Idk here's the place for recommendations but i could use some help

I’m just getting started with hi-fi headphones and have been doing HT/car/home audio for a while now. I’ve always been looking at things like Daps because I love Hifi but can only listen through my phone with all my Spotify sound quality settings cranked up. Now that I’m beginning my journey into headphones I think it is finally time I move past full storage on my phone and almost good enough sq from it and upgrade. I’m in high school still so money is short but I make a good side extra from Miss Match Audio Services. Anyway, the point is that I can’t splurge too much but with divorced parents I do get two Christmases so something I can find for 300 or less, used or new should be in the range. I’m looking for something I can use to power low to moderately needy headphones (currently looking at the hifiman sundaras) but has Bluetooth for cars and BT speakers. I need to be able to stream music off it and maybe download onto it using a MICRO SD. Been looking at some used or open box HiBy R5 II which seem to check all the boxes but I don’t know how to get my Spotify playlist to a higher quality platform especially when I can’t find any of the music I love anywhere else then Apple Music and Spotify. I’m new here and any and all help will be appreciated.

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welcome to HFG, Grouse!

I don’t have an answer for you as I don’t use a DAP…but on the more affordable scale, if you have a smartphone with expandable storage, continuing to use it with a quality mobile DAC / Amp would be a good option to consider. a couple examples of popular models would be the ifi audio go link, go blu and go bar. and if you’re not against buying used, it will be much easier to score a higher quality solution with your money vs. new (ie. the go bar is NOT cheap…but I like mine).

there is also the ifi HIP-DAC, but it’s not nearly as mobile friendly due to size, but would be a much better option to consider if you plan on using headphones more then IEM’s. my go bar has juuust about enough power to drive my Senn HD599se at their 50 ohms. just keep in mind that the phone battery powers the unit, so cans with higher impedance will affect it’s battery life / capacity more.

lastly, again, if you aren’t against used, you may find a solid DAP in your price range; I just can’t help with suggestions there.

Do you have Spotify premium or are you still at the free tier ? Otherwise that would be the first and best point to get better sound
Otherwise there are Programms for a few bucks that can import Spotify playlist into other streaming services
Think Deezer also has such an option but not too sure on that, cause here say and such :stuck_out_tongue:

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Keep in mind though that your experience my vary.
I got a chance to listen to the go Blu on some high impedance headphones (600 ohm) and it sounded perfectly fine to my ears. This was over bluetooth too.

As for DAPs I can’t help, haven’t had one yet, but Zeos just reviewed a “not Zune” Dap that he liked a lot. Mind you that won’t in the budget and I doubt you’ll get one used, but could give you an idea what compares.

he also has a comparison of dongle dacs somewhere.

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