Sony NW-ZX300
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Hinomotocho

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Sometimes i want quit this hobby. Some people say DAPs are always better than smartphones. And its make me feel like if i get a DAP i just like say "woow i glad to bought it." and my flacs sounds better on a DAP. I have lg v30 and fischer dba-02 and planning upgrade with earsonics velvet and zx300a. But some people like you saying some DAPs are not worth it to buy when if we compare with smartphones. What should i do? Idk its complicated and i think it wont change until i test on my ears. And one more thing, i can buy ibasso dx200 but i have to wait for it because i havent that much money. Are there any big SQ differences between dx200 and zx300? Should i wait dx200 or buy the ZX300?
Thanks for all reader and replier.
Because you have a smartphone with a decent output you can perhaps be satisfied with it for driving the earphones you own.
Personally I don't like the idea of using my phone all the time for music because I don't want to run the battery down and I don't want any disturbance from notifications or the constant running android processes. Also I like the side buttons as I frequently skip tracks.
Owning a dap makes me feel like I have a hobby and I have something specialised. Like dazzerfong stated in a post above, having a dap like the ZX300 will give you the ability to one day drive more demanding headphones if you decide on something new, also you can use it as a dac out of your pc and even bluetooth with other devices like a tv adding value to it.
People make bold statements that support their rigid beliefs and needs and that can sometimes make it hard to decide, perhaps you can ask yourself if your phone will keep you happy, thus saving you money and stress choosing gear, or if you really want to achieve a better level of sound and will benefit from the other functions and capabilities of a dap like the ZX300.
I don't know about iBasso daps, but Fiio have some great options at varying prices.
 
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dazzerfong

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First i would spend on a great IEM and then i would spend on a DAP. Also synergy is something many people ignore and IMO is very very important.
It's generally ignored because the ear/headphone makes a HUGE difference, whereas the DAP makes a tiny difference in the grand scheme of things. I'm not buying a player to resolve the deficiencies of a cheaper IEM; I'd rather get the more expensive IEM first if audio quality is my goal, then when I just want to eke out what little left there is, get the DAP.

Unless, of course, you want the DAP for things other than audio quality, in which case by all means.
 
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Hinomotocho

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Synergy is another important factor that makes choosing an iem really diifcult. I was in e-earphone in Japan, absolutely spoilt for choice and it did my head in trying to find something that was comfortable, isolated well, affordable, had a pleasing sound signature AND had a great synergy with my ZX300.
 
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anarch1st

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I use high gain on balanced for both my M9s and Z7M2. Around 30-40 for the M9, and 50 for the Z7M2. Just for fun, I used my old MDR-1A and got around 70-80 with normal gain, unbalanced.

Looking at the volume numbers here, everyone here is either running the EU model or listens insanely loudly compared to me
Using my M9 via balanced with the ZX300 on low gain, I'm at 45-50 volume (with 50 being a comfortable level for something like Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence piano) while I prefer lower for more 'engaging' music so to speak. With high gain, I'm around the 20-25 range.

It's generally ignored because the ear/headphone makes a HUGE difference, whereas the DAP makes a tiny difference in the grand scheme of things. I'm not buying a player to resolve the deficiencies of a cheaper IEM; I'd rather get the more expensive IEM first if audio quality is my goal, then when I just want to eke out what little left there is, get the DAP.

Unless, of course, you want the DAP for things other than audio quality, in which case by all means.
Agreed
 
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ttt123

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It's generally ignored because the ear/headphone makes a HUGE difference, whereas the DAP makes a tiny difference in the grand scheme of things. I'm not buying a player to resolve the deficiencies of a cheaper IEM; I'd rather get the more expensive IEM first if audio quality is my goal, then when I just want to eke out what little left there is, get the DAP........
This is a subject with many choices, depending on what you want. So the first question is what is your goal?
One perspective is that it is a System, and everything matters. If you go down the upgrade path, you need to look at what you want for the system. People can be happy with doing part, or none of the system. That is a personal decision, as different people will be happy with different choices.
True that the earphone makes a big difference. But also true that if your source is deficient, you will handicap the system.
- You can choose to improve the earphone first and stop there (if you can)..
- Or if the goal is the "best" system, then you will need to do more. You need to decide what kind of system you want, as the choices will depend on this. i.e. A no holds barred system? Or a moderate system, or a basic system? Or you do not care about the system, but only want to spend "x" amount of money and get the biggest return? There are different choices for each one. There are no rights and wrongs, just what you want for yourself.

Though I think of an analogy like putting very good tires on a car. Definitely feel the difference. But if the car had a better motor, and a better suspension, and a better chassis, there would be an overall system improvement, and you need to worry about synergy.
. If you want a fully optimized car, you would need to worry about the whole car synergy, and not just the tires. Just throwing components together without considering whether they work well together, will not get you the best result.

Or deciding that an architect is not necessary to build a house. Just pick all the features you want and throw them together. I've seen the result of this, and I thought the result was very imbalanced, and not a good "home".

So it comes back to deciding what your goal is, and then working towards that. If you have not thought about, and decided this part, it is very hard to decide what to do. Anybody else's opinion is based on their goal, and would be relevant to your situation if you are clear on your own goals, and how they matched up with somebody else's.
 
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dazzerfong

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Synergy is another important factor that makes choosing an iem really diifcult. I was in e-earphone in Japan, absolutely spoilt for choice and it did my head in trying to find something that was comfortable, isolated well, affordable, had a pleasing sound signature AND had a great synergy with my ZX300.
IEMs are funny in that with the advent of multi BA IEMs, you have to consider the output impedance of your amp/DAP as well as hissing. Thankfully, all you need is for output impedance is the lower it is, the better it is. Hissing, however is an area where the better units do indeed demonstrate better performance.

But for things like warmth, soundstage, clarity of the DAP? If its not good enough, you're better off getting a new IEM.

This is a subject with many choices, depending on what you want. So the first question is what is your goal?
One perspective is that it is a System, and everything matters. If you go down the upgrade path, you need to look at what you want for the system. People can be happy with doing part, or none of the system. That is a personal decision, as different people will be happy with different choices.
True that the earphone makes a big difference. But also true that if your source is deficient, you will handicap the system.
- You can choose to improve the earphone first and stop there (if you can)..
- Or if the goal is the "best" system, then you will need to do more. You need to decide what kind of system you want, as the choices will depend on this. i.e. A no holds barred system? Or a moderate system, or a basic system? Or you do not care about the system, but only want to spend "x" amount of money and get the biggest return? There are different choices for each one. There are no rights and wrongs, just what you want for yourself.

Though I think of an analogy like putting very good tires on a car. Definitely feel the difference. But if the car had a better motor, and a better suspension, and a better chassis, there would be an overall system improvement, and you need to worry about synergy.
. If you want a fully optimized car, you would need to worry about the whole car synergy, and not just the tires. Just throwing components together without considering whether they work well together, will not get you the best result.

Or deciding that an architect is not necessary to build a house. Just pick all the features you want and throw them together. I've seen the result of this, and I thought the result was very imbalanced, and not a good "home".

So it comes back to deciding what your goal is, and then working towards that. If you have not thought about, and decided this part, it is very hard to decide what to do. Anybody else's opinion is based on their goal, and would be relevant to your situation if you are clear on your own goals, and how they matched up with somebody else's.
Problem is, unlike a car, the headphone is like 90-99% of the audio quality. Unless you have a problematic component, i.e. very hissy output, very high output impedance, not sufficient power.

Luckily for IEMs, achieving these is pretty easy. Hiss is generally the main one that bothers me, and thus my reason for spending quite a bit of money getting around it. Ironically, my newer earphones don't experience the same level of hissing as my old ones, so all that money meant not much at all in the end.

Now, if you just want the bees-to-the-knees system, sure, consider synergy. But to get the point where the rest of your system becomes an significant impediment to the audio quality of your transducer, you're gonna be spending quite a bit. However, if you have limited funds, the most important thing for sound quality is your transducer.

Definitely though, consider what your goal is. Is it bang-for-buck, bees-to-the-knees, or somewhere in between?

And of course, strictly my opinion. Don't have the brains to turn this into an actual objectivism vs subjectivism debate, and nor is it helpful.
 
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Problem is, unlike a car, the headphone is like 90-99% of the audio quality. Unless you have a problematic component, i.e. very hissy output, very high output impedance, not sufficient power.

Luckily for IEMs, achieving these is pretty easy. Hiss is generally the main one that bothers me, and thus my reason for spending quite a bit of money getting around it. Ironically, my newer earphones don't experience the same level of hissing as my old ones, so all that money meant not much at all in the end.

Now, if you just want the bees-to-the-knees system, sure, consider synergy. But to get the point where the rest of your system becomes an significant impediment to the audio quality of your transducer, you're gonna be spending quite a bit. However, if you have limited funds, the most important thing for sound quality is your transducer.

Definitely though, consider what your goal is. Is it bang-for-buck, bees-to-the-knees, or somewhere in between?

And of course, strictly my opinion. Don't have the brains to turn this into an actual objectivism vs subjectivism debate, and nor is it helpful.
I also think there is nothing to debate, nor does this get into subjective/objective concerns. Merely pointing out some things to consider.

Your goal is based on your belief that the earphone (speaker) is responsible for 90-99% of the end result, so is perfectly logical for you.

I personally do not believe it is this high, and also believe that the system interworking is just as, or more important than any of the individual parts, so I have different goals.

None of this is to say any view is more right or wrong than the other. It is just each persons personal view, and that in turn determines what we each feel is important, and in what order.
 
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I always change my opinions. Now i think i have to buy a great iem but tomorrow it can be "i have to buy a source". I was think like all headphone reviews depens on great sources. So what i read on reviews, i think like they works on these sources. And idk what does mid, soundstage, warm, bright means. Its all complicated. Before i bought fischer dba-02 in other forums people say it has really good details and really good iem. But i dont like it at all. Thanks for all answers btw.
 
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I always change my opinions. Now i think i have to buy a great iem but tomorrow it can be "i have to buy a source". I was think like all headphone reviews depens on great sources. So what i read on reviews, i think like they works on these sources. And idk what does mid, soundstage, warm, bright means. Its all complicated. Before i bought fischer dba-02 in other forums people say it has really good details and really good iem. But i dont like it at all. Thanks for all answers btw.
I guess part of the hobby for me is doing loads of research first... and understanding the technical bits and bobs before making a decision. It’s nice to take your time and consider exactly what it is you want.

I think I struck lucky with my combination, CA Vegas, and ZX300 are so good for me and a pleasure to listen to every day.
 
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I always change my opinions. Now i think i have to buy a great iem but tomorrow it can be "i have to buy a source". I was think like all headphone reviews depens on great sources. So what i read on reviews, i think like they works on these sources. And idk what does mid, soundstage, warm, bright means. Its all complicated. Before i bought fischer dba-02 in other forums people say it has really good details and really good iem. But i dont like it at all. Thanks for all answers btw.
Your experience is shared by everybody(most, anyways). It is hard to figure out what is good. So you read the reviews. The more you look, the more confused you get. Your choices shift from one thing to another. Finally you make a decision, and wind up dissatisfied with it. You realize that every review incorporates the biases, and personal tastes, and the limitations of the reviewer.

The only advice I have is to look for a reviewer whose tastes have proven to be what you like, and/or find a good store. And accept that it will be a long learning experience. If it were that simple, and that easy, this hobby would not keep your interest, or last very long, would it?
 
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Sometimes i want quit this hobby. Some people say DAPs are always better than smartphones. And its make me feel like if i get a DAP i just like say "woow i glad to bought it." and my flacs sounds better on a DAP. I have lg v30 and fischer dba-02 and planning upgrade with earsonics velvet and zx300a. But some people like you saying some DAPs are not worth it to buy when if we compare with smartphones. What should i do? Idk its complicated and i think it wont change until i test on my ears. And one more thing, i can buy ibasso dx200 but i have to wait for it because i havent that much money. Are there any big SQ differences between dx200 and zx300? Should i wait dx200 or buy the zx300?
Thanks for all reader and replier.
Idiotphones :

1) Make you literally dumb - constant social network, internet, email checking ****s up your dopamine (reward) system and leads to mental decline and depression
2) Make you infertile and may give you brain cancer because of constant radiation
3) Are government and google spyware tracking devices
4) Are expensive and easy breakable devices
5) They rapidly loose value
6) Constant neck bending will lead to neck problems and will speed up aging process and mental decline ( you block blood flow to brain)
7) Constant screen glaring can make you killed or robbed as you dont pay attention what's around
8) Kill any kind of social interaction

DAPs are for master race, idiotphones are for plebs and prols. DAPs are like Ferrari and Gucci, phones are like McDonalds. Choose, where you belong.
 
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Idiotphones :

1) Make you literally dumb - constant social network, internet, email checking ****s up your dopamine (reward) system and leads to mental decline and depression
2) Make you infertile and may give you brain cancer because of constant radiation
3) Are government and google spyware tracking devices
4) Are expensive and easy breakable devices
5) They rapidly loose value
6) Constant neck bending will lead to neck problems and will speed up aging process and mental decline ( you block blood flow to brain)
7) Constant screen glaring can make you killed or robbed as you dont pay attention what's around
8) Kill any kind of social interaction

DAPs are for master race, idiotphones are for plebs and prols. DAPs are like Ferrari and Gucci, phones are like McDonalds. Choose, where you belong.
Couldn't agree more with you, bro.. And couldn't have said it myself any better.. :)
 
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dazzerfong

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Your experience is shared by everybody(most, anyways). It is hard to figure out what is good. So you read the reviews. The more you look, the more confused you get. Your choices shift from one thing to another. Finally you make a decision, and wind up dissatisfied with it. You realize that every review incorporates the biases, and personal tastes, and the limitations of the reviewer.

The only advice I have is to look for a reviewer whose tastes have proven to be what you like, and/or find a good store. And accept that it will be a long learning experience. If it were that simple, and that easy, this hobby would not keep your interest, or last very long, would it?
And that's why it's helpful to be pessimistic before trying. With that attitude, hyped stuff becomes meh, and hidden gems truly shine.

What a great way to live life!
 
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I always change my opinions. Now i think i have to buy a great iem but tomorrow it can be "i have to buy a source". I was think like all headphone reviews depens on great sources. So what i read on reviews, i think like they works on these sources. And idk what does mid, soundstage, warm, bright means. Its all complicated. Before i bought fischer dba-02 in other forums people say it has really good details and really good iem. But i dont like it at all. Thanks for all answers btw.
After several tests, the most appropriate choice for my use and my tastes is the following:

At home:
ZX300 (with Huawei Mate 10 via LDAC for TIDAL) + AKG N40 (3.5 jack) or Sony MDR-1AM2 (4.4 jack)

Then, when I can afford it, I have to buy some high-end headphones and headphone amplifier to combine them with my current Hi-Fi system, which is composed of PC + iFi iPurifier 2 + iFi Micro iUSB 2.0 + iFi Gemini Cable + iFi Micro iDAC2.

On the street:

Huawei Mate 10 + EarStudio ES100 (LDAC bluetooth too) + FiiO FH1 (2.5 jack)

Could I replace my ZX300 and my EarStudio with an LG V40 or LG G8? Maybe. But honestly I think I would lose more things than I would gain, mainly to be able to enjoy my music without distractions. That is what you should value.
 
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