Should I go for a dedicated DAP? (Coming from LG Q9 Quad Dac)
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Kalnet101

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Hey guys! I'm gonna be getting a new phone tomorrlw and it'll be an LG Q9. I found out that this phone has the same quad dac as the rest of the LG phones. I read the fine print of it and it uses the ES9128P chip.

I also wanna get a dedicated DAP to keep all the songs in and I saw all the entry level daps uses the same ES9128P chip. (Ex, Fiio M3 Pro, Shanling Q1, etc...)

Most of my songs are 24bit/96khz and nothing above that. I mainly use IEMs as well. I might be getting headphones but it's not till next year. Are there any range of daps that are below or around the 200USD range worth mentioning since I'll be getting the LG Q9? Or should I stick to the LG Q9 for now?

Thanks!
 
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baskingshark

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I use the Shanling q1. Ok for the price, has two way BT. Not as good SQ wise as some portable dac/amp dongles like the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro.
I actually think putting these dongles with your smartphone may be more cost effective (you might need to check if your phone is compatible or get otg cables for it).

DAPs may be useful to preserve battery life or memory space on your smartphone (especially if you go for lossless files), though that may mean bringing a second device when you go out.
 
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Kalnet101

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Yes! I'm totally okay with bringing a second device since my latest work life consists of me out of the house majority of the time and I'll be at either the office, at cafes, or walking around malls to kill time. I won't be plugging any DAPs to my phone and I'll be using a DAP as a separate listening device offline. Spotify and my personal favourite song tracks will be in my LG so I'll be able to manage some space. I have a 64gb micro sd card as well that might go into my phone which already has 64gb in it or put it in a DAP if I'm buying one.
 
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audiobomber

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I agree with Roseval, use the phone alone, until you have headphones that need more power. You probably bought the LG because of its DAC, take advantage of it. I do not own a DAP and never will. This five-minute Darko video explains my reasoning: https://darko.audio/2018/03/the-dap-days-are-over-part-1-xiaomi-audioquest/

I own the LG8 ThinQ (same DAC as your phone). I use it with Sennheiser Momentum IE1 and Beyerdynamic Byron IEM, and it sounds quite satisfying. With my Grado GH4 headphones, sound quality is in a different league. The phone has enough power that I don't need an external amp with the easy-driving Grados. With my 250-ohm DT 1990 Pro headphones the level is fine, but the sound loses drive and definition.

I also have an XtremePro X1 USB DAC, which has the same specs as a Dragonfly Black (in fact my laptop says it's a DFB when I connect the XtremePro). When I use the X1 with the phone, there is a very small improvement in SQ vs. the internal LG DAC. I'm not sure I could tell them apart in a blind test, which should give you a reference point. When the time comes to upgrade, you will need to aim beyond the Dragonfly Black to get any significant improvement in sound quality. For the cost of a DAP, you could buy a very nice portable DAC.

PS You should check the storage capacity of your phone. My LG G8 will accommodate a 128GB micro SD. I have a Sandisk on order. I previously bought two cheap Chinese versions from Amazon but one died after a year of use. The other is labelled 128GB but would only hold 64GB when new. It is also dead now.
 
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