Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by zerodeefex, Oct 8, 2015.
Mod edit: This thread is now the generic DAP thread
I will do a short write up compiling all my posts I did over at head-fi as I did the following in almost like a mini dap off.
Would be appreciated
Would love to give the AK Jr a try. I've had the dx90 since it came out and I'm pretty satisfied with it. That being said... even if the AK Jr does end up sounding better, it doesn't matter enough to me while I'm commuting. The dx90 passes my "good enough" threshold. The dx50 didn't when I had it.
AK Jr Vs Fiio X5ii
The AK JR in terms of sound quality blows the Fiio X5ii away. I would say the soundstage on the Fiio X5II is nowhere near as good as the AK JR. The sound stage is large and the AK JR does a great job at separating the instruments in the rock and roll music I listen to (the doors, jimi hendrix, paul simon, peter gabriel). The bass I also award to the AK JR. I am not saying that the Fiio's bass is lacking I just feel like it's a little bloated. The AK JR is tight and punchy like how in my mind bass should be (not the wet fart noise or peaky). The one thing I will say is that if you listen to say nothing but electronic music the bass might be better for you but to me it sounds a little bit bloated and not as tight in my rock recordings. The tone on the Fiio I think is a little too dark which may be the reason why I didn't think that the sound quality on my rock albums are great while the AK JR tended to be more neutral. The Fiio feels like it has an added veil to the music which can make the music not sound as great as it should be. I will say this about the AK JR which I didn't mention in my initial review and should also be considered is that the UI on the AK JR is great. It has a touch screen and things move really quick. The UI I felt was much more responsive on the AK Jr. The Fiio X5ii UI sometimes studdered a little bit between song changes and the buttons were not always the most responsive (sometimes the volume it would take a few secs before you could actually change the volume). In terms of build quality man the Fiio X5ii is build like a tank which makes it pretty heavy versus the AK Jr which I found to be definitely more portable.
BTW I don't honestly know why but the case I received from both the Fiio X5ii and the AK Jr did not have cutouts for micro SDXC card. Which I found really annoying because if you don't know slot 1 is the slot you have to have the card in for upgrades. If you put your card in slot 2 it won't read the upgrade.
iBasso DX90 vs AK Jr
I honestly don't think that iBasso DX90 can compete with the clarity and accuracy of the music I heard out of the JR. I am telling you the AK JR is just that much better. The JR was quicker to play things and I felt that that for an audio specific UI the iBasso is just dated. The iBasso I felt sounded quite a bit more constricted in the sound stage and was not able to detail the way the AK Jr did. The AK Jr I would definitely say is more neutral while the DX90 can be slightly darker. The bass on the Jr and the iBasso are very close but the slightly more punchy tighness was found on the Jr. I will say this the amplification on the iBasso is much better than the Jr. The Jr. doesn't have the power to play headphones which require more power without an amp.
AK JR vs Questyle QP1R:
For the pricepoint I felt the JR is a great product but when you go up to the Questyle you get many features and connections that aren't on the JR. To me the sound quality on the QP1R was a bit better when compared to the JR. I think that the JR is great but I feel like Questyle has something a little more natural sounding. The soundstage on the JR was just a little tighter and I felt that the signer was placed much more forward than on the Questyle. I thought the Questyle had a bigger soundstage and a little better imaging. I consider the Questyle sounded a little more natural. Also since the amplification is a little more powerful on the QP1R you can play headphones on it (runs the dharma well).
Tracks I listened to and used for my test that I felt I know pretty well:
Hotel California - Hell Freezes Over
Eric Clapton - Layla Unplugged
Boy in the Bubble - Paul Simon
Don't Stay - Linkin Park
Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me
The Doors - Break on through to the other side
The Doors - This is the End
Led Zepplin - Kashmir
Adele - Skyfall
My ratings thus far are as follows:
It is very difficult to recommend things to people I honestly think you need to go out and listen to the players on your own and draw your own conclusions however, if you can't please keep in mind my focus is subjectivity and if you ask me a question I will answer honestly in the capacity I can and hopefully you will be able to reach your own conclusion.
Anything good with USB support for external storage? I use thumb drives with a OTG to USB cable on my DX-50 that only sounds OK. BTW, what's the point of a HD DAP without provision for external storage anyway?
Put the player function aside, can anybody make some comparative comments on QP1R vs Geek Out V2 as a portable DAC/amp? I have them on my mind for a future purchase of a portable device that can drive well HD650/800 and in-ear monitors and also work well together with iPhone 6/iPad. Thanks.
I totally agree with you about the fiio, I have an x3ii and it sounds veiled to me. Like there is a greyness over the music, it's weird. Guess the fiio x5ii is the same. Maybe even worse, ti dacs I find are very annoying sounding likely do to a crappie filter used to inflate specs
I'm really curious about the QP1R though I'm likely going to get the AK240 used for that massive 256gb storage. BUT, I think it'll be a marginal upgrade sound quality-wise with my AK100ii.
AK240 is really expensive I can understand that the 256GB but the QP1R has two micro SDXC slots on top of the 32 GB of internal memory (yes the internal isn't as good) but hey you save a lot of money.
Yeah I'm not in any sort of rush to upgrade yet. I'm going to get a Gungnir multibit first then get a DAP. I like the AK100ii's interface so I will likely stay with A&K depending on how low I can get the 240 or go with the FiiO X7 or the QP1R.
Doing the math though,
AK240 used = $1200 w/ 256gb + extra mSD card slot
QP1R = $900 + mSD card slot
I feel like buying the 2x 200gb microSD cards will probably just end up being the same cost as the used AK240.
Well if you are in no rush when the 200GB cards get more mass produced they will drop greatly in price.
Yeah, definitely going to see how the FiiO X7 is and how low the AK240 can go.
I am kind of curious about it to. I will listen to it at CES more than likely unless someone close to me gets it.
I've just bought a Shanling M3, but it's too early to pass judgement. Why the Shanling? Because Shanling. Seriously, I bought it after reading a few reviews and because of the brand. I wanted either Cayin or Shanling, one of the big Chinese hifi brands. Its feature set is pretty awesome as well with line-out and -in as well as SPDIF-out and -in, plus USB-in which means you can use it as an amp or a DAC. Will I ever use these features? Probably not.
It does seem to drive my (equally-new) Oppo PM-3 with ease though.
There are a potentially infinite number of use cases where external storage makes not a lick of sense. You really want to be fumbling around with external storage at the gym? On the NYC subway or the Paris Metro? In the middle of a run?
AK Jr. (and Pono Player, for that matter) can use 128 gig cards, even though they are publicly said to work only with 64 gig cards. Is 192 gigs not enough, even for a JFK-to-Narita flight?
I haven't played with a production sample of the Questyle, but the prototype I played with at Can Jam at the Westin had major UI issues. Unless those have been addressed, it's a non-starter.
I use a GO v2+ Infinity and UERM with iOS devices, and I'm very pleased with the results.
Thanks. Would you recommend AK Jr. as a decent option?
Without a doubt the AK Jr for the money is amazing and I would definitely recommend.
How do people feel about the plenue 1 and the Sony high end dap?
I know we're not supposed to complain about LH wait times, but waiting on the Geek Wave is tiresome when the customer service is poor (sorry chartwell85!). I'm sure it will be amazeballs!
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