Help choosing a portable player please.

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by indus, Feb 17, 2018.

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  1. indus

    indus
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    Hi
    I'm looking for a portable player for my son up to about £200.
    He asked for an ipod but I'm a bit wary given that he is only 11 and I don't really want him to have access to all the messaging/social media stuff that you can get on the ipod.

    In addition I'd like him to have better sound quality than an ipod so that he shares my passion for hifi lol.

    The main source of music will be tidal so it must be able to stream this (as flacc) and allow him to download from it to listen offline.

    Price probably up to £200.

    Thanks very much
     
  2. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    What and where do you want him to stream?... A portable music player can mean something as limited in function as an SD card connected via a DAC to a headphone amplifier and a display for menus, and perhaps an FM tuner, up to anything including full wi fi and GSM network support.
    I would not knock the simple setups, they are uncomplicated, and in the case of some Sonys have superb quality, great battery life,and huge memory capacity, with SD cards.
    If you want better, functionality, a low performance smart phones fit the bill,with poorer sound quality, but with wi fi.reduced battery life You can put either a defective SIM card in it so he cannot make calls... Or a working one in if you want him to. Even defective cards allow Emergency calls to be made. Any wi fi model will be able to stream at home so can link in with tidal.
    Alternatively, a second hand Sony xperia Compact 3 , will hit all the bases, ... Long battery life, flac,
    Or a new smart phone..
    There are a few very high quality portable players from Sony A&K and Onkyo which have WiFi , but they would be at 3 to 4 times your budget. , So a direct replacement for the itouch seems hard to find.
    It's hard to beat the power of mass-production, and chips with WiFi usually now contain all the elements for a mobile phone.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  3. indus

    indus
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    Dan, thanks for the reply.

    I want him to be able to stream and download from Tidal (and perhaps spotify) via wifi. This will mainly be at home.

    It's a present for an achievement and so I want something new, not a secondhand phone. Also, even if it had a defective sim he would still be able to use messaging services via wifi ie whatsapp etc which I really don't want. So I'd really rather it wasn't a phone.

    So are you saying that (other than an ipod) there is no dedicated player that can stream tidal etc over wifi for less than £600?

    Thanks for your help
     
  4. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    I think I see where you are coming from. The list of dedicated music players will be pretty small.
    There are the cheap and cheerful supermarket versions at 20 quid upwards...using the chips which were designed for the mainstream market of fifteen years ago and now packaged in cheap plastic with shoddy switches...
    There are the few mainstream ones from Sony in particular, and they are dedicated portable music players.The problem is that wi fi is not seen as a priority, although many will have blue tooth in order to link into car stereos and wireless headphones.
    Even having wi fi is no guarantee that Spotify or tidal will work, it needs to have an operating system for which an application program has been written, or have a general internet browser. Obviously kit based on Windiws , Android or iOS has had this work already done.Tidal have done applications for a number of the really high end audio kit manufacturers,so unless you have one of these brands you might be out of look..
    Having said that there does appear to be a pioneer model ..XPD 30, which may do your requirement..
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  5. pixelpidgeon

    pixelpidgeon
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    you've got the fiio X5iii but a a fair amount over your budget unfortunately. I believe this player is based on android and has two modes. pure music mode (just music saved onto the fiio itself) and android mode i.e Spotify google music etc. It has Bluetooth/wifi so for streaming purposes you would nee a wifi signal. However with most streamers you can download music to the device itself and playback on the device as long as you have a subscription?

    link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/3rd-Genera...8&qid=1518956555&sr=1-13&keywords=fiio+player

    ebay: Brand new boxed award winning FiiO X5 3rd Gen (X5iii) Hi-Res Player - Black | eBay

    FiiO's third generation X5 digital audio player doubles down on all FiiO's previous successes to give audiophiles and casual listeners alike an astonishing product at a brilliant price. The X5's deeply customised Android 5.1 interface supports a 'Pure-music' mode which bypasses the re-sampling issues found with most Android-based audio players; allowing sample rates of up to 768kHz. Two AKM AK4490EN DAC chips (one for each channel) ably support all PCM and DSD formats with an S/N ratio of 120dB and –112dB total harmonic distortion. Dual crystal oscillators (one for 44.1kHz multiples, one for 48kHz multiples) aids in the faithful, jitter-free reconstruction of digital files into smooth audio.

    The X5iii is the first FiiO product to use two dual channel OPA1642 chips followed by a custom made audiophile-grade OPA426 chip for it's amplifier stage. This provides up to 300mW of power on a 32Ω load! Also new with this model is the addition of a second headphone output to cater for users of 2.5mm 4-pole balanced cables. The X5iii also follows the previous X1ii and X7 DAPs in having full Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity; allowing you to download Android applications, use popular streaming services and connect to Bluetooth remotes (such as the FiiO RM1) and speakers.

    Much like it's X5 and X5ii predecessors, the third generation X5iii has two microSD card slots which accept cards up to 256GB, allowing for a whopping 544GB of music. That's enough for c.130,000 songs! A copious 3.8V 3400mAh battery gives you more than 10 hours worth of play time though the X5iii also supports rapid charging; allowing 9V/12V high-voltage sources to fully replenish the battery in only 1.5 hours! All of this contained in a new look chassis that elevates the X5iii aesthetics and provides the smoothest finish yet for a FiiO product.

    • Pure Music mode allows audio sampling of 768kHz
    • Android mode allows installation of third party audio and streaming apps
    • 32GB built-in storage with 2 card readers that accept microSD cards up to 256GB each
    • Supports 2.5mm TRRS balanced cables and headphones
    • Bluetooth 4.0 and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi compatable
    • 3.8V, 3400mAh battery for c.10 hours battery life
    • Supports rapid charging from 9V/12V sources for a full charge in 1.5 hours
    • Supports DSD, DXD, PCM, WAV, FLAC, APE. ALAC and all lossey audio formats
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  6. pixelpidgeon

    pixelpidgeon
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  7. indus

    indus
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    Thank you.
    Even the fiio is over budget at £300+ as I need to buy a half decent set of head phones as well. Not really appropriate to buy an 11 year old that level of kit!

    I must say that I'm surprised that you can't get a dedicated player that will stream and download from one of the worlds biggest streaming services for circa £200.....but then I know little about todays portable devices so its probably just ignorance on my part.

    I think the best choice for me is probably an ipod touch then. I have an old version and you can stream and download from tidal and just about any other service on it. So I'm sure a brand new one will do the same.

    I wonder if there is a way to disable the browser function on it? It's unsupervised access to the internet that worries me the most.
     
  8. indus

    indus
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    Actually that Pioneer does seem to tick all the boxes. A little over budget but at least I won't have to worry about my son accessing the internet.

    Thanks
     

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