Best "Budget" DAP

This is for the people who don’t wanna spend much, and wanna have something to take their music on the go with them without taking their phone. I’m not a shill, just what I was noticing more around this price point of trying to keep things under $100, and people cough @M0N cough keep bringing up the V20 as an option. If there are any other options you’d like to bring forward, or CIVALLY explain your choice, or why you disagree, please feel free to do so. (Please note: After 5 minutes, this poll can not be modified, and I am not going to make a new one just because)

  • LG V20 Used (eBay ~$75)
  • LG V20 New (eBay ~$120)
  • FiiO X1 2nd Gen (Amazoon $60 New)
  • FiiO M3K (same as X1 in price and condition)
  • FiiO M5 (Amazoon $100 New)
  • xDuoo X3II (Apos $93 New)
  • Shanling M0 (eBay $100 New)

0 voters


I use the Fiio M3k and Fiio Q1MK2 powering my Fearless S8Fs (balanced cable) when on the go. Nice small package that easily fits in back pocket while playing disc golf, hiking, or grocery shopping, etc. Battery life is incredible and sound is great.

Good topic that I have been curious about myself. I also have a Pioneer XDP-100R-K that I bought a few years ago but the larger (standard) form factor, weight, and poor battery life (again fairly standard but not all day) means I rarely use it. In fact, I need to sell it.

Pioneer XDP-100R -K (Black) 32GB Portable High Resolution Audio Player (Japan Import)

I loooove my Fiio M3K but am always looking for better in same size/battery life. Almost bought the M6 but wonder if it provides better quality sound. Thanks for starting this thread, maybe I’ll learn of options I was not aware of.

@M0N I’m guessing you voted the New V20 for it’s decent sound quality (for a phone), and versatility for the current price?


I can’t speak for the others but I’ve had my X1 gen 2 for three years now. It’s been great, if a bit clunky. I mainly stuck to listening to DJ mixes or my most recent DJ purchases which would just get copied to a folder so I would have to deal with the Unix OS as only when needed. Playlists were hard to do since it was very slow and even if you tried to make one using Foobar or something, it wouldn’t work half the time. If you go to Fiios website (fiio . com), the X1 is not even on there. This leads me to think it’s getting phased out and replaced with the M6 or M3K based on one’s budget. I was about to replace my X1 with the M3K but it turns out my IEM (Tin T2) cable was going bad, not the headphone port like I thought. To me, it was either the M6 or M3K though while I was shopping around. I couldn’t find that xduoo for a consistent price on Amazon and I’m not a fan of uber small DAPs personally like the Shanling or Fiio M5.

Best of luck with your purchase!

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If you don’t mind no Bluetooth, a little archaic design, and fairly slow processor and touchscreen, I love my Cowon Plenue D. What are the positives?
It is fairly powerful, but it is also very clean. The SMSL AD18 headphone out sounds scratchy compared to this. It has 32gb internal, and can take a 128gb micro sd card formatted to FAT32. My favorite thing about it is the battery life. It gets close to 100 hours with mp3 or ogg or other lossy formats, and about 50 hours with lossless like FLAC. If battery life is super important, then there’s not really anything else that comes close. If you use it’s EQ features, it cuts the life by about half, but the EQ is pretty good. I use the preset ones many times, and it also has reverb effects you can add to make it sound like you are in a certain type of room. Might be worth a look if you can find it on sale.

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Update: It wasn’t the cable, the left IEM just decided to stop working. I’m pretty hesitant to spend another 50$ if I’m going to get the same longevity out a pair of 50$ IEMs as I got with ~20$ cheap earbuds.

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I just found my Senfer XBA-6-in-1s, but now I can’t find my T2, or the cables for either one… Yay. -_-

I have Fiio M3K, it’s okay. It can power my Tin P1.
It’s just that the control, using that touch strip, is very hard to scroll to things accurately.
No bluetooth, and very often I’d accidentally hit on the play button when putting it away, just to find out later that I’ve run out of battery.

Sorry for resurrecting an old thread. I am currently using my Fiio X1 for music, and it’s not that bad - I kind of like the clunkiness of the scroll wheel. One thing that I am not happy with, however, is the battery life, which doesn’t seem to be very good. Additionally, X1 is basically ancient now by DAP standards (and not supported anymore by FIIO). Are there any other options for me in the similar price range?

what is the price range? I tried looking up the X1 but cant find a price listed anywhere let alone a price history. how physically large does it need to be? And what sort of features must you have? If you dont mind tiny the Hiby R2 is a great unit for $99 its basically a apple shuffle but with Bluetooth, wifi, and a touch screen for ants (it works but you’ll need to pull the screen protector off for best results).

A used Sony nw-A series Walkman.
I have the A45 and it’s does the job perfectly well and 45hrs battery life to boot…no streaming options though.

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X1 used to sell for 99$, but I think it’s discontinued now. I picked up my secondhand for round 50 bucks.

For $100, I would say there are really only 3 options: XDuoo D2, X2S (Cheaper but worse than the D2), or get a SanDisk Clip Sport and look into Rockboxing it.

Fiio seemingly either can’t produce their low-end players (M3K or M3 Pro) or has finally done what I thought they would and just outright abandoned the low-end market. Hiby has an R2 that is $110 and Shanling Q1 for $120 but otherwise, you seemingly need to spend 200$ or more. I’m sad XDuoo stopped making the X3II. While the dedicated audio out is a little weird, it was amazing for the ~$110 it cost.