Next step from the Shanling UP4?

So I’ve been pretty much using an LG V30 as my goto “dap” and bought a Shanling UP4 a couple months ago while I had credit for Linsoul for my IEM’s, but also HD 58x. I was just wondering if there was a need to upgrade or change sources. I also would like to use it as desktop setup as I move around a lot. I don’t think getting the FiiO BTR5 would be a dramatic upgrade as I’ve seen many people on here saying they pretty much rival each other. I I like the idea of a portable Bluetooth dac/amp that can also be used with my PC, but I’m willing to try something else as well. I previously had the IFI Hip Dac, but had a lot of issues with it (charging, volume, PC compatibility, etc.) but I did really liked the sound and the XBass. I was looking at products from Xduoo and others from IFI but I wanted opinions from this thread as a lot of you know quite a lot! I’ve been eyeing the IFI Nano IDSD Black Label and the Xduoo XD-05Basic. Ideally I would like to spend $150 but I would be willing to spend $200.

Thanks for the help in advanced! Really appreciate it

TLDR; Is it worth upgrading from the Shanling UP4 mainly using IEMs? Budget=$150 ($200 max)

What specific iems mainly?

Both those are good options. I would prefer the nano for in ears if you don’t mind a bit warmer signature, very solid overall. The xduoo is good, but might not be worthwhile if it’s mainly for iems. For iems the lotoo s1 is pretty great if you wanted a smaller form factor portable that’s really good sounding as well.

Mainly the Blessing2, FH5, and the Starfield. I would probably use the Legacy 3 and Blon BL-03 from time to time as well. Thanks for your help! I’ll definitely be looking into the Lotoo and Nano

Gotcha. Well with the nano that would be closer to the ifi but more neutral and refined imo (but still colored with the ifi house sound), the lotoo would be more neutral leaning, but also has really good dsp built in if you are a fan of stuff like that (although you would want to use balanced on the lotoo so that might add cost if you don’t have the cables already)

I would need to buy a separate balanced cable, but that doesn’t seem too bad to be honest. Would you say that the overall build of the Lotoo is as sturdy as the Nano?

The nano might feel a bit more robust, but imo the paw feels pretty quality (as most of the lotoo players), so I would say both feel like they would last without issue

Hmm I guess it’ll be a tough decision then. Might just stick with the ifi house sound if I can’t decide lol. Really appreciate your help!!

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