Best Sounding Budget/Mid Range DAP for Metal bands such as Metallica, Slayer, In Flames, Rammstein

Apr 4, 2021
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I used to use my IPOD Classic to listen to all my Mp3s but ive started getting the FLAC files for the same songs. The Ipod recently broke so been using my Samsung Note 4 phone and obviously does not sound as good. So looking to buy a new DAP but I do not really need features such as WIFI, Blutooth, Streaming etc, just one that will deliver punchy sound for the purpose of mostly Metal Bands. I also want to be able to connect it to my Marantz PM6007 amplifier. I also only have standard wired 3.5 normal earphones. Nothing fancy.

Can someone recommend one or two up to around £400. I can get the IBasso dx160 for £350 but really don't want to spend that much if I can get a good sound but without the features that I don't really need. I been looking at Fiio m3 pro, Fiio m6, Fiio m7, Hiby R3 Pro, HIDIZS AP80, Shanling M2X and finally Sony nw a105. I am not sure about the Sony though for connecting it to the amplifer as says DAC not applicable.
Better earphones or headphones will give more of a sound quality increase than using the cheap bundled earphones with a new digital audio player

Can of course buy both new earphones and a new dap. The above option is better for budgeting / saving up

The downside is your phone cannot be early connected to a home amplifier so you may wish to jump into a new dap that has line output functionality

With the Chinese dap brands (ibasso, shanling, fiio, so on) if it were my money I would be giving more attention to user interface and support for how you intend to use the device. For example there's been trouble with dap manufacturers using a custom old Android and struggling to maintain support for certain streaming services

Fiio for example in the past has not fixed UI issues and release a new model instead

I still use the Shure SE846 with the Samsung Note 4 for when I do not want to carry more expensive sources. The SE846 is not competitive compared to more recent and cheaper IEM releases from Tin Hi-fi and Moondrop, but I got it return it first came out years ago
Yeah was thinking of possible upgraded the earphones once I have the new DAP. Im currently using Sound Magic ES20 and they sound pretty good to me as they are really punchy. When the ipod stop working I thought it was the earphones at first so tried a few more expensive ones. They sounded clearer but didn't have the punch of the Sound Magics. Included was a pair by Sony that was supposed to have loads of bass but they sounded weak to me.

I was also thinking as alternative was to buy an external DAC connected to the phone such as the Audioquest Dragonfly Red. Although the phone is only a Samsung Note 4 so not sure if that would affect it too. If I did this though can you still connect it to the amp via a 3.5mm cable to 2 RCA cable in the same way that I would with a DAP?

After reading and watching videos im set on the Ibasso DX160 if I was to buy a DAP. How do think this would compare to my phone and the external DAC I mentioned? Is the external DAC better than the one in the Ibasso?


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