Apparently, and it doesn't mention anything about jailbreaking either:
- Parametric Equalizer (4-60 band, fully configurable: type, frequency, Q, gain)

Here is the link on the app store: HERE

Keep in mind that the PEQ only effects sound files playing through the Neutron player app..
 
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May 21, 2021 at 11:30 PM Post #6 of 16

samandhi

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Only way to do that is to jailbreak your device, and even then system-wide EQ are not great for IOS or android (IMO). But having one that works independently of the system (without jailbreak) is a good step in the right direction, considering how closed Apple keeps their OS.
 
May 22, 2021 at 2:49 AM Post #8 of 16

samandhi

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Especially compared to another DAP with having that nice equipment that ONLY needed a transport.... IIRC it should also play AAC and ALAC (as well as most other popular formats). It is basically the only one I use anymore (for local files anyhow) on my android device.
 
May 22, 2021 at 3:10 PM Post #9 of 16

grape ape

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I set it up last night and this morning and got, essentially my audeze reveal PEQ setting in for the LCD3f. The iphone is fine as my source. I doubt I could A/B between it and my OPPO cd player.

Thank you so much for the neutron player recomomendation. It's has an amazing level of customization. I'm so glad that when I bought a new phone I decided to get the 256gb version. I would have just gone over the 128.

I'm kind of leaning towards getting a used 2020 ipad pro as a dedicated source now.
 
May 22, 2021 at 7:02 PM Post #10 of 16

samandhi

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I set it up last night and this morning and got, essentially my audeze reveal PEQ setting in for the LCD3f. The iphone is fine as my source. I doubt I could A/B between it and my OPPO cd player.

Thank you so much for the neutron player recomomendation. It's has an amazing level of customization. I'm so glad that when I bought a new phone I decided to get the 256gb version. I would have just gone over the 128.

I'm kind of leaning towards getting a used 2020 ipad pro as a dedicated source now.
And, don't forget that with the Neutron player you can also apply "Auto-EQ" to anything that has a profile (which is huge at this point). I don't use it for most of my headphones/IEMs, but a few need it IMO. The Sennheiser HD700 for example. They are absolutely fantastic with adding Oratory Auto-EQ. If you aren't familiar with Auto-EQ, you can check it out HERE. You don't have to go into the profiles for your EQ/PEQ, with Neutron there is a setting that all you need do is choose your headphone, and it will give you options, and then download the profile for you. At that point all you need do is apply it.

For my HD700 I use the Oratory version, then I also use some of my own PEQ to tweak it a bit. Have fun with it?! :)
 
May 22, 2021 at 10:41 PM Post #11 of 16

grape ape

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And, don't forget that with the Neutron player you can also apply "Auto-EQ" to anything that has a profile (which is huge at this point). I don't use it for most of my headphones/IEMs, but a few need it IMO. The Sennheiser HD700 for example. They are absolutely fantastic with adding Oratory Auto-EQ. If you aren't familiar with Auto-EQ, you can check it out HERE. You don't have to go into the profiles for your EQ/PEQ, with Neutron there is a setting that all you need do is choose your headphone, and it will give you options, and then download the profile for you. At that point all you need do is apply it.

For my HD700 I use the Oratory version, then I also use some of my own PEQ to tweak it a bit. Have fun with it?! :)
That took a bit of digging but I finally found how to access that PEQ correction list of headphones. All but one of my set are on there which is awesome.

EDIT: I found that one that I thought was missing from the list. It was just entered differently than I thought it would be. :)
 
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May 22, 2021 at 11:44 PM Post #12 of 16

samandhi

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That took a bit of digging but I finally found how to access that PEQ correction list of headphones. All but one of my set are on there which is awesome.

EDIT: I found that one that I thought was missing from the list. It was just entered differently than I thought it would be. :)
Fantastic! I hope it brings much enjoyment and maybe even some newfound sounds for you?! Also, if there are frequencies that you don't like, you can edit those profiles to your tastes. Basically it just imports a preset PEQ for you, and you can edit them later. The fact that the work has been done to include over 2500 different headphones (and IEMs too) is amazing! It is great that you got it figured out pretty quick. If I had to pick a niggle about Neutron it would be that there are a TON of customizable options but there is VERY little documentation for it.

I know that on android devices there is an app (Wavelet) that does the same thing (as for EQ) but it is system wide. It's not too bad, though as I mentioned earlier, I am not fond of system-wide EQs for either IOS or android.

I don't have a desktop amp as I use the iBasso DX160. I like it because it is great for portable, and I can use it for desktop also. I don't really have any phones that require more than the 1W that I can get from the DX. The planars I have are right in the sweet spot at about 1W, and my HD700 are only 150 ohms, and can be driven well out of it. The rest are pretty sensitive, and/or low resistance.
 
May 23, 2021 at 7:38 PM Post #14 of 16

samandhi

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It CAN get spendy. But as an example of how you might get started on the cheap, go to Walmart, and look in their CD section (yeah they still have one, albeit pretty small these days). You can usually buy CDs for $3-$6 unless they are deluxe sets or something like that. Even brand new ones are usually only around $10. Then, you can just take them home and rip them at your leisure. You can also find CD's (physical copies) for decent prices on Amazon. Or, for free, you can actually check out CDs (about 6 at a time) from the Library nowadays... This might take time to build up your library, but it might be worth it in the end.

A lot of (but not all) places online charge more for digital lossless files, because the masses are still content with mp3s, and AAC files (lossy), so they treat CD quality as premium content, and so the price tag goes up. I don't agree with this model, but since mp3s (and later AAC) came along, it drove expectations of sound quality down. It used to be that CD quality was "normal" quality. Now it is considered hi-res. Just look at the price of Tidal's hi-res tier. Most of that content is just CD quality. Don't even get me started on MQA (which it appears that Tidal will be removing from the hi-res tier and putting them on a higher priced tier than even the hi-res tier)... LOL

So in summary; if you do it right, in the end it will cost you about as much as if you were JUST paying for streaming, but you will own the material, and can play, listen, do what you want with the music, transfer it to any device you want, use what player (that has awesome PEQ) you want, etc.... This is why I try and not get stuck in one eco-system (like Apple, or proprietary players, for instance). They are great at the onset, but in the end they tie your hands in some way or another.
 
May 23, 2021 at 7:50 PM Post #15 of 16

SonicFade

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Damn. Yeah I’ve only been trying to get into better quality since i got a dongle dac/amp spectra 2. I used to just listen to music through YouTube. So I am paying big money for Tidals top tier service but I have heard such an overwhelming amount of negativity towards this MQA bull, that I will be using another streaming service soon.

I have a bunch of CD’s but I enjoy the freedom of streaming. Since I work with audio (as a hobby) I would be all over PEQ and all these different impulse responses aka filters. That’s right up my alley. Quite the dilemma.

I’m seeing that Spotify has an EQ incorporated into their app? Perhaps a bit limited but at least that’s something for streaming
 

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