Here are my selected short comparisons with other DAPs below.
Lotoo Paw Gold
The Paw Gold is still one of the most resolving and transparent DAPs available in the market today. Its successor, the Touch is also incredible, but its price is ridiculously high compared to the DTR1.
Nevertheless, the DTR1 puts up a similar performance with the Paw Gold in terms of technicalities. Their presentations are of course different, and the Paw Gold has that mid-bass touch that sounds much fuller and warmer in the bass department. The DTR1 stays reserved and it actually is more refined with smaller bass but with more control and refinement.
Mids sound similar with both, but because of the mid-bass difference, the transition to the mids is warmer and meatier in the Paw Gold. So like I said, the DTR1’s flatness might not be your best bet, but its transparency and resolution in the mids is quite the same.
The treble part is better in DTR1 in my opinion. Just like in the lows, it controls the peaks and aggressive parts better, whilst the Paw Gold gives the treble with a more aggressive presentation. That explains why it sounds somewhat edgy with certain IEMs. The DTR1 copes with this better and I think it would be my go-to DAP when I’m listening to treble oriented IEMs/headphones.
The Sony WM1A is one of my favorite DAPs ever, but even from its BAL output, you don’t quite get the technical level that the DTR1 provides. There’s a noticeable difference in transparency and resolution. Sure, the WM1A gives a wider and deeper sound-stage with nice imaging, but the DTR1’s separation and overall stereo imaging is absolutely great.
Therefore, except the sound-stage, the WM1A doesn’t perform at the same level. It’s a good all-rounder, more so than the DTR1, but there’s no contest to be honest. No doubt the WM1A does have advantages with its incredible battery life, perfect UI, USB DAC, Bluetooth Receiver Mode and several DSP options. But for the sound part alone, the DTR1 is better.
iBasso DX220 with Amp 9
The iBasso DX220 is great with its high level of sound and streaming features. Yet, to my surprise, the DTR1 has the edge in terms of pure sound quality, except the sound-stage (and that’s just me).
The Amp 9 module gives the DX220 good warmth and tonality together with a nice 3D staging. But that simply doesn’t change the fact that the DTR1 still has excellent transparency and resolution with incredible imaging. The dynamism on the DTR1 is better too, which is something many people miss nowadays in my opinion.
Of course DAPs like the DX220 are not direct rivals of the DTR1, but I wanted to give our readers a rough idea about its incredible performance. It doesn’t miss anything when compared to other flagship DAPs in terms of sound quality.
The Dethonray DTR1 is easily the DAP of the year in my book, and I will include it in our Best of 2019 selections. If you want a device that can just play your music archive, there’s not a better option that I can give you. There’s nothing else better for this price tag. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, my claims are relevant to you as far as your choices match with this device’s targets. Its goal is simple and single; giving the best sound quality possible. So if you’re on the lookout for a pure DAP, just get a high capacity MicroSD card, put your archive on it, and hit play. You will not be disappointed.
With its incredible value, the DTR1 now deserves a spot in our Best Portable Player Recommendations.