Help recommend a DAP please

D

Deleted member 122178

Guest
As the title says, I'm after a DAP mainly for whilst out walking / hiking. prefer bluetooth for use with a pair of Melomania's I already have and most likely future headsets will be bluetooth as I much like not having a cable dangling around.
There's so much choice in the budget to mid range players.
I've looked at reviews from basic reviews to high end twiddly dee £1000 phones on a £150 player reviews and i'm firmly stuck not being able to make up my mind.
Probable choices include Hiby R3 pro and R5 , Sony NW50 and NW105, Fiio M7 / M9 , Ibasso DX160 and at the top end of my budget Cowon Plenue R2. Although I have seen the A&K SR15 at £400 via Richer Sounds.
Vast majority of my music is CD ripped FLAC with some High Res FLAC and some ripped dsf.
Mainly listening to rock /pop /prog /80's hair metal. but I do like audio books via Audible does that mean I need a Android player?
I like good quality items but i'm getting older and doubt my ears would warrant anything high end these days so I discounted the £500+ units as just total overkill for my needs.
I like the look of the Sony's but I'm put off with the connector on the 50 as i'd rather not have several leads to take travelling with me and then the 105 moves to Android and drops battery life as all Android ones seem to be in the low teens of hours.
I've always liked the Astel and Kern models but they seem over priced compared to the competition?
I always tend to do this , start off with a basic model in mind then read reviews and research online and end up thinking the next model up is only £x more what if ? its got to be better right? and spend more than i need on a product that does more than I could ever want it to.
Any help or words of wisdom gratefully received. Thanks.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Bluetooth headphones have their own built in DAC. Your money will go a lot further by going BT from your smartphone and buying a portable USB battery charger to carry for those trips away from a power socket, assuming you own a smartphone. As you do not intend to use wired in ear monitors or headphones a digital audio player does not really make sense. Ultimately your money, just saying
 
D

Deleted member 122178

Guest
Bluetooth headphones have their own built in DAC. Your money will go a lot further by going BT from your smartphone and buying a portable USB battery charger to carry for those trips away from a power socket, assuming you own a smartphone. As you do not intend to use wired in ear monitors or headphones a digital audio player does not really make sense. Ultimately your money, just saying
You're probably correct, but without wanting to sound cliched I feel somethings missing when I use the phone for audio ( Galaxy s8+ ).
Maybe I need to try some wired phones but I dont like the look of the large over ear designs for out and about use, end up looking like a cyberman. And even though I've got the melomanias I never have really got on with in-ears they either fall out or are uncomfortable to use.
I tend to get an idea in my head about wanting something and do loads of research on it but a lot of the time if I put it on the back burner after a couple of weeks I forget about it and realise I never needed it at all!
Partially for that reason I was being drawn to the cheaper models just to see if I did get enough use out of one and then buying a better model if needed.
See even when told its probably not worth it, I still try to convince myself it is:facepalm:
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
If you are keeping the Cambridge audio true wireless a dap is not a good use of your money.

The fact you are an audiobook listener makes a dap even more of an issue because dap software and UI is behind smartphones.

As an avid podcast listener, I would not use a dap over my smartphone podcast app
I feel somethings missing when I use the phone for audio ( Galaxy s8+ )
The best reviewed true wireless models on the market are the Samsung Galaxy buds (latest version), Sony WF 1000XM3 and Apple Airpods Pro

However there are still limitations to true wireless technology. It is relatively young and will take years to develop the sound quality possible in a confined enclosure. I am not sure how much better you will get rotating too a different true wireless model.

If you want sound quality today, at the expense of ultra portability, buy the Bose QC35 ii, Sony WH 1000XM3 or wait for the XM4.
And even though I've got the melomanias I never have really got on with in-ears they either fall out or are uncomfortable to use.
Not a gambler but I bet you are thinking of earbuds, the kind that sit at the entrance of the ear canal. If you have tried IEM before and it was a no go then fair enough

In ear monitors are not earbuds. Universal in ear monitors come with fit kits with a selection of tips and insert deeper into the canal. Custom in ear monitors are moulded to your unique ear shape for ultimate fit and comfort. You will likely have seen custom monitors worn by musicians and presenters on stage and or on television.

Some people buy a Bluetooth dongle to convert their IEM into a halfway wireless mode. See for example the Fiio BTR5

I suggest that you Google to research what is out there for Bluetooth headphones, wired headphones, or in ear monitors

You can buy a Dap but I doubt you will get a better Bluetooth receiver than your smartphone. Your smartphone supports aptx HD, LDAC, aptx, AAC and SBC. The Cambridge Audio's supports aptx, AAC and SBC. I suggest that you make sure the Bluetooth codec is set to aptx, rather than SBC 😎
 
D

Deleted member 122178

Guest
Sometimes I just like to try new stuff for the hell of it!
So the cambridge Melomania are ear buds and not IEM's? I must admit I did'nt know that, I thought there was just the standard over ear headphones , the bud type I thought just sat on/in the lobe and the ones like the melomania where you fit them like a earplug.
I ride a motorbike and struggle with earplugs so maybe I've just got a small ear canal.
I'll have a look into the different headphone types and see if thats the issue.
never checked what protocol the bluetooth is using i assumed it would negotatiate the best they could deliver when they paired up.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
The cambridge Melomania are true wireless earphones. In my opinion TW fits better than earbuds because the earpiece fills out the opening of the ear so the fit is quite cosy combined with the tip sitting in the ear canal.

Amazon product
I would describe this no brand random example as earbuds. The fit is shallow, balancing at the ear canal entrance. Also notice the cable hangs down from the earpiece. This design is easy to fall out just from walking or head movement

As described, in ear monitors come with a fit kit and fit deeper. They are typically designed so the cable wraps around the ear, rather than going straight down from the earpiece.


See image 8 on the eBay listing as an example of hooking an IEM cable around the outer ear
 
D

Deleted member 122178

Guest
Thanks Steven, looks like I'll have to try out either some IEM's or get better quality ear buds as the halfway Melomanias arn't staying put. or try some different tips first.
The phone was set on SBC so I've changed that and will give it a go later although I dont think my works van is new enough to have aptx so might cause issues.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Ian , I am somewhat of a fan of the Sony NWA so maybe a bit biased. The USB 22 pin was never a concern when Apple were doing it ,so why would it be a problem when Sony use it..? Incidentally it is a lot more adaptable for products in Japan than a simple usb lead. Those functions are not implemented on global products. Anyway it is just a cable ,and replacements are available, so it should not be a deal-breaker.
Now Steve n is correct and the value of a DAP is eroded if one uses Blue tooth phones,as its the phones DACs which do the business. Not a huge problem if the phones are Sony 1000 M3, and one is using LDAC
One can achieve the functionality of a DAP with a mobile phone and good headphones and maybe an external DAC. But there is a price to pay, and I paid it, when the phone battery went down, and I had to wait for two hours on a bus in the rain, because I couldn't phone my lift.
Now the NWA series have a seriously good trick . There are Sony Earbuds, wired available for them 750N is a part number ,which are noise cancelling in ear . .but the electronics is in the DAP . They are lighter than any blue tooth ear pieces and very good for extended listening. The noise cancelling is on a par with the best.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Sorry to read that! why I recc keeping a portable USB battery charger in one's backpack. Never know when a charge is needed in a pinch 😎
 
D

Deleted member 122178

Guest
Having changed the Bluetooth streaming protocol to aptx I've spent the evening listening from my phone to a pair of AKG N60 and it sounds really good to me so possible that the phone will work fine with the right IEM's if I can get on with them.
Listened to some tracks via the melomania's and I have to say I'm finding them very boomy in the low frequencies now. I'm sure I didnt have that issue before changing to aptx.
dannniellI, I dont have a major issue with the different connector I would like to keep the number of charging leads to a minimum but it definitley doesnt rule out the 55.
I now just need to try some headphone/earphone/IEM's to find a set I like ( read that as fit comfortably) and that sound good to me be that wireless or not and then go from there with regards a new DAP or a overdue new phone and as Steven suggests a battery pack to keep it going.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
I would stick with it to be doubly sure about wanting a new headphone. Brain burn in is a thing.

I would temper expectations and repeat what I wrote that true wireless is relatively new so the possible sound quality will not compare to other types of headphones

Does this mean you had it set to SBC before changing to aptx BT codec? :)

See also this thread by a member who has tried a number of true wireless sets

 
D

Deleted member 122178

Guest
Yes the phone was set to SBC, I knew about different types of BT code but wrongly thought during the pairing they would negotiate with each other to the highest quality they could work together with.
I had to enable developer options on the phone to find and change the settings, on a positive note it also works in the van with aptx so I wont need to go back and forth with settings every time I connect.
I prefer the "freedom" of BT headphones but if I can find a wired pair with a long enough lead I would be happy. As I said in the previous post I've got a pair of nc60 which sound great but I couldn't use them when out and about as I seem to have a small skull and most phones just fall off with a little shake.
The nc60 have very poor clamp on my head and although I've tried to bend them to a tighter fit I can only use them sat down, on a train ect.
I've always liked the look of the Shure models so might give them a go.
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
For music I do use mid range DAP and high end IEM's but for a mix of great sound, ease of use and long battery life you can't go wrong with a set of Samsung Buds+ which I use with my S10+.

As for Shure, I've had SE535 and SE846 and only gets impressive with SE846 which I still have & love.

The Buds+ do work best with Samsung's own Adaptive BT which is close to LDAC which they don't have.
 

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