DAP Advice - Onkyo or Pioneer?

I’m thinking of buying either Onkyo DP-S1 or Pioneer XDP-30R.

They are only just becoming available in the UK. They look very similar (Onkyo own Pioneer I believe) but the Pioneer is £50 cheaper.

Does anyone have any experience with these - and whether or not there are any differences?



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I am after the Pioneer DAP my self.

They are basically the same but the Onkyo is further up the audio path as it has dual everything DACs, amps etc. One caveat to have a look at forums before buying as the previous models have the most unpredictable battery performance of any device I have owned. My experience seems to be common- go to use it having left it fully charged but switched off overnight one day to find that the battery is at zero = the next time you do the same thing the battery is at 100%.

Both are nice until you become one of the unfortunate not-too-few owners. Both DAPs are plagued with loose headphone jacks on both the 3.5mm SE and 2.5mm balanced resulting in distortions and/or total failure. There are legions of reports on Head-Fi and other forum.

I had a personal experience with the Pioneer DAP. Arrived and straight from unboxing, absolute zero sound from the headphone jack. In spite of the headphone been plugged in sound was coming from the stupid tiny bottom speakers alone! Who in their right mind puts a speaker on an audiophile DAP?? I was so frustrated and annoyed. Lost money on it as I live in the Caribbean. Money on shipping (to the Caribbean and return back to Amazon), and Customs fee.

I really don’t understand how a big company like Pionner/Onkyo could get it so wrong with something as basic as a headphone jack. I have no experience in hardware manufacturing but I’m not aware of any other DAP in the market that is plagued with such a headphone plug debacle. You would think this was fixed in the new revised products, DP-X1a and 300R, but no, there are reports of loose jacks in these units too!!

They are responsive and the Android 5.2 interface is fluid on these DAPs, sound quality is also good according to reviews but pray you don’t end up with a bad unit.

I tried the Onkyo. Battery life was flaky as mentioned earlier, and the thing was HUGE, way to big IMO. There many other choices that may or may not be better, like Fiio, Cayin, Opus, Astel & Kern. Or go with the Onkyo or Pioneer :slight_smile:

I would also take a look at Fiio: http://www.fiio.net/en/products
I own one the previous generation players (E17+E7 max 96/24) for a few years now and still using it daily.

Saw a good Youtube comparison, can’t remember the title. A search on either DAP should find the review. Bottom line, Onkyo was better sonically, but with a horrible battery life.

On the plus side it works great as a roon remote control and as an end point, though it only uses the stock Android player capability there are no specific drivers to make the best of the DAC and amps.

Nice review of the Pioneer

What a shame that Roon as an endpoint running on these new android based DAPs cannot take full advantage of the better DACs and amps in them. I know Roon has bigger fish to fry, but too bad they cant do something about this.

Can you explain a bit more - I’ve not used android before - I had thought that, unlike iOS, the android roon app could play on the device? How does it play if it doesn’t use the DAC?

I think, but am not sure, that when Roon plays through Android it goes through Android’s audio subsystem, so it gets re-sampled to Android’s native bit depth and sample rate.

… Whereas the native apps that these Android daps use talk directly to the DAC, skipping Android’s audio.

To my understanding this is correct. Any 3rd party apps can not talk directly to their DAC.
Thus is what is keeping me from buying one…

I’ve had both. Started with Onkyo but was very unhappy with processor speed and battery life. But the worst was its wont to randomly and frequently just stop. It refused to play through an entire album or playlist. And, when restarting play after one of its regular random breaks, it would begin play only at the beginning of the last album or playlist or queue. SUPER annoying. So back it went.

Got the Pioneer 300R. System is much faster and haven’t had the random stopping problem. The sound is decent and it drives even my Audeze LCDs. Roon playback is limited to 48kHz, but honestly it doesn’t impair the sound in my experience. Mine does not have any speakers built in; perhaps they are shipping different models to the Carribean?

Basically I bought this for the storage capacity and the decent onboard dac. Now that I have a 256gb iPhone, I wish I had just stuck with the Chord Mojo and left these DAPs alone. Especially now that the Poly is coming out. Of course, I’ll be picking that up. Anyone want to buy the Pioneer? Damn tech addiction. :slight_smile:

In all, I’d say these things are not worth their cost. Once the Poly comes out, the XDP-300R will likely be another toy left in the drawer. Still kicking myself for missing the return-by date on that one.

Let me know when u are ready to sell :stuck_out_tongue:

There are no separate product or batch for the Caribbean, and when I buy on Amazon, it’s shipped to my address in USA. The built-in speaker is in the 1st model of the Pioneer DAP, I believe that model # is xdp-100R. I have no experience with the 300R. I simply commented on the unsolved problematic headphone jack as experienced by some on Head-Fi forum.

I believe some are commenting the older/highend version DAP of Onkyo/Pioneer.
The new Onkyo DP-S1 is very small and has good battery life. However, as the new model is no longer Android based, the UI and functionality are quite limited comparing to higher end models and competitors. The UI looks from a decade ago. there’s no Google Play store so you can’t install Roon or Tidal. There is no wifi transfer from your desktop music collection. One good thing is it has Tidal streaming, but without offline mode.
Regarding SQ, it is good for its price, better than my AK70 which is in smaller form factor. But the UI really reminds me of my college days.
I’d suggest Cayin N3 as a on the go solution. The SQ is good, can use as a BT decoder(play music on your phone through bluetooth).

I think they use android OS.

So is it possible to install roon android app and listen to music from roon core when you are in your local network

does anybody know?

If it is possible can you listen to dsd or flac in their native resolution