27/03/ · What is a DAP? Digital Audio Players are electronic devices capable of storing and playing high-resolution music or media files. Many digital formats, resolutions, and encoding 28/04/ · The software has everything you need and expects from the best digital music player. It is an entirely reliable device in terms of software, very complete and user-friendly. I Estimated Reading Time: 8 mins As you can read in the comparison part, I feel the HiBy R8 also is the best performing player in this segment at this moment. If you’re looking into a higher-end portable player that can do it 16/09/ · iBasso DX DAP Music Player – Relaxed Warm Music Key. iBasso DX is a USD DAP or Music Player made by ibasso, with Dual Cirrus CS DAC Chips, DSD 13/09/ · Astell&Kern A&ultima SP — Best digital audio player Pros Truly spectacular music reproduction Responsive and intuitive software Incredibly versatile: DSD, 32 ... read more
It takes around 2 hours to fully charge V6, which is lower than most DAPs, but much more than the 40 minutes it takes to fully charge Black Shark 4 that uses the same battery size as V6, so there might be some kind of fast charge, but not W fast charge for sure. I also noticed no odd bugs or errors while using v6, it simply works and it is fun to listen to music with it. I never have to worry about the battery running out, although I do feel that having both the USB port and the headphone output on the bottom will be slightly uncomfortable for desktop users. The main music app installed is Hiby Music, and V6 is clearly made in a partnership with Hiby, so it has MSEB or 8-Ball Magic EQ, Magic Sound Eight Ball , which allows you to fine tune the sound without any technical knowledge of EQs.
It is effective and does not introduce any noise or distortion, so V6 works well for all IEMs and headphones. Sound Quality. Dan Clark Aeon 2 Noire was also an OK for V6, and so has been driving Sivga SV , HIFIMAN Edition XS , KLH Ultimate One , Sendy Audio Apollo , and Crosszone CZ-8A. As far as IEMs go, V6 has a pretty low output impedance and I noticed no hissing with the likes of Periodic Audio Ti V3 , Ambient Acoustics MAD16 , IMR Dark Matter , 7Hz Eternal , Oriveti OV , and Fir Audio VxV. The overall signature of V6 is quite pleasing, as it has a smoother, clean, and detailed sound.
The bass is plentiful, the midrange sounds musical, fluid and has a bit of extra thickness that gives music a beautiful body, while the treble is relaxed, clean, but well extended and airy. V6 has a natural soundstage that provides good separation between instruments, also good dynamics and punchiness. For IEMs, the sound is even warmer and cleaner than it is for headphones, and V6 is superb for driving basically anything you might have around the house. We have a really natural and mature sounding midrange that offers a rich, slightly warm, slightly thick presentation, fluid and musical, basically perfect to enjoy with any headphone you may dream of. The presentation is very balanced, and the technical aspect of V6 is surprisingly good, as it can show and reveal details rather well. The treble of the V6 is quite smooth, unintrusive and clean, with no distortion, and a musical presentation too.
The entire sound has a slightly wet character to it, and while you can fine tune this via the MSEB plugin provided by Hiby, I figured out that you always want to know if a DAP can sound good by default, with no additional changes or software tricks. The soundstage of the V6 is presented rounded, with a good depth and width, mostly natural. Instrument separation is really good, and so is the overall resolution, making V6 an instant favorite sonically. TempoTec v6 vs FiiO M9 USD vs USD — Starting with M9, you can probably guess from the start that it is quite outdated compared to V6, as it was released a few years ago.
And so it is, the OS allows for much better folder browsing, is snappier, faster and generally works better on V6, as it can decode MQA, DXD, has Bluetooth and Wifi Streaming, Android support and more. Sadly, even sonically, the V6 is much better, where M9 was kind of dry and flat, V6 is punchy, dynamic, vivid, detailed and clean sounding. TempoTec has better control and resolution, also a warmer, more musical and fluid sound, although it has a smoother treble too, with lower energy, which is less fatiguing. Driving power and distortion at max volume is better on V6, which can drive harder to drive headphones with ease, and distort less at the max volume it can achieve. TempoTec v6 vs Shanling M3X USD vs USD — We have a good DAP in M3X, with good sonic performance, and a sweet midrange, so even I was curious how the newly released V6 would compare.
The thing is, the V6 is much better with the bass, where it has better depth and better impact, more volume in the lows, and a more rounded presentation. While TVs have become better and better over the past 15 years, audio has taken several steps backwards. Many of us have sacrificed fidelity in pursuit of convenience and portability, adopting inferior audio codecs such as MP3 and making them our new benchmarks. Lossy formats such as that strip music of its dynamics, detail, and vitality. Pick up a high-resolution digital audio player DAP and you can have your cake and eat it, too. The SP is now our top pick in this category. As exquisite to look at as it is to listen to, this mobile device boasts four high-end DACs, support for both balanced and unbalanced headphones, support for every Hi-Res music format and service that counts, and much, much more.
It also has four DACs onboard, along with support for both balanced and unbalanced headphones. And it delivers impeccable audio performance that leaves little to be desired. We copied a collection of high-res ALAC, FLAC, and DSD music files to 64GB microSD cards and used them with all three players. Test files were encoded with bit resolution at sampling rates ranging from to kHz. We also purchased some of the same albums on CD and from the iTunes store the latter as lossy AAC-encoded files for comparison. Selecting a high-res DAP can be daunting. They come in all shapes, sizes, and price points. Audio codec support : This spec is important. You need lossless, high-res music files to take full advantage of a high-res DAP. We recommend that you look for a player that supports, at a minimum, ALAC, DSD, and FLAC files since those are the most common codecs that high-resolution download sites use. User interface: Aside from physical characteristics, differences between user interfaces can be dramatic, and they can make or break your overall experience.
Some players are based on the Android operating system and will be very familiar to Android smartphone users. Other players have proprietary user interfaces with a touchscreen, a click wheel, or navigation buttons. High-res DAPs have huge differences in user interfaces. If you have trouble reading small font sizes, then you should consider a model that runs the Android OS, which will provide font-sizing options and other accessibility options. Volume button location : The location and size of the volume controls are surprisingly important. The location of the volume button can determine whether or not you can use a player with one hand. Transferring songs: Copying songs to external microSD cards is drag-and-drop simple, but the way a DAP handles copying music files to its internal storage varies from one DAP to the next. Fortunately, the owners of high-resolution files are also not deprived. The device in use resembles the use of a full-fledged smartphone, with functionality from around To be honest, such progress is an incredible joy for the DAPs.
you have access to the menu for quick access to wi-fi, Bluetooth, EQ, and volume swaps a screen-hogging interface for a scrollable single-tier bar. while the home screen, which can be viewed by scrolling right, also has a more contemporary feel. It displays more options, too. It supports 10 hours of active use without recharging. In fact, this is an incredibly good indicator since you can often take the device with you on a trip, to a party and not rack your brains on how to charge it. The operating systems of DAPs are not particularly pleased with the variety. DAPs based on Android is the undisputed leader because it is multifunctional and quite convenient.
If you have ever used a smartphone on Android, using DAP will not pose any problems. By the way, there are also DAPs with Linux built-in. In general, I think the main message is very clear — to choose DAP based on the OS you are already familiar with because, as I said earlier, you will use this device in the same way as a smartphone, so the highest level of comfort is probably super important. If you have an extremely large high-resolution music library, the DAP streaming capabilities are worth looking into. It often happens that the current maximum memory capacity of your DAPs is insufficient. Moreover, often DAP can perform the function of a DAC when connected to a PC, that is, a kind of sound amplifier.
This is very convenient for me because as a rule, the PC is able to recognize the DAC by default, and no additional drivers or downloadable files are needed for this. This is actually an important point because when working with a PC and DAP, some things should be taken into account at the same time. I strongly advise you to pay attention to the fact that DAPs, as we already know, recognize many different files, while your PC cannot always recognize some of them. Paying attention to the fact that fiddling with file converters and additional software is very time-consuming, I advise you to take this into account before buying. After optimizing the connections between the DAP and the PC, the next in the chain of connections is the video or audio receiver.
For ideal optimization of all devices, the best option would be to use high-quality cables , which can also be purchased in addition, because the basic ones are not always of high quality. It is also a good advantage to use balanced connections to avoid audio distortions and drops. In addition to all that has been said, it is worth considering that the presence of a Wi-Fi connection to your DAP will greatly simplify the task at hand because, with its help, you can stream music directly from Spotify, Tidal, and others high-resolution music applications. From a huge list of different types of cables and connectors, you need to be able to distinguish between the 2 most important and understand why they are needed at all. They are called balanced and unbalanced. We can usually notice the difference between them just after converting the sound from digital to analog. The main goal of balanced connections is, of course, to eliminate extraneous noise so that the music sounds crystal clear and balanced.
Balanced connections have the effect of causing the fundamental noise to be out of phase with itself, so it is virtually eliminated. Of course, unbalanced cables are also needed, if only because they are super easy to use and do not require additional settings, but instead, they create some problems with third-party noise. Unbalanced lines should be kept short enough to avoid audio problems, less than 25 feet or so. This is to minimize any possible noise. I think none of the readers wants to make spontaneous pleasant purchases and then take the rap and spend hours and rack their brains how well it is to establish your audio chain. This is a very delicate matter, and you need to understand well what is cooperating with what and what is being connected to what.
Only after a good understanding of all these processes you will be able to make a good combination of devices without getting a bunch of noises, tears, and bugs. There are also several basic connectors you should know. It is one of the most popular connectors. It is widely used in smartphones, headphones so you may have heard about it. Mini-jack is usually used to transmit analog audio signals. It can either be a mono or a stereo version. Secondly, there is a balanced stereo mini-jack 2. Unlike its brother, this connector is used more often to connect headsets to landline phones, lightweight two-way radios, and video cameras. Those need to put a microphone into the headset, as well as audio. For this reason, there is sometimes an extra stripe. Thirdly, the Optical 3. The optic is specially created to stream stereo digital audio. However, it is also created for digital audio transfer. For clearest understanding, Optical 3. Finally, here is a world-known USB connector.
It is actually the most popular way of linking an external DAC to a computer. High-resolution audio usually refers to music files that have a higher sampling rate or bit depth than a regular MP3 file. The more bits, the more accurately the signal can be measured, so moving from bit to bit can provide noticeable improvements in audio quality. High-resolution audio files typically use a sampling rate of 96 kHz or kHz at 24 bits. Despite the fact that it sounds incredibly cool, there is also a downside to the coin. The fact is that high-resolution files weigh much more than our usual audio files. At least 15 MB, is the threshold below which the melodies do not fall. If we also take into account the fact that usually, people like to create playlists of different genres, moods, motives with 20 or more songs, you can easily come to the conclusion that you need a lot of memory for such an extensive media library.
Therefore, think 20 times before downloading everything. If you are wondering what is so beautiful about high-res music, I will answer. With its help, you will feel every sound that the author wanted to convey, his mood, and his motive. The detailing of these songs is usually incredibly good. We are used to using familiar services like Spotify or Apple Music, where music is usually compressed with very low bitrates. Based on this, high res audio looks much cooler and more melodic than the usual format. One of the most popular is HDtracks, it has been on the market for a very long time and can please with a wide selection.
But, the site has a strange bias towards an adult audience because the catalog of jazz, old rock, and classics is much larger than the rest. The main advantage is the ability to choose the format between FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AAIF, and the ability to choose the sampling rate for each. Another reliable service is Qobuz. Its main advantages are the ease of use of both the site and the application. A very simple and, at the same time, the functional interface gives the user a feeling of complete comfort. The last service that I would like to highlight is 7Digital. The site navigation is very simple and accessible. The only drawback is the ability to download only songs in FLAC format. There are a lot of streaming services now, and they are all super different.
All of them are constantly growing, expanding their catalog, adding new features, so for , I think these will be a good choice, although in the future, this information may change somewhat. Let me, for example, single out a few that, in my opinion, are the most reliable and popular ones. The first is Tidal, very popular all over the world. Its most famous feature is Tidal Masters, a partnership with Master Quality Authenticated that brings more than , studio-quality streams to you. Another cool service is Primephonic. Even though he mainly specializes in classical music and offers a huge number of filters to find music. Well, the last one I would highlight is Amazon Music Unlimited. Not very famous because it appeared recently, but it gives hope that the future of high-res music belongs to him because we know how an Amazon is responsible for everything that it undertakes.
If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Frederick is the senior home entertainment expert and focused on reviews. His specialities are: technology and home theatre systems. What I paid attention to when picked digital audio players Audio conversion I want to start with the most essential element in any best DAP — the DAC. File types In case of your wish to only listen to the audio files of your collection, you must choose your player based on its compatibility with these files. Storage capacity Entry-level DAPs rarely have internal memory, and you should consider purchasing a microSD card. Battery life The sound in headphones is electrical vibrations, and high-quality sound is more complex electrical vibrations, so it is essential to know how long the player can work without recharging.
How I tested the DAPs I prepared thoroughly for the tests. Chet Atkins — Jam Man FLAC Radiohead — The National Anthem FLAC The Weeknd — The Hills DSD Massive Attack — Mezzanine FLAC Max Roach — Lonesome Lover DSD Lubomyr Melnyk — Pockets of Light FLAC Burial U — Hurt Me DSD Our pick. Read the full review. M11 Pro includes MQA technology, which enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording. See price. Pros The Sony NW-WM1A offers the Sony DSEE HX mode, which oversamples compressed files to improve reproduction quality at high frequencies. Equalization 5 bands or artificial spatialization 4 modes functions are available. Cons Slight lack of output power hardware gain lock.
Pros Can be used as a USB DAC with Windows or MAC computer. Supports aptX HD Bluetooth codec. Cons Equalizer settings have little or no effect on the sound. Amplification is also entrusted to two THX AAA modules produced by THX. Cons The operating system is slow and does not support Google services. Pros The design is unusual but very ergonomic. Battery offering to 21 hours of autonomy. Cons Making changes to the equalizer does not affect the sound in any way. Pros 3 GB of RAM allows you to fully enjoy the capabilities of the OS.
The current marketplace is saturated with portable music players aiming for audiophile sound on the move. This up-to-date comprehensive guide breaks down the latest and greatest digital audio players DAPs in sound quality, internal specs, operating system, ease of use and much more. Cayin N8. Amplification: Single-ended Miniature Direct Heated Triode , Balanced Quadruple Solid-State. This allows audiophiles to get a taste of that euphonic sweet timbre of the tube in a portable music player format. In addition, the swiss-army knife of an amp features solid-state modalities both single-ended and balanced as well as five-stage amplification to upgrade the sound of any headphone or in-ear monitor. While the N8 is on the pricy side of things, it scales tremendously well and deserves a spot in the best high-end DAP territory.
Lotoo PAW Gold Touch. Amplification: Single-ended LME , Balanced OPA The Lotoo PAW Gold Touch is a beautifully referenced digital audio player with fantastic build and a sleek design. It provides a great complement to the Cayin N8 for a its neutral and linear sound allowing transducers to shine for what they are. This, coupled with its optimised OS, make it a highly recommended purchase for those seeking high-fidelity sound on the move. Users are also able to select from a variety of Parametric EQ PMEQ settings allowing the fine tuning of sound. Like the Cayin N8, there is no option for streaming, but it features bi-directional Bluetooth allowing it to be used as a wireless Bluetooth DAC.
Lotoo PAW The Lotoo PAW is clearly cut from the same cloth as the flagship Lotoo PAW Gold Touch. While it shares the same house sound, there is also a touch of warmth with vocals possessing slightly more body and roundedness. The PAW Gold Touch, on the other hand, excels more in imaging and separation. However, at a fraction of the price, the PAW renders a fantastic sound. It is also features one of the largest battery life at 16 hours of any high-tier DAP. Shanling M8. Storage: 64 GB on-board , up to 2TB expandable via SD Card. The Shanling M8 offers a mature and musically-primed sound with a full-bodied tonality and powerful macro-dynamics. Notes are able to ebb and flow from a dark black background and while not a classical reference sound, the M8 reveals nuances with a naturality and depth.
The large mAH offers an impressive 14 hour playback from single-ended mode with quick charge support. To add to this, the M8 is an Android-based DAP and offers a familiar user interface with ability to stream from popular music apps. For those in search of an analog sound with a powerful low-end, the Shanling M8 should be high up on the list. FiiO M Storage: 64GB in-built storage, up to 2TB expandable storage via SD Card. The FiiO M15 is the most complete and thought out DAP that FiiO have ever created. With dual AKEQ DAC implementation and an NDK Femtosecond crystal, the sound is transparent, airy and resolving. To top it all, the M15 brings the familiar Android experience with capabilities of streaming and duplex Bluetooth options.
The player is also one of a few Android devices capable of driving high-sensitivity IEMs to full-sized headphones with ease. The excellent battery life of 15 hours and quick charging time only further consolidate its status as a fantastic all-rounder. Neutral with a hint of bright, the M15 should make a fine addition to any collection. Cayin N3Pro. With a slim and compact profile, impeccable build and superior versatility — it is one of the best DAPs within its price category. It also outputs an impressive mW for a given 32 Ω load from the balanced state allowing it to drive full-sized headphones without difficulty.
FiiO M11 Pro. Built on Android OS, the player features a familiar experience for the end-user with ability for streaming and music apps. With many years of experience in the DAP market, FiiO have produced an elegant and futuristic player in the M11 Pro. The overall sound is neutral with excellent transients and detail retrieval. Users can also benefit from the Bluetooth codec support and advanced graphical user interface for ease of convenience. Shanling M3X. The Shanling M3X is an Android-based DAP which packs in a whole host of features unseen at this price. With an excellent linear and pleasant tonality, it is a must purchase for those looking to be a bit more serious about their audio tracks. Its ease of use, beautiful form factor, streaming and speedy process only complete the icing on the cake. For these reasons, the Shanling M3X is a highly recommended purchase which maximizes bang for buck.
Hidizs AP While there is no streaming, users can access a large library of offline lossless audio within the palm of their hand. The sound is very clear whilst being responsive to EQ changes. For those that wish to maximize their bang for buck, the Hidizs is a very recommended purchase. Shanling M0. The Shanling M0 is a highly ultra-portable DAP which is perfect for running or other forms of exercise. The overall sound quality is pleasant out of the box with good punchy bass, clear midrange, and linear treble. Yes, it will not drive the more demanding of headphones, but it does technically well with lower ohm transducers.
For those with rather active lifestyle wishing for better sound quality, the M0 suffices. DethonRay Prelude DTR1. The Prelude DTR1 is an interesting digital audio player which focuses on a music-first approach. It certainly succeeds as the overall tonality is highly detailed with one of the best transients and rapid dynamics of any DAP in its price category. Moreover, for a compact DAP of it size, it is easily able to drive more resistant headphones and in-ear monitors. The only downside is its battery life and proprietary charger which may not be the most convenient for some. A digital audio player DAP is an electronic device with the capacity to store and play high-resolution music or audio files. Often, they are small hand-held gadgets containing memory storage, audio output, and a battery.
DAPs are designed for high-resolution digital files, like MP3, which is one of the audio formats. However, DAPs are not a new concept. You could say that the Sony Walkman, launched in , was the first one and it paved the way for the portable digital music revolution. Today, it is possible to have thousands of high-resolution audio files with you wherever you go. You only need a good musical source and the right audio gear to enjoy symphony hall reference music. The way you have saved your music determines how it will sound. How your music moves from a digital source through audio cables and into your output gear plays a significant part in how well it will sound. If the audio signal is analog, a digital system starts by converting an analog system to a digital one using an ADC. It operates at a specific sampling format and transforms at a specified bit resolution. Analog systems that do not have a bandwidth limitation are moved past an un-liaising sieve.
This happens prior to converting thus avoiding distortion brought about by audio signals whose frequencies are higher than the rate of sampling. You can save or distribute a digital audio wave. You can store it on a USB, CD, hard drive, or a digital audio player. The digital signal is distorted through signal processing in which it is filtered, or applied effects. A sampling includes downsampling or upsampling for confirming signals encoded with an uncommon rate to a common one before processing. The audio file format is the form in which a digital audio file is stored. A coding format is the bit layout of the audio file. It can be compressed for size reduction or remain uncompressed.
A codec encodes and decodes raw files. While most audio file formats support audio coding data, multimedia content can support different audio and video formats. Audio file formats come in three major groups: 1. Uncompressed audio , e. Lossy compression formats, e. Lossless compression formats such as FLAC, ATRAC Advanced Lossless, and MPEG-4 ALS. High-resolution DAPs internal and expandable storage through micro SD card slots. Since these DAP music files are larger than MP3 or iTunes AAC-encoded formats, it is recommended to have a minimum of 32GB for internal storage and at least an SD card. DAPs come in either Android or their own custom proprietary OS. Nowadays, many people prefer to stream music instead of downloading it onto their devices.
However, some do not want to rely on the internet connection but prefer to listen to their music collection offline. If you belong to the latter group, there are superb music apps for iPhone and Android. The Google Market offers various free or paid players, such as Poweramp, BlackPlayer, Rocket Player, and Shuttle Music Player. For iPhone music players, the default player has an amazing design and all the required options. To enhance this, you can get alternatives such as Ecoute, Vox,. Balanced audio is the interconnection of audio equipment using balanced lines. It is essential in producing and recording sound since it lets long cables use while reducing susceptibility to outside noise brought by electromagnetic involvement.
As you can read in the comparison part, I feel the HiBy R8 also is the best performing player in this segment at this moment. If you’re looking into a higher-end portable player that can do it 07/09/ · TempoTec V6 Music Player DAP – Super Performer TempoTec V6 Variations is a USD Music Player or DAP, with a decent battery life, balanced headphone output, and 01/03/ · The AP80 Pro by Hidziz is an ultra-portable hi-res music player packed full of features you find on bigger DAPs. It's meant for people on the go who don't want to carry 28/04/ · The software has everything you need and expects from the best digital music player. It is an entirely reliable device in terms of software, very complete and user-friendly. I Estimated Reading Time: 8 mins 16/09/ · iBasso DX DAP Music Player – Relaxed Warm Music Key. iBasso DX is a USD DAP or Music Player made by ibasso, with Dual Cirrus CS DAC Chips, DSD 13/09/ · Astell&Kern A&ultima SP — Best digital audio player Pros Truly spectacular music reproduction Responsive and intuitive software Incredibly versatile: DSD, 32 ... read more
The resolution is about the same, with M11 PRO having a slightly wider soundstage, but DX having a more relaxed, smoother, thicker sound with better imaging and instrument separation. Definitely worth it, kudos iBasso. It operates at a specific sampling format and transforms at a specified bit resolution. The sound is expressive, practical, and punchy. This dual DAC also has the advantage of being compatible with a wide range of audio formats such as FLAC, WAV, WMA, AIFF, etc. Beautiful smoothed corners, a pleasant shade of the case. Depending on the monitor I use I prefer the Sony or the SPTo me, the M6 Pro offers better lows while the M11 Pro exhibits finer mids but a narrower sound stage, dap music player. It runs Android 10 on a Snapdragon and the amp unit has those three letters that make audiophiles around the world drool THX. Save my name, dap music player, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. There is a known issue with dap music player reliability of the balanced output and they have no UK distributor to supply units to their various dealers, since they dropped SVC Distribution, who were excellent. This premium device is worthy of its status and offers unsurpassed sound and long battery life. The iBasso DX is armed not with AKM chips as the FiiO M11 does but with the duo CS, a high-end classic from Cirrus Logic. As I mentioned above the Ibasso DX is my high res music player of choice as I think it strikes a nice balance of features and price.