Portable quandary
Jan 24, 2014 at 9:48 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

Zephead

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Hi all,
 
I'm looking to buy a new portable player soon and would appreciate some advice.
 
Most important factors are, storage space, build quality and sound quality with ease of use coming in very close behind. I'd also prefer something with a decent size screen for navigation (i.e 2.5" or similar rather than 3 line display some have)
 
I've got around 60Gb of music all in 256Kbps AAC format (non DRM) and I will be using either TDK EB900 IEMs, Panasonic RP-HTX7 phones or Sennheiser HD448 phones. I plan on getting some new IEM's later this year though and am considering Soundmagic E10, Beyerdynamic DYX 101i or if I can stretch to it, RHA MA600 / M750
 
I've come up with the following options that will fit budget and seem to be ok. I've put my thoughts about the cons of each one as well.
 
 
 1. iPod classic 160gb with LOD cable and amp (JDS labs CMOY or maybe Fiio E11).
      Not sure about the sound quality of this combination but can fit my entire music collection on with room for expansion also not               
      sure about how long the iPod will last
 
 2. Ibasso DX 50 with 64Gb San disk ultra class 10 card
      Sound quality should be good, a little concerned about buginess of the UI on this
 
 3. Fiio X3 with 64Gb San disk ultra class 10 card
      Sound quality should be good but some concerns about the build quality based on some reviews I've read.
 
 
Any feedback anyone can give about these 3 options (or alternatives that fit within the £250 budget)?
 
 
Jan 24, 2014 at 12:22 PM Post #2 of 8

KT66

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I am not Apples number one fan, but an ipod seems to suit your needs well,
lots of choice of LOD cables and amps.
 
Also in my experience whether a card is ultra or not or class 4 or 10, makes
no difference to audio quality whatsoever, but I am always open to being proved wrong.
 
My personal recommendation would be the Hisoundaudio Studio V or 3rd Anniv
sounds great, built literally like a tank, feels great in the hand, but UI is very very basic
compared to an ipod.
 
Jan 24, 2014 at 1:40 PM Post #3 of 8

Zephead

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I probably should mention what I want from it musically.
 
I listen to all sorts of music so I want something that can deliver a full orchestra and the full boom of the cannon in Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture while not getting phased by the speed of something like Dragonforce.
 
Tight controlled bass is important as I listen to quite a lot of rock with fast bass lines and I appreciate that the headphones will have a significant impact there but the player will I feel have an effect as well. I want to be able to hear the full range of the music and not wish I'd spent £250 on something else.
 
The reason I mentioned the particular Micro SD card I would be looking to get is because people with those players might tell me it's a good idea or that I would be fine with a lesser brand card.
 
I've looked at the Hisoundaudio player and the display is too basic, I tend to listen to full albums but i'd like to be able to see maybe as many as half a dozen artists or albums as I'm scrolling through. I have 845 albums by 356 different artists. That's a lot to scroll through 1 line at a time. Even if it allows you to jump to a letter that doesn't help as I often just scroll through to see what I fancy. I don't often pick up the player with the intention of listening to a particular album.
 
In fact while sat here reading reviews and things, I've gone from Tchaikovsky's 1812 to now listening to Nirvana - Unplugged.
 
Jan 24, 2014 at 2:04 PM Post #4 of 8

JoeDoe

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You'll get a little better sound quality with a fifth-generation iPod, like the 80 gig. Finding one of those secondhand will probably be your cheapest option that will fulfill all your needs.

Both the DX 50 and X.3 our quality players that will suit all of your needs. The X.3 has a slightly warmer sound signature while the DX 50 is slightly brighter. The UIs of both have improved greatly since their respective releases and shouldn't present any real problems.

Another portable that you should consider is the colorfly C3. It's an extremely musical player that covers all of the bases you've asked for. It's also the cheapest out of all of the options presented as far
 
Jan 24, 2014 at 2:17 PM Post #5 of 8

gamefreak054

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The UI on my brothers DX50 is just fine. In fact the 3 physical buttons are awesome. He has a 3rd batch updated to the newest FW I believe. The touch screen is a bit sensitive for me but I am used to the dx100 I think most of the drama with the DX50s are over. I personally have had more troubles with the ipod classic than any other dap I have used. Otherwise the DX50 blows away the ipod in SQ imo. The DX50 is a nifty little player and I highly recommend it. I also like the ibasso dac section over the various fiio dacs I have owned.
 
I could be a bit of an ibasso dap fanboy though. I probably would not buy any of their dacs or amps as I find my DX100 to the ultimate portable solution for me.
 
Jan 28, 2014 at 1:13 AM Post #6 of 8

DigitalFreak

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Just my 2 cents, others have had a better experience but I did not. The end result was me with a bitter taste in my mouth. You can choose to ignore my video or heed it. There has been some FW updates and from what I understand most people seem happy with the DX50 although the last time I peeked into the DX50 thread there was still the odd person complaining about getting a lemon. Have you thought of maybe waiting for impressions involving the Fiio X5? Early information thus far looks good. Why don't you wait a few short weeks until there's more feedback on the X5 and think it over before you commit.
 
Feb 5, 2014 at 1:20 PM Post #7 of 8

sant430

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I'm also in the same boat.  I"m looking at getting a dedicated dap instead of using my iphone 4s.  I was seriously considering the DX50 too, but I'm wondering now if I should just wait for Fiio's X5, or the the DX50's upgrade, the DX90.  
 
Feb 6, 2014 at 7:24 AM Post #8 of 8

Zephead

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I suspect the X5 is going to be beyond my budget but just in case, I've just ordered a Sansa Clip Zip for £20 (Refurb) which will give me something decent for now, especially when I order some RHA MA750 IEM's in a couple of weeks) and then I'll wait and see what happens with the X5.
 

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