Dap recommendations $650

I have an Opus #1s, A&K Jr., and an older Fiio x3.

I play AFLAC copies from CDs through studio earphones or in ear noise canceling.

Considering the M11, the M11Pro and the Hyby 6 Pro.


What headphones/iems do you use, what features are you looking for, and also any specific sound signature you are after?


Sony mdr7506 studio headphones and 1More triple driver in-ear

Features, Bluetooth, accurate 8 octave range.

I listen primarily to jazz, mostly multiple horn (octets and big bands) where I want to hear the inner harmony voices, the bass and drums and accurate rendering of the instrument voices, i.e., the overtones which make up the instrument “voice”.

Sorry, excuse the non-technical talk as I’m not an audiophile: I’m a musician who wants to be as close to the original recording as I can get.

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You definitely want to upgrade your headphones if that’s what you’re after. You’ll see a much bigger improvement if you allocated most of that money towards new headphones instead rather than all on a DAP. How much would you be willing to pay for headphones?

Regarding the DAP, I really don’t imagine you’d find the M11 pro to be worth the extra $250 over the M11.


I just bought a Hiby R5 and I can’t really imagine what this DAP could add, as it is jam packed with features. It has a ton of features, it sounds great, easy user interface, and the battery life is pretty great. It has quickly become the cornerstone of my work at home setup as it is easy to connect to my source chain and play whatever format of music I want.

I highly recommend the r5.


oh yeah @marcgii is right. It’s true that amp/dac upgrades are important (specially amps if you have something that scales well) but first a headphone upgrage would make the biggest difference. if you are willing to buy a 600 dollar dap i would consider a higher tier headphone over the sonys and onemore triple driver


Between say $100 and $400?


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I concur. I also recently got an R5, and my one nit-pick is no line in. There’s honestly not much occasion for needing it, just occasionally want to test something and have to use a different amp. Otherwise, tons of functionality, plenty of power on tap for everything I’ve thrown at it, and balanced line out, so you can easily use it as your DAC (as long as you have a 4.4mm to XLR adapter).

I’ve primarily used the R5 for listening to my Nighthawks so far, but switched to Ether CX today, and they sound better than I remembered, opening up the low end when called for and plenty of detail. For closed, they actually sound more open than the Nighthawks on some tracks. Running balanced on high gain, 40/100 on volume is the sweet spot for me.

For $299 on MusicTeck right now, it really is tough to imagine the price differential of some of the higher end options being justified for where I am in my audio journey.


You could get the Sundara and the R5 both for the stated budget.

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kind of depends on what you want. My higher end cans are the nighthawks and sundara and both are actually pretty known for being great for jazz and stuff of the kind. If you want a more accurate render of the instruments and voices i would maybe go for a sundara since i think it has better separation and just a less colored sound. both are enjoyable. that is in the higher end of your price bracket however. But the audioquest nighthawks are also pretty dang enjoyable. My vote goes to the sundara as an all rounder but strictly for jazz the nighthawks could be prefereable based on the type of sound. altho nowadays you can only get the nighthawks used

What about something like this:

I’d be researching and negotiating a bit to get it closer to your budget but it’s a sexy dap.

Detailed link if you feel like putting in some research time:

Not a bad thought…thnx