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I don't understand the comments about the old Android OS. It either works as a DAP, or it doesn't. There are plenty of PC-based audio systems that run on an outdated OS, including old Linux, and work great. If you want to do non-music things with Android, use a phone. If you don't like this as a DAP, that's fine, too, but judging based on irrelevant criteria seems spurious to me.
You don't understand why people would want the most current technology, when spending their hard earned money?? 🙄
Not if it isn't relevant to the sound, no. I have not heard a single comment stating that this OS issue is actually relevant to the sound quality. Newer OS does not mean better, sometimes it means more bloated, hogging more system resources with little gain, especially for a DAP vs. a phone.
Think of it this way, would you buy a brand new computer with Windows Vista on it?
I think Chemrat is saying he’d buy even a DOS computer, so long as it does still have the factors he cares about: Sounds good playing music, nice music player app and support for stock Spotify and TIDAL app (especially if offline playback is possible), decent battery life, and generally have good things that add up to a good music playback experience. Of course, the OS would actually need to be newer to support Spotify and Tidal, but the point is ”what it does” is more important than “how it gets there.”
It seems like many Android-based DAPs stick to version 4 or 5. Maybe there’s a sonic, battery, or cost-savings reason for that? If keeping an up to date OS is important for something like latest web security updates, then your best bet is an iPod until Apple discontinues those, an iPad, or a second hand iPhone with a SIM card but no service. Apple is good about letting users update their hardware for something like 5 generations.
An iPod gets like 30 hours of music playback, has decent sound quality, supports all the same aftermarket external Amp/DACs as the iPhone so you can expand its sonic capabilitie, is really thin and light with a great touchscreen, and of course is a great WiFi streamer. But, by itself, it just doesn’t quite sound as good as this Cayin or many other players. And the storage is what-you-buy-is-what-you-get. Pick your priorities.
Just to add, I have a FiiO x7. It comes with android 5, but I still regularly get updates for Spotify and Tidal. Spotify/Tidal offline essentially doesn’t work (tries to download to the OS partition irregardless my settings), so I’m disappointed because I pay for the streaming services for new music but my portable player becomes almost useless on the go except for my old collection of music (that I’ve heard many times).
One more thing to add... you cannot upgrade the internal storage of an iOS device, but you CAN load up MicroSD cards and use WiFi or Lightning card readers to bring more music with you.
I believe there is a drop for just such a device right now:
Also, SanDisk makes products where it allows back-and-forth access and transfer.
all that said... I still like a DAP, because they offer superior DACs and amps as an all-in-one instead of a rubber-banded external component, and I definitely like my notifications separate from my music.