Entry level DAP. A journey or education?

Last summer I signed up for Amazon UltraHD music service. I then started my search for suitable (cheap) hardware to play it. What I’ve learned so far .It’s hard!
I probably worked this backwards. I ended up purchasing a new old stock LG V40 phone because of it’s excellent reviews and specs. So, begins the adventure. First thing I found out that Android operating systems cap at 24/48 resolution. also figured out that both itunes and Amazon music are both essentially music rental services unless you purchase the music. therefor, 3rd party players like Onkyo or UAAP can’t read and discover the music on your system and defeat the resolution cap.
I also have a Sonata Tempotec inline DAC that works but not with Amazon on Android.
Ironically, The Tempotec works with my iphone but it has insufficient storage for my Amazon library and the LG has SD card slot.
There are probably Higher end DAPs that will do what I want but information is hard to come by and with the current economic climate, I am unwilling to indulge. So.
I currently use my LG for music while I walk. It is sufficient for my Sennheiser Momentum 2, BT phone since it has Aptx and LDAC. At home, I use HD580’s and Both my Dell Precision Laptop and Desktop will output 24/192 with good fidelity.
At the end of the day, my primary gripe has to be with Amazon. If they tout their 24/96 and 24/192 HiRez, Why not point people in the direction of what they need to enjoy it. How about a section in their store devoted to products that play along with their propriety system. For them, more sales and for us, some sense of it all. End rant.

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It’s actually worse than it seems.

On Windows, Amazon Music does not change the settings of the dac.

If the dac is in 16/44 when you start Amazon Music then all music will be played at 16/44 even if Amazon says the track is 24/96.

This isn’t so bad if you only play tracks of one resolution since you could just set the dac before starting Amazon Music.

If you play tracks of different resolutions then it’s a mess. I cancelled Amazon HD for that reason.

If you are mainly using bluetooth then all this it won’t matter. If your goal is to play 24/96 at home then Amazon Music is a less-than-ideal service.

NicKZ, I’m not sure I follow you on that. How do you actually know what resolution Amazon is streaming?
On my computers, I select “Studio” quality for streaming (24/192) and that’s where I keep it. On my LG40, I set streaming to Best available within the Amazon app settings. I wonder if I should choose the HD/Ultra HD setting instead and leave it there?

I’m getting up to 24 / 192 on my LG V35 when I play hi-res flac files using either Rocket Player (paid version $4.99) or Plexamp. This for for either files stored locally on the V35’s SD card or served from my Windows PC Plex server.

The LG phone makes a pretty darn good DAP for me. It’s high gain mode is sufficient to drive my HD 6XXs (though I do use my Schiit Modius and Jotunheim when I am at my desk) and when I fly it supports LDAC for my Sony WH-1000MX4s.

Only real issue I have with it is that you cannot manually set the high gain. It automatically is on or off based on the impedance of the headphone / IEM.

sorry, but I can’t help with the files served from the Amazon UltraHD service.

The most definitive way is if your dac has a display that shows the format it is receiving.

From what I remember you can hover the mouse over an icon - a speaker symbol maybe? - and it shows you the resolution of the track, the setting of the dac and also the resolution the track is playing at.

They don’t make it obvious that you are not getting the highest resolution.

It’s not an obvious thing, but the format of the data file or stream can be different than the data actually sent to the dac.

Amazon will say the track is 24/96 but actually send 16/44 without showing it.

OK. I Understand. I don’t have a DAC/Amp other than what is in my computers and phone.
On my Windows computers, I can hover the mouse over the little HD symbol and it will display a pop-up window with the
songs recorded resolution, my device capable resolution and what its playing.
Early on, there was criticism of lack of exclusive mode. it is available now and it makes a very noticeable difference.

Ok, if you see that the recorded resolution is the same as playing resolution then you are all set.

Although they move at glacial speed, Amazon is improving their music service. That’s why I
dropped itunes and stuck with them. Also the fact that they claim a 70m song library.