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Portable DAC for iPhone

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This is a tough one because Apple hasn't let many companies take the digital output from an iPod. You would need something like the Wadia i171 to get the digital stream from the iPod, then into a DAC etc... It's kind of ugly.


Your best bet is probably to take the analog line out from the bottom connector and into an amp. I believe ALO has some products like this.


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The Onkyo ND-S1 and I understand the new Pioneer docks are also digital, but not what ajay556 was asking for.


I too wonder why there has not been such a product say from Headroom or Ray Samuel, may be Apple is asking for too much money.


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  • 6 months later...

Sorry to drag up an older thread for a first post, but I'm looking for the same thing. I'm working on a stereo in a boat that is running directly from an iPhone.


Some Alpine head units are able to run out of the bottom of the iPhone/iPod and use their onboard DAC. The anolog signal out of the bottom is much better than headphone jack, and looking at it with a o scope it looks to be clean and doesn't clip. The only issue is that there is no volume control, so I run that through a line driver to get control of the volume on the way to the amp.


Hopefully that will help someone out with this kind of project.


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There are a number of devices on the market that might work. One that might do the trick is the HRT istreamer, http://www.headfonia.com/hrt-istreamer-released/. It supports digital playback from an iphone but does require AC power which may be an issue for you. The most common solution for improving the sound from a portable audio device is a headphone amplifier. Two inexpensive portable headphone amps are the nuforce icon mobile and the fiio e-7 headphone amp; there are plenty of others on the market. One nifty aspect of the fiio e-7 is that it can be coupled with the e-9 to provide usb playback when you are at home, http://www.inearmatters.net/2009/11/fiio-e7-e9-news-update.html.


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Thanks, the isteamer looks very interesting, and would be useful even if it didn't work out in the boat The AC power could be supplied with an inverter which could have other uses in the boat as well. II've been uncertain about whether or not it would be a good idea to use a headphone amp to power a signal to the other amps, and I wouldn't have much use for a headphone amp. I'm too rough on the portable devices to justify nice headphones.


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The Gem looks interesting as well, but the price is a little much to be using it in the boat. I figure that these things aren't going to be terribly durable to begin with in a humid environment with lots of vibration. To tell you the truth, it's such a different environment than even a car that I don't know if it will make a difference, but I'm always up for trying out new gadgets.


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