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iPhone 5S or 6 Plus as a source?


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Hi,

 

Please don't flame me too badly for this, but I notice that Ken Rockwell has measured the performance of a couple of the more recent iPhones and it appears that, in theory at least, they could perform pretty well as a standalone DAC.

 

Apple iPhone 6 Plus Review

 

iPhone 5 Audio Quality Measurements

 

I can see in one of the reviews that the SNR measurement isn't great, but other than that the graphs seem pretty good.

 

Of course, I will do my own listening tests, since I have an iPhone 5 and am a bit curious, however I was wondering whether anyone has already compared an iPhone to their incumbent DAC and has an opinion, or can find bias/hyperbole in Ken Rockwell's reviews.

 

TIA

 

mac_and_dac

Front End: Neet Airstream

Digital Processing: Chord Hugo M-Scaler

DAC: Chord Dave

Amplification: Cyrus Mono x300 Signatures

Speakers: Kudos Titan T88

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Hi,

 

Please don't flame me too badly for this, but I notice that Ken Rockwell has measured the performance of a couple of the more recent iPhones and it appears that, in theory at least, they could perform pretty well as a standalone DAC.

 

Apple iPhone 6 Plus Review

 

iPhone 5 Audio Quality Measurements

 

I can see in one of the reviews that the SNR measurement isn't great, but other than that the graphs seem pretty good.

 

Of course, I will do my own listening tests, since I have an iPhone 5 and am a bit curious, however I was wondering whether anyone has already compared an iPhone to their incumbent DAC and has an opinion, or can find bias/hyperbole in Ken Rockwell's reviews.

 

TIA

 

mac_and_dac

 

I'm now using an Audioquest Red DAC with my Noble Savant headphones and hear a nice difference. Much better in every category. the phone itself is just ok for me. I use a lot of well recorded high res music and do notice the differences. I have the 128gb 6 plus and just use the cck kit out to the AQ Red with the stock Noble cable (which is of very high quality). JMHO

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Thanks for the reply.

 

Interesting that the phone apparently measures very well but sound quality is perceptibly poorer than when a DAC is added.

Front End: Neet Airstream

Digital Processing: Chord Hugo M-Scaler

DAC: Chord Dave

Amplification: Cyrus Mono x300 Signatures

Speakers: Kudos Titan T88

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Archimago has noticed that recent iOS devices use a minimum-phase filter. For people who don't like the sound of those, that could explain why there are so many reports of these devices not sounding as good as the measurements would suggest. Personally I think minimum phase is a good option to have, but a DAC should be phase- linear by default.

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I too think that the current iPhone is an excellent performing portable source, but only for on-the-go/gym/travel/etc with headphones or CIEMs. For stereo or highend headphone listening at the office or home, I still think its well worth it to invest in a proper DAC.

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