Benefits over a portable DAC/amp?

The last DAP I owned was a Rio 500 from the early 2000’s. I have been getting along on flights and travel with my phone and a FiiO E17 amp powering IEMs. I have the feeling that I will be replacing the small FiiO amp with a Monoprice portable DAC/amp soon as I’ve been considering traveling with closed back headphones in addition to my IEMs.

What are the benefits in getting a DAP over and my phone though a THX 788 portable if I do not care about DSD formats?

The only real benefits anymore, ignoring sound quality, are battery life, simplicity/slimmed down device, and the fact of having a device dedicated to music. Otherwise a phone is going to be more responsive and feature rich, ignoring sound quality. I would only buy a dap over a phone and portable dac/amp stack if you really value the aforementioned benefits and the potential for better sound (on higher end units). Although I should say that phone and dac/amp stacks can be a little iffy. For reference I carry around a fiio m11 and xdsd stack, along with a LG v30+


Is sound quality going to be different between my phone playing Tidal FLAC to a THX AAA 788 portable DAC/amp?

I care not for storage or battery life as I will keep replacing my phone regularly for newer models (e.g. this iPhone XS Max will change).

And how do for iffy? I know the simple FiiO amp is kinda bulletproof, but what kind of problems might I encounter with a DAC/amp over a DAP?

You might encounter strange issues with otg. For me, my phone decides to charge anything that is plugged in via otg, and it drains my battery life during use. Some apps on Android don’t play well with a USB dac connected, and also may not output bit perfect and be run through system sound. Although, on Android, if you use an app like USB audio player pro (awesome), neutron player, etc you have tons of features and great sound quality. I do think that some daps like the top end a&ks, questyles, and Sony players can achieve better sound quality then the high end portable dac/amp combos (ignoring things like the chord hugo or transportable stuff like that), but for the most part, it would be more beneficial to you to go with your phone and a separate amp/dac


yes USB Audio Player Pro is the best app for android
you get mqa unfold for a few dollars and can log in to tidal in the app, not tidal - so you get full mqa with the ifi.
connected to my ifi xDSD over ifi otg cable, I use my Samsung S8+ or my wifes S10(no batterie drain)
with a 15GB LTE(4G) data plan, we can stream music the hole time on the go - with a dap, you need a wlan connection with making your phone an acces point, you loose a lot more energy
the slow DAPs software (unlike FiiO M11 seems quite fast) would always be the number 1 argument against a dap, for me.
one more item to carry around is also not my cup of tea
I EDC a shoulder bag 7 days a week for going out with the dog, carry around a first aid kit, my 10 inch android tablet, a power bank, multitool, headphones, IEMs, ifi xDSD, Earstudio ES 100, Fiio BTR3 and other stuff like knives and sunglasses… another item to look after, load batterie and keep looking updates… no thanks

how do you keep your LGV30+ and the M11 syncronized?

the only DAP I could see making a difference is the Cayin N8
I had a listening session with the Meze Empyrean at munich high end show this may - what a wonderful tube sound

I’m sorry but I don’t know what you mean by that question

some people use software on the pc or cloud storage to for example put own flac files in a folder on the pc and this software solution keeps all devices syncronised
so you don´t have to fill up your storage on the dap and lg30+ manually every time you have some new music

I just add the files to the player, and don’t really want to mess with something like that. I could use fiio wifi transfer and do that but I don’t really want to. I prefer to have as slimmed down of a device as possible.

Edit: I also don’t have enough space on my phone for my music anyway. I have 1tb in the m11 and it’s already full lol. I just put music I’m currently listening to on there. My main music collection is on my server

Check out MusicBee. I just keep my playlist updated through it and use PLEX for the rest of my collection and Spotify for streaming.

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thank you. I know PLEX, have it installed but only used it for video sharing with a friend
I will have a closer look and try MusicBee for sync between my wifes and my devices

I believe the issue for me with an amp is the bulk of the stack. Since I don’t plan on driving anything too big while on the go, a phone would suffice. I’d add the bonus of not being bothered by notifications and whatnot when you don’t have the phone in your hand, so you can better focus on the music, and only look at the phone when it vibrates from some actually meaningful notification.

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