Looking for a cheap DAP to live on my desk

Would a USB to RCA cable work?
That way I could use an RCA splitter to feed both my DAC and that into the tube preamp.

Actually scratch that, I would do usb to RCA…to line out I Can switch inputs on the DAC itself.


Sigh, nvm all that lol, I forgot the ZEN DAC only takes USB in.
Confusing the amp and dac.
I would need a separate DAC or clean line out then.
So indeed, dongle it is.

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Perhaps something like this would work for you?

(maybe not budget wise though.)

Yea the budget is the problem.
If I would step out I’d probabyl get the Zen streamer, for no other reason than to complete the zen stack.
But even used those are still 200 €.

Some day maybe, but right now I’d rather settle fro something cheaper.
I just need some background music for when I’m working.
Can’t stand the radio stations here, otherwise that would be good enough.

The wiim streamer givemebeer mentioned fits the bill, except for that interface part where I would need to install an app.
I only have a work phone at the moment. My personal iphone isn’t cable of charging anymore and I’m not confident it would even be able to run the app, it’s old.

I don’t have a tablet and I won’t/can’t install personal apps on the work phone.
So that is not an option right now, but I wouldn’t want it on my personal phone either.
Needing an app for everything is something I loathe.

On PC I would hesitate too, half these things are impossible to remove easily.
But I could install on my laptop if it’s only needed once. That’s kind of like the equivalent of a throwaway mail account :P…but then again, that has ubunutu installed so no guaranetee I could.

Yeah if you want something cheap you need a cheap DAP I guess. Or see if you can find a cheap android phone (with 3.5mm).

(I assume you want to use it with iems.)

Nah, I have the Bose companien series speaker… I think (they’re ancient and got them from my dad at some point):

Ideally I would just use the free lineout on the zen can, so amplification should not be an issue.

Hmm, maybe you could consider the Shanling M0 Pro, its tiny and pretty cheap and also has line out.

It would, or the M1, except for the lack of streaming.

Except except I just found out the M1 CAN stream tidal now?
Seems they added in a firmware update.
Now if that can be set up on the M1 itself than that would be perfect.

Provided I can find one used, or with a good discount.
200ish is still more that I would like to invest into this.

Not sure what your budget is, but Hiby has a new DAP that’s $200 USD. It runs on Android and has Wifi and bluetooth. It also has USB and 3.5mm out.

If you need to keep it charged 24/7 and also want to use USB out to your DAC, you can get one of these adapters.

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Found a Hiby R3 pro used for 80€
If I can get that, that would suit my needs. It has tidal and quobuz built in and fits the budget.

Just so you know, the Tidal and Qobuz on the R3 is pretty bare-bones compared to the clients on Android or iOS. The keyboard you use to search is the old time phone number pad keyboard that has 3 letters per number. Yeah, you can stream over WiFi, but forget about downloads or anything advanced like that. If you’re good with that, then go for it.

I grew up with those keyboards so that’s not going to be an issue lol.
As for the streaming, hmm…probably. For 80€ I don’t think I would mind.

But that would make the internet radio still a contender.
looking at this one atm:

It has a direct output via RCA, wifi and a remote and I would not need to pay extra like I would for a streaming service. That’s tough to be beat tbh.

oooorrrrr…you stumble onto this clip:

and go digging around until you find an old iphone 5 that you thought dead and rejoice lol.
It works XD. I can’t install tidal or qobuz on this but…it’ll work fro internet radio.

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I’ve found the Hiby R3 Pro (I have the Saber 2022) to be buggy and slow. While its a great little transport/DAP the constant restarting drive me nuts, I even rolled it back to a previous firmware but still have issues.

So I picked up the Hiby Digital M300 and it arrived today. Its really snappy and works with my dongle dacs and I can install whatever android software I want on it.


thanks, yea that would drive me mad too.
The seller didn’t ship to my country so the 80€ R3 didn’t work out, but it seems I dodged a bullet there then lol. looked for the M300 but it’s not on amazon here.

Th Iphone 5 is working well.
It’s getting hot either. been going for a few days now. I just have to switch inputs on the can.
Don’t have to mess with gain either and if I do, the speakers have a volume knob.