The discovery thread!
Oct 27, 2021 at 10:59 PM Post #60,691 of 61,060

mndless

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I've heard a bit about the X20. I don't mind a lack of touch screen since I did came from a touch-screen-less DAP like the Fiio X1 MK1 after all.

The only thing that matters to me is if the sound is good or not. Everything else is secondary to me. Balanced output would be a welcome addition of course, since that makes auditioning 2.5/4.4 mm stuffs less of a hassle.

Also I don't care about streaming since I got plenty in my SD cards anyway.

I am not familiar with either Hiby or Shanling but I'll check them out if I got the chance.
The HiBy R3 Pro Saber has been pretty good for me, but it depends on if you want a DAP or a proper cabled DAC/amp. It does do bluetooth with LDAC if you want to run wired IEMs but don't want to tether the DAP to another source. It can also do USB DAC functions, so you can use it as an audio output device on Windows and Mac. You can even use it as a bluetooth transmitter while in USB DAC mode if you have wireless IEM adapters or TWS earphones that support AptX, AptX-HD, or LDAC. And it also has the standby of microSD card support, so you can play things locally. I'd wait to catch it on sale, though, as the original retail price is a bit higher than I think it should be at around $190. As for IEMs, I've been loving the entry-level stuff from GS Audio, specifically their GD3A. If you want to wait, they're working on an even bassier version called the GD3C. Alternately, Fearless Audio has launched a new 1+1 design called the Barcelona at $118 that have a very promising looking graph.
 
Oct 27, 2021 at 11:09 PM Post #60,692 of 61,060

Rin1990

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The HiBy R3 Pro Saber has been pretty good for me, but it depends on if you want a DAP or a proper cabled DAC/amp. It does do bluetooth with LDAC if you want to run wired IEMs but don't want to tether the DAP to another source. It can also do USB DAC functions, so you can use it as an audio output device on Windows and Mac. You can even use it as a bluetooth transmitter while in USB DAC mode if you have wireless IEM adapters or TWS earphones that support AptX, AptX-HD, or LDAC. And it also has the standby of microSD card support, so you can play things locally. I'd wait to catch it on sale, though, as the original retail price is a bit higher than I think it should be at around $190. As for IEMs, I've been loving the entry-level stuff from GS Audio, specifically their GD3A. If you want to wait, they're working on an even bassier version called the GD3C. Alternately, Fearless Audio has launched a new 1+1 design called the Barcelona at $118 that have a very promising looking graph.
That all sounds rather promising for the Hiby. On paper the specs are looking impressive too since I do like Sabre DACs. (Still need to hear its implementation ultimately, though)

As for GS Audio I haven't heard about them, but I will say that I prefer a more neutral balanced sound that's not sibilant on treble or boomy on the low ends since nothing worse than an IEM with mid-bleeding bass where you can't identify anything from a track.
 
Oct 27, 2021 at 11:18 PM Post #60,693 of 61,060

Dsnuts

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This is used but I know @marklivia here takes good care of his stuff, he barely used it. This might be what your looking for. Something new bang for buck IEM more neutrally tuned, sub bass, very good detail and imaging. https://www.head-fi.org/classifieds/yanyin-aladdin-mint.9634/ This is a steal at his asking price for this set imo. It is 3 Knowles BAs + Bio dynamic for bass.
 
Oct 27, 2021 at 11:27 PM Post #60,694 of 61,060

Dsnuts

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Hybrids just dont sound too much better especially at that used price. I know Yanyin is a brand you probably never heard of but. These folks are actually made up from a bunch of experienced tuners in the industry that decided to make their own brand and started making earphones last year under the Yanyin brand. I know your a graph guy so you can see this graph and see for yourself.
11545212.png


Sound is as smooth as this graph looks. I bet you will like. The only catch to the Aladdin here is that it is a 10 ohm sensitivity. They are sensitive to source outputs. Just about anything newer DAPs now a days have very low output impedance so not a big deal.
 
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Oct 28, 2021 at 12:00 AM Post #60,695 of 61,060

Rin1990

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Hybrids just dont sound too much better especially at that used price. I know Yanyin is a brand you probably never heard of but. These folks are actually made up from a bunch of experienced tuners in the industry that decided to make their own brand and started making earphones last year under the Yanyin brand. I know your a graph guy so you can see this graph and see for yourself.
11545212.png


Sound is as smooth as this graph looks. I bet you will like. The only catch to the Aladdin here is that it is a 10 ohm sensitivity. They are sensitive to source outputs. Just about anything newer DAPs now a days have very low output impedance so not a big deal.
Sounds pretty good, though yeah this is yet another name I never even heard of but if there's one thing I noticed is that the hybrid stuffs are increasingly cheaper by the time.

I remember back then those Dynamic + BA combinations cost a lot more...though I suppose it's not a fair comparison given that's over 5 years ago.

Also, while I do not read graphs, an acquaintance of mine who did remarked that the graph on paper looks decent but might still lack details and resolution though it's to be expected from a cheaper unit.
 
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Oct 28, 2021 at 12:23 AM Post #60,696 of 61,060

Dsnuts

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Earphones have evolved quite a bit since even a few years back. Something like this Yanyin Aladdin about 3 years ago would have been in the $300-$400 range in price point.

There are numerous new Chinese brands that have driven the earphone market to the point where you will be shocked what you can get for even $100 range now a days for sound. The sheer variety of types of dynamics, hybrids even a cheap tribrids using 3 types of different drivers. Even your traditional single dynamics IEMs nowadays all use some type of coating that promises better sonics. Beryllium coated, titanium coated, Carbon/ graphene, composite based, Biofilm ect ect. Too many varieties to cover in one post. In fact it is not uncommon to come into this thread and see the folks here post about 2-5 brand new earphones they have seen in the market daily.

Todays mid fi level earphones was yesterdays top of the line. Todays budget level stuff sound more closer to mid fi level of earphone from several years back. Huge competition from so many manufacturers compete to make one better than the competition. This is good for the folks that enjoy this hobby but I have to admit sometimes it is very difficult to keep up with so many earphones and with new companies that pop up all the time.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 12:28 AM Post #60,697 of 61,060

mndless

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That all sounds rather promising for the Hiby. On paper the specs are looking impressive too since I do like Sabre DACs. (Still need to hear its implementation ultimately, though)

As for GS Audio I haven't heard about them, but I will say that I prefer a more neutral balanced sound that's not sibilant on treble or boomy on the low ends since nothing worse than an IEM with mid-bleeding bass where you can't identify anything from a track.
GS Audio is pretty new but they're the OEM for some other brands, so they do have some experience. I think the GD3A may be the IEM to beat in the sub-$100 price bracket. The DD they use is incredibly agile, so it matches well with the BAs. Like all of the GS Audio sets I've used, they're capable of getting crazy loud, so you'll want to make sure that their treble peaks don't align with your own harmonic resonant peaks. They avoid all of mine quite well, so I find them to be a fantastic set for the money. The way they handle bass and sub-bass is also quite interesting, since they have no sub-bass roll-off to speak of right up to 20Hz, and there's no mid-bass shelf, so male vocals don't end up sounding bloated or booming.

11532830.png

A graph from RikudouGoku comparing it to the DT200. While the peaks in the treble might look scary, I did not find that they sounded off in any way. It will depend on what your ears resonate to, though. So knowing what your peaks are makes or breaks that IEM.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 12:55 AM Post #60,698 of 61,060

Rin1990

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Earphones have evolved quite a bit since even a few years back. Something like this Yanyin Aladdin about 3 years ago would have been in the $300-$400 range in price point.

There are numerous new Chinese brands that have driven the earphone market to the point where you will be shocked what you can get for even $100 range now a days for sound. The sheer variety of types of dynamics, hybrids even a cheap tribrids using 3 types of different drivers. Even your traditional single dynamics IEMs nowadays all use some type of coating that promises better sonics. Beryllium coated, titanium coated, Carbon/ graphene, composite based, Biofilm ect ect. Too many varieties to cover in one post. In fact it is not uncommon to come into this thread and see the folks here post about 2-5 brand new earphones they have seen in the market daily.

Todays mid fi level earphones was yesterdays top of the line. Todays budget level stuff sound more closer to mid fi level of earphone from several years back. Huge competition from so many manufacturers compete to make one better than the competition. This is good for the folks that enjoy this hobby but I have to admit sometimes it is very difficult to keep up with so many earphones and with new companies that pop up all the time.
Couldn't agree with you more on the last bit. It's easy to get lost in names when so many competitors rose up over the years. I don't even know if I recognise some of the older brands that I used to try like Fiio or Noble or Campfire because over the time I noticed how much I missed out on.

And if anything I'm even more shocked there are smartphone dongles that has DACs that sounds extremely good for the asking price nowadays.

I'm especially tempted to give Hidizs dongles a go like the S3 Pro or S9 which have a freakin' ESS Sabre DAC...and they're super affordable.

Times have changed for sure since the last few years I visited here...
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 3:59 AM Post #60,699 of 61,060

Nimweth

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^
I'm a fan of the Xduoo X20 in this price range. It lacks a touch screen interface and volume knob, but has a dedicated Line/Digital Coax output port next to the 3.5mm phone out and 2.5mm balanced out (300mW). No streaming, but it does everything else quite well.

The HiBy R3 Pro Sabre is also quite nice, as is the Shanling M2X.
+1 for the X20. Nice neutral sound and healthy output (especially balanced).
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 11:35 AM Post #60,701 of 61,060

cqtek

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Couldn't agree with you more on the last bit. It's easy to get lost in names when so many competitors rose up over the years. I don't even know if I recognise some of the older brands that I used to try like Fiio or Noble or Campfire because over the time I noticed how much I missed out on.

And if anything I'm even more shocked there are smartphone dongles that has DACs that sounds extremely good for the asking price nowadays.

I'm especially tempted to give Hidizs dongles a go like the S3 Pro or S9 which have a freakin' ESS Sabre DAC...and they're super affordable.

Times have changed for sure since the last few years I visited here...

Actually the Yanyin Aladdin has a very smooth tuning, pure silk.

And speaking of dongles, if you want to avoid Sabre DACs, I recommend the Tempotec Sonata E44, it has the best balanced output under $100, in my humble opinion.


Yanyin Aladdin.png
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 11:39 AM Post #60,702 of 61,060

Rin1990

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Actually the Yanyin Aladdin has a very smooth tuning, pure silk.

And speaking of dongles, if you want to avoid Sabre DACs, I recommend the Tempotec Sonata E44, it has the best balanced output under $100, in my humble opinion.


Yanyin Aladdin.png
Oh I don't hate ESS Sabre DACs tbh. I find them a joy to listen to, though I haven't heard any DAP/DAC amps that muck it up yet, unless you want to let me know if there's any poor examples.

As for me, I found something that might be considered a steal in a "pre-owned but still in mint condition" area locally...

Here's a little hint for what's probably an upgrade from my old Fiio Q1 DAC.

IMG-20211028-WA0030.jpg
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 11:50 AM Post #60,703 of 61,060

cqtek

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I'm a big fan of Sabre DACs, I prefer them over the classic AKMs. After the AKM factory fire, AKM DACs are almost gone and they will have to make new ones. It will be very interesting when they get back in the field and there will be a rush to create new devices with their chips. In the meantime, during all this boom time for Sabre, I hope they are using those profits to improve the 9038, in all its versions, because the tables will surely turn.
In between, Tempotec has polished its relationship with the DUAL CS43131 and finally hit the nail on the head with the E44. And even though I'm a big Sabre fan and have a few devices with all kinds of Sabre chips, I'm stuck on the E44 and keep buying balanced cables to take advantage of its sound.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 11:55 AM Post #60,704 of 61,060

Rin1990

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I'm a big fan of Sabre DACs, I prefer them over the classic AKMs. After the AKM factory fire, AKM DACs are almost gone and they will have to make new ones. It will be very interesting when they get back in the field and there will be a rush to create new devices with their chips. In the meantime, during all this boom time for Sabre, I hope they are using those profits to improve the 9038, in all its versions, because the tables will surely turn.
In between, Tempotec has polished its relationship with the DUAL CS43131 and finally hit the nail on the head with the E44. And even though I'm a big Sabre fan and have a few devices with all kinds of Sabre chips, I'm stuck on the E44 and keep buying balanced cables to take advantage of its sound.
That's really awesome.

As for dual DACs, I know the amount of DACs are just half the story, as implementation matters. So, I will withhold my judgment on dual DAC DAPs/DACs until I listened them before considering a buy.

For now though, I want to hear what this little BurrBrown PC1793-filled beauty has to offer....:ksc75smile:
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 11:59 AM Post #60,705 of 61,060

cqtek

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That's really awesome.

As for dual DACs, I know the amount of DACs are just half the story, as implementation matters. So, I will withhold my judgment on dual DAC DAPs/DACs until I listened them before considering a buy.

For now though, I want to hear what this little BurrBrown PC1793-filled beauty has to offer....:ksc75smile:
Then enjoy it!!!
 

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