“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato
Music can pick you up when you are down, or take you that extra bit higher when you already feel on top of the world. Packing some music to take with you is easy with our portable music options guide.
Smart phone multipurpose capabilities are an easy way to bring the music with you, especially if you already plan to have one with you. Tips:
While the Apple iPod was not the original DAP, it exploded onto the scene and brought portable music to the masses. Recently (July 2017), Apple have whittled down their iPod range to just two iPod Touch models.
The original iPod Classic designs are still sought after and considered by many to sound better than their newer counterparts.
There are a number of small companies that provide very cheap DAPs with great sound quality and top components inside. You may find that they suffer in other areas, like design, quality assurance, ease of use, customer service etc.
SanDisk have made a number of Clip models, although it seems the Clip+ was perhaps the most popular model. These tiny little devices have good sound for how cheap and small they are. The lowest memory model is normally more cost effective and spend the extra on a large memory card. The most recent Clips have lost the recording feature. Popular for gym/sports due to the small size, decent battery life, price and also the Clip models have a clip on the back that can be used to attach to clothing.
Sony make a number of well respected DAP models.
Very cheap device and very well reviewed sound. Disadvantages
This newer Xduoo fixes a few problems with the X3 firmware and has had some updates and is cheap for the included specifications.
FiiO, iBasso, Cowon, HIFIMAN, Pioneer, Onkyo, Lotoo, The Bit, Questyle, Acoustic Research are other brands worth checking out.
Highly priced DAPs from companies like Astell&Kern may provide better support and ease of use, although some of the prices are pretty scary!
Apple MacBooks have decent audio and are very portable. For those who love iTunes, a Mac can be a good pick. Audiophiles:
A good set of earphones are a great investment. Generally small and easy to carry, you can make a huge improvement on the enjoyment you receive from your music. Generally phones and DAPs come with very basic earphones that sound terrible. Today there are some significantly better options available at very low prices that can make a huge difference. Advantages:
Not quite as portable as earphones, but some headphones are still portable. Disadvantages
If you want to enjoy music with others there are a number of options. Many find battery powered wireless speakers a great option for parties/camping/backpacking etc.
Check out brands like UE, Bose, JBL.
For the person looking for that extra bit of sound quality, a portable DAC might be what you need. These are specialty devices that can take input from one of your other audio sources, like a DAP, and turns into an analog signal. This will generally not be loud enough and will then require some form of amplification before being passed onto /earphones/headphones/speakers.
The Chord Mojo is an example of a DAC/Amplifier combined and is "A multi-award winner, you can pair Mojo with your Smartphone, tablet, music player, DAP, games console, PC, Mac, or almost anything that allows audio out via USB, Optical, or Coax"
An amplifier's job is to make the sound louder without changing how it sounds. Such a simple job is difficult to achieve.
Audio generally comes with diminishing returns, as in the more you spend, the harder it is to get improvements. Thankfully there are plenty of options that can get you enjoying your music for little outlay and not taking up too much room.
"Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you." ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer