Jun 24, 2018107 views

DAP Recommendations? (Entry / Affordable)

Hey folks, could ya help a budding audiophile out?
I'm looking for a decent DAP $100-$300 (maybe $400 for the right product, God help my bank account)
Looking For:
-plays flac / ogg / wav etc
-expandable memory ([micro]SD) or at LEAST 60+ MB internal
-good battery life
-durability (aluminum case, maybe water/shock resistant?) &/or a solid warranty would be a big plus as I'm rough, athletic & outdoorsy
-bluetooth would be a bonus
What's peaked my interest: Shanling M3S, iBasso DX90, AGPTEK H3 (with upgraded memory), Colorfly C3, Sansa Clip Zip - anyone have experience with these?? Know a good place to buy 'em??
For Reference:
-mid-20s Canadian student, big music nerd
-if I could carry 1TB with me I'd be in heaven
-DON'T need wifi / streaming, pics, vid, text files, voice recorder, radio, touch screen et al
-I appreciate the higher-end stuff I've been exposed to, but at this point I've gotta be satisfied with my KRK V4s (for my computer), and my AT-mx50 headphones. What I currently use for mobile listening is a quirky, (read: abused, dying) Phillips GoGear HDD6320 that I've had "since Moses was knee-high to a grasshopper"... and my similarly archaic iphone 4. I've got a modest vinyl setup but won't bother detailing it here. So that's the level I'm currently at, and as you can see pretty much anything would be a step up lol
-For what it's worth, I listen to an extremely wide variety of music, and I'm looking for a flat, clean sound with good detail- erring on the side of 'warm'. Don't need exaggerated bass, but a balanced presence is obviously appreciated
*I don't need 'slick' I need VFM. A friend & I were starting to experiment with cheap portable players & mini tablets from Ali Exp until shipping slowed to a 3 month+ wait (??!). Basically, it doesn't need to be a name brand as long as it meets my needs, has good / upgrade-able sound, I can operate it with one hand, expect reasonable reliability, & glue a carabiner / pocket clip to the back. I love to get creative! After all, this is just for now- not forever
Truly appreciate anyone who's bothered to read all this & reply. Big fan of the community!

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I'm 2 weeks into my Cayin N3 and I love it for my RBH EP3 https://rbhsound.com/ep3.php . I use the medium amp setting (has lo/med/hi), runs 128Gb chip quickly and easily and will sing FLAC with great definition. Hooked up to my Fiio Q1mk2 balanced out (includes gain/bass boost hardware switches), I switch to my hybrid IEMs on upgraded wires and it's instant soundstage bliss for my classic rock collection. That's DAP and DAC for $250 shipped and very portable with plenty of power to spare! Both are about 2.25 inches by 4.
First, I apologize for my English, and if I understand correctly, your audio equipment consists of the KRK V4s and the Ath M50x monitors. neither do you have a dedicated dac / amp.
I am also investigating about dap although I have other preferences to yours perhaps.
Shanling M3S can be a great option for you since it does not use wifi and those things that do not interest you. another option that investigates but I have not been able to prove is cayin n3.
I tried the Sony nwa 35 and in some Ath m40x they gave a pretty low sound. the fiio x3 iii better sound and more volume.
I look for more powerful daps since I would especially like to use with the ath-m40x but also with the HD 6xx and I have 4xx at least. I'm not sure that for that type of headphones I'm used to the shanling so I think I have to go for daps like the ibasso dx 150, hidizs 200, fiio X5, .....
I'm not an expert but if I get more information Regarding the shanling m3s and its power, I will share it with you. What I have read in comments from some people is that the older your music library the worse it works but unfortunately I can not confirm it either. I hope even if the thread is increased and if I have not helped someone do it. Again, excuse my english
Hey thanks very much for the reply- you're English is great.

Good to know your personal experience with the sony & fiio. That's just the type of useful input I'm after. :)

As I narrow down my choices, and hopefully get to test some models out, I'll post my thoughts. Sure would be nice to build a little resource for anyone without much experience (like myself) interested in upgrading their DAP.
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