Starting from scratch - New DAP and Headphones
Apr 27, 2015 at 1:45 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

zg1984

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Hi guys,
Due to some very unfortunate coincidence I’ve recently lost all my gear, which included a Cowon J3 DAP and UE triple-fi 10 IEM with a custom pure silver cable by Chris Himself. After some agonizing (and unsuccessful) attempts to recover my stuff, I finally gave up and made peace with the fact that I need to get a new set. Now, if I’m getting new gear I might as well upgrade myself :). I’m a real sound quality freak and I’ve been wanting to upgrade for a while now. I listen to (almost) every kind of music that’s out there, starting from classical music, through classical rock, to alternative weird stuff, pop and electronic. I’ve been quite happy with my Cowon J3+Triple.fi 10’s
My question breaks up into two parts:
1. The easier part: A recommended DAP to replace the Cowon J3? Should I even replace it or just get a new one of the same? Important properties are the following: High quality sound; FLAC & WAV support; nice interface (doesn’t have to be anything fancy – the Cowon OS was just fine); doesn’t have to play video at all; long battery life (the J3 was just fine from that angle as well).
2. The harder one: What should I go for as my next headphones? I’m not even sure if I want IEMs or full-sized headphones – what are the differences in terms of sound quality (pros and cons of each)? I’d be happy to get specific recommendations :)! Some tie ago I was thinking to upgrade my TF10s to JH16s, but I’m not entirely sure of the custom IEM concept – is that convenient? Somehow it feels to me like an awkward process putting them in and taking them out. I’m really open for whatever and would be very happy to get your suggestions…At the end of the day I'm looking for the best sounding hifi headphones that are also convenient.
Thanks a lot!
 
Apr 27, 2015 at 1:40 PM Post #2 of 14

cel4145

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Look into the FiiO X3 & X5 and iBasso DX50 and DX90. I have not heard the Cowon J3 (I have a Cowon D2+ hanging around somewhere). But my understanding is that FiiO and iBasso have moved ahead of what Cowon used to offer.
 
Apr 27, 2015 at 1:58 PM Post #4 of 14

cel4145

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Sorry. Not sure what's an improvement on your IEMs. Have you seen this set of reviews?
http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-336-iems-compared-gorilla-ears-gx-4b-added-04-17-15-p-1053
 
Apr 28, 2015 at 11:34 AM Post #6 of 14

H20Fidelity

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I've owned TF10 four times in total, Cowon J3 twice, so I'm fairly familiar of its sound quality limits.

If you want to upgrade look at iBasso DX90 and Fidue A83, this will be quite a considerable upgrade. You could even opt for DX50 instead of the higher model DX90.

Another upgrade but to lesser extent would be Dunu DN-1000 with FiiO X3K, this will get you upgraded for a little cheaper but I would take the first A83 rig personally.
 
Apr 28, 2015 at 11:45 AM Post #8 of 14

H20Fidelity

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Are these custom IEMs? If not, how about customs - would you recommend it?


I don't venture into customs sorry.

But using our search feature punching in the models we provided gives you a starting point to research.
 
Apr 28, 2015 at 11:33 PM Post #9 of 14

zg1984

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You're right.

I'll actually be in Hong Kong in June. I though waiting with the purchase and get the DAP and new IEMs there. This might turn out to be cheaper, don't you think so? Anyone familiar with any specific stores I should visit?
 
May 11, 2015 at 1:49 AM Post #10 of 14

zg1984

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I'm leaning towards getting a real upgrade in the form of JH16!! Which DAP would fit better: iBasso DX90 or Fiio X5? I've understood that the DX90 has a more dominant bass than the X5 and I'm not sure if combining it with the quad low of the JH16 is the right way to go... Maybe some other DAP would be preferable?
 
May 11, 2015 at 2:13 AM Post #11 of 14

Lorspeaker

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I hear the UE11 briefly...I tot it is quite superbly balanced n big sounding, good for most genres.
A friend of mine said JH16 is kinda bassy...but he is a drummer, not complaining :wink:
Best u do some research.

If u are the type that need to rip off your iem in a hurry when your boss or wife often interrupts u..
Then customs are a pain to pull out.
 
May 11, 2015 at 7:04 AM Post #13 of 14

Lorspeaker

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havent drop my coins on any killer daps yet...
living off my sansa clip n ipad on lossless files
jn Macdonalds for time being :)
 
May 13, 2015 at 9:22 AM Post #14 of 14

gHeadphone

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Im a big fan of my Etymotic ER4s paired with the Fiio X3, amazing clarity.
 

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