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Don't buy this for quality. This is what they used to call "snake oil" and it's mostly just hot air. If you have a gold fishtank and your whole library is in DSD (yes I guess it's a DSD player if you really want that) then it might be worth it but dang. Doesn't even come with any storage...
Have you actually heard this before? I'd understand if that's the pre-conception you get from your first impressions at reading the product description, but it's kind of a stretch to be so absolute about it.
You don't need DSD files with the PAW Gold. I've never owned one before, and even if I could afford it I wouldn't think of buying it because I don't feel it's worth the investment for a person not as involved in the hobby as I am.
But I can totally see why some would go for this. SQ is superb and unmatched by all the other Fiio, IBasso and Astell&Kern DAPs that I've tried before.
And your opinion is based on what? I have owned many DAPs and heard many more. This is my favorite for sound quality. In terms of storage, it will accept any SD card of any size (including micro-SD with an adapter).
This product is for people whose wallets are much bigger and healthier than their understanding of physics and/or digital technology; it's practically a religion, and you will draw as much anger and irrational bile trying to argue with them. I mean, yes, it's kind of annoying, but you ARE in the Audiophile section. Go over to "Pro Audio" if you want more sane cost-to-performance ratios.
I agree there's a lot of snake oil merchants out there *cough*AK*cough, but the fact remains that the audiophile market is a small niche, and genuine quality products will not likely not recoup development costs without high retail pricing. I wish this weren't the case, but until the average person even knows what FLAC is, don't see it changing.
You want quality at a (relatively) reasonable price, look at the DAPs I listed above, and some stuff from FiiO, for example.
No need to disparage all audiophiles, just because some have way more disposable income than they know what to do with, others (like me) were affected by hearing what good sound could be, and try to get the best bang for their hard earned buck
It's been my experience that audiophile gear falls into three categories:
*1/3rd is really good stuff, often pro gear in a nicer case
*1/3rd has legit technology for questionable payback; this product is a great example—I doubt an iPhone or high-end Android + $100 IEMs on the bus, on the subway, at the library, etc. would be noticeably worse than this thing + $500 earbuds. To truly appreciate this product, you would need to be in a pristine setting where you might as well listen to your home HiFi anyway. Of course, if you have LOTS of money, then you can afford to cover all your sonic bases w/out regard to price-versus-return.
*1/3rd is snakeoil bullshit that makes me giggle every time I read people discussing it seriously, in earnest, like it actually does something. $1,000 wooden volume knobs fall into this category.
I am into music production as a hobby, and I have friends/acquaintances who are professional DJs (i.e. play in a club). iPads reached the "bare minimum" for professional audio applications* some time ago, and as of Lollipop even Android* includes built-in support. A full blown laptop running a modest i5* can load up true professional-quality mastering software that replaces literally tens of thousands of dollars of older analog studio equipment now. If you listen to EDM a lot, for example, it's quite likely that the main desktop unit used to CREATE some of your favorite songs cost as much as or LESS THAN this unit.
*iPad/Android/full-Windows + audio interface, of course
Do they even make DAPs for the pro audio segment? No snark, honestly curious. If there was a better way to get a quality high-res music fix while I'm travelling, I would love to know.
Agree on the iPad (and also Macbooks, hmm) that cost less and are used quite a lot by musicians these days
Well you can buy an iDevice compatible Audio Interface running at 24bit/192khz and slap it into the connector of your iDevice, though you would have to provide separate power. Since most pro applications are "studio" or "club" no—and you have a point—a single discrete self-powered unit dedicated to playing high res files that can also act as a headphone amp, etc. would probably only exist in the audiophile space.
This does appear to be battery powered, tho the party invite doesn't include Windows or Android:
Yup, I spent a lot of time researching before deciding on the Sony NWZ ZX2 (Japanese import, for less than $900), which I'd put up right next to the higher priced stuff, haven't regretted it yet. At the time it made the most sense in terms price/performance for a truly portable unit.
The newer generation of stuff from FiiO, Onkyo and Pioneer are all interesting, in my opinion. Stuff like this are for either the truly fanatic, or just well-off
Well you're also kind of making my point. I have a Sony Xperia Z3; I'm sure our devices have near identical designs in the analog-out, with yours probably having extra "smoothing" capacitors or whatnot, as well as more premium materials/metals in the DA conversion circuitry. Both our Sonys run Android. I have no doubt yours sounds better and is more flexible, but you have had to spend a lot of money, and curate your bit rates end-to-end, to keep a consistently superior sound profile. I just like rocking out on the trolley and whatnot. ;P
*also, obviously, the Xperia is like an iPhone—it handles consumer earbuds, and that's it.
You guys are way off base here. I've owned the LPG for about 5 months now, and it's the best sounding DAP I've ever heard, and that includes all the Astell & Kerns, Fiios, and Onkyos. The UI is not nearly as good, but if you're looking for a device that just sounds fantastic, the LPG should be on your short-list.