I need some help understanding the difference
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4g63mr

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I have what I hope is a simple question - maybe, maybe not. I have been in the market to increase my portable audio experience for a while and have started to research portable hi-res audio players, different mobile devices, even various headphones. I think I have narrowed down a few ideas. Let me start by saying I really don’t have a set budget at this point but would rather find the better value for money. With that being said I have a few options that I am looking at, though I really don’t know the differences.

Let me give you a little detail about myself:

I listen to a pretty wide variety of musical genres from classical to heavy metal more leaning towards the heavy metal/ rock. The majority of my flacs are 16bit with a few 24 bit so good but no the best in the world. I have mostly composers such as Hans Zimmer or heavier rock bands such as Gojira, Behemoth, and other metal bands.

I don’t have a large music collection personally because I have been using tidal on my cell phone (it sounds okay but the DAC/amp in my pixel XL is trash) The phone isn’t able to push most headphones or earbuds I plug into it. I have normally had to turn the audio all the way up resort to Bluetooth to listen to anything. Needless to say, I'm not happy with it. Also, work has now banned larger can headphones so I need to find some earbuds to replace them.


Here is what I'm looking at: I want something easy to carry with me to the gym and work/ good battery life. I would like to see a full day, if possible.


Portable players

· FiiO M3K with a pair of FH1 IEM
· FiiO M7
· Wait and look at the M9 (looks appealing because of Tidal)

Other suggestions are Very welcome - Im just not familiar with some of the other offerings. I have personal experience with FiiO in owning a couple of there other products and thus have enjoyed them so I just opted for what I know. Please by all means if you have any suggestions I am willing to listen.

Portable DAC/amp for my phone

· FiiO K1 (out of the running will not work with my phone)
· FiiO BT3


What I don’t understand, if my current music seems to meet the specs of the M3K – would I really be getting anything extra for my above-listed purposes in going to the m7? I am not sure if the players will make that much different with the same file in one player to the next?

The M9 is appealing because I can continue to use Tidal with it. Or on the flip side should I just get a portable DAC/amp such as the k1 – this is sort of counter-intuitive for the gym idea but on my desk at work with my phone plugged into it, maybe, it’s a good idea. I don’t know.
 
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suicidal_orange

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I'm out of touch with what's available these days so won't comment on your possible choices or recommend anything else but I did notice one thing you need to clarify - how long is a day. Will you be listening on your commute, if so how long is it? Is work 8 hours in an office or a 12 hour shift? Add an hour for the gym?

Having a separate DAC/amp is fine sat at a desk but it's not great when moving where cables and sockets are at risk, and pile of parts is not going to work in the gym. Not to mention the possibility of using your phone too much and running out of battery for music - disaster!
 
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Mhog55

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Personally, I'd opt for a DAP. I don't like the idea of lugging around a dac attached to my phone. The bigger thing for me is that there are times I don't want to be interrupted while enjoying music. No calls, texts, notifications, etc.
Should you choose a DAP, just make sure to get all the features you want and need. Also, don't get stuck on Fiio only. There are a lot of great devices from the likes of Cayin, Shanling, Ibasso, etc.
 
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4g63mr

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Thanks for the replies!

how long is a day.
For me a day is 15+ hours, however, mind you driving I have a car chargers - In the office (I spend 9-10 hours a day), I have chargers - The only time I don't have access to a charger is, in reality, a very small portion of the day a few hours at best. I thing that 8 - 10 hours would be more than long enough for the battery to keep my going.

Personally, I'd opt for a DAP. I don't like the idea of lugging around a dac attached to my phone. The bigger thing for me is that there are times I don't want to be interrupted while enjoying music. No calls, texts, notifications, etc.
Should you choose a DAP, just make sure to get all the features you want and need. Also, don't get stuck on Fiio only. There are a lot of great devices from the likes of Cayin, Shanling, Ibasso, etc.
You make a great point, the last thing I want to do is add more bulk when im working out, I already get annoyed at my pixel XL for being so big and heavy. Also, I am not married to FiiO - It is more a starting point for me because I have bought a couple of FiiO amps in the past and was very impressed by the product and company so naturally I navigated towards what I know.

I also found out that the k1 will not work with my phone so that is out of the running for sure.

I am open to suggestions for the 'best bang for buck DAP' - Things that are nice but are not needed:
WiFi
Tidal and or Spotify / other streaming service.
Crazy levels of bluetooth
on board storage options.

I guess more so I am looking for that best bang for 300 or less, less being better but it is what it is. I understand alot of times you get what you pay for.
 
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iKudo

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For most streaming service you need android dap

But now some of the streaming service like tidal and Deezer allow third party app

You need to know what size do you want?
Small portable dap or normal average size dap

For suggestions

Portable dap
1- Pioneer XDP-30R(B)
-It supports streaming from Tidal,Deezer and TuneIn
-it supports MQA by Tidal
-Dac : Twin - SABRE (ES9018C2M)
-Output Power: 75 mW + 75 mW (Unbalanced, 32 Ohms) 150 mW + 150 mW (BTL Mode, 32 Ohm
-it has Bluetooth support aptX HD
-Dual-band 5 GHz/2.4 GHz WiFi
-16 GB of Internal Memory Storage
-15 hour battery life

Price now around 220$

2-Pioneer XDP-02U
same as XDP-30R(B) but it is new player with deferent design
Price around 300
3-
Shanling M0
-No streaming
-Dac : ESS ES9218p audo chip
-Output Power:80 mW into 32 ohm
-Two way bluetooth support LDAC / aptX
- No Internal Memory Storage
-15 hour battery life
Price around 108$
4-
Hiby r3
- only stream from Tidal but it has some problems now
-Dac :ES9028Q2M
-Output Power: 56 mW + 56 mW (Unbalanced, 32 Ohms) 112 mW + 112 mW (BTL Mode, 32 Oh
it has Bluetooth support LDAC / aptX
-- /2.4 GHz WiFi only
-no Internal Memory Storage
-11 hour battery life

For larger dap


1 - ibasso dx120
No streaming,Bluetooth and WiFi
2- opus 1metal or s
No streaming,Bluetooth and WiFi
3- FiiO m9


If size not problem i think m9 best overall it has everything except for 5ghz WiFi
you just need to wait and see how it preform
 
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