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Review and Measurements of iBasso DX200 DAP

q3cpma

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#41
The economies of scale inherent in a mass market products like a phone tend to drive process down relative to a niche product like a DAP.
Even then, I see a lot of excellent DAPs around 100€, which isn't the case for smartphones. Even with economy of scale, the components are simply much pricier (especially the screen and SoC/modem combo).
 

pwjazz

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#42
The other thing that they do offer is that they separate music from a phone and leave you undisturbed to just enjoy music.
Back when I used a V20 as a dedicated DAP, I just kept it in airplane mode and Do Not Disturb mode. No distractions and even better battery life than usual.
 

pwjazz

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#43
Even then, I see a lot of excellent DAPs around 100€, which isn't the case for smartphones. Even with economy of scale, the components are simply much pricier (especially the screen and SoC/modem combo).
I used to own such a DAP (Fiio X1). In terms of user experience, there's just no comparison to something like an LG V20. The V20 doesn't just let me play my own music from files, it lets me stream Google Play Music (or Spotify or Amazon Music or YouTube or whatever you like), with the right app I can apply sophisticated parametric EQ, crossfeed and even headphone simulation to my music, and perhaps most importantly, it has a responsive and intuitive UI that let's me do stuff like gasp search for songs or albums by typing in text on an on-screen keyboard! The X1 didn't even have a better volume control because it was just +/- buttons like on the phone, it's only advantage was physical start/stop and advance buttons, but with the V20 I get that from the remote on my IEMs' headphone cable, which is more convenient (and oh, something that a lot of DAPs don't even support).

EDIT - I forgot to mention the WIFI support which lets me do stuff like send music to my stereo using Chromecast. Combined with the parametric EQ in Neutron App, this allows me to apply room correction straight from my DAP.
 

pwjazz

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#44
Not really unless you use 200 dollar smartphones.
I paid $220 for my V20 more than a year ago and it can now be had for around $120. I would never shell out the big bucks for a current generation smartphone, especially if my intent is to just use it as a DAP.
 

cshake

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#45
Something else a dedicated DAP does is let me listen to my music at work. I'm not allowed anything with WiFi, cellular radio, microphone, camera, or any installed removable media onsite, so it's either a barebones DAP or using the company provided internet-facing computer with whitelisted streaming services (Pandora, Amazon, etc. with limited bandwidth) and a horrible onboard sound card that has audible noise even to my HD280s when there's CPU load.

I know it's a small market segment, but for people in security conscious environments, something like my Plenue D is great, especially since the alternative is old used iPods.
 

q3cpma

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#46
I used to own such a DAP (Fiio X1). In terms of user experience, there's just no comparison to something like an LG V20. The V20 doesn't just let me play my own music from files, it lets me stream Google Play Music (or Spotify or Amazon Music or YouTube or whatever you like), with the right app I can apply sophisticated parametric EQ, crossfeed and even headphone simulation to my music, and perhaps most importantly, it has a responsive and intuitive UI that let's me do stuff like gasp search for songs or albums by typing in text on an on-screen keyboard! The X1 didn't even have a better volume control because it was just +/- buttons like on the phone, it's only advantage was physical start/stop and advance buttons, but with the V20 I get that from the remote on my IEMs' headphone cable, which is more convenient (and oh, something that a lot of DAPs don't even support).

EDIT - I forgot to mention the WIFI support which lets me do stuff like send music to my stereo using Chromecast. Combined with the parametric EQ in Neutron App, this allows me to apply room correction straight from my DAP.
Doesn't really fit in your pocket, though. But yeah, smartphones depreciating faster than used cars (and not economy of scale) can get you some serious bargains. Also, I found only one player with album shuffle (Vanilla), which is good AND open source, fortunately.
As a programmer/CS enthusiast, I still prefer to avoid Android's extreme bloat, though. A bit like a car mechanic enthusiast who still has something for simple beaters like Citroen's 2CV.
 
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headwhacker

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#47
The only reasons I went back to using a DAP were the low headphone output of my Xperia Premium and the fact its battery was dying. However I found the Sony smart phone to be perfectly satisfactory at lower volumes or with very efficient headphones. I paid £170 for a Shanling M3s and see no reason to pay any more really.
I'm going back to SmartPhone as my mobile music player with the E1DA 9038S. A smartphone can do what a DAP can do anyway except for power output. But that's what the E1DA is for. IMO what people see that only a DAP can do better than s smartphone which let you just listen to music without any interruptions (i.e. pop ups and calls) can be done as well using a smartphone. Players like UAPP and Neutron in combination of the appropriate system setting can do just that.
 

pwjazz

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#48
Doesn't really fit in your pocket
Yeah, the size of modern smartphones is their Achilles's heel. The V20 just barely fits in my pants pockets but it's definitely sellers compared to something like my Shanling M0.

The engineers hit it out of the park with that one. I can think of few vehicles as well suited to their design brief as the 2CV.
 
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#50
Indeed, that's is the greatest of the pros of DAPs vs. phones, which in my case are merely working tools, forced to keep them open for 16 hrs. / day ... :facepalm:
For jobs that rely on heavy phone use like you or couriers, dont you keep a separate personal phone or given a work phone by employer? Regarding notifications, the free music player app I use has settings to mute notifications and/or rings if music is being played.
 

JJB70

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#51
For jobs that rely on heavy phone use like you or couriers, dont you keep a separate personal phone or given a work phone by employer? Regarding notifications, the free music player app I use has settings to mute notifications and/or rings if music is being played.
I now just have a work phone. I was going to replace my own phone a couple of months ago but my boss told me that my work plan was unlimited calls and texts and 50GB a month data so I should just use it for personal use too. The disadvantage is it means I have to use it as a phone. I still have my Xperia Premium with no SIM but if I am going to carry a second device then my DAP seems to have a more powerful headphone output and is a nice and compact device.
 

graz_lag

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#52
... I can think of few vehicles as well suited to their design brief as the 2CV.
The Citroën 2CV, which was driven by two French men (Jean-Claude Baudot & Jacques Séguéla) during the tour around the world, in 1959, covering 100,000 kms ...
375 cm3
9 CV at 3500 RPM
(On display at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Museum)

IMG_0131_LR.JPG
 

tential

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#53
You mean on Windows or on the device? If the former, nothing causes it to output anything. On the latter, it seems bit perfect to me using their own player.
OH, I reread now and you must mean using their own app. Darn, if you're able to test mediamonkey that'd be great. I know their app is bit perfect, but their app isn't useful to me. Doesn't sync with windows.
Mediamonkey is basically the only iTunes alternative.

Edit :
Basically trying to verify their claims that all applications that use Android src for their audio drivers are now rerouted directly to the dac. Mediamonkey works since it uses Android src, so resamples flac files normally, but if it doesn't on this device then that means they did successfully bypass android src for all apps.
I dont want to be stuck in their app, which allows me to collect zero data, unlike iTunes/mediamonkey
 
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#54
Why would anyone buy these for some of these prices? I already have a strong aversion to some of the flagship phone prices these days, I can't imagine buying a DAP that didn't AT LEAST deliver on the UI/UX experience as well as smartphones do. I get it though, they're nowhere near as big as smartphone companies. But that blade cuts both ways, they don't have to worry about hardware/software implementations of things like the phone aspect and such.
Yeah I agree it's kind of baffling why there hasn't been more attention on the overall experience/complete package, there is a real opening here for a great DAP experience.

I can share my rationale for why I bought a DAP (Onkyo DP-S1 for $200, which was about half MSRP) - storage. It has two MicroSD card slots, and I have two 200GB cards in it right now, and when prices drop on the 400GB cards, I'll buy two of them, since I'd love to have about a TB of music storage in my pocket. Most of my music is lossless (a lot ripped myself from my CD collection), so it takes up a decent amount of space, and I hate having to pick and choose what I put on my DAP. I want a dedicated device with it's own battery and gobs of space for music playback. The 2.5mm balanced connection does a good job driving my headphones, so I consider that a basic feature on these dedicated hardware platforms.

What I'd rather have though is something with a really powerful CPU to make the UI snappy and I want more physical nobs and switches, not just volume and some hard to press tiny buttons. Also dual M.2 NVMe storage would be great, since I don't like waiting for the DAP to re-index my music every time it boots up, or me having to wait for it to draw album artwork as I scroll. I want it all to be instantaneous (and booting should be a fast memory restore from a hibernation file, with a background re-index task running so the UI is available ASAP). These things should be as much like an appliance as possible, which they aren't yet.
 

Tks

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#55
Yeah I agree it's kind of baffling why there hasn't been more attention on the overall experience/complete package, there is a real opening here for a great DAP experience.

I can share my rationale for why I bought a DAP (Onkyo DP-S1 for $200, which was about half MSRP) - storage. It has two MicroSD card slots, and I have two 200GB cards in it right now, and when prices drop on the 400GB cards, I'll buy two of them, since I'd love to have about a TB of music storage in my pocket. Most of my music is lossless (a lot ripped myself from my CD collection), so it takes up a decent amount of space, and I hate having to pick and choose what I put on my DAP. I want a dedicated device with it's own battery and gobs of space for music playback. The 2.5mm balanced connection does a good job driving my headphones, so I consider that a basic feature on these dedicated hardware platforms.

What I'd rather have though is something with a really powerful CPU to make the UI snappy and I want more physical nobs and switches, not just volume and some hard to press tiny buttons. Also dual M.2 NVMe storage would be great, since I don't like waiting for the DAP to re-index my music every time it boots up, or me having to wait for it to draw album artwork as I scroll. I want it all to be instantaneous (and booting should be a fast memory restore from a hibernation file, with a background re-index task running so the UI is available ASAP). These things should be as much like an appliance as possible, which they aren't yet.
I mean for $200, I'd buy nearly any DAP, that's an okay price for that device because of the storage capability to take a vast amount with you on the go.

As for a more powerful CPU, that's not a problem, as long as you don't mind your battery getting cut to nonexistence. Also physical knobs and such, you can kiss that desire goodbye, the best that's around is possibly some other Sony DAPs. NVMe storage is almost a definite impossibility due to the form factor and PCI-e lane requirements, not only that, but the amount of heat generation NVMe SSD's are capable of simply would not be feasible in a pocketable DAP size.

Re-indexing of music, that's just idiotic Android or something, there should be no reason for indexing that takes that long, and if there is, it should be system redone from the ground up. These moron developers for some reason won't use GPU acceleration to create snapshots of storage device, doing that once every major music transfer would speed up search query's by a ridiculous amount. Instead we have the same tired old Windows-Search type of indexing and search functions on Android it seems. Now I'm not too well verse on mobile SoC GPU architecture, but with CUDA, I can index a whole 8TB mechanical HDD with 2TB's of mixed documents in less than a minute (far faster on any SSD drive, and similarly I'd imagine a phone microSD card), with searches being less than 2 seconds to pull up all results of any keyword search.

There is no reason in this day and age a laggy UI with piss poor rendering of search types, should exist especially on a specialist device like a DAP in 2019 (and phones too tbh, but the accumulated bloat is becoming evidently unweildly in the Android sphere it seems).
 
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#56
@amirm Unrelated but why did you make MTP only capable of a single operation at a time?
It's painful to use with Android phones.
 
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#57
Also nice DAPs vs. phones argument there. I used to use DAPs, but eventually went back to smartphones because they provide a better experience. Fast, fluid and convenient UI (something not found in DAPs a few years ago, maybe except Sony) is the biggest factor for me, plus the battery life is good (far ahead of the shanling M2 I had, despite its 2200mah battery it would last only ~8hrs).
Good audio is great and all but for me usability and practicality stand above that, software kinks and hardware issues will easily muddle your experience.

@Tks Apple put PCIe NVMe drives in their phones and tablets (and almost everything else really). In the Android space UFS is the de-facto but it's about as fast.
Thing is most of these DAPs, while positioned as premium products, have specs comparable to a low-end phone (not even mid-range). Only high-end phones get fast storage.
Also I think Android is supposed to index files as it is transferred to the phone, but this doesn't work if the files just suddenly pop up on a micro SD.
 

headwhacker

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#58
Also nice DAPs vs. phones argument there. I used to use DAPs, but eventually went back to smartphones because they provide a better experience. Fast, fluid and convenient UI (something not found in DAPs a few years ago, maybe except Sony) is the biggest factor for me, plus the battery life is good (far ahead of the shanling M2 I had, despite its 2200mah battery it would last only ~8hrs).
Good audio is great and all but for me usability and practicality stand above that, software kinks and hardware issues will easily muddle your experience.

@Tks Apple put PCIe NVMe drives in their phones and tablets (and almost everything else really). In the Android space UFS is the de-facto but it's about as fast.
Thing is most of these DAPs, while positioned as premium products, have specs comparable to a low-end phone (not even mid-range). Only high-end phones get fast storage.
Also I think Android is supposed to index files as it is transferred to the phone, but this doesn't work if the files just suddenly pop up on a micro SD.
Exactly, I could never get the UI/experience a smartphone can give from any DAPs available today. Regardless how much high-end audio hardware put in a DAP if the UI sucks, listening experience also suffers. Hence, a smartphone + a tiny portable DAC/Amp like E1DA yield a better experience for me.
 
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#59
As for a more powerful CPU, that's not a problem, as long as you don't mind your battery getting cut to nonexistence. Also physical knobs and such, you can kiss that desire goodbye, the best that's around is possibly some other Sony DAPs. NVMe storage is almost a definite impossibility due to the form factor and PCI-e lane requirements, not only that, but the amount of heat generation NVMe SSD's are capable of simply would not be feasible in a pocketable DAP size. Re-indexing of music, that's just idiotic Android or something, there should be no reason for indexing that takes that long, and if there is, it should be system redone from the ground up.
I think there are plenty of powerful but energy efficient CPU/GPUs to choose from these days that could go into a DAP, but the DAP makers aren't focusing enough on the performance part of user experience. I'm not sure what hardware platform Onkyo/Pioneer are using on their more entry-level DAPs, but it's not running Android (it's a custom Linux system of some sort, and their platform re-indexes all music on bootup, building a single unified music database from files on three storage mediums, the internal storage and two MicroSD cards, which adds about 10 seconds to startup time). NVMe heat shouldn't be much of an issue for a well designed DAPs, SSDs only really heat up when writing, and a DAP is mostly reads except when you load it up with music.

The other thing giving me pause to spending more than $200 on a DAP in general though is that so many of these devices aren't serviceable at all, with batteries hard to get to and even more difficult to replace. My Onkyo has no visible screws at all, and I guess the textured back is probably plastic that is attached by adhesive, so maybe I can find a way to detach it in the future and get into the DAP to replace the battery when it goes... but who knows? Serviceability could be another big plus to owning a DAP vs. a smartphone. There are Li-Ion replaceable battery standard form factors now, I've seen them used in LED flashlights, no reason they couldn't be used in a DAP too. Hell, include a battery charger with the purchase and let the customer purchase extra batteries if they want, put a battery door on it, and let them pop in topped up batteries to get more runtime. That would be sweet.
 

tential

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#60
Yeah I agree it's kind of baffling why there hasn't been more attention on the overall experience/complete package, there is a real opening here for a great DAP experience.

I can share my rationale for why I bought a DAP (Onkyo DP-S1 for $200, which was about half MSRP) - storage. It has two MicroSD card slots, and I have two 200GB cards in it right now, and when prices drop on the 400GB cards, I'll buy two of them, since I'd love to have about a TB of music storage in my pocket. Most of my music is lossless (a lot ripped myself from my CD collection), so it takes up a decent amount of space, and I hate having to pick and choose what I put on my DAP. I want a dedicated device with it's own battery and gobs of space for music playback. The 2.5mm balanced connection does a good job driving my headphones, so I consider that a basic feature on these dedicated hardware platforms.

What I'd rather have though is something with a really powerful CPU to make the UI snappy and I want more physical nobs and switches, not just volume and some hard to press tiny buttons. Also dual M.2 NVMe storage would be great, since I don't like waiting for the DAP to re-index my music every time it boots up, or me having to wait for it to draw album artwork as I scroll. I want it all to be instantaneous (and booting should be a fast memory restore from a hibernation file, with a background re-index task running so the UI is available ASAP). These things should be as much like an appliance as possible, which they aren't yet.
You guys are complaining but what you want was actually available. Fiio m11 has a smartphone midtier soc. It's locked android though. Hiby R5 has low end smartphone but still snappy for music. Shanling m6 also came out.

It's coming. The devices that are new are better. This one reviewed is the worst of them soc wise.
 
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