Submitted by Brotten t3_119x9q1 in headphones

I'll admit, the last time I bought an MP3 player (they call them DAP nowadays, I guess) was around 2012 or something. Because back then stuff was built in a way which actually lasts. It was a Sony Walkman with up to 77ish hours of battery life. (Continuous play) I use it for FLAC exclusively and 48+ hours of continuous play have been enjoyed by me regularly. I regularly need at least 20 hours, my longest trips were around 33 hours each. Sadly, I dropped that thing on one tile too many and have to check the market for a new player now.

And somehow, usable battery life no longer seems a thing? Back in the day even the cheapest player did 24 hours and good ones all did 40+. Now I it seems the standard is a ridiculous 8 and people rave about "long battery life" when a player reaches a measly 14?

Is that the state of things now? Everything is just absolute trash? Or am I just unable to find normal-quality music players because the bad ones flood the marketing channels? Help me get back into the loop, please.



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szakee t1_j9ojv35 wrote

opened a random AK player, 20 hours.
But you have to realize people these days demand super high res screen, super high res dac and whatever else components, all of that needs energy.

Same with phones. Yes of course your nokia 3310 lasted a week, but you played a little snake on it and that's it. Now you watch 4k midget porn for hours daily.


kazuviking t1_j9om4z0 wrote

Current dac chips that is made for portable use only uses a few milliamps of current.
High res screen on a dap is fucking stupid.


BoysenberryFluffy671 t1_j9scpes wrote

Yup. This. The screens are killer. I love my FiiO BTR5 because it's screen isn't color or large. Granted it's not a DAP, it needs a phone which there ya go - limited battery life.

The other thing I think that drains the battery here is the amp part of these devices. Some can deliver a decent bit of power and that costs a lot of juice.

Running android isn't a very battery efficient thing to do. Though it lets you install all sorts of apps. So it's convenient. People want Qobuz or Tidal. So that's what companies need to do in order to sell to those customers. That by nature means battery life is going to be tough.

I think if someone was really smart - they'd build a very stripped down operating system of some sort that could run Roon and have that tap into online services or pull from the network. Really optimize on battery. Even still though, it'll be tough to get back to 40+ hours I think. "All day" (which sometimes isn't even all day - certainly not after battery life starts to wear) is the only real target most devices have these days. Phones, laptops, audio players or otherwise.


Brotten OP t1_j9r0ws4 wrote

>Yes of course your nokia 3310 lasted a week

See, your perception and memory are already getting skewed by your current situation. My Nokia 1616, which only broke recently, usually lasted over 2 weeks with active usage. The model I use now (a 2011 one) has a listed standby (i.e. the phone switched on and can receive calls and texts) time of 32 days. The amount of battery life people have traded is extreme.

And the thing is, there are still dozens of phones like that available on the market, both current and older models. If not triple digits. Including lower quality adaptations under the Nokia brand. And these devices exist because there is a market for electronic devices which do their thing for at least a whole day.

I just can't wrap my head around the fact that one market survives but the traditional music player one basically just disappeared, taking all leftover stock with it.


Overall_Falcon_8526 t1_j9pg90h wrote

Android is a battery killer. Sony's DAP lineup has generally been the battery champ, whether with or without Android.


zoinkability t1_j9pwpgv wrote

This. Pre-Android PMPs ran slim, non-bloated software that was very close to the hardware and as a result were not very demanding on batteries. Using Android to run a PMP is like using a tractor trailer to do a grocery run. It works but is grossly inefficient.


Overall_Falcon_8526 t1_j9q6m0k wrote

They do it because people want the streaming services. It's way easier to slap Android 11 onto a device than to program an in-house solution and keep it updated for Qobuz, Tidal, Amazon, Apple, etc.


zoinkability t1_j9qb75r wrote

True. Those services aren't going to build custom streaming software for your random embedded PMP player OS.


Brotten OP t1_j9qykuw wrote

That explains why the Android devices exist, but I cannot believe that the kind of people who buy a DAP all want to stream music with a device separate from their phone. Vinyl players thrive, why isn't there a BIGGER market for traditional DAPs that you can use to listen to music on a journey? These short-lived players wouldn't even last long enough for some flight connections within Europe, let alone the respective train trips or a flight over to Asia.


ultra_prescriptivist t1_j9ow2rk wrote

Maybe look around the used market for an older model?

Ones like the Fiio X1/X3/X5 have really good battery life. The screens are small but they get the job done.


IMKGI t1_j9oiwyb wrote

Well i have no idea where you searched or what your budget is, but after a quick look i found this 90€ one with 35 hours of advertised playtime:

I have no idea if this is a good deal or not tho, i have absolutely no experience in that space, and i normally just use my phone


Brotten OP t1_j9ospr1 wrote

My budget is 300€. What you linked there is Sony's lower quality rehash of their lowest quality Walkman before they scrapped that line. It only has 4GB non extensible storage and cannot play FLAC. I could find about 4 or so players which manage 24+ hours and Flac on my local (German) market atm, and they all have some sort of drawback. But the general state of the market seems to be "it runs Android and lasts 8 - 12 hours".


Pokeylicious t1_j9r05e3 wrote

Not all of them do. I'm EXTREMELY old school; I'm an iPod guy for life. I flash modded my Classic 7th gen and added a 3000mAh (which is more likely an 1800 mAh unit) battery and I get WEEKS of battery life, and that's with regular use.


CyCub t1_j9qirpw wrote

DAP performance became bastardized when audiophiles started to want portability. Now if a DAP doesn't power 300 ohm fullsize cans while playing 4k video from Youtube, it's a non-starter. And DAP-makers are happy to oblige.


blah618 t1_j9se6xp wrote


daps now play at a higher file quality and are of higher audio quality at the expense of being more power hungry

battery technological advancement is far slower than most other tech in general

as others have said, screens and android eat up a lot of power

sony devices, like the zx300 and wm1a, have good battery and can be had for your budget second hand, the wm1a has auto turn off and 30h runtime


Alicedoll02 t1_j9ujwg6 wrote

I bought a ibasso dx120 years ago. Lasts about... 13 hours? 16? It lasts a super long time but is super laggy for most users today.

Honestly when it comes to daps I would stick with used or older models for the most part.

Hiby r2 touts a crazy long battery and most reviewers have confirmed this bit you're looking at 430 usd to get it so a bit pricey for me personally.