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What is an ideal phone or digital audio player to pair with these?

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PaulNS
86
Jul 26, 2020
I'm not sure about ideal, although my take and preference order of setups I've used - mostly with mobility and Bluetooth options. Note that I don't carry around a DAP although the Q5 is "DAP sized" .. the BT is just a physical interface between iTunes and whatever IEMs I'm using :) I'm a pragmatic skeptic and mostly avoid many "audiophile" pricing strategies.. I also don't buy into balanced in general, and definitely not here as the K10U IEM's don't need it and I could not tell a difference in basic blind tests (remember to reset the volume to zero!).
  • FiiO Q5/Q5s (both) with traditional and "AAA" amps. Warm, full bodied. (Balanced output optional.)
  • iPhone 6 SE output. Warm, possibly slightly muddy.
  • EarSonic ES100. Neutral/reference/bright. Not my cup of tea. (Balanced output optional.)
  • HiBy W5. Too warm, definitely muddy.
  • "Generic Amazon lightning dongle". Something feels 'off' .. not a great pairing.
All BT via AAC from an iPhone which despite "lower encoded bitrates" is better than aptX or Android AAC .. that is, if you have an iPhone, want to use iTunes, and don't want a cable from your iPhone, I propose a [used] Q5/Q5s is a viable option. The largest 'missing feature' is lack of proper hardware EQ ..
(Edited)
odommc777
0
Jun 17, 2020
I use the Oneplus 7T Pro with a earstudio es100 mk2. I also recently discovered the DD ddHiFi TC35B  which works great with any USC-C phone and computers. Both are great choices, are relatively cheap and will go a long way to get the most of these IEMs.
boisdulac
24
Dec 15, 2019
They work well out of my iPhone for pretty non-demanding music such as pop-rock (actually I found the signature a little V-shaped when using the lightning connector directly, which some people may like). As I listen mainly to classical, I have added a Dragonfly Red into the mix, and the improvements in clarity are amazing, but I still find them a little bright sometimes, particularly with old records. So I am considering pairing them with some DAP with a reputation for a darker sound, such as maybe the Kann.
raymondehayes1
80
Dec 12, 2019
The LG 5 has excellent sound it does do 24-bit. They sound fantastic with the phone. They sound good with almost any good digital player. I'm using them with the I Basso DX 160. That has fantastic sound and they sound awesome with it. I've also use them with the Cowon Plenue R.That also has fantastic sound and again they sound great with it.
KristianN
103
Dec 14, 2019
The Fiio M9 worked pretty well, but the noivcefloot was a little bit to high even when using balanced output. With the SP1000m the backdrop was black as night.
benjdbs10
6
Jun 3, 2020
dx160 x K10 can't go wrong. it's powerful enough...
Wulfie011
0
Nov 21, 2019
Usb audio player on Samsung s10 with bit perfect turned on 👌