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I was looking at the Chord Mojo as a portable DAC, and I am wondering if anyone could suggest a DAC that would:

 

1- Not have background hiss with efficient in ear monitors (Noble K10 customs)

2- Able to drive a high impedance as well (eg Sennheiser HD-600)

3- Has it's own battery

4- Can be directly connected to an iPhone (I don't know that the Mojo can)

5- Can be directly connected to a Sony NW-ZX2

6- Can convert bitrates higher than 192, and a least DSD128

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thx!

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

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chord mojo

iFi micro idsd

 

or you can wait a few months.

 

Audioquest (makers of the good bang for the buck Dragonfly)

is coming out with 3 new dacs early 2nd quarter...all upgradeable with firmware

and supposedly were made to be more versatile with a host of both android and ios laptops and devices (something that the original dragonfly 1 and later 1.2v--which i have--was not good with.

 

a black one at 100 to replace the current model (will be cheaper and also have better specs they say)

and a 'turbo' red one, only $200 but supposedly can drive more demanding cans

...will have a better chip than the black one, too.

and lastly a blu tooth wls beetle dac.

 

review here and releaese/discussion at CES 2016 show

vimeo video in article has some good points on how and why the new products were developed

CES 2016: AudioQuest mobilise DragonFly Black, Red USB DACs | DAR__KO

thanks to the always informative john darko

 

one thing i totally dig about the dragonfly is it's size and small footprint...i think the red one, if the reviews are good, will fly off the shelves like hotcakes given its pricepoint and now supposed added versatility for a bunch of portable devices...add it to a smartphone or such and bob's your uncle....so wish iFi and chord had a smaller footprint (am sure they will as the tech matures and the demand grows for it)

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I was looking at the Chord Mojo as a portable DAC, and I am wondering if anyone could suggest a DAC that would:

 

1- Not have background hiss with efficient in ear monitors (Noble K10 customs)

2- Able to drive a high impedance as well (eg Sennheiser HD-600)

3- Has it's own battery

4- Can be directly connected to an iPhone (I don't know that the Mojo can)

5- Can be directly connected to a Sony NW-ZX2

6- Can convert bitrates higher than 192, and a least DSD128

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thx!

Sony PHA3, not sure if you can play hi-res in combo with iPhone though...

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chord mojo

iFi micro idsd

 

or you can wait a few months.

 

Audioquest (makers of the good bang for the buck Dragonfly)

is coming out with 3 new dacs early 2nd quarter...all upgradeable with firmware

and supposedly were made to be more versatile with a host of both android and ios laptops and devices (something that the original dragonfly 1 and later 1.2v--which i have--was not good with.

 

a black one at 100 to replace the current model (will be cheaper and also have better specs they say)

and a 'turbo' red one, only $200 but supposedly can drive more demanding cans

...will have a better chip than the black one, too.

and lastly a blu tooth wls beetle dac.

 

review here and releaese/discussion at CES 2016 show

vimeo video in article has some good points on how and why the new products were developed

CES 2016: AudioQuest mobilise DragonFly Black, Red USB DACs | DAR__KO

thanks to the always informative john darko

 

one thing i totally dig about the dragonfly is it's size and small footprint...i think the red one, if the reviews are good, will fly off the shelves like hotcakes given its pricepoint and now supposed added versatility for a bunch of portable devices...add it to a smartphone or such and bob's your uncle....so wish iFi and chord had a smaller footprint (am sure they will as the tech matures and the demand grows for it)

 

my apologies for not reading your original request properly

the soon to be released dragonfly wont have its own battery and only does 96 i believe.

but guess we'll see as the reviews come out on it....the red turbo looks most interesting.

 

but the mojo and iF micro idsd seem appropriate

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my apologies for not reading your original request properly

the soon to be released dragonfly wont have its own battery and only does 96 i believe.

but guess we'll see as the reviews come out on it....the red turbo looks most interesting.

 

but the mojo and iF micro idsd seem appropriate

 

+1 for the iFi Micro iDSD.

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi wireless > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > iFi Audio xDSD + iFi Audio xCAN > Focal Elegia

Home Theater - Mac Mini running Roon Server > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Pioneer Elite SC-81 > MartinLogan Motion series home theater speakers + M&K subwoofer

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I have the NWZX2 (and ZX1) and the PHA3. I do not notice much improvement with the PHA3 but then my Westone W40s are probably not in the same category as your Nobles. I did upgrade the cables to silver with the TRRS (Moon-Audio) and have not tried with the PHA3 yet. I find subtle improvements straight from the ZX2.

 

May I ask why the DAC? Note that I have not figured out how to pass DSD intact out of the ZX2. Even with the PHA3 and its funky usb cable the ZX2 passes only PCM...converts the DSD internally. If I want DSD I use my Android phone.

 

Hiss? I have to max the volume to hear hiss from ZX2. Not sure if any is present with the silver cables.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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Pono? Meridian Explorer or Direct?

Pono is a player. I have a Sony NW-ZX2.

Meridian does not support DSD, I don't think can be connected to an iPhone, and is not self-powered.

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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I have the NWZX2 (and ZX1) and the PHA3. I do not notice much improvement with the PHA3 but then my Westone W40s are probably not in the same category as your Nobles. I did upgrade the cables to silver with the TRRS (Moon-Audio) and have not tried with the PHA3 yet. I find subtle improvements straight from the ZX2.

ZX2 + Noble K10 is magical - no hiss, and the relatively low power output of the ZX2 is not an issue. But the ZX2 cannot drive other headphones - it has a terrible time with the HD600/HD650.

 

Anyone has an opinion on the Oppo HA2?

 

Thanks all for the recommendations.

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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May I ask why the DAC? Note that I have not figured out how to pass DSD intact out of the ZX2. Even with the PHA3 and its funky usb cable the ZX2 passes only PCM...converts the DSD internally. If I want DSD I use my Android phone.

 

Check this Tech Note from Oppo. It explains how to play DSD files without conversion to PCM using their HA-2 Portable DAC.

OPPO Digital - Knowledge Base

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iFi iDSD Nano or Micro.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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Check this Tech Note from Oppo. It explains how to play DSD files without conversion to PCM using their HA-2 Portable DAC.

OPPO Digital - Knowledge Base

 

Hmmm....I am aware of that cable (WMC-NWH10) but I thought it was just to convert to micro usb or the Type A. I thought I had read in the Head-Fi forums that the NWZX2 would not output DSD at all no matter the cable...but I may have misunderstood. I will pick one up to test.

 

Thanks for the link.

 

Chris

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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If the Onkyo app can play 192kHz or DSDto 128 and somehow output via a USB A, there's a chance the PHA-3 can pick it up.

 

It take it a CCK = Camera Connection Kit or dongle for the Lightning connector?

Yes, would just have to try it, I think some DAC's work this way with iPhone others don't (I don't use iPhone for audio). The ZX2 sounds so good on it's own, most DAC's I've tried inc the Oppo HA2 and Mojo are a downgrade IMO.

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Yes, would just have to try it, I think some DAC's work this way with iPhone others don't (I don't use iPhone for audio). The ZX2 sounds so good on it's own, most DAC's I've tried inc the Oppo HA2 and Mojo are a downgrade IMO.

It does sound great with efficient in ear monitors. But it cannot drive my bigger cans (HD600/650). What I have used so far is a Ray Samuels Predator (only the analog amp in it) but wondering if a Mojo or similar might be better.

 

Thx.

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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It does sound great with efficient in ear monitors. But it cannot drive my bigger cans (HD600/650). What I have used so far is a Ray Samuels Predator (only the analog amp in it) but wondering if a Mojo or similar might be better.

 

Thx.

 

you might like this poster's views: (sorry it's from a headfi thread as the person has both the iFi micro idsd and the chord)

 

see post # 3 by h1f1 addicted

http://www.head-fi.org/t/789009/chord-mojo-vs-ifi-micro-idsd-vs-m9xx-optional-vs-audeze-deckard-lcd-3-or-sony-xba-z5

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It does sound great with efficient in ear monitors. But it cannot drive my bigger cans (HD600/650). What I have used so far is a Ray Samuels Predator (only the analog amp in it) but wondering if a Mojo or similar might be better.

Thx.

Just FYI, when I don't need to be mobile I also use an old Headroom Micro (with Headroom Desktop modules) as an analog amp with the HD600/650. Amazing the company doesn't exist anymore, amazing amp and includes analog crossfeed.

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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I would be interested in what you end up doing. While the PHA3 works with my Android phone, I find it redundant with the ZX2 with my Westones. Perhaps balanced cables (PHA3 has dual output jacks for balanced) or "better" IEMs will make a significant improvement. That might be worth trying...PHA3 with balanced cables feeding your Sennheiser or Noble. The PHA3 is a bit heavy and has a short battery life (5 hrs). Plus I do not think it will charge while playing.

 

I am more inclined to see if a ZX3 comes around and what it might offer.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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I would be interested in what you end up doing. While the PHA3 works with my Android phone, I find it redundant with the ZX2 with my Westones.

With my Noble K10, no question, no need for an amp - in fact adding the Predator was detrimental in this case. For HD600 (which I like better than the HD650) I do need the Predator or the Headroom amps.

 

I think I might get the Mojo from a place I can return it and give that a try.

mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

system pics

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I would be interested in what you end up doing. While the PHA3 works with my Android phone, I find it redundant with the ZX2 with my Westones. Perhaps balanced cables (PHA3 has dual output jacks for balanced) or "better" IEMs will make a significant improvement. That might be worth trying...PHA3 with balanced cables feeding your Sennheiser or Noble. The PHA3 is a bit heavy and has a short battery life (5 hrs). Plus I do not think it will charge while playing.

 

I am more inclined to see if a ZX3 comes around and what it might offer.

 

Apologies to Miggy for the OT post.

 

I've got a ZX1 that I picked up used in Akihabara and I am considering getting an ZX2 when I'm there again in May but it would nice to hear what you think about the differences in sound quality between the two models.

 

TIA,

 

Tom

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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