Author Topic: Portable DAC/DAP suggestions  (Read 405 times)

Offline Wolvebain

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Portable DAC/DAP suggestions
« on: January 12, 2017, 03:37:47 PM »
Hi guys,

I'm looking at purchasing either a DAP with balanced out, or a portable DAC [USB with built-in battery] to pair with my phone.

I can get a GeekOut V2+ Infinity for ~USD.345.oo... I have the the non-infinity version with I use at the office & when roaming with my notebook... pairs well with my SHR1540 & SE846.
Thinking that I can get the GeekOut V2+ Infinity, pair it with my Android phone when I'm on the go, and also use it as a replacement of my existing non-infinity version... Bonus is that I can use my existing 3.5mm balanced TRRS cables.

I can also source a Onkyo DA-X1A (64GB version, not 32GB), with offers balanced outputs, for ~USD.610.oo
This would allow me to use 2x 200GB microSD cards that I have in tandem, along with the built-in 64GB device storage (464GB)..
However, the I can't use the DAP as a USB DAC on a Laptop/Desktop... which is a huge negative for me...

There is Fiio X7 with the AM3 addon module as well, but unsure of the battery life with the the AM3 running balanced.


Suggestions and recommendations are welcomed!
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Offline Scubadude

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Re: Portable DAC/DAP suggestions
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 05:42:44 PM »
I know Fiio doesn't always measure well and subsequently gets a bum rap on some forums but I love my little Gen 1 X3.  Very good versatility, more than reasonable sound, a quickish user interface and great battery life. Doesn't have balanced output though, but from my experience I would certainly recommend the brand.
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Offline BWS

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Re: Portable DAC/DAP suggestions
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 06:28:06 PM »
^^ Fiio is HUGELY under rated and IMO the build quality is unmatched, even at higher prices
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Offline gavinbirss

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Re: Portable DAC/DAP suggestions
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2017, 09:26:38 AM »
Now it is not exactly portable, nor a DAP and only SE but it may still be available at a discount...
It is power hungry and not sure how many phones it will work with.
40mw at 300ohms

see the Soekris  DAC1101.

http://www.soekris.dk/dac1101.html

Offline naughty

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Re: Portable DAC/DAP suggestions
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2017, 09:49:33 AM »
if you seriously want a portable DAC, and you want coax as well as USB input, and a coax output, as well as analog RCA outputs and headphone outputs all off battery power, AND you seem willing to import as well as possibly spending up to $600 on other options

THEN

i cant see why you wont consider an IFI iDSD BL micro

http://ifi-audio.com/portfolio-view/micro-idsd-bl/

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f30-abbingdon-music-research-ifi-audio-sponsored/ifi-audio-micro-idsd-black-label-released-30th-november-2016-a-30480/

this is eventually going to be my last portable Headamp/DAC ever (when i can work a plan to afford it out of spare cash) because for now i have a Nuprime uDSD and its doing a stellar job for my needs but this is the only item i would ever consider as an upgrade to my uDSD (the biggest advantage is the onboard battery on the iDSD which isnt forced to use USB power so it will provide stable sound quality over all sources)

The normal Micro can be had for around $400 and thats also a good option if you cant find the black label model easily available but it seems like the MSRP (manufacturers suggested retail price) on the black label model is $549 so i would wait for that to become available since it seems a step up from the normal model

some more info here

http://thepcenthusiast.com/ifi-micro-idsd-black-label-edition-portable-dac-amp/


Offline Wolvebain

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Re: Portable DAC/DAP suggestions
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2017, 04:46:35 PM »
Thanks for the feedback guys; Much appreciated!

I've decided to go for a Onkyo DP-X1A.
The Fiio X7 was a great alternative, however the reviews of it showed me that:
  • Sound floor was really high
  • Sound quality not as good compared to the Onkyo DP-X1A
  • Battery life gets hit by the AM3 module
  • No MQA support


The other DACs and DAP suggested were awesome (thanks guys).  But they didn't support balanced headphone outs or weren't really portable.

I also considered the CEntrance Mini-M8, and several other portable DAC's, including some older generation 16-bit R-2R portable DAC's... but at that price range it made more sense to get something like the DA-X1A, and not be locked to having a phone as the source all the time.

I was also informed by the seller of the GeekOut V2+ Infinity to look at the Fiio X5 3rd gen.. And Wow; awesome little device indeed!  However, too early for real reviews, plus its price range was so close the the DA-X1A, but unlike the DA-X1A the X5 3rd gen doesn't support MQA. (I'm starting to really like Tidal these days)




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Offline Wolvebain

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Re: Portable DAC/DAP suggestions
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2017, 05:15:52 PM »
FYI:  This the Onkyo DP-X1A that I purchased http://www.head-fi.org/t/831788/fs-onkyo-dp-x1a
Now to get a 2.5mm TRRS jack, and some accessories.
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