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john61ct

RECO pls, portable DAC/HP amp with MIC integration

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Looking for recommendations for a quality USB input DAC / headphone amp. Please read the below, and please do not recommend something that does **not** fit my needs, e.g. Mojo, Dragonfly. . .

 

I **know** there is nothing that matches all of the below, so I've put them in order of priority (for me). So feel free of course to make suggestions that you think "come close".

 

Never mind budget, for purposes of this thread. No "coming soon" or early stage crowd-funding please. Discontinued older stuff fine, I love tracking / sniping eBay auctions!

 

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My use case is, out & about on a laptop / tablet or Android phone, working remotely while listening to fine music on excellent headphones, when suddenly a boss / colleague or customer calls in via Zoom, Skype, or plain old audio-only phone call.

 

Thus, the product I'm looking for **must** have a stereo microphone input jack,

 

allowing me to instantly accept the call, the computer automatically muting the music as normal, just as if I had phone earbuds or a computer-type headset plugged in directly.

 

I do **not** want to plug a microphone directly into the phone/computer; this unit must use the USB / OTG connection to pass data back and forth bidirectionally.

 

So far I have only seen desktop size devices designed for "gamers" from the likes of "soundblaster"! I'm really looking for high quality audio and my impressions so far is that these are mutually exclusive? Happy to be proven wrong though.

 

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other must-have's:

 

portability, if not a "thumb drive", maybe Schiit size or at lesst will fit in an overcoat pocket or fanny pack (bum bag)

 

must have hardware volume control on the DAC / amp, not rely on the computer / phone controls.

 

must also accept line input, act as an amp without the DAC, for a "quick & dirty" all-analog two-way stereo connection that way (e.g. using LG V30+ quad DACs)

 

ideally via a single analog TRRS "4-pole" jack, but separate mic/headphone would be OK

 

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would be nice's:

 

either super-portable, tiny size, or have a great smooth attenuator pot

top-notch DAC, high res files + streaming formats

 

HPamp plenty of power to drive high-impedance and low-sensitivity "true audiophile" cans to high volume

 

analog microphone preamp is audiophile / broadcast quality, e.g. for recording live music, vlogging / podcasting / live-streaming, ideally compatible with both high-Z and condenser type mic's, balanced or unbalanced

 

analog line out separate from HP jack for use as a DAC / preamp into a home stereo

self powered internal rechargeable battery


ability for USB input to bypass DAC, act as converter to SPDIF output, digital pass-through, ideally TOSlink

 

two headphone jacks, independent volume controls

 

Yes I know, asking a lot 8-) but it's us "unreasonable consumers" help drive industry to innovate!

 

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$5 reward for the member that first suggests what I end up buying.

 

Not counting the unit I've found that comes pretty close, model name three letters with E in the middle. . .

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Hello mods, did this thread not get approved? Is it violating any local mores?

 

 

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  • Apogee Duet (newer model, old Duet 2 does not support Windows)
  • RME Babyface Pro FS

may meet most of your needs.

 

If you'd like to receive Skype phone call while practicing MIDI piano with ASIO synthesizer, I recommend RME

 

On 6/18/2020 at 9:35 AM, john61ct said:

On 6/18/2020 at 9:35 AM, john61ct said:

allowing me to instantly accept the call, the computer automatically muting the music as normal, just as if I had phone earbuds or a computer-type headset plugged in directly.

 

It is called `ducking' and this functionality is provided by OS, it should work on all audio devices:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/coreaudio/stream-attenuation

 


Sunday programmer since 1985

Developer of PlayPcmWin

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On 6/20/2020 at 2:03 AM, yamamoto2002 said:
  • Apogee Duet (newer model, old Duet 2 does not support Windows)
  • RME Babyface Pro FS

 

 

Well OK, thanks, introduction to mixing and recording microphones and music instruments, bit of a different niche market, "USB audio interface" is what they call this product category?

 

Seems that a lot of my investment would be going into stuff I don't actually need?

 

Yes the ability to use a variety of quality microphones is a plus, but I'm only using that for voice, as in speech not singing. . .

 

Really looking for a top-notch **headphone amp** that happens to include a USB DAC + stereo mic input, **reasonable clarity and a low noise floor**, not super high fidelity needed on those last two.

 

Not putting a budget ceiling in here either, but just for comparison, the "near fit" unit I hinted at above is under $200 new.

 

Its main fault is that the "microphone back to USB host" function apparently only works while using its USB-DAC mode, mic gets disabled when listening through the analog line inputs. (???!!!)

 

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On 6/20/2020 at 2:03 AM, yamamoto2002 said:
  • RME Babyface Pro FS

may meet most of your needs.

 

 

Well I truly got sucked down the Audio Interfaces rabbit hole, specifically the RME unit. Sounds like a fantastic solution for next-level SQ recording and mixing.


However, one key requirement is the ability to interface with a USB-Audio compatible Android device,

 

not for mixing software control, just the audio stream output into the DAC+Headphones output, e.g. LG V30 using UAPP to send lossless FLAC via OTG cable

 

and microphone input, both recording and for telephony applications.

 

Did a fair bit of googling, read every word of the manual, no go. Any knowledge on that piece?

 

Oh and yes I'm aware of the power issues.

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