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Norton

Advise me on “dongle” type HiRes DAC/HP amp for iPad?

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Looking for something ideally like the AQ dragonfly (in terms of form factor and not needing its own power) but capable with at least  24/192 and DSD 64.  Does this exist, or do I have to go up to a Chord Mojo or equivalent to play these formats on the go?  I presume all also require use of the lightning Usb3 adapter, rather than direct connect to lightning (6th general iPad)?  Thanks.

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Almost all of those dongles should be designed for devices with USB type-C ports these days, therefore the most convenient choices (i.e. no additional cables are required) with DSD support should be down to these guys

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000576291576.html

https://drop.com/buy/hilidac-audirect-atom-pro-portable-dac-amp/talk

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hilidac-Audirect-Atom-Pro-Mobile-Portable-Decoding-Amp-Type-C-Lightning-Cable-/264585799934

 

http://www.cozoyaudio.com/takt/

https://porta-fi.com/cozoy-takt-review/

https://www.amazon.com/Linsoul-Certified-Lightning-Decoder-Headphone/dp/B07W7GVB6S

 

Once we've added that (rather bulky) Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter, the choices should be virtually unlimited and ongoing discussions could be found below

 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/usb-c-to-3-5mm-adapters-dac-lets-find-the-best.908839/

 

Therefore it really depends on your budget and then what kinda IEMs / headphones you're planning to drive.

 


 

Some products might come with built-in USB type-C male connectors on one end, then you'll need similar adapters as shown below

 

https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-QianLink-Compatible-Chargers-Standard/dp/B07S617LN1

https://www.amazon.com/Acessorz-Adapter-Hi-Speed-Charging-Connector/dp/B07Q1GV693

https://www.amazon.com/Upgraded-Connector-Chargers-Standard-Interface/dp/B07VV12VLG

 

For others with USB type-C female connectors, you might / might not be able to skip that Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter with an unofficial product like this but there's really no guarantee to be compatible

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33009721024.html

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Thanks.

 

I should stress that my iPad has a 3.5 jack and sounds quite good with the onboard DAC.  I’m looking for something that improves on this and plays 24/192 and DSD without downsampling etc.

 

From one of  the links you posted, this surprised me:

 

”Cozoy implemented a Cirrus Logic CS42L42 chipset in TAKT with the ability to decode audio formats of up to 384 kHz/32-bit resolution PCM, as well as native DSD decoding of up to DSD128, however, due to the use of Apple’s LAM (Lightning Adaptor Module) based on MFi design requirement ensured that TAKT can only deliver 48kHz/24-bit resolution due to the LAM upstream limitation.”

 

Does  this mean that digital output via an iPad’s lightning port is restricted to 24/48?  If so, it renders my query redundant.

 

This device seems to be exactly what I was looking for, but has been around for a while now and hasn’t generated a lot of attention:

http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/shanling-up-portable-lossless-headphone-amplifier-usb-dac.html

 

 

 

 

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With camera kit USB dongle you can get hires... Best dongle type DAC I've had has been Resonessence Labs HERUS.

 

P.S. I never got Chord Mojo work reliably with my iPhone. Sooner or later I always end up getting full volume blast of white noise with it. And it is always out of battery, since it consumes power also when turned off (less though).

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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1 hour ago, Miska said:

With camera kit USB dongle you can get hires... Best dongle type DAC I've had has been Resonessence Labs HERUS.

 

P.S. I never got Chord Mojo work reliably with my iPhone. Sooner or later I always end up getting full volume blast of white noise with it. And it is always out of battery, since it consumes power also when turned off (less though).

 

Thanks, that’s a great suggestion (other than price).  Despite being a Mirus owner I’d forgotten about the Herus.  So this should work with the current Apple lightning to usb converter without any additional power supply?

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2 hours ago, Norton said:

Thanks, that’s a great suggestion (other than price).  Despite being a Mirus owner I’d forgotten about the Herus.  So this should work with the current Apple lightning to usb converter without any additional power supply?

 

Yes, just testing it once again. As writing this, I'm listening Spotify on my iPhone XS to the Herus using camera connection kit.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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McIntosh MHA50

 

  • Smartphone sized headphone amplifier with DAC
  • Digital inputs for iOS, Android and PC/Mac
  • Bluetooth input
  • Supports PCM to 192kHz, DSD128, aptX

 

I travel with one of these and a pair of Grado IEMs and I love it. Works with iPhone, iPad , or my MacBook and sounds great!


No electron left behind...

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A good place to start are the comparison charts for portable DAC/headphone amps at https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/master-index-of-measurement-comparison-charts.8246/ 

 

While you may not think objectively good measuring equipment necessarily sounds good, I would argue that badly measuring equipment probably does sound bad and should be avoided. If the signal to noise ratio is at a level that it can't even fully resolve CD quality audio, it is not a good option.  The measurements at Audio Science Review (ASR) look at both the signal to noise resolution (SINAD) for the DAC and amp separately and it looks at the output measurements of the small amplifiers.  Its a good place to start and is helpful to at least eliminate some of the choices.


1) Selah Audio Fedele Speakers (Revel in ceiling surrounds)

Marantz SR7008 A/V receiver

QNAP TS-251 NAS accessed w/ Bluesound Node2, and a Ruku Ultra through SPDIF ipurifier

2) Zaph L18 Speakers

Vintage Yamaha (1982) integrated

iphone w/ Audioquest Dragon Black & Pro-Ject Expression w/ AT440mlb

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