This YouTube video: https://youtu.be/bsc8H-ffzLY is a couple of years old, and I personally don’t agree with the slightly hyperbolic language, but I DO think it alludes to an interesting question I’ve been wondering about, especially in 2020. It appears we are seeing amazing industry advancement, and a healthy amount of brand competition to the consumer’s benefit, almost year over year, in the headphone space. I’d suggest that the DAP space is a lagging step-child in comparison. Do you agree, or am I wrong? More specifically, what would you like to see the major player vendors (or a wild, ambitious newcomer!) improve upon to take things to the next level, similar to what we’re seeing with headphones?
To provide some context, before I recently sold the Cayin N8 to focus on developing a desktop system, I found that while I loved the sound, it was still a bit clunky in the user interface. And it didn’t have native streaming with TIDAL/QOBUZ, which is (to me), a major miss in 2020. I’ve had A&K players in the past and they’re nice in their own right, but while the UI was “better”, their reliance on an Android platform always seemed like it would create a ceiling on any innovation they could provide (I work in tech, so maybe I’m both sensitive and biased to this idea). And I know many seem to be happy with their FiiOs players, as well as other players so… maybe I’m completely wrong! It just doesn’t FEEL like DAPs are taking it to the next level, besides just focusing on gradual improvements and discussions on “the latest DAC chip”, which doesn’t feel like any progress or innovation at all. Also, being fairly new here, I’ve noticed that “DAP talk” seems to be by far the topical area with the least amount of activity. Possibly supporting my point?
Anyway, was just wondering what the general feeling from others are here when it comes to the current market on DAPs. Are you “happy” with what’s available, or feel there’s much more innovation and general excitement this segment of the hobby can provide? And if excited about the near future, what has you feeling that way?