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Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter & USB DACs


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12 hours ago, One and a half said:

The Airport Express maxes at 48kHz, the Camera adapter can output 192kHz sampling rates. The airport express also runs very hot which I don't like.

 

 

I wondered about the quality difference with the Airport Express. Thanks.

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 3/29/2017 at 7:59 PM, darascal said:

Be forewarned that with standard Lightening/USB2 CCK with iPhone 7, there are many reports of pops/clicks with Dragonfly B/R. I have DFR & have this experience, forced to exchange for lightening/USB3 (probably a better choice anyway, but still aggravating.)

 

Audioquest: "In some rare instances, the combination of an iOS device in conjunction with the standard CCK and DragonFly Black or Red causes a clicking in the background of the music.

Neither we nor Apple have been able to determine why that is, but in circumstances where this occurs we’ve found that using Apple’s Lightning to USB 3.0 Camera Connection Kit resolves the problem."

 

Apple:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7685241?start=0&tstart=0

this is a shame.  I bought CCK v3 for this reason, but would love to revert to the sleeker CCK version as it's less bulky.  Any chance the pops/cracks have been ameliorated by ios updates?  If so, I will hold onto this one for it's versatility.  I can confirm, like OP, that I can push power hungry DACs provided it's plugged into power.  But I'd also like to have the smaller one for OTG use if it'll work without SQ issues on the dragonfly red!

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  • 2 weeks later...

just as an update to those interested.  I have both CCK adapters now and can verify both working without any pop/cracks/pauses/skips/hiccups/whatever.  

 

The original CCK turns the DFR off when audio isn't streaming, which is a plus.  It also seems to be drawing less power, but I haven't done any timed battery tests yet.  Sound between the two is negligible, and I have to spend more time to make any absolute statements.  

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On ‎04‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 3:16 AM, One and a half said:

I didn't know Redbook or any other sampling frequency file sent by wire/less had SQ standards to adhere to.

They don't  as files don't have a 'sound quality'.

 

The bits should  get there 'good enough' or if  they  aren't you will hear  clicks  and pops but there is no 'gradual degradation'. That's  what 'digital' is for.

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  • 1 month later...
On ‎02‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 12:21 AM, buonassi said:

 I have both CCK adapters now and can verify both working without any pop/cracks/pauses/skips/hiccups/whatever.

 

So was this fixed in the "original" CCK (the one w/o charging capability) on Apple's or AQ's side? I'm contemplating buying it again (I bought it a while back, but exchanged it for the 3.0 because of the constant pops/clicks. Trying to gauge if it's worth the risk to try it again - I like the lighter, more minimal form-factor.

A: Mac Mini => Peachtree Nova => LFD Integrated Zero Mk.III => Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 | Musical Fidelity X-CAN V-8 => AKG K 701

B: Airport Express = > Benchmark DAC1 => Rega Brio-R => B&W DM 601 S2

C: Airport Express => AudioEngine A2

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55 minutes ago, darascal said:

 

So was this fixed in the "original" CCK (the one w/o charging capability) on Apple's or AQ's side? I'm contemplating buying it again (I bought it a while back, but exchanged it for the 3.0 because of the constant pops/clicks. Trying to gauge if it's worth the risk to try it again - I like the lighter, more minimal form-factor.

at the time of my post, I had whatever was the latest ios version on an ipod touch 6th gen, and ran tidal hifi for hours on end, both with the old CCK and newer one that allows charging while playing.  I had updated the DFR to the latest firmware as well.  No issues with either CCK on ipod touch.

 

As to whether or not it was apple or AQ that fixed it, I have found nothing that supports that either party did.  On the AQ website, they still recommend the newer v3 CCK and cite "pops" and allude to lesser sound quality of the older, slimmer model.  

 

Anecdotally, I was able to observe better battery life with the older CCK, but never did any official recording of the figures.  I do recall about an hour more play time with the older CCK on the ipod touch - which has a tiny battery in it.  4 hours with newer CCK, and 5 hours with older CCK.  Dare I say the light on the DFR was a bit brighter with the newer CCK as well, but I really only observed this as a side note, and didn't do side by side in the same lighting conditions to know for sure.  So, take that with a grain of salt please.  If you or others are truly interested in me doing a test in the same light environment, I can, but i don't have a lux meter, it'll have to be based on my lackluster 38 year old eyes.  

 

In addition, the older CCK automatically shut off power stream (unmounted) to the DFR after it was idle for a minute or so, which is nice.  My ipad air (v1) didn't like this though and would power cycle if this happened with the older CCK.  ipod touch 6th gen, didn't do this.

 

So I used the newer CCK with my ipad and the older with my ipod touch.  I can't say one sounded better than the other, but my damn brain that works too logically sometimes kept telling me the newer CCK must sound better because it's getting a tad more juice from the host device's battery.  So I did an AB with them, very elementary comparison, no DBT.  I kept wanting to say "yes" the newer CCK is a tad better, but that could have been expectation bias.  I'm usually able to pick certain, repeatable queues out when I a/b my gear and state with confidence when I perceive a difference.  Perhaps its a reverb decay of a cymbal, or some other small clue like the punch and control over bass.  But I just couldn't put my finger on one of these "tells" when I did the A/B with the CCKs and my best in ear monitors.  So SQ between the two is negligible if any at all.  At least with my Angies.  

 

I hope this has been helpful.  You may as well just pick up a used one for under $20 and see.  

 

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks buonassi & sorry for the late reply, I hadn't noticed your post.

 

AQ says "the combination of an iOS device and ... standard CCK and DragonFly... causes a clicking in the background of the music. Neither we nor Apple have been able to determine why that is"

 

So it sounds like it wasn't fixed, but perhaps some OS or firmware update serendipitously resolved it.

A: Mac Mini => Peachtree Nova => LFD Integrated Zero Mk.III => Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 | Musical Fidelity X-CAN V-8 => AKG K 701

B: Airport Express = > Benchmark DAC1 => Rega Brio-R => B&W DM 601 S2

C: Airport Express => AudioEngine A2

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I read the same thing on the AQ website and figured, what the heck, I'll try it myself anyway.  For me, it works just fine.  Then again, I've only tested it with tidal app.  

 

I did notice something the other week.  When left connected and music is not playing the older CCK would make my ipad power cycle (happened a couple times before I just disconnected it).    The newer CCK does no such thing.  Nor did any of the CCKs make my ipod reboot, go figure. 

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  • 6 months later...

Hi all

 

Thought I’d share my thoughts on the CCK3. I got it to combine my iPad with a Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital DAC/amp to use whilst traveling. Bottom line: everything works flawless, connection was uneventful (iPad requested an update upon connecting CCK3) and sound quality (Sennheiser HD700) is on par with my main rig (home-built Windows 10 multimedia system).

 

Although no MQA from Tidal on iOS, to my surprise the iPad seems to be able to output up to 96kHz. 

 

I’m happy with this solution, as I see no reason to acquire a laptop to replace the iPad as a music player while staying away from home.

 

Pros:

-ease of use

-acceptable sound quality

-inexpensive (if one already has an iOS device)

 

Cons:

-bit messy with all the cables

8963F289-990F-4750-9BCA-25D7013E5512.png

9EEDB875-CE5D-46D5-BF29-3ECFBCD38039.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Alphapenguin said:

Although no MQA from Tidal on iOS, to my surprise the iPad seems to be able to output up to 96kHz. 

 

Just saw this:

 

On 12/3/2017 at 9:09 AM, One and a half said:

The Airport Express maxes at 48kHz, the Camera adapter can output 192kHz sampling rates. The airport express also runs very hot which I don't like.

 

Also, I managed to get MQA using Roon, configuring the iPad to both render and decode. My interpretation is that the signal from Roon core is then passed through to the iPad USB output, letting the S2 Digital handle it exclusively. 

 

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0214E5CE-F161-4924-BFE0-4823A0783613.png

03083CF2-7C93-453B-91FE-63C39F8C9B31.jpeg

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8 hours ago, Alphapenguin said:

 

Just saw this:

 

On 12/3/2017 at 3:09 AM, One and a half said:

The Airport Express maxes at 48kHz, the Camera adapter can output 192kHz sampling rates.

 

 

The CCK just passes through what it is given, e.g . I can play DSD files using the Onkyo HF Player app with the iPad connected (via CCK) to my DSD capable DAC.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Alphapenguin said:

 

Just saw this:

 

 

Also, I managed to get MQA using Roon, configuring the iPad to both render and decode. My interpretation is that the signal from Roon core is then passed through to the iPad USB output, letting the S2 Digital handle it exclusively. 

 

37573131-E815-410A-B7F4-0252A4443EE9.png

0214E5CE-F161-4924-BFE0-4823A0783613.png

03083CF2-7C93-453B-91FE-63C39F8C9B31.jpeg

 

With Roon playing to my iOS device to DAC, I have no issues with DSD256 and PCM768kHz via CCK.

 

Just depends on your WiFi network of course. But you can test yourself - ask Roon to up-sample to PCM768k , to see if your network is up to it. Your Pro-Ject S2 DAC can input PCM768k over USB.

 

The Apple CCK is indeed handy.

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8 hours ago, Alphapenguin said:

Also, I managed to get MQA using Roon, configuring the iPad to both render and decode. My interpretation is that the signal from Roon core is then passed through to the iPad USB output, letting the S2 Digital handle it exclusively. 

 

Yep, just have your iOS device set to 'do not disturb' because audio alerts and calls will interrupt your music playback. So it's not 100% 'exclusive mode' but that's an iOS limitation, not Roon.

 

Do not disturb mode sorts this out though.

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  • 1 year later...

Finding this thread is like finding that gold at the end of the rainbow. I don’t own a decent DAP player yet but wanted to increase audio experience as spend most of my time in hospital. Lightning to 3.5 inline dac’s are limited in every way and would drain power. This solves all of these issues. Thank you to those taken the time to share their knowledge. This really will help get through the challenges ahead

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On 5/21/2016 at 7:25 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

Hi Guys - I originally posted a question about using this adapter with the AudioQuest DragonFly Red (link). Since answering this question by purchasing the adapter myself, I've since discovered how cool this thing is and think a thread for the Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter by itself is a good idea.

 

Here's the story.

 

Apple's standard lightning to USB camera kit does allow connecting a USB DAC to an iOS device, but most DACs have an issue sucking too much power and won't work. the iOS device throws up an error. On the other hand, DACs like the new DragonFly Red will work with the standard adapter but there's no way to charge your iOS device at the same time. For example, I want to use my iPhone and DragonFly Red on a plane to Italy next month, but I don't want to use all my iPhone battery.

 

The new solution is the $39 Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter. this adapter enables both USB DACs and power from a lightning cable simultaneously.

 

After purchasing the adapter today, I ran some tests and found great things.

 

It works with USB DACs like the DragonFly Red and any lightning charger.

 

It also works with main system USB devices like the Berkeley Audio Design Alpha USB. The Alpha sucks a lot of USB power and has never worked with an iOS device in the past. The one caveat to this is that you must power the adapter / iOS device with a 10+ watt charger like this one (Apple 12 watt charger).

 

I was able to stream bit perfect 16/44.1 audio from the Tidal app on my iPhone 6 Plus.

 

I was able to stream 16/44.1 audio bit perfect using JRemote and the play to this device option. However, JRemote didn't deliver bit perfect playback on 96, 176.4 and 192 content. The sample rate was correct but something was wrong with the bit depth.

 

I was able to play 16/44.1, 24/96, 24/176.4, and 24/192 from my iPhone 6 Plus to the Alpha USB using FLAC Player.

 

 

This is a really cool adapter with a lot of potential. I think many CA readers will have tons of ideas about how to use this with an iOS device to play music to a good DAC. I'm sure some will use an UpTone Regen on the USB as well :~)

 

 

 

 

 

Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter - Apple

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 10.41.09 PM.png

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 10.41.03 PM.jpg

I bought a third-party Lightening camera adaptor from Amazon. Brand is LAOSUI, $14.99. Takes USB “A”, USB “C”, flash card, and micro SD Card. Works perfectly with iOS 13.X. Of course, we won’t know about iOS 14, until it ships next month. But I have had no issues. I’ve even put music on a flash card, plugged it into this adapter and it plays through the iPhone/iPad perfectly! Of course, I still have an iPhone 6S, so it has a headphone jack (the last one to do so?) as does my iPad 6. $15 is way cheaper than Apple’s $39, and of course this one is more versatile than the Apple adapter as well.

 

George

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