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So, should I go for the Advanced Sound M4 or this one? I can afford both but an aspect that has really bugged me with iem's is cables getting frayed after a few months of use. Not really a basshead but I've used and enjoyed the coloured sound signature of the Nuforce NE-7m and the NE-700X and those among several others all died because of the cables. Also, what about the KZ ZST?
I mostly listen to alt-rock/metal though I have all kinds of stuff in my playlist and will be using this with my phone and I am also considering getting a PMP like the Fiio X3 .
If you're willing to buy a FiiO X3 you should instead put that money toward a higher quality IEM with detachable cables. These are good for the price but aren't very resolving and are very bass-heavy. I personally only used them for EDM at the gym because metal sounded too muddled and it was difficult to maintain a good fit even with Comply tips. DAPs in general are overpriced and limited in their firmware. If you'd put that much money toward a simple music player you'd be better off upgrading your phone to an HTC 10 or Axon 7 if you'd primarily be using them with low impedance/high sensitivity IEMs.
I did end up getting the X3 and it resolves better details than my uDAC listening on a SHP-9500 although listening on it feels a bit more fatiuging for that reason. I actually ended up going for the X3 instead of the X1 or the M3 primarily for the mechanical scroll wheel; something I loved one the Sansa Fuze. Anyway, for now I've ordered a KZ iem and will wait for a really good value deal on IEMS.
Also, I am hoping for a stable rockbox port for the X3 because as with most daps the ui is fairly clunky even if it is supposed to be "much improved" over the earlier versions.
I'd be very interested in a decent pair of IEMs with a replacable cable. Mine have this nasty habit of breaking randomly. What would you recommend?