It seems like I have spent the last 2 weeks looking at every DAP available! I have followed the usual path of “That looks ok… oh, just for X more I can get… but the for only X more I can get…” then suddenly I am in the 4 digit category!!
I still can’t make my mind up!
I have at least decided what I want this for and what I do and don’t need. I am happy using the M0 as a pocket player for when I am working on my car or doing other stuff, I just hit “play all” and off it goes.
What I am looking for is something a little larger that will make it easier to listen to specific tracks/albums (the M0 screen is too small and it is a PITA to have to swipe to see the full name).
I have decided I do not want Android, even if this means I can’t stream Spotify. I have Spotify available on my phone, in my car, in every room of my house and in my office, so it is not an issue to be without it while using the DAP. I don’t need any other streaming services.
My two uses for this device will be for when I travel (unsing on flights and in hotel rooms etc) and also to use as a specific source for comparing IEMs (nothing spectacular, mostly <$100) for reviewing so it has to be pretty neutral and have no noise when dealing with IEMs. I would like Balanced output available although it is not a must. I do want a line level output as it will come in handy when I am EQing rooms etc.
I am currently leaning towards the Shanling M2X when it is finally available here (in a couple of weeks supposedly) but also contemplating the Cayin N3 or the A&K JR, although both these devices are getting a little older now. The Ibasso DX120 is another option.
So, a quick recap in case anyone has any ideas…
- Under $300 ($200 would be even better, although I am willing to stretch to $400)
- No Android
- Streaming Services not necessary
- Balanced output if possible.
- Line Output.
- Most importantly good neutral sound and works with sensitive IEMs without noise.