Author Topic: Digital Audio Player Recommendations  (Read 1673 times)

phred

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I'm looking for a mid-priced DAP (under 200 USD, but will consider slightly higher if the specs justify it) to replace my FiiO X1 II, which seemed great when I bought it (for 100 USD) but has become disappointing. FiiO did release a couple of firmware updates that fixed a few of the problems I and others were dealing with, but other issues remained unfixed. And now word is that FiiO has discontinued support.

So the search begins for another, yet reliable, player and I'm reaching out for recommendations. I am -not- an audiophile, so high-end audio specs are not necessary, although I don't want it to sound like my music is playing underwater through a tin can.

Mandatory specs include:
- reliable bluetooth (in addition to a wired headphone jack)
- SD card capable (256gb)
- playlists
- shuffle
- no proprietary method for transferring music to the device
- good battery life (10+ hours)
- variety of audio formats (although I mostly have mp3 at this moment)

I would prefer not having a rotating scroll wheel as that was one of the poorly designed aspects of the FiiO.

Ok folks ... what have you got for me?

Thanks.
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Steven

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phred

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Just took a very quick look at that site and it should be helpful. Will spend more time on it later today.

Thank you Steven.
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phred

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Looking to jump-start this topic. The site referenced to Steven looks like it has been abandoned.

I did settle on the FiiO X5 and while it was good to start, it's rather sluggish now. What I liked about it was that it had 'dual-mode' in that it could run its own OS or an Android OS. But the Android OS was v4 (maybe v5.) It is very, very slow. And the more tracks I add the slower it gets.

I'm looking for a mid-priced DAP (under 300 USD, but will consider slightly higher if the specs justify it)

So the search begins for another, yet reliable, player and I'm reaching out for recommendations. I am -not- an audiophile, so high-end audio specs are not necessary, although I don't want it to sound like my music is playing underwater through a tin can.

Desired specs include:
- a modern day Android OS
- WiFi
- Bluetooth would be nice but not mandatory
- SD card capable
- ability to load playlists from MB
- shuffle
- no proprietary method for transferring music to the device
- good battery life (10+ hours)
- MP3 and FLAC at minimum

Looking for specific recommendations, or decent websites that offer reviews/comparisons. I do know about HeadFi.

Thanks.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.3 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

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Freddy Barker

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I'm looking for a mid-priced DAP (under 300 USD, but will consider slightly higher if the specs justify it)

So the search begins for another, yet reliable, player and I'm reaching out for recommendations. I am -not- an audiophile, so high-end audio specs are not necessary, although I don't want it to sound like my music is playing underwater through a tin can.

An idea !!
With a small budget in mind.
If, as you claim, you're not and audiophile, you could do worse than a using a more up-to-date 'used' Andriod phone, that takes a big MicroSD card, that may benefit from using a portable headphone Amp / DAC combo, like a Dragonfly, as long as you have reasonable headphones.
Keep us informed with what you end up using, with a mini review please.
Regards: Freddy
Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 02:18:12 PM by Freddy Barker

phred

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you could do worse than a using a more up-to-date 'used' Andriod phone, that takes a big MicroSD card
A valid suggestion, Freddy (Phreddy?)

I do have a 400gb card in my Samsung S8 but the reason I don't like using it as an audio player is that the battery life drains very quickly. When not using GoneMadd on my phone, I'm recharging every two days. With it in use, I can barely get a day. Hence the preference for a stand-alone player with good battery life. Even with the drawback of carrying a second device around. Typically I only use the player in the  car and when traveling long distance.
Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 02:19:44 AM by phred
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Freddy Barker

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Typically I only use the player in the  car and when traveling long distance.

Pretty much the same for me, when in the car, the phone is connected to the charger, so no loss of power, and sound via 3.5mm into car radio input via cable thus no need for Blue teeth (which I'm informed can drain the battery). The only time I bother with an overnight charge, is after listening from a sunbed all day  8)
I hope I have negated the need for you to spend any money, so project well within budget or do you have that itch to just buy something new anyway?
Freddy / Phred / Either / Or
Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 09:59:26 AM by Freddy Barker

phred

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I don't really have an itch to buy something new, but I wouldn't hesitate if I found something to my liking. I did see a Pioneer XDP-300R last night that just about has everything I want but for two items: it runs Android 5.1.1, and it's about 600 USD. I did see something that had Android 6.x but can't remember what it was at this point.

My current FiiO has 5.1.1 and the general consensus among FiiO X5 users is that the OS is what gives it its sluggish response time.

So for the time being I'll try using my S8 and see what the battery drain is. Personally I don't like to charge it until the battery is below 5%.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.3 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

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How to post screenshots is here.

hiccup

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Or perhaps a dedicated smartphone for music?
If you disable all wireless communications, and find a model with a decent battery and a not too big, non-hi-res display I would guess it should last very long on a charge?

I have no Android experience, but I read good things about LG phones in regard to audio quality.
Perhaps find a used one? That shouldn't break the bank.

phred

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Or perhaps a dedicated smartphone for music?
If you disable all wireless communications, and find a model with a decent battery and a not too big, non-hi-res display I would guess it should last very long on a charge?

I have no Android experience, but I read good things about LG phones in regard to audio quality.
Perhaps find a used one? That shouldn't break the bank.
Also good info. I did see something about LG phones being decent, but my experience with LG is not good. A number of years ago I got my first LG product - a DVD/BluRay player and returned it within a week. Last year I replaced my 5 year old, dead, Samsung TV with an LG and can't wait to get rid of it. Perhaps their phones are different/better.

I don't know if I have an additional phone to use as a dedicated music player if I'd need a carrier plan strictly to use WiFi. Something else to look in to.
Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 04:20:44 AM by phred
Download the latest MusicBee v3.3 patch from here.
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Freddy Barker

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So for the time being I'll try using my S8 and see what the battery drain is. Personally I don't like to charge it until the battery is below 5%.

Galaxy S8 Battery Capacity = 3000mAh
Battery Life Good for min 500 charges.
MP3 playback (AOD on): up to 44 hrs
MP3 playback (AOD OFF): up to 67 hrs
Replacement only £20 ($25).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7Mkp3wdwu4

Freddy...

frankz

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I don't know if I have an additional phone to use as a dedicated music player if I'd need a carrier plan strictly to use WiFi. Something else to look in to.
In my experience you do not.  I've continued to use decommissioned cell phones for other purposes with just Wifi and they've worked just fine.

hiccup

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Freddy Barker

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...I did see a Pioneer XDP-300R last night that just about has everything I want but for two items: it runs Android 5.1.1, and it's about 600 USD.

Trying not to p on your bonfire sir, and I know you shouldn't buy sound equipment by it's appearance, and the number of LED's and buttons, but the Pioneer XDP-300R wouldn't win any beauty contests, and at 5x3x0.5 inches a bit of a brick and not much smaller than my DAC, plus you could buy a budget Hifi setup for that price. ;D
However, I can confirm a solid and good quality build from Pioneer if my 1978 SA 706 Amp was anything to go by!

I'm not being much help am I ??

phred

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I'm not being much help am I ??
That's not true. First - there was no way in hell I'd buy the quoted Pioneer mainly due to price. And it -is- a monster in size. But I agree on Pioneer's quality from earlier experiences with their HiFi and Stereo equipment.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.3 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

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Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.