Author Topic: DAP (portable music player) recommendations for Ambient music?  (Read 453 times)

FunkeXMix

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DAP (portable music player) recommendations for Ambient music?
« on: February 11, 2019, 12:25:02 PM »

I would really appreciate some help now that I understand better to explain what I am looking for. I am looking for advice from people who themselves listen to Ambient and electronic music.

I am putting those genres as a reference because of the sound characteristics the DAP should handle well.
Here is a comparison to acoustic music & why:
Acoustic music: Has limited width and depth determined by room and instrument acoustic possibilities. Pretty good reference point for highs though (think violins).

But I don't want to compare to Acoustic music because what I am looking for is:

Ambient: Has unlimited possibilites of creating synthetic depth and width. Can create sounds that sound infinitely wide. I guess you could also say high demand on the stereo imaging that goes beyond what is required of simulating a live acoustic concert with front seat & back seat terminology.

Budget: $200. Maybe higher but I would like to stick to up to $200.

My headphones can represent higher end sound:
FLC8n
Sensitivity: 107dB/mW @1Khz Impedance: 11Ω

Here is a list of gear I have tried so far with FLC8n:

My reference point for mobile DAC is my smarthphone LG G5 with music apps LG Music & Neutron Music Player. It's quite unknown Qualcomm WSA8815 Audio Codec surprisingly still beats anything I have thrown at is so far in terms of width and depth & resolving highs. LG customized the music player app in this phone to the DAC and achieved an impressive enhanced width and depth that sounds natural rather than a synthetic effect (glued on top sounding shit from Windows 10 , Creative room profiles bla bla bla). Neutron player has better quality overall but I keep coming back to the original LG music player for the phone. That extra width is so nice for vocals and ambient music.

Hardware tried that does not match the same quality:

Cyrus Soundkey DAC
bad dirty/muddies highs. Too much gain for my sensetive IEMs.

Hifime Sabre 9018 DAC
Same here but much worse. Health risk even, high on 3% volume already (on PC)

Hidizs dh1000 DAC also known as Tempotec sonata
Soundstage is too narrow and far away sounding. Does not surround you.

Fiio M3K DAP
The crystal clear fidelity in the highs is not there and can not handle the wide stereo imaging required for above tracks.

My Scarlett 2i2 beats all of the above, but that's a USB powered desktop DAC.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 01:56:35 AM by FunkeXMix »

Castleview

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Re: DAP (portable music player) recommendations for Ambient music?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2019, 07:03:37 PM »
I happen to have a Cayin N3 but that's more of a budget DAP. That being said, I think it's better than any old MP3 player or iPod I ever used years ago, especially in terms of sound quality. I personally find that ambient music sounds great on it, but I'm not an audiophile.
http://castleview.bandcamp.com/
New album, Desolation, available now.

FunkeXMix

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Re: DAP (portable music player) recommendations for Ambient music?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2019, 04:01:05 AM »
I assumed ambient fans would be more interested in talking about how to get their ambient to sound better, your the first to respond in a long time. Thanks.

I recently bought the Xduoo X3 DAP to test. Will report back when it arrives.

Seren

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Re: DAP (portable music player) recommendations for Ambient music?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2019, 11:53:17 AM »
I do like my ambient to sound as good as possible  8) - but don't use portable players, so not in a position to comment.
   But still interested in what you say and find out as you try different equipment

Castleview

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Re: DAP (portable music player) recommendations for Ambient music?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2019, 09:12:08 AM »
I assumed ambient fans would be more interested in talking about how to get their ambient to sound better, your the first to respond in a long time. Thanks.

I recently bought the Xduoo X3 DAP to test. Will report back when it arrives.


Cool.

Also, I only got a Cayin N3 because it could hold the vast majority of my music collection, not because of sound quality.

There are a bunch of DAPs out there at various different price points and I imagine that some of these devices are pretty similar in sound quality. I might be wrong though.
http://castleview.bandcamp.com/
New album, Desolation, available now.