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DAPs and Portable Music Players
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I am assuming you are asking about audiophile grade DAPs.
Used to have an FiiO X5 gen1. Encountered a really inflexible and clunky UI. Upgraded to X5 gen2 but ditched it because it took 30 - 40 secs to switch from one menu item to the other. Must say, audio quality on both was absolutely wonderful. Wanted to buy an X7 because it would have an iPod like touch screen, cross referrable menu for the music library, and interchangeable amps, but ditched the idea because of insufficient storage. My problem is that I have a really large collection and I would like to keep on my device.
The audiophile DAP space has just exploded. Over the last year even. I was very pleased (and relieved) to see the MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) compatible Onkyo DP-X1 and the Pioneer XDP-100R appear on the scene. Not inexpensive by any means, I saw them as a one time splurge to last me 10 years straight.
Here were my checks:
1. They both have 400 GB plus storage.
2. They are both genuine audiophile class players.
3. Lots of really advanced user configurable tweaks. Still learning through them.
3. They both have touch screens with beautiful menu navigation (I keep harking back to the iPod Touch and iPhone/Pad because when they appeared, the sheer intuitiveness and mobility of the music library menu set a class defining standard).
4. Tremendous bluetooth and streaming options. If MQA format comes through, we may see very high quality audio streaming with much smaller file sizes.
5. Lots and lots of apps. Practically a phone minus the sim card.
I eventually chose the Onkyo because of the dual isolated DAC and Amp paths with the option to use balanced phones. Check my first impressions on Head-fi. I bought direct from Japan, got screwed on the customs in India, but I have hugging myself with joy ever since. Fantastic sound and user experience!
Don't go cheap, but don't look at the ridiculously overpriced stuff like AK. Above all, don't kill yourself over ever increasing unrealistic high-res specs. Your ears and brain can discern only so much. The cost-benefit ratio is very small. Buy one good DAP and grow old with it.