I’m not being snarky, I’m earnestly trying to figure it out. I’ve been finding that I enjoy listening to IEMs and being mobile more lately, so I went looking for a DAP upgrade to use with some high-end IEMs. I’m not too interested in full headphone listening, and I don’t plan on blasting them at high volume. So after falling down a rabbit hole pretty hard and doing a bunch of research, I’m pretty confused as to what the sound quality benefits would actually be, and where those benefits would come from, if they would actually be audible at all!
The only reason I would be looking to upgrade would be sound quality. The more and more I read reviews and impressions, the harder it became to actually figure out what actual tangible advantages there were, if any. There are all these huge spec lists, but then when it comes to reviewing sound, the language to describe sound is so imprecise and impressionistic that it comes off as BS a lot of the time.
For reference, my current DAP is a Hiby R5. It’s a really solid unit with tons of features in a small form factor. I’ve been happy with the SQ generally. The tricky thing is that the R5 is so fully featured that you end up losing features on a lot of the things you’d upgrade to, and that unit would be larger and heavier.
So, I’m curious. Where wound the benefit come from, and what experiences do you have with the more expensive DAPS?