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DAP with amp and Internet streaming (Spotify, Youtube etc.)

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Gentlemen

 

i'm looking into getting magnetic planar headphones, probably something entry level around 500USD that doesn't need too much juice to drive. I mostly listen to streaming music from Spotify and Youtube (both paid accounts) and do not plan to change this. 

 

Is there a portable DAP with amp that also has Wifi and i guess Android in order to access these services?

 

The way i read it, it does seem to be important to have quality DAC as well as some amplifier for these kinds of headphones. The Cowon Plenue D2 looks nice functionality, price and portability-wise, but does not offer access to mentioned streaming services. 

 

i hope you can give me some suggestions.

 

Thanks!

 

Beat

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This could be something im looking for:

 

LG V40 ThinQ
"...but this phone features a high-quality quad DAC, which is basically responsible for producing the sound from your digital file into your earphone or headphone. Not to mention its high amp output modes..."

 

I can get this for under 500USD and i need a new cellphone anyway. This should be a good device for driving a planar magnetic (one with low resistance), shouldn't it?  

 

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A device that plugs into a phone bypassing the phone DAC is an option. I don’t know of any portable players with those services built in. 
 

I can think of the McIntosh MHA50

 

https://www.mcintoshlabs.com/products/headphone-amplifiers/MHA50

 

a Woo Audio portable DAC/Amp


https://wooaudio.com/amplifiers-all

 

and probably others. 


No electron left behind...

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3 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

A device that plugs into a phone bypassing the phone DAC is an option. I don’t know of any portable players with those services built in. 
 

I can think of the McIntosh MHA50

 

https://www.mcintoshlabs.com/products/headphone-amplifiers/MHA50

 

 

Thanks Doc. That might be a solution too. But it's already helpful to know, that there isn't a bunch of solutions for streaming music / internet access.  Something like the MHA50 does look very much like a solution. I was not sure if these kinds of devices work only with the Lightning Port(?) of iPhone, but it doesn't seem to be the case and work also with android phones. on my current phone, i only have microUSB connector, not USB-C, let's see of those solutions work.

The cellphone i posted above would currently be the most desirable solution - for portability and comfort at least (and money is also favorable).
this cellphone shows up numerous times when looking for cellphones for audiophiles, for the right reasons: it has a much better DAC than usual and outputs extra power to big headphones, sounds right, doesn't it? let's see if it lets me enter the link now:
 

"The ultra-low noise QUAD DAC Technology allows users to hear every nuanced detail while the 2V output amplifier can support even the most demanding headphones, providing ample power for clear, solid base with crisp highs."

 

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I have the predecessor to the V40, LG's V30+.  As far as I can tell, the DAC components and audio software in the two models are the same.  The phone can drive my Audeze LCD-1's (400 USD) well enough for most listening, and the sound quality is quite nice.  As long as you're not after very high volume/power, the V40 and a set of planar magnetic headphones should do what you're after.

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You will have to check the amp power but Sony players are available: https://tinyurl.com/tdmpzy2

 


QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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Great info guys, thanks a lot!

Since i will use the setup primarely with streaming services at high quality, but not lossless, it looks like the V40 is the way to go. Altough i'm afraid i will want more as time goes by 🙂

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iBasso DX160 & Astell & Kern A&norma SR15

🤩

 

great... now im torn between the Lenovo V40 and one of these dedicated players. the iBasso would probably be the better player than the cellphone at similar price 🤔

 

i went ahead yesterday and snatched some Hifiman HE-4XX for 120USD (new).  So, much cheaper than i expected. Probably i'll get a pair of more expensive ones with different sound characteristics, just to have some variation, later on.

But the HE-4XX should be fine without absolut high end DAC & amp (V40 🤔)

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some quick feedback here: the LG V40 so far is a great phone.

But a word of warning: two days ago i received the HE-4XX. Problem: volume is too low. not very low, probably healthy level 🙂  but max just isn't enough. i researched a bit and turns out:
the LG V40 activates High Impedance Mode with extra power only for headphones with more than 50ohm. The HE-4XX has 35ohm.

 

There are some solutions, like rooting the phone and changing this setting. or more common: plug an adapter with resistance in between. i don't want a hack, especially since these adapters seem to interfere with sound settings. i dropped a line to LG support and they confirmed that this setting cannot be changed. they recommended me the Soundmagic E80 in-ears that have like 60ohm.  after some research i bought them, should arrive soon.

I will get a set of planar magnetics in a few weeks. taking some more time to research.

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Didn't see Hiby mentioned. I have the R6 in Stainless and it's very nice. The problem i had using my cellphone was battery life. If you have to pack an add on DAC/Amp for your cellphone, just get a DAP. The R5 looks pretty nice at a lower price point.

https://www.amazon.com/HiBy-Lossless-Bluetooth-Android-Resolution/dp/B07Z7WSQZZ/ref=pd_sbs_107_t_0/133-7765201-0469100?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07Z7WSQZZ&pd_rd_r=d88a6b04-4d2b-429c-a0ed-c9e083e181e3&pd_rd_w=62SNo&pd_rd_wg=TUQgs&pf_rd_p=5cfcfe89-300f-47d2-b1ad-a4e27203a02a&pf_rd_r=00F535B0G0T2896MDN5H&psc=1&refRID=00F535B0G0T2896MDN5H

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to finish this off:  got the Soundmagic E80 since two days.  I thought i had a reasonably good sound setup before, with well known Bluetooth(...) headphones and "highres" youtbe. 

 

but damn.  the combination LG V40 and Soundmagic E80 rocks compared to what i had.  it literally hat me in tears...

 

Now i subscribed to Tidal HiFi and it's just amazing. i was not aware how much better sound can be - the clarity, the sharpness, the details. 😇 

 

gonna get some over-ears magnetic planars at some point, but for the moment very happy with this setup. thanks for your help guys!!

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LG v30/v40 will resample all third party apps like youtube (except a few special ones) to 48k variant.  So, if you want to avoid SRC, get a DAP that can change the ALSA state for all apps you install.

 

DX160 is a solid choice and I own one - it avoids SRC.  It's sound is deceptively better than move expensive DAPs I've owned, but not quite TOTL.

 

Plus, you said you'd be driving planars?  The DX160 in balanced mode has tremendous power and a low noise floor (as well as low output impedance).  

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