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Topic: Decent portable audio player, that isn't a smart phone? (Read 8215 times) previous topic - next topic
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Re: Decent portable audio player, that isn't a smart phone?

Reply #25
@polemon
Have you pulled the trigger on your DAP yet? If not, I highly recommend an older Sony Walkman NW-A55. It's the model right before the Android models came out, so it has the tried and true Sony player software. I have a 512GB micro SD card installed in mine. It does all of the hi-res codecs and the lower res ones too, including Apple and DSD. It does the better bluetooth codecs, just not the very newest ones. I mainly use it in my car, but I do use it as a portable with a set of IEMs. Since it's mainly a car player, I always create high level AACs or MP3s for it. As you can see, I've barely made a dent in the SD card, even with almost 23000 songs loaded on it. I know the newer Walkmans have more features but I just didn't want to carry around another Android device, and deal with those hassles. Here are a few photos of mine. Good luck.
I haven't bought anything yet, because I still can't decide ¦D
Also, I keep catching myself looking for player that are way outside the price class I was originally looking at. Like the Fiio M11, which is like 700 USD.
And that is exactly NOT what I want, actually. I want a relatively cheap player, just not the barrel of the bottom, and want good quality for the buck.
The Walkmans, are kinda expensive, iirc. hence I haven't really looked at them, but I guess, I'll do a little research on them.
Feel free to choose whichever here.


Take note, lower-end DAPs(and to some extent the higher-end DAPs), use some pretty barebones SOC. So you will feel that sluggishness of their UI if it's paired with an Android OS. I've previously owned DX160 before and there are times when it would lag when I scroll too fast on the screen or do any slight multitask, and yes, I have crashed the Player app multiple times. Other DAPs remedy this by simply having their own OS to work with the DAP seamlessly. The older walkmans prior to Android walkmans have their own OS for that reason. The higher-end DAPs would use some "flagship" SOCs from a few years back or mid-level SOCs to counter this. Others would have custom Android OS like A&K.

The reason for this is primarily because most of these companies spend more on the DACs and internal Amps than the SOCs. So you know, typical audiophile grab. Although to be fair, some of the DAPs have enough juice to power some hungry headphones.

If you don't mind buying the higher-end DAPs as used, I can link the other images. DAPs are pretty much the same as phones in terms of depreciation. So you can even find $3000 DAPs drop down to $1000 or less. So expect those mid-end $500 ones drop down to $200 or less. My DX160 was used for $180.

Those walkmans, the previous semi-flagship WM1A you can find sometimes under $400 - $500. Although compared to other companies, the Sony's are the most resilient to depreciation so they're relatively more expensive in terms of depreciation due to also them not releasing new models every year(eg. Fiio releases a new model of their products every year).

I keep catching myself looking for player that are way outside the price class I was originally looking at. Like the Fiio M11, which is like 700 USD.
If you're talking about the original M11, that's discontinued. You can buy used of those fairly cheap for under $300 most of the time or even less. The main issue of that however is the volume knob can get finnicky at times to the point it's unusable, so you'll have to rely on the on-sceen volume control. The M11S and M11 Plus remedies that with a touch sensitive volume control touchpad at the side of the DAP.


Re: Decent portable audio player, that isn't a smart phone?

Reply #26
Almost a year after my initial inquiry, I finally decided to get the Surfans F20. It's cheap enough, such that even if it's not exactly what I'm looking for, I can downgrade it to a shop or garage player.
I'm still sorta skeptical about he device, and I'll see if I can disassemble it such that I can replace the battery, should I need to do that.

So, yeah, for now it's the Surfans F20. I haven't used the Bt function so far, but it seems to be doing OK with all my wired headphones.

Re: Decent portable audio player, that isn't a smart phone?

Reply #27
A second phone without sim can act as a DAP. Older models are smaller and have the the jack. Current models like
samsung a15 / 25 ,low-mid nokia ,motorola have a jack and sdcard slot.

Re: Decent portable audio player, that isn't a smart phone?

Reply #28
A second phone without sim can act as a DAP. Older models are smaller and have the the jack. Current models like
samsung a15 / 25 ,low-mid nokia ,motorola have a jack and sdcard slot.
Sure, but then that thing has more bulk, and it's still a screen I need to tap around, rather than having physical controls, etc.
And an old phone's battery, that is constantly playing music isn't lasting that long...
I'd consider that kinda solution for a DAP that required WiFi or similar, etc. where I need essentially a DAP that is also able to play streams, etc.
It's kinda a shame that custom ROMs for phones aren't really a thing anymore, otherwise I'd probably put something like Cyanogen on it and turn it into a dedicated player. Especially if it's supposed to be portable, but not mobile.

Wishful thinking would give me the Surfans F20 with WiFi, so I could simply "play" a URL, etc.
And a USB-C port instead of a Micro-USB port...

The *perfect* portable DAP simply doesn't exist in this price range...