Best Digital Audio Player (DAP) Under $500

Published: Headphone Blog

Best Digital Audio Player (DAP) Under $500 - Headphone Charts

If you own a pair of high quality audiophile headphones, and you find yourself plugging them into your phone or an old iPod to listen to music on-the-go, you're doing yourself a great disservice! You would never put regular gas into a Ferarri, so why would you power your top tier headphones with anything other than the best?! Our Best Digital Audio Players (DAPs) are the cream of the audio player crop at the $500 pricepoint, and will allow your headphones to really sing the way they were intended, even while you're out and about!

# 5

FiiO X7 Hi-Res Lossless Music Player

FiiO X7 Digital Audio Player

Headphone Charts Score (?) : 82.4

A very respectable mid-range Digital Audio Player, FiiO has made a name for themselves as leaders in the industry for their quality and relatively low pricing.
  • Decent WiFi connectivity
  • Vibrant 3.97" full touchscreen
  • Comes with optimized Android 4.4.4 OS
  • 32GB ROM, 1GB RAM, 128GB microSD support
  • A nice combination of beautiful design and superb audio quality

FiiO X7 - Amazon

# 4

OPUS#1 Portable Mastering Quality Sound Audio Player

OPUS#1 Portable Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) Audio Player

Headphone Charts Score (?) : 83.6

The OPUS#1 is the most optimized solution for all music lovers to really feel what musicians feel and hear what they hear in high fidelity audio formats, even while on-the-go.
  • Great product for under $400
  • 24bit/192kHz high resolution sound
  • Based on Android operating systems
  • Features Cirrus Logic CS4398 x 2EA Dual DAC
  • Supported standards: AAC, FLAC, WMA, DSD, DFF

OPUS#1 - Amazon

# 3

Onkyo DP-X1 Digital Audio Player

Onkyo DP-X1 Digital Audio Player

Headphone Charts Score (?) : 86

The Onkyo DP-X1 is well regarded in audiophile circles as an all-around stellar "value" DAP, as it seems to offer a similar playback quality as other more expensive DAPs.
  • Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity
  • Supports up to 432GB of storage
  • Offers dual SABRE DACs and amps
  • Excellent stability and clean, crystal clear sound
  • Access to Google Play to download your favorite music apps

Onkyo DP-X1 - Amazon

# 2

Astell & Kern AK120 Dual DAC Hi-Fi Audio System

Astell&Kern AK120 Mastering Quality Sound Portable Dual DAC Hi-Fi Audio System

Headphone Charts Score (?) : 86.4

Astell & Kern are essentially the Rolls Royce of Digital Audio Players, and the AK120 happens to be one of their most affordable models. It may lack in some of the bells & whistles of the more expensive models, but it still has a high quality core, and offers superb sound.
  • Dual Wolfson WM8740 DAC
  • 64GB of internal Flash memory
  • Small 2.4" capacitive touchscreen (320x240)
  • Very broad dynamic range and wide soundstage
  • Battery life good for 14 hours of continuous playback

A&K AK120 - Amazon

# 1

Cayin i5 Portable HiFi Audio Player

Cayin i5 Portable HiFi Audio Player

Headphone Charts Score (?) : 93.2

One of the most attractive and well put together DAPs at any pricepoint, the Cayin i5 packs plenty of volume in a small package. A true masterpiece for under $500!
  • Sleek and modern looking
  • Manufactured from aerospace aluminium alloy
  • Drop dead gorgeous build design and touchscreen
  • Offers enough power to drive almost any audiophile headphone
  • Android OS and WiFi allow you to use your favorite streaming apps

Cayin i5 - Amazon

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