DAP Recommendation for U18t

My friend @ray1 recently bought a u18t and is looking for a dap that would be a good fit. One of the features he needs is to be able to stream from apps like Tidal. Any recommendations would be appreciated!

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My only DAP experience is Cayin N6ii. It’s a fine unit and is Android-based. It runs the Qobuz app just fine so I imagine the Tidal app would be similar. It’s also based on Hiby DAPs so any DAP from them should do likewise. I use the E02 module and it sounds really good. I’m not sure if my unit will be compatible with the new R2R mobo they’re introducing, but it’s something @ray1 could look into.

Whats his budget? Also, does he need bitperfect streaming? Because if so AK is his only option AFAIK. If he is open to streaming from his phone over LDAC the options widen quite a bit. Also, does he have any kind of idea what kind of sound signature he wants?

Hey, thanks for the responses! My budget is probably up to around ~700, with some flexibility. Don’t necessarily need bit perfect streaming, my use case in my mind was mostly using it with downloaded music on the commute, and with WiFi streaming at the office. I actually mostly use Spotify atm tbh haha. Not really sure what’s possible with iems/daps in terms of sound signature, this is my first foray into iems, but I currently have and really enjoy my Diana v2 off of a gsx mini. I really like the fun detailed, lively signature of that setup currently


I’ve also heard good things about the ibasso 300x with the 18t and was also looking at ak sr25, but not really sure what to look for etc. for daps and their pairings

The two in that sort of price range used that are good performers with streaming capability are the dx300 and the N6ii, the Cayin you can definitely get under that budget, the iBasso would be more (around $800-900).

What budget/tier dap would be ideal for this tier iem so I’m not bottlenecked on source? Any suggestions at that tier? Thanks again