Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Three of my Favorite Budget DAPs for Exercising (One of Them Might Surprise You)

By Clay Valarezo


I like to exercise. It allows me to think strategically about my future development and growth. My current goals include two more master’s degree, an MBA from a top 15 school, and a book publication about business strategy research. Loft goals indeed.


When I exercise, I am able to verbalize, internally as well as externally, where I see myself in the next two years, five years, ten years. It also gives me the opportunity to listen to my favorite music, and new artists that I discover during the week.


I typically go on walks, and sometimes, jog/walks that can last up to four hours. As someone who is not employed, I have such luxuries. As you can imagine my favorite companion during these walks is a high-resolution DAP.


I have three DAPs that I rotate between when I am exercising. All three have different form factors and slightly varied user experiences. Why not just use one DAP, and ONLY ONE DAP? I believe that DAPs have differing personalities portrayed by the differentiated user experiences. A DAP that operates with a touch screen will feel different than a DAP that doesn’t. Thus, giving me a different user experience completely. Variety is the key!


So which ones do I use for exercise?


The Shanling M0: The Mini Touch Screen Monster

The Shanling M0 has a touch screen operation, has Bluetooth capabilities, a fast UI, and enough power to push mobile headphones—all while having a ten-hour battery life!


Further, the device is tiny as hell and uses VERY LITTLE space in your pocket. Currently, it is selling for $110 on Amazon.

Shanling M0 Pic
Shanling M0


The FiiO M3K: Battery Life Fo’ Days


I like the FiiO M3K for exercise because of its touch capacitive screen. Although sometimes, it is clumsy to operate, it is still easy to use.


As many of y’all know by now, I am a proponent of functionality/battery life for these DAPs. The functionality of the M3K, for its price ($59 on Amazon), is hard to beat. It is a flawed device, for sure. Yet, something about it keeps me coming back for more.

The fact that I don’t need to charge this thing often, or have to worry about running out of battery life during my long walks, are two reasons why this device will always have a special place in my heart (how cliché!). If you have $60 of ice cream money, spend it on this device.


FiiO M3K Pic
FiiO M3K

Now for the surprise!


The AGPtek Rocker: Power, Power, Power (for it’s price range)


Ok, so this device has been receiving poor reviews on Amazon, for the most part—not because of sound quality or functionality—because of it lack battery life. As a self-proclaimed battery life junkie, you might be wondering why I even use this device in my long workouts?


The answer is simple. It is probably the loudest budget DAP that I have costing less than $100 in my collection. Also, I get an incredible satisfaction from using the buttons, and hearing a confident “click” every time I press one.


The Rocker is slightly smaller than the M3K and is cheap enough where I don’t worry about breaking it.


AGPtek Rocker Pic
AGPtek Rocker V2



These devices, though on the cheaper end of the budget DAP spectrum, are vastly different. The differences allow them to shine with varied personalities (as friggin’ crazy as that sounds), and I am never bored of this three DAP rotation.


I am curious to know what DAPs you use for your workouts. What DAPs do you use when studying, planning, or doing homework? What do you use when you are listening critically? What headphones do you use that pair well with certain DAPs?

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