• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Education on DAP

nycarrival

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
47
Likes
1
Hello all,

I need some guidance. I see these products and I am unsure about them. What are these players used for and what is the difference from listening music on a mobile phone? Some of them are quite expensive. Also, do I need a special cable to connect my headphones Dan Clarke AEON2?

Thanks!
 

maverickronin

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
2,527
Likes
3,313
Location
Midwest, USA
The primary reason to get a DAP these day is better ergonomics as many DAPs still have physical buttons which modern phones lack. You can get dongles for your phone with excellent performance.

The Aeon 2's are fairly inefficient so either way you'll want to get a device with balanced output for more power and matching cable.
 
OP
N

nycarrival

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
47
Likes
1
Thanks for your reply!

I am also getting Topping DX3 Pro that I will be using for listening from my MacBook Pro plus SHANLING UP5 MQA ESS9219C Qualcomm QCC5120 Chip DAC Bluetooth5.0 XU208 DSD256 Decode AMP 3.5mm 2.5mm 4.4mm Decoder Amplifier. Do I need anything else to feed my AEON 2?
 

maverickronin

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
2,527
Likes
3,313
Location
Midwest, USA
A quick google search didn't find any measurements of the UP5 so I'm not too sure on that. It does have balanced output, which should help though.

The DX3 Pro+ doesn't have a ton of power in to the very low impedance of the Aeon 2 so it may not be any better than a portable amp either, depending on how loud you listen.
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
8,391
Likes
13,570
The DX3 Pro+ doesn't have a ton of power in to the very low impedance
Likely a measurement error by Amir (or overheating due to synthetic test signals?)
The DX3Pro+ did just fine on WolfX-700's x555:
Adobe_20220427_111802.jpg
 

NiagaraPete

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
2,209
Likes
1,999
Location
Canada
Thanks for your reply!

I am also getting Topping DX3 Pro that I will be using for listening from my MacBook Pro plus SHANLING UP5 MQA ESS9219C Qualcomm QCC5120 Chip DAC Bluetooth5.0 XU208 DSD256 Decode AMP 3.5mm 2.5mm 4.4mm Decoder Amplifier. Do I need anything else to feed my AEON 2?
Why are you buying 2 DAC's or am I missing something? If you need BT and MQA (not recommended by me) then a EX5 or one of the other DAC's with headphone amps.
 

maverickronin

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
2,527
Likes
3,313
Location
Midwest, USA
Any recommendations for my AEON2 to get its full potential?

That's a little hard to say. The ones mentioned above could be fine, but that depends your EQ profiles, tastes in music, and desired volume. I use my Aeon 2's with an RME ADI-2 DAC and have never come close to running out of power, but other people have, and use an external amp.

I'm actually not sure of any AIOs that you could give an unequivocal recommendation for powering the Aeon 2's. There are plenty of amps of stand alone amps like the SMSL SP200 and HO200, Topping L50 and A30 Pro that should work for absolutely anyone but that also necessitates adding a standalone DAC.

If you're buying from someplace with a good return policy it may be best just to try the DX3 Pro+ and see if it works for you rather than spending more upfront.
 

Wicky

Active Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2021
Messages
194
Likes
220
Location
London
DAPs offer the following advantages over your typical phone:
  1. More power output from the headphone jack, sometimes with balanced outs for higher impedance headphones
  2. A better DAC (although most are unlikely to hear any difference)
  3. Longer battery life
As @maverickronin mentions, many choose to add a dongle to their phone which will address the first two points. The trade-off is carrying a separate device of course, I think it's quite a niche use-case for most.
 
OP
N

nycarrival

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
47
Likes
1
Why are you buying 2 DAC's or am I missing something? If you need BT and MQA (not recommended by me) then a EX5 or one of the other DAC's with headphone amps.
One of the DACs is for my desk and the other is when I am travelling. Does this make sense or I got this wrong?
 

JJB70

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 17, 2018
Messages
2,905
Likes
6,164
Location
Singapore
As a storage medium and DAC any smartphone works perfectly well. Measured performance of onboard DACs or low cost manufacturer supplied dongles may not be stellar but audible performance is fine. Keep in mind a DAP nowadays is in most cases just another Android device.
So why buy a DAP? Good question, the reality is you don't need to. I still have a Shanling DAP and it is good for times when I don't want to be connected to the world and at someone else's call but as an audio device it is no better than my phone. And in some ways a phone is better, the Android implementation is often better and battery life better. In fact a sensible option is to use an old phone or buy a second hand one purely as an audio player with no telecom connectivity.
You can spend a lot on DACs and dongles but unless you have hard to drive headphones almost any dongle is fine. If you have hard to drive headphones and want to go loud you will need an amplifier, but that's true for almost all DAPs too, most are designed around driving IEMs and efficient headphones, not hard to drive models
Really, to me the DAP still makes sense as an affordable alternative to relying completely on a phone but expensive models seem a bit pointless to me.
Another alternative not to be ignored is that wireless headphones and IEMs put the DAC and amplifier into the headphones/IEM and work extremely well.
 

Georgrig

Active Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
109
Likes
184
DAPs for me is like the Amazon Kindles of music. It's worthwhile if you want to focus in music once in a while.
 
OP
N

nycarrival

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
47
Likes
1
One quick question all - will it be a good idea for me to get Schiit Asgard 3 Multibit for my Dan Clark Aeon2 headphones or I should consider some Topping as a cheaper option?
 

Jimbob54

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
11,175
Likes
14,882
One quick question all - will it be a good idea for me to get Schiit Asgard 3 Multibit for my Dan Clark Aeon2 headphones or I should consider some Topping as a cheaper option?
From a measurement / performance angle a Schiit multibit is never a good option- see the reviews of a few here. But some users swear by how they sound. YMMV
 

sq225917

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
1,381
Likes
1,659
A dap gives me more music storage, 1500 lossless albums, 3 headphone ports, real buttons, longer run time, doesn't run down my phone battery, no file format limitations and more power to drive different iems.

If none of this appeals just use your phone.
 
OP
N

nycarrival

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
47
Likes
1
I made a wrong title of the thread. i am trying to fugure out what DAC/AMP I will need for my Dan Clark Aeon2
 
Top Bottom