Trying to join the DAP Army but have questions

So I’m considering buying a Fiio M11 when it’s available near me but I’m new to the DAP world. I have been using my custom ipod but I hear that DAP provide much better and clearer quality in music performance. I’ve watch a few videos and saw just album arts separated and never saw any custom playlist like the one you can make on iTunes for your iPod. Is that even possible with daps?

Also anyone know a recommend amp to go with the M11? I use both iems and cans with can are 150 ohms that I use to travel with. I thank you in advance for your replies and helping me join the DAP Army.

So a DAP is just a Digital Audio Player. It is a very very wide definition for literally any device that can decode digitally stored audio and out put it as an analogue signal for headphones, amps etc.
I don’t know when it happened but for some reason people in the audio space years back decided that DAP is going to mean something that it really isn’t. People on headfi etc that say DAP usually mean dedicated audio players these days. This is still a very wide term and has no bearing on the quality of the sound produced. A Sansa clip and a Fiio M11 are still both DAP’s in this case and one is astronomically cheaper and potentially not as good as the other.

So just bear that in mind.
I won’t speak to the sound quality or anything of the Fiio M11. However I will say you can probably get something cheaper that is closer to what you want/need or something similar in price and better. The M11 is very firmly high on the ladder price wise for maybe the 0.01% you get out of it over something half the price.
But I am sure other people more firmly in the portable player can advise you better.

However personally if I were you and had 450 dollars to blow and wanted portable. I would look into a cheaper portable player (M0) that had line out and pair it with a strictly portable amp. Potentially ideally you could just buy something like the OPPO HA-2 / HA-2SE that can be connected to your phone via usb which would give the benefit of having your music on your phone and more player options.

Most portable players with a display have playlist features yes.

Awesome and thank you for the detailed reply. I will check out the M0 you mentioned since I’m not all into using the device for more than music, I never considered getting into this until recently and the so called craze about the m11 caught my attention as to where I should start but if there’s a cheaper option out there then I will look into it for sure.

An iPod touch might be a good option considering you plan to add an amp. My issue with DAPs is that most of them use Android but don’t have enough power to run it smoothly, also Android tends to become slow on its own, so at the end you have a super slow device. Some say the M11 is fast, but it doesn’t have google play services, so some apps won’t work. I personally would go with a Q5s and use my phone as source.

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Thing is for me is I have some hi res music that ipod can’t support I think it goes to 48khz I think and I some files that are 96. It sucks because I don’t have the space to just have a home setup to play these demanding files because I’m always on the go. I have an old phone note 5 and it doesn’t support cards of any kind so I figured a DAP would be a cheaper option and not to mention my note 5 battery eats up rather fast especially with the web surfing lol

For just music, the M11 should be nice, and it should have a way of creating playlists.

I have the Fiio M11. Running the 6xx (150ohm) perfectly fine even on the 3.5mm single end. What your getting for $450 you’ll be hard press to get anything better unless your pushing up to the $1000+ mark. I also have a Q5 with AM3D (THX) paried with a Samsung S10+. I would take the M11 over the phone+dac/amp any day.

well if most of your music is 48khz and 96khz then buying something like the fiio m11 is going to be way overkill. That’s like fishing with a tactical mini nuke. Storage wise you also don’t need that much for 48 and 96 or even 192 tbh. If you are going to be playing DSD or 384khz+ then you will need a ton of space. But realistically most people don’t want to carry around a few hundred gigs of music for just 1-2 hundred songs.

Unless you are planning to get stupidly high res music then rather get something more appropriate. Alternatively get something good for at home like an amp dac combo and a separate portable player.
Just a good clean desktop amp (like a shiit magni or something in that 100 dollar range) and a portable player with line out would also be fine. You can find plenty of players in the 100-180 dollar range that are really good. Xduuo has a few Shangling M0, M2s, Cowon etc etc. Even the Fiio M7 at 180 usd if you really want fiio.

Personally I would stay away from the android based ones. As a developer android has quite a bit of overhead for a music player. It really isn’t necessary. Plus android can be quite buggy at random times. Plus you won’t really get any of the android benefits like google play store etc usually. I would rather go for something that has a custom OS from a reputable company that has put out plenty of updates or something that uses a very bare bones linux OS install.
You will probably also get longer play time out of these since they don’t have to run android too.

Edit: quote unintended. Ignore it

I always recommend an unlocked Android phone and a dac/amp combo. I use an unlocked Galaxy S9 and a THX portable. Together they are around $550 and I can put my flacs/dsd’s on a memory card, or download Tidal and listen to lossless anywhere through a fantastic THX amp. I’ve tried a lot of daps and mobile solutions, but this is best I’ve found so far. the sound is comparable to my desk setup and I can take it anywhere.