One DAP To Rule Them All

If you could only have one DAP for the next 5 years and that is all you could use for music what would you choose?


A sony DMP-Z1 cus why not, would have no problem using it, and it would be fairly futureproof

What a odd DAP figured Fiio M11 Would be top pick.

Cause it’s $8.5k and freaking massive

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Well I didn’t see a price limit and I personally would have no issue using one, I would say it’s fairly fitting of the one dap to rule them all (although there are other options that are really good out there too). If I was going to be stuck with one thing for 5yrs I would have no problem investing

Tuche on the price part. For me, it would just feel unwieldy and too cumbersome for proper portable use, not to mention for that much I can buy a used car just to get to and from work in.

That’s true lol, but you gotta figure out your priorities lol

Would you put it on your shoulder like a boombox?

So what would that be?

Perhaps a Cayin N8 or Hifiman R2R2000 Black, Lotoo PAW Gold Touch, and more

Personally I would just go for an lg v20 and a portable dac/amp, but you asked for daps

keep it in a shoulder strap bag and carry it around like a car phone from the 80s

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They even make special bags and backpacks for them too

A bag on location audio guys use to keep their on site mixer safe would also work well

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That’s just an advanced fanny pack lol. I have seen people using them though but I don’t think I would ever want to

Lol yeah. There are smaller ones. Basically just camera bags with clear plastic tops.

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I’m looking for something to be just that thing. So far it’s been jumping back and forth between the FiiO M11, Shanling M6 or the Hiby R5. Maybe even the iBasso DX160. However it’s a grand battle of store availability or the yays / nays of full Android third party app support or MQA support.

M11 has large capacity storage speaking for it, plus I like their software implementation, I can also get it locally in Sweden, albeit at a higher price. M6 is sold out everywhere but otherwise available at a lower price, with the caveat of less storage capacity but other than power output it’s more of a 1:1 competitor to the M11 in terms of feel, features and looks. The odd one out is the Hiby R5, I’ve had no dealings with Hiby Before but it has a very enticing set of features and more or less equal amounts of power compared to the M11, and at a smaller physical size, not to mention lower price.

I need someone to tip me over the edge one way or another, with their personal take of why this device.


I mean the multiple sd cards on the m11 sold it for me, as it allows me to keep more music. They all will most likely be able to power most things you would want to take portable through balanced. The main standout for software is the R5 becasuse of the newer android and play store, where the DX160, M11, and the M6 don’t

The shanling’s power output is kinda lacking compared to the r5 and the m11 imo


Yeah I’m leaning towards the M11 for the storage. But it’s 15% more expensive in Sweden than EU / US in general. Then there’s the R5 that’s sitting at a whopping 30% cheaper, which still will be cheaper to import even after taxes.

How do you find the R5, storage capacity aside? Upsides for me would be being able to use my PowerAMP license or getting USB Audio Player Pro.

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So I got the m11 before the r5 had come out yet, and heard the r5 later on. So compared to the m11, the m11 is the snappier device, both have great screens, and I liked the play pause skip buttons on the r5 more because they were easier to find in a pocket, although I liked the volume wheel on the m11. The M11 has more physical ports then the r5, but you could always get an adapter if need be. Both the screen quality is great, but I think the m11 has a slightly better screen but it doesn’t really matter that much imo

Sound wise, I would say that the extra power of the r5 helps with bass, and I think it has a warm yet balanced sound, where the m11 is going to be a bit less full in comparison, but the m11 is still good. I think they are about equal on detail. With some sensitive iems, the m11 had a bit higher noise floor compared to the r5, but nothing really to worry about imo.

I think they are both great players, and if storage, device speed, and a bit more flexibility are your priority, the m11 is a great pick, and if a better sound and better driving power with a more up to date android (with google play), and a more ergonomic (for me) design is what you like, the r5 is for you


Yeah, I might dip on the R5 next month then. I’ll ponder on it a bit, I just have a hard time justifying the price of the M11 when the R5 is €357, unless I can import it without taking the extra tax hit on the border (€579 in Sweden, €499 via Germany). Storage wise I’m fine with only one slot.

I mean I’ve been living with my Oneplus 5 with its 64GB storage for 2+ years as my improvised DAP. However the 3,5mm port is singing on its last verse and to get around that I’d have to essentially get a Q5s or xDSD (the latter which I got to demo and review). But that’s a sidegrade on a magnitude that I don’t think is worth it.

The xDSD was fantastic, but if I want a BT capable amp, I want media controls on the device. It felt like the xDSD was fighting against its own purpose when I was using it on the go. The Q5s is a better alternative for convenience. But then we’re also nearing the price levels of an M11, it being a more complete unit, albeit lacking the upgrade options of the amp (which add further cost).

So yeah, an audible dilemma if we put it like that.

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