Looking for recommendations for a new DAP up to 300 EUR
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Audio-MCFly

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Hello,

atm I am still listening to the FIIO X1 Gen.1 and I was always satisfied except for the navigation. Since the navigation of the FIIO gets from bad to worse and the max. supported microSD card size is no longer sufficient, I'm looking for a new device.
I only use the DAP about 2-3 times a week and therefore I think an entry-level device up to 300 EUR is adequate.

I would like the following criteria:
- equal in sound to the X1 or preferable superior
- since my music collection grows continuously (30k + songs / 450 gb) at least 1TB MicroSD cards should be supported
- the navigation should be fast enough and it should have some "computing power" (e.g. I have a folder with several thousand songs that have to be loaded and which I always shuffle). Scrolling through long lists should also be quick / manageable
- it should be mobile, i.e. not too small and not too big (I often carry the player in my pants or jacket pocket)
- it should be suitable for Inears (low or better no Hiss)
- battery life as long as possible
- suitable for all types of music
- quality feeling and long lifetime
- because I listen to a lot of bad and mediocre recordings the sound shouldn't be neither too analytical nor too coloured

I've already picked out a few potential candidates: Fiio M3 pro, Hidiz AP80, Fiio M9, Shanling M2x, Hiby R3 Pro, Ibasso Dx120

They are all chifi DAPs and I have some concerns regarding the lifespan of the players.

The Ibasso is currently available for 250 EUR. But maybe it is a bit too big for a mobile player?

My favorites would be the Hiby R3 Pro and the Shanling M2x.
I'm not sure about the Hiby because the manufacturer claims a max song quantity of 20.000 songs. However, I received a hint that the song restriction maybe refers to the libary and not to the folder structure. That would not be a problem since I always use the folder structure only and not the libary. The same applies to the hidiz because it uses the hiby software.

I would be grateful for suggestions and tips.

greetings

MCFly
 
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Mhog55

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For me, I'd grab the Hiby R3 Pro over the m2x every day of the week. It's a great dap for the asking price.
 
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Audio-MCFly

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For me, I'd grab the Hiby R3 Pro over the m2x every day of the week. It's a great dap for the asking price.
Thx for your answer.

I have send Hiby an email and they confirmed that the folder function can handle more than 20k songs.

The only thing that worries me is the weak amp the 3 pro is using. The Ibasso DX120 has way more juice.

Btw. Using Spotify is not possible with the R3 pro right?
 
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Yep, no Spotify. Plenty of power to drive most portable types of full size headphones. In balanced mode, it has slightly more than an LG V series phone. The R3 Pro Saber addition has even more. The DX120 does have more, but it's not as much as you might be thinking. Not sure exactly what size you're after, but there is a relatively substantial difference between the two. If you want an android dap to stream with, I've found the Hiby R5 to be the deal of the century. Plenty of power, and it really is the perfect size, in between the 120 and R3. It was recently on sale for 300 bucks, but it's gone up 50 bucks. Retail price is 400.
 
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Yep, no Spotify. Plenty of power to drive most portable types of full size headphones. In balanced mode, it has slightly more than an LG V series phone. The R3 Pro Saber addition has even more. The DX120 does have more, but it's not as much as you might be thinking. Not sure exactly what size you're after, but there is a relatively substantial difference between the two. If you want an android dap to stream with, I've found the Hiby R5 to be the deal of the century. Plenty of power, and it really is the perfect size, in between the 120 and R3. It was recently on sale for 300 bucks, but it's gone up 50 bucks. Retail price is 400.
Hi,

thx for your answer. The Hiby R5 costs 400-450 EUR here. Hiby is selling the R5 directly via their online shop for 300 EUR. But with tax and tariff it will also cost 400 bucks and importing is always risky. I think I don't want to spend 400 EUR for a DAP which I use only a few times a week. If I would use it daily it would be a different story.

Spotify would be a little goody but I mainly here my music from the SD card.

I thought the Ibasso is only a little bit bigger than the Hiby R3 pro. The DX120 has 400 mw output what is nearly double the output of the Hiby. The two sd card slots are also nice. But overall I like the Hiby more.The Ibasso is attractive because it costs atm 250 EUR instead of 340 EUR. When I read the reviews at Amazon about the different Ibasso player it seems to me that they have serious problems with the reliability.

The size of the R3 pro is perfect but when the player is a bit bigger it's no problem for me.

How do I know for which Headphones the output of the Hiby is enough? I'm hearing only with closed back headphones when I use mobile players and I'm owning atm the Soundmagic HP 150. But I plan to upgrade soon and therefore it would be good to know which headphones I can take into consideration.

I also think about buying an inear.
 
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Depends on what headphones you plan on getting.
 
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I would like to go the other way around and start with knowing which closed back headphones would work with the hiby and then I could try some out.
 
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That's a very long list. What type of headphones are you after, and what type of sound signature do you desire.
 
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That's a very long list. What type of headphones are you after, and what type of sound signature do you desire.
It's too early for a serious headphone search but for example I find the AKG K872 or the Denon AH-D series interessting. I can't say I have a preferable sound signature unless it's too bright or too warm. The question is if the DAP can handle the headphones I like.
 
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The R3 Pro will push and provide a decent amount of headroom with most dynamic driver headphones, but only from the balanced output. Denon, Fostex, Focal, and some Sennheisers could be too difficult though. I can't really answer your question unless I know which specific headphones.
 
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Save and get the R5 .
 
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Save and get the R5 .
Hi,
due to your recommendations I was looking the last days for players which are one price class higher. I guess the usual suspects are the Fiio M11, the Hiby R5 and the Ibasso DX160.

Unfortunately the Hiby R5 supports only 512 gb sd cards which is not enough for me. The Fiio and the Ibasso support sd cards up to 2 tb.

The Fiio is a bit huge for a protable player which I will store in my pocket.

The Ibasso has the most potent amp (6,4 Vrms which equals 800+? mW at 32 ohm). The output of the Fiio and the Hiby is 500+ mW. I have spend some time reading the DX120 thread and it's obvious that Ibasso has quality issues especially with the battery. I just started to read the DX160 thread.

It's really not that easy :tired_face:
 
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The R5 offers a full watt of power balanced.
 
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The R5 offers a full watt of power balanced.
Thx for the hint. But I'm a bit confused now. When the Hiby outputs 1W (500 per channel) than the same applies to the FIIO M11 (2x500) and the Ibasso (2x800)? That suprises me because my ifi ican SE delievers 4W at 16 ohm what should be 2W or less at 32 ohm. This would mean that the Ibasso DX160 is very close to the ifi and the ifi can drive everything.

Another question: When I only have an unbalanced cable but I'll buy an adapter for the balanced output does it benefit from the higher output power?
 
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Each of the 3 are very similar in regards to power. Point being, they all will drive essentially most all full size headphones - except for the most demanding, which are meant and designed primarily for home use. Daps were intended for portable use, mostly with in ear monitors. Only recently have they been available with loads of power. Not meant to compete with home amps, but now offer the option to be used with less efficient headphones on the move.
As for balanced use, you will need a balanced cable. The headphones will also need to be designed to be used balanced. Buying a balanced adapter and using it with the single ended cable, attached to a headphone that isn't wired for balanced use won't work. It can actually cause damage to your gear. Balanced adapters are for when dealing with different sized plugs. For example, my R5 has only a 4.4mm connection, but all of my balanced cables are 2.5mm.
 
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