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Why and 'how' do people use digital audio players?

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  1. Thenewbie76
    Ok so I just went to a local audiophile store in Singapore. I noticed while I was trying out their headphones A LOT of people were trying out their digital audio players. The only thing I can guess why people use digital audio players is that they have a better DAC and would most likely be able to power their IEMs more effeciently. But other than that I am kinda confused why people would get it. I have seen models costing a like 200$ to those that cost 1000$ and I am just kinda confused at why people get it. I mean if you want a good portable audio setup why not use any of the LG lineup, they have a quad DAC and if they are not able to power up your IEMs you could buy a separate amplifier for it. Also why are there such huge prices for some DAPs , what would make them cost over 1000$. BTW this is not me bashing people who like using DAPs. I just wanna get more info onto DAPs as I am thinking if I should get one or just a LG v40 thinq . Also I don't know much of DAPs as I would say I mostly listen music indoors and all of my gears are meant for home/desktop use.
     
  2. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    1. Some people want the dedicated hardware. Some of these run balanced drive amps or Class A amp modules for lower noise floor.

    2. Some people prefer a more focused device.

    3. Some people have phones that suck for music playback and don't want to use LG (I use Samsung and I hate the interface) or prefer iOS over Android because they're already in that ecosystem but a focused player even if it runs on an Android-derived OS is simpler (ie no add ons from telcos and manufacturers) or at least just runs plain Android that they don't need to get the other apps for.

    4. Some people actually need a music player, and one with no WiFi etc, depending on where they work. Some labs disallow phones and other wireless devices.

    5. Some people also use them as players on their home systems, easier now when the Fiio X5 III, X7, and X7 MkII can be docked into the Fiio DK1 and output 1.9V, comparable to the Redbook standard 2.0V line output.
     
  3. VRacer-111
    Reason I got the Shanling M0 DAP was because of features and tiny size... there is no phone as small as the M0, the M0 is barely big enough to actually be usable:

    https://photos.smugmug.com/Hobbies/Audio/n-6fh3fz/i-DSr7Wqn/0/0f56e38c/X4/i-DSr7Wqn-X4.jpg

    https://photos.smugmug.com/Hobbies/Audio/n-6fh3fz/i-W5rQCXX/0/b2ef736c/X4/i-W5rQCXX-X4.jpg

    DAPs also keep phone battery from being drained under constant use with music, some people prefer the approach of separate music device for this reason. Phone would be a backup device for music.
     
    Thenewbie76 likes this.
  4. Thenewbie76
    Damn those are some good points lol. I'm torn now between choosing a LG phone or a separate DAP.I guess I will go again go my local store to try them out with IEMs
     
  5. Thenewbie76
    Yes I saw that model at the store. I might just buy a DAP now lol . But I will go to the store and try them out and compare them to my phone 1st I guess
     
  6. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    If you'll go just with measurements, GSMArena measurements on smartphones having higher distortion driving a headphone or IEM vs a DAP. Even the LG Vxx and newer Gx phones have distortion and noise going up even more when using the Quad DAC on "high impedance" mode. It's impressive for a phone, but not necessarily a DAP.

    On the flipside, if you have an IEM with well over 100dB/1mW, you don't need that much more power than the 15mW out of most decent smartphones short of the Quad DAC LGs, so you can get away with something like the Fiio X1. Original version tonally was just a little too far on the warm side, except driver distortion was well controlled (ie no bass bloat) compared to my Galaxy S3. Latest gen X1 also doesn't sacrifice convenience - it has BT so if you want to use streaming services for music you won't buy per album then you can still use the X1's hardware to drive an IEM.

    In the end it comes down to whether you'd be willing to lug around a separate device/
     
    PaganDL, Philimon and Thenewbie76 like this.
  7. Mhog55
    I owned a V30, and now a V40. As impressive as they are, my Opus #1s is even more so. I got it simply to avoid being interrupted, and also for the balanced circuit which provides better instrument separation imo.
     
  8. Thenewbie76
    @ProtegeManiac Ok I did not take into account of the measurements. Thanks for bringing it into the light. Now I honestly think I am better of with a DAP .
     
  9. Thenewbie76
    @Mhog55 Thats good to know. Thx for the insight , considering that you own both a LG phone and a DAP.
     
  10. Mhog55
    I mean why not?! It's kind of nice to have more than one portable source, even better having two different sonic flavors.
     
    Thenewbie76 likes this.
  11. Thenewbie76
    heheh true. I mean no harm in getting more devices. I could get the LG phone and the DAP. My phone is quite old and in singapore there is a lot of tech shows like usually 2-3 each year. I can go there and buy the LG on discounted price also some headphones or other audio gear (even though its limited). Also I will be going to canjam in march, I can pick up the DAP there if there is any hopefully
     
  12. gimmeheadroom
    I hate portable gear but I fly a lot. So it's either bring a DAP or be musicless and bored for hours.
     
  13. Thenewbie76
    @gimmeheadroom hmm interesting . Why do you hate it ? Also what DAP do you use, do you use spotify tidal or other source of music lastly do you use IEMs or headphone. Just asking cause you sound like a avid user of DAPs
     
  14. davidcotton
    Simple. Phones are banned in the area where I work due to security issues (client confidentiality mainly, well that and employers don't want people on phones checking messages instead of you know working :p ), so that means a dedicated dap.
     
    Thenewbie76 likes this.
  15. Thenewbie76
    @davidcotton Ok would have never thought of that. Good to know
     
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