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Which portable DAP for me?

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  1. The Torrent
    I used to have a Astel and Kern ak70 mkii so I don’t want to downgrade too much otherwise I’ll feel bad.

    My headphones are Audeze El8 (Titanium) Planar Magnetic.

    What are some good portable DAC’s? I like the look of the Pioneer 100r ones but they have been the same since 2015 so they are all old tech and they haven’t dropped in price at all - have pioneer made any new ones?

    And how are the Sony ones? I’ve head bad from them but my mates one sounds good forgot which one it’s a middle of the line one.
  2. The Torrent
    Nobody any suggestions??
  3. serman005
    I'm confused. In the title of your thread, you write: "Which portable DAP for me?" In the body of the thread, you write: "What are some good portable DACs?" Are you looking at a DAC or a DAP here?
  4. The Torrent
    Is a portable DAC basically not a dap?

    Considering I’m talking about astel and kern, pioneer 100r, fiio X5 etc etc. Does that not tell you?

    Otherwise sorry for my mistake it is dap I’m talking about. A portable hifi music player
  5. serman005
    I wasn't nitpicking, just making sure you don't receive a bunch of recommendations for something you have zero interest in. What is the budget?
  6. The Torrent
    ill probably end up looking at second hand market a unwanted gift or something opened but not used but tops of about 400 on second hand market but lower the better i dont mind spending even 100 would much prefer it. I want bang for buck.

    I do have a audeze cipher cable so need it to be at least as good as that thought dont want to downgrade.
  7. serman005
    That's a fairly broad price range, relatively speaking, and there are like a million options, depending on preferences and priorities. In my opinion, most of the players at the roughly $100 level have a tough time competing with today's up-to-the-date DAPs at, say, $450-$500 or so. The main reason for this, as I am sure you know, is that DAP technology is advancing extremely rapidly right now. And I suppose it sort of goes without saying that more of that new technology can be put into a player in the sort of $4-500 range than in a $100 player. Anyhow, because of all this, I personally feel that, when it comes to DAPs, all other things being equal, it may preferable to buy new rather than used, at ;east at the moment. Just my take and I am sure good arguments can and will be made for the opposite position, which is fine, too. But with DAPs, technology is moving incredibly fast.

    That being said, in the general price range you gave, I would personally look at a FiiO M9 or, if you want to stretch a bit, an M11. If you wanted to stay more to the lower end of your price range, I like the Shanling M2X at its price-point. The Hidizs AP80 is another good option, IMO. Lastly and though it has not yet been broadly released, I am really intrigued by the potential of the Hiby R5, which has some super-cool features at an attractive price-point. Maybe read about these and see what you think. They all offer different feature sets but I think are all good values at their respective price-points.

    What I have suggested is but a drop in the bucket compared to what is out there currently. Lots of options. Good luck.
  8. davidcotton
    You can get the new fiio m11 from amp3 in the uk for £395 using AMP312EXCL319 if that's any use?
  9. The Torrent
    What is difference between m9 and x5iii?? They bout the same price on eBay.

    Why not second hand? It doesn’t make it any worse? I mean like unwanted gifts and stuff opened once u can always save like easy 40 percent for free
  10. serman005
    It all just really depends on what your priorities are. If you are mostly concerned with how the player will sound and are not too focused on bells and whistles, then, yeah, in my opinion, the X5iii sounds very good still for the money. Is there a massive difference in overall sound quality between the M9 and the X5iii generally? In my opinion, no. That said, they do not sound identical in my view. You might want to read about that and see what you think.

    If, on the other hand, you are interested in things like wireless features and maximizing your bluetooth options and flexibility and if you would like a faster response time to your commands, then probably looking more closely at the M9 is a good idea, as it has some clear advantages in these areas in my opinion. But there are some very attractive prices on the X5iii right now if you do some hunting, so there is always that. In my view, you just really need to decide what your priorities are as far as features. Then, the choice should become pretty clear.
  11. Mhog55
    1st of all, make sure the dap will properly drive your El8, if that's the headphones you plan to use. What features do you need from the device? Just a straight music player from files, or do you want streaming and Bluetooth? Android?
  12. The Torrent
    Just a music player. I never understood ones with Android like pioneer your paying for a half broken os which is not needed when you have a phone. Streaming nope actually YouTube would be quite handy now I think about it but don’t know if any have like that but I wouldn’t sacrifice sound quality for Bluetooth. Bluetooth not really but won’t hurt I guess I could see my self using it once a year or something.
  13. Mhog55
    For 400 bucks, you won't find anything better. The Bit Opus#1s is the closest you will get. Comparatively speaking, it has essentially a half step up in Dac chips (Cirrus Logic also), and slightly less power in balanced mode. If you truly want a better experience, you won't find it for 400 bucks unfortunately.
  14. Tsukuyomi
    I have an A&K SR15 and its fantastic,
    You may also want to look into the A&K KANN Cube. Its their newer KANN with more power for planars.

    You could also visit the land of bad software (ex: ibasso or FiiO) but i wouldnt recommend it for that kind of money.

    Lotoo makes great stuff to, but at a much higher premium than most DAPs out there.

    I wouldnt look at Sony DAPs if youre going to use planars, they dont have the power for it, unless you wanna attach a separate headphone amp.
  15. Mhog55
    He doesn't want to spend over 400 dollars.
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