Pioneer XDP 300-R. Balanced DAP


#1

I have owned this DAP for approximately 2 months. I bought it to replace my very reliable but limited iPod Touch 6g and FiiO x5ii dap.

The feature set of the Pioneer is very good. Here are it’s features and Specifications:

It has a vast spec sheet and would take forever to type out so I have linked the specs above.

Anyhow, one of the reasons that I got this model was for its ability to stream Tidal and Spotify and use it in offline mode too. It has two memory slots and a touch screen. The touchscreen is very responsive. It seems very well built but lacks an outer protective case. You’ll have to buy one. It has the usual 3.5mm jack and a balanced 2.5mm jack. It also utilises dual ES9018K2M dac’s. Oh and it runs Android 5.1 I believe. All in all a nice little package. I aren’t really trying to do a review as there are far better ones out there than I could ever put together.

Musically it sounds very very good to me. Nice and clear. It has great imaging and soundstage it’s not warm sounding to my ears. Although people will say I’m talking nonsense. But hey ho, that’s what I hear. I primarily use it with my iem’s (Andromeda’s, SE846 and Massdrop plus amongst others) though it will run both my HD800’s and HD600’s to a good volume.

That’s it my experience so far with this DAP. I just thought I’d get it out there for discussion if people needed such a DAP. Thanks.
-Paul-


#2

We had the XDP-300R in the office and I know @andrew had a great time with it. The ability to use Tidal and Spotify was definitely its biggest selling feature and something that I really wish more DAPs would incorporate.

It seems like a no-brainer for them to reach a broader audience but for some reason its still not something that is common.

Unfortunately Pioneer’s headphone and DAP department is a bit of an afterthought for them in comparison to their receivers and doesn’t get nearly the same love in terms of ad-spend and promotion from Pioneer which results in things like the XDP-300R falling under the radar.


#3

The ability to be able to use both Spotify and Tidal as one reason for getting it in the first place. I think the sound quality is great too. It has enough feature to keep most people happy. I am really please with my choice to go with this Dap. The two expansion slots are a real bonus. I think that for the price it’s great.

-Paul-


#4

Paul - I picked up a used/refurb XDP-300R for a good price as an upgrade to my Onkyo DP-S1. I chose it based on your comments on here and on reddit despite it being a little bit older and running an outdated android. I just want to use one device for music + spotify on the go instead of switching back and forth between phone and DAP.

Should be getting it Friday. Hoping it is everything I hope it is.


#5

Definitely Anthony, that’s exactly what I got mine for. I use Spotify all the time and it does a great job. It has plenty of storage too. It sounds great.

-Paul-


#6

I got the DAP today. It’s a bit bigger than I thought it was but it is well built! It runs a lot faster than I was expecting which is nice. I ended up disabling most of the Google apps to increase memory usage. So far everything works fine. Just on first impression, the sound is slightly less thick than the Onkyo DP-S1 - which is kind of what I gathered from discussion boards about the tuning between Onkyo and Pioneer versions of their respective DAPs.

I’ll probably write a little review between the Onkyo DP-S1 and it’s bigger cousin XDP-300R in the very near future.


#7

That would be great @antdroid. I didn’t make a real go of my mini review of the Pioneer. I love this Dap though. However I wish as always with these things that battery life was better. I look forward to your thoughts.

-Paul-


#8

Quick impressions after a few hours of listening – using my Audeze Sine as my test headphone and in balanced AGC mode.

The DAP sounds pretty good. It has more detail, clarity, and and better separation than the Onkyo DP-S1, which again is the non-android DAP that’s priced a little less than half of the XDP-300R/DP-X1A android models. It’s noticeable in the few records I’ve listened to from Radiohead, Tegan & Sara, Temple of the Dog, and Chris Stapleton so far.

Some cons: battery life is dropping fast on balanced output. I wonder if it is a big issue on 3.5mm or not. I also have set my Lock Range to the narrowest and I’m just now starting to have some stutter issues - could also be due to battery dropping low and android adjusting power settings on the fly.

Do you know if this DAP is rootable? I wonder if I can install some of the battery management tweaks on it if I can root it. Only downside is I dont know if there’s any good backup firmware around if it is possible.


#9

I haven’t a clue with regards rooting. It’s not something I have ever dabled in. Though if you can find ways to enhance the Dap I would love to implement them myself. I use balanced mode myself and like it. Battery is ok as long as you don’t have WiFi on too much. I tend to download and go offline with Spotify anyway. I only use the Dap for music so other features don’t really interest me. Though if you have thoughts regarding them I would like to hear them. The clarity of the Pioneer is right down my street sound wise. Also I use it in wide mode in the settings. I don’t know if it has glitches when reading stored content (off SD card) from Spotify. The Stutter May be down to this as some Daps have had this problem. I haven’t looked into it much though. I will need to find out because internal storage is not enough. I have a 200GB storage card in one of the slots and have flacs and other music on it. On the whole though I love it.

-Paul-


#10

I’ve dabbled a lot into Android rooting/Dev stuff but it looks like Pioneer has locked the bootloader on this device. I can get into recovery but not bootloader which you need to use Android’s fastboot commands to unlock it.

I used the applications settings menu to disable pretty much everything except music apps and play store and chrome. Everything else is disabled now, which I hope will improve battery. I don’t know why things like Google assistant are even installed since there’s no mic on this device to use voice commands.

I have a 200 and a 128gb SD card installed. I plan to use the internal storage for Spotify offline music.


#11

Thanks for your efforts. I have pretty much disabled everything too but some I was unsure about.

-Paul-


#12

Well, I was able to root the DAP using KingRoot, and then swap it out with the proper SuperUser SU app instead which is more trustworthy than KingRoot (possible malware) and remove all the left overs from its install from my system.

Then I tried to install over AptX HD but doesnt seem to work.

I did change the system to force the use of the DAC for 16 bit audio in 3rd party apps, or so I think:

The Build.prop file has this line commented out (#) and so I removed the hash from it:
audio.offload.pcm.16bit.enable = true

Trying to see what other small enhancements I can make.


#13

Wow, that’s great work Anthony. I am no programmer and don’t really mess with software. I did a little Basic back in the day, but that’s it. If you do end up getting it all sorted out perhaps I will have to PM you and you can show me how to do it.

-Paul-


#14

Yea sure thing. I am going to be testing some battery saving mods right now using an app called Amplify. This app looks at all the services running on your phone that keep it busy and then tells you what is safe to limit or disable altogether. You can set that service to only bug your android system X many times per Y time that you set it at. It really helps figure out the problem childs that are hindering battery performance.

What’s kind of neat is that I used to use all these tools and mods a few years ago when I was using phones on Android 5 and before, but with the newer versions of Android, many of these little tweaks are no longer needed. It’s a little bit of nostalgia to go back to these old tools and re-learn how to use them again.


#15

I remember back in the day rooting around on the old Android’s … I used to love getting Android running on non-android phones… HTC Windows phones in particular lol… I loved the first android…G1 I think with the roller ball and slide out keyboard


#16

Yea! I had the G1. Two of them actually. I have a fun story. Totally off-topic. But since you and Torq are locals, you may appreciate it a little bit more.

I loved that original G1 and this is why. It’s incredibly durable. How do I know?

I took it snowboarding with me. I went to Alpental with it. If you aren’t familiar, it’s one of the steeper terrain in the states and I of course was going off into the trees and doing stupid stuff. Apparently, I was doing stupid stuff with my pockets unzipped. I lost my phone in the woods, on a snowy mountain.

A year or so goes by, and I randomly get an email from a guy who works at my company. He found my phone on a summer hike! He happened to stumble upon it during his hike and took it home, charged it up and turned it on. He found out who I was in the contact info and looked me up on company network and found me. I eventually got it back and everything was working surprisingly! It survived snow, freeze/thaw cycles, water, rain, baking in the sun, and dirt and crap – no case on it.

At that point, I already had upgraded to the G2, which I still have in my desk drawer.


#17

I almost wish they would put out a retro version of it with updated aesthetics and internals that would be dope! I would probably get one lol


#18

This is great work Anthony. All your hard work will help me I am sure. I appreciate everything your doing. I know your doing it for your Dap too but it’s going to teach me something in the process.

-Paul-


#19

That’s one hell of a phone. I wonder if the new ones would fare as well. Mind you some are now waterproof.

-Paul-


#20

I brought the DAP to work today and had it off the charger since 6AM and it was down to about 14% 13 hours later. It was playing music for the majority of that time (even when I was in meetings, i just left it on).