Smartphone + AMP/DAC vs DAP

I have an iPhone with Tidal and Spotify subscription, paired with a iFi micro iDSD BL. I’m just wondering if there are any other advantages from just buying a DAP. Aside from more memory to store songs and portability, what would be other advantages of moving to a DAP from my current set up? Thanks!

It will stop you using your phone battery, as well as save space on your phone.

It also depends on what DAP you have, they can have better AMPs in them than the one in the iDSD BL.

However, you will also be carrying around more than just your phone, but you are probably used to that as you carry around the iDSD BL.


The real reason to buy a dap is mainly to escape a phone lol. I just use my dap as a separate device because I don’t want to mess with a phone, I just want something dedicated to music (also storage too). I just have another dac/amp combo strapped to it


^ This pretty much.

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What dap do you use then?

This is my problem: I have an iPhone (free from work, I won’t purchase another phone) and it can only do aac.
So my option for using Q5s, for example, is by using a usb wire to not get that much compression.

Now, I want to be free from my phone when listening to music, free as in not attached to another device.
I’m thinking of getting a DAP, but don’t want to spend more then a Q5s (about 400 usd).

There is some nice DAPs out there (WiFi is a must since I’ll use tidal). But the output power is not enough for my needs, so I would have to get an amp as well. To much stuff to carry! Any ideas?
The fiio X7 is to expensive.

Do I just have to suck it up and sandwich my phone with Q5s or any other competent dac/amp?

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I personally use a fiio m11 with an ifi xdsd strapped to the back. I change out the xdsd for a different device at times too. I also have a questyle qp2r

Some daps in your range with plenty of power might be the fiio m11, hiby r5, and ibasso dx160

I knew I could trust this board, thank you!
De ibasso and hiby looks interesting, the m11 is above budget (Eu market).

If anything else comes to mind let me know :slight_smile:

The Shanling M6 is nice but may be over budget, the cayin n5iis is also good too

Those of you whom tried the ibasso DX160, how is the sound compared to fiio Q5s (I know the Q5s-sound)?

So I think the fiio is more mid-range and treble focused where the ibasso is more even but slightly warmer. I think the ibasso also has slightly better timbre. Detail wise I think they are close enough

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I have a Shanling M3s which is very good. Nicely made and transparent sound. The amp output at 132mW/channel at 32 ohms is adequate but not especially high. It has a balanced output for those wanting the feature, battery life is a fraction of what we take for granted from smartphones. It has some EQ profiles preset. Overall I would recommend it as a well made and good performing device for a reasonable price.

Thanks for the suggestion! To me it’s a bit weak and lacks WiFi.
But aside from that, reasonable priced!