Portable dac/amp with best bang for buck.
Nov 23, 2015 at 10:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

seanwee

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Hey guys Im looking for a dac/amp.
I would get the FiiO E10K but it lacks a 3.5mm line in.

Any other suggestions?
 
Nov 23, 2015 at 11:24 PM Post #3 of 15

seanwee

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Does it sound warm? Or neutral or bright?

Hows the noise floor? And does it improve the sound eg cleaner more transparent sound/ better soundstage and separation etc.
 
Nov 24, 2015 at 12:12 AM Post #4 of 15

ProtegeManiac

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Quote:


Does it sound warm? Or neutral or bright?

 
Both versions generally neutral - cleaner output makes the bass on my ASG-1.3 tighter than when driving it with the Galaxy S or S3. It can drive my HD600 jsut fine at moderate volume levels with a neutral tone. Worked fine with an AKG Q701 but I prefer the Ibasso D12 for that. MkII version however bridges the gap between the MkI and D12.
 
Quote:


Hows the noise floor? And does it improve the sound eg cleaner more transparent sound/ better soundstage and separation etc.
 

Cleaner bass on the ASG-1.3 vs Galaxy S series, but Galaxy Note is closer to D-Zero's sound than the S. As much as the phones aren't horrible with the HD600 the D-Zero really improves it with more precise imaging; MkII version give it more "oomph" at levels where the MkI starts to sound a bit thinner. Absolute soundstage size doesn't matter either way.
 
Nov 24, 2015 at 12:48 AM Post #5 of 15

seanwee

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Would it be better if i straight away buy a FiiO X3 ii and use it as my portable source instead of iphone+Ibasso?
And use the X3 ii as a dac from my pc?
 
Nov 24, 2015 at 1:03 AM Post #6 of 15

ProtegeManiac

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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanwee /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Would it be better if i straight away buy a FiiO X3 ii and use it as my portable source instead of iphone+Ibasso?
And use the X3 ii as a dac from my pc?

 
That depends on your really - what general ergonomics/UI do you prefer? I prefer a phone for a touchscreen, and on the go I need calls to come in and interrupt the music (not like I'm sitting in my favorite chair, I'm likely standing in a train); I get around the distortion on the amp side of the chip by using a 100dB or 125dB sensitivity IEM. Then when I get home I still make use of the touchscreen UI for my main system by docking it and it feeds digital audio to the rest of the system.
 
Like this.

 
 
If you're willing to haul around another device and you don't need to be reachable as much as I do then go with the X3. If you want to keep it upright there's the Fiio K5, but your computer will be the main source anyway.
 
Nov 24, 2015 at 1:28 AM Post #7 of 15

seanwee

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Im not so affected by hauling along another device (besides, its a either a X3 ii or an Ibasso, not both) but im more concerned about SQ.
DSD playability isnt a deciding factor as i dont have any DSD music anyways.
 
How does the SQ of a X3 ii compare with the Ibasso?
 
Ps. Im kinda leaning towards the Ibasso as i like brighter signatures. And does bright sound=detailed?
 
Nov 24, 2015 at 5:00 AM Post #8 of 15

ProtegeManiac

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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanwee /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
Ps. Im kinda leaning towards the Ibasso as i like brighter signatures. And does bright sound=detailed?

 
That's one of the greatest misconceptions in this forum that you should avoid. Bright implies that there's an imbalance in the response that favors the treble. For some reason, people think that means "detailed," the problem with that being it implies that the only details that matter are in the treble. So a triangle and cymbal or high hats need to be boosted to be "detailed"? But what about detailed nuances in strumming a bass guitar? From a more objective and less subjective standpoint "neutral" is detailed because it doesn't obscure anything in favor of something else.
 
Look at one of my favorite examples of that misconception. The headphones that people call "detailed" always have some boost in the treble. Sometimes I wonder if the people who think that "bright" is "detailed" have uneven hearing loss, like middle aged people, and likely that's where most people have a lot of money to blow on speakers instead of something else, like their kid's college fund or the mortgage. 
 
 
 
How does the SQ of a X3 ii compare with the Ibasso?

 
I haven't heard the X3II but if it's like the X3 vs the DX50 I'm more of the "I hardly hear a difference and I notice the UI and ergonomics differences a lot more" camp. Really it's the player so those are what will matter unless we're talking about things like built-in processors (as in cars), or the DAP equivalent, Rockbox. DX50 can use that firmware, the Fiios can't.
 
Nov 24, 2015 at 5:31 PM Post #9 of 15

KSCalifornia

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Hi, I was just coming across a new project on Kickstarter.com, called FLEXUP. That portable headphone AMP looks interesting as it introduces Active Noise Cancellation and it seems to have a great price. I wonder how good it will sound. Does anybody have more information on that small "gadget"?
 
Nov 24, 2015 at 9:58 PM Post #10 of 15

seanwee

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That portable headphone AMP looks interesting as it introduces Active Noise Cancellation.


An AMP with Active Noise Cancellation????

How would that work????
 
Nov 24, 2015 at 10:09 PM Post #11 of 15

seanwee

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I haven't heard the X3II but if it's like the X3 vs the DX50 I'm more of the "I hardly hear a difference and I notice the UI and ergonomics differences a lot more" camp. Really it's the player so those are what will matter unless we're talking about things like built-in processors (as in cars), or the DAP equivalent, Rockbox. DX50 can use that firmware, the Fiios can't.


Yeah, about that.I have used Rockbox OS on my Sansa Fuze v2 until it died.

Never knew that the Rockbox can support touchscreen though.And wouldn't the Rockbox OS take away the player's ability to be used as a dac or play hi-res files natively. (In my knowledge Rockbox downsamples high-res files)

And about the sound quality....
What about the dac chips used? Would those make a difference?
 
Nov 24, 2015 at 10:48 PM Post #12 of 15

ProtegeManiac

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Quote:


Yeah, about that.I have used Rockbox OS on my Sansa Fuze v2 until it died.

Never knew that the Rockbox can support touchscreen though.And wouldn't the Rockbox OS take away the player's ability to be used as a dac or play hi-res files natively. (In my knowledge Rockbox downsamples high-res files)

 
I'm not following the DX50 thread but you can go check it out there. AFAIK if it can boot both as with the original iPod then maybe you just boot up with the stock firmware.
 
Quote:


And about the sound quality....
What about the dac chips used? Would those make a difference?
 

It depends on the circuit really and sometimes the firmware but again as much as I can hear some differences they're not big enough to override the more obvious differences in size and UI, which is what you should base your purchase on along with product support. Ibasso makes one part of that easier by using Samsung S3 batteries - if it wears out you just order a new one and put it in. Non-replaceable batteries tend to be more durable though so it's not like you'll have to do that often, but of course it's one thing to go to a local mall where you have an Apple store to replace the iPhone battery on the spot compared to shipping a Fiio, but so far nobody's had any issues yet. Newer versions or new product lines popped out faster than they wore out the batteries on what they had.
 
Nov 24, 2015 at 11:15 PM Post #13 of 15

seanwee

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Hmm... ok....

Might as well get a DX 80 straight away .
 
Nov 25, 2015 at 4:38 AM Post #14 of 15

Joerg G

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I search for the Amp and realized, that they use aptX. CSR is the inventor of aptX and they are providing a chip with "Support for ANC feed-forward architecture".
 
http://www.csr.com/products/csr8675
 
Could be that they use this chip.
 
On the other hand I identified Texas Instrument chips in their Kickstarter Video.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/klausschmidt/flexup-digital-mobile-headphone-amplifier-redefine?ref=nav_search
 
And they started a patent, so it seems, they found a way to provide.
 
Nov 25, 2015 at 9:23 AM Post #15 of 15

seanwee

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  I search for the Amp and realized, that they use aptX. CSR is the inventor of aptX and they are providing a chip with "Support for ANC feed-forward architecture".
 
http://www.csr.com/products/csr8675
 
Could be that they use this chip.
 
On the other hand I identified Texas Instrument chips in their Kickstarter Video.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/klausschmidt/flexup-digital-mobile-headphone-amplifier-redefine?ref=nav_search
 
And they started a patent, so it seems, they found a way to provide.

And why this all of a sudden?
 

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