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Looking for a Dap...without DAC, Amp and battery

Roland68

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Wow, the M17 should cost at least $ 2000 or more at (October ´21?).
A transportable (portable with extra battery pack) player and they are already looking for cooling options because it gets too hot :facepalm:.
 
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T

The French

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Sep 12, 2021
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Wow, the M17 should cost at least $ 2000 or more at (October ´21?).
A transportable (portable with extra battery pack) player and they are already looking for cooling options because it gets too hot :facepalm:.

If there is a dock with a fan, as it has been presented, it will be hard to sell (well, it might already be hard to sell without that noisy fan)
 

Aldoszx

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Aug 19, 2019
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You can search for bluetooth multimedia remote for android.
There are plenty of such gadgets you can use for the job.
 

JustAnandaDourEyedDude

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Apr 29, 2020
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Wow, the M17 should cost at least $ 2000 or more at (October ´21?).
A transportable (portable with extra battery pack) player and they are already looking for cooling options because it gets too hot :facepalm:.
If there is a dock with a fan, as it has been presented, it will be hard to sell (well, it might already be hard to sell without that noisy fan)
The two of you may not be in the target customer demographic for the M17. The M17 is not a portable pocketable DAP. It is not something you're gonna be listening to while you wait in line at a store or take a long walk in the park. Rather, it falls into the same "transportable" category as the A&K Kann, A&K Kann Alpha, iBasso DX220 MAX and iBasso DX300 MAX (there also an outlandish large modular DAP that's been pictured on ASR, maybe a Shanling?). The Snapdragon 660 itself consumes a fair amount of power, but the M17 sports desktop class components that can dissipate a great deal of electrical power, namely the (not one but two) ES9038Pro DACs and the THX 788 amp. All this packed into a rather small volume by comparison with desktop DACs and Amps; the thermal constraints are killer. So the stand with the fan is not a surprise to me, when you need to use the DC power supply to get max power out. My guess is that the fan is needed only when you want to play through difficult-to-drive headphones at loud listening levels, in which case I doubt you would be able to notice the fan's sound. Headphones that your ordinary DAP would not be able to drive to satisfying levels. Most people (like me) with ordinary headphones and IEMs would simply park the M17 on its stand without needing to turn on the fan.

The appeal of this category of device is that in the modern audio world, it can replace a desktop streamer + DAC + HPA with a single very compact unit that can perform all these functions at desktop technical performance levels, beyond what smartphones are capable of, but with a device you can hold in your hands, control with a touchscreen and physical buttons, and run any Android app (such as any music player or streaming service) on. If (like me) you have limited desk space, this is an attractive proposition. Sure, the M17 lacks phono and AES-EBU inputs and XLR outputs, but I (like most people) don't really need them. No interconnect cables needed either. If you take a week long or month long vacation or business trip in a different city or a foreign country, you can take your great transportable M17 with you rather easily in your suitcase, rather than resign yourself to listening through your smartphone with the cheap earphones it can drive. The feature of the DC power supply being able to bypass the battery is a really nice touch. Think of the downsides of having to take along your Rpi + DAC + HPA. Not to mention the M17 needs almost no software configuration out of the box.

Indeed, DAPs are already a niche product within the audiophile niche relative to the audio gear market at large. And the transportables category is then a niche within a niche within a niche, the small customer base leading of course to a higher price per unit to recover FiiO's development costs. The M17 will supposedly be available in October. Since they are using top-of-the-line desktop component chips, will FiiO deliver a world-class desktop-equivalent DAP? From the start, I do not expect a product that lands at the left end of Amir's comparison bar charts, if any member were kind enough to send him a M17 to measure. The technical performance of FiiO's M15 which used two AK4499 DAC chips, while good enough to land a recommendation from Amir, is easily surpassed by Topping's D90 which uses just one AK4499, and by the A90, A30Pro and L50. I expect the M17 to land in the excellent, but not world-beating class of technical performance. I expect the M17 will provide excellent desktop-class performance in an unbeatable form factor with outstanding user convenience. The most important factor in this is the target market. For example, iBasso makes their DX300, which if iBasso's own measurements are to be believed, posts a SINAD of 116 when used with their Amp 12, which is audible transparency even per Amir's strict standard. However, iBasso has to face the marketplace reality. They then released their limited edition DX300 MAX at almost double the price of the DX300, after months spent tweaking its sound resulting in a significantly lower SINAD, and had lots of customers pre-ordering it unseen, unheard and unreviewed. Those same customers swoon over the grand sound of the DX300 MAX. Some of them also fervently attest to the subtle improvement in sound quality from the use of extreme speed microSD cards versus regular microSD cards in the DX300 MAX.
 

JustAnandaDourEyedDude

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Apr 29, 2020
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I'm part of those, interested by that M17.
As I said earlier, it is exactly what I'm looking for.

But look at this video :
https://m.weibo.cn/status/4675147288283378?#&video

Go to 3m37...
If it needs a fan to be cooled, that's a real issue to me.
Interesting video; thanks for linking it. The whole video is closely miked (every small sound is captured and you can hear the background noise rumble throughout the video), so the fan certainly sounds loud when the tester checks the two fan speed settings. It is unclear whether the fan is running during the later part of the video. It is unknown whether the fan is always needed when the M17 is connected to the DC supply. With good engineering and firmware, the fan should not always be needed, but needed only when playing high-bitrate audio with amp on high gain and its volume level near max. It is also unknown whether the fan could be replaced with a quieter, slower fan.

Of course, you are right to be cautious about the fan. Perhaps FiiO has miscalculated and not tested well enough, and a need for the fan may prove to be a deal-breaker for most prospective buyers of the M17, or at least to those who listen in a quiet environment to soft music through open-back headphones. Testing and reviews by the usual audio gear reviewers, and by early adopters, would tell the story. It would be wise to await numerous such analyses. It would be interesting to read FiiO's own usage recommendations regarding the fan, in the user manual of the M17.

The power-hungry desktop-class components used come with a lot of sales pitch razzle-dazzle, but if there are unfixable problems, the M17's intended target market would wind up rejecting the M17. On the other hand, if everything works to the buyers' satisfaction, it would mark quite an engineering achievement by FiiO, and the M17 may make inroads into the desktop audio market segment. Time will tell. Which audio components carry both a battery and external power supply? Only smartphones and some lower-tier dac-amps. You could take the M17 with you to an all-day picnic in the park, and enjoy desktop quality audio using the battery mode. If users voice their approval of the feature, maybe the use of a DC power supply that bypasses the battery would be a feature that trickles down into FiiO's other DAPs in the future, which do not need a fan.
 
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