DAPs – why?

Hi everyone! Ming here. Guess this is going to constitute my first post on this website. Today I’m gonna talk about the advantages and disadvantages of owning a DAP. So, what is a DAP, you may ask? A DAP (Digital Audio Player) is a small, mostly portable electronic device that plays music, either from its internal storage or from an external SD card. Popularized in the early 2000s by the likes of the Apple iPod and the Sandisk Sansa, the DAP grew hugely popular because people realized that they could carry their music in their pocket, and a lot of music too, in contrast to the bulky Discmans and Walkmans of the past.

800px-discman_d121
Anyone still remember this?!

However, as mobile phones became smartphones, incorporating the capability to play music and watch videos, DAPs soon fell out of mainstream fashion and are now used for niche purposes, such as the high end audiophile market.

So why would you want to get a DAP, you may ask? Is there anything still good about it? Here are some pros and cons of doing so.

Advantages

  1. Less distraction
    • With apps such as Facebook and Twitter clogging up our phone, there may be some times where you just want your music and your music only. No more notifications rudely lowering your volume just as you are enjoying the climax of your song (true story)
  2. High End Audio
    • DAPs nowadays are mostly built with high end components, allowing you to enjoy your music in maximum quality. Yes, they might be expensive, however there are some which exhibit a great increase in audio quality as compared to your smartphone, and not cost a fortune. Of course, the audio file itself plays a part too – if you have a low quality file, the high end player will only make its low-end qualities more obvious.
  3. Long battery life
    • Come on, I’m sure we’ve all been there. Using your phone to play music and you have to stop because your phone runs out of battery. Why go through that trouble when you have a DAP with a 24 hour battery life? Never run out of tunes!

Disadvantages

  1. Potentially expensive
    • Most DAPs in the market are very expensive due to the high end electronics embedded in them, and those which are cheap are often barebones and have quirky interfaces. Don’t expect the smoothness of an iPhone on these (unless you get an iPod Nano/Touch of course).
  2. Complicated
    • DAPs might not be for everyone. After all, if your phone has sufficient space, why have two devices? It could potentially become a hassle to pause your music on your DAP, pull out your earphones, and take a call on your smartphone. Why not integrate it all. If you don’t care much for audio quality/live on Spotify alone, the DAP might not be for you.

Aaaaaaand that’s what I’ve thought of. Hope this article helps you along somehow. However, be warned. DAPs are only one area of the large community of high end audio. As you venture forth, you’ll discover things like DACs (Digital to Analogue Converter), Amplifiers, Interconnects, and even high end earphones and headphones. It can be a really expensive hobby, but at least you’ll have the best audio available to you.

Over the course of this time, I intend to review more kinds of audio equipment. Note that I’m not exactly an audiophile per say, but I do know the basics of good audio and will be happy to share what I know 🙂

Till then, next time! -Ming

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