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USB headphone AMP with Android Phones, possible ???

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 

Is it possible to use USB amps with android phones ???

I think I Read somewhere that Ice cream sandwich does support it, but the phone I am going to buy have 2.3x

Could any one confirm that ? usb would be the best since the sound chips in phones are not very good..so I would prefer to have the sound through the usb..

post #2 of 81

Amplifiers do not improve the sound quality of your music. What they do is amplify the signal (ie make the headphones louder). This might make your headphones sound better if they require more power to function optimally.

 

And android phones currently do not have a line out to connect to an amp. This will improve the line out signal and make the music sound more clear if your headphone jack is crap. So all you will achieve by adding an amp to your setup via the 3.5mm jack is increasing the power output.

 

What improves the music from your phone is a DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) chip, or as you put it, the sound chip. The problem is that the current android OS's available do not support external USB DACs. Even iphones require a proprietary chip from apple to bypass the iphone's own DAC. 

 

However, with the coming of the ice cream sandwich OS, google is rumoured to open up the USB capabilities which should allow for DAC and amp makers to utilise the mini usb port on android phones as possibly line outs or program the signal to go through it, allowing for external Dac support.

 

In short, no you cant use amps or external DACs with current android phones. 

post #3 of 81

I think you meant to say DAC instead of an amp. 

 

DAC improves the sound while Amps increase loudness.

 

edit: Ah ThaJm, Beat me to it.

 

post #4 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaJM View Post

Amplifiers do not improve the sound quality of your music. What they do is amplify the signal (ie make the headphones louder). This might make your headphones sound better if they require more power to function optimally.

 

And android phones currently do not have a line out to connect to an amp. This will improve the line out signal and make the music sound more clear if your headphone jack is crap. So all you will achieve by adding an amp to your setup via the 3.5mm jack is increasing the power output.

 

What improves the music from your phone is a DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) chip, or as you put it, the sound chip. The problem is that the current android OS's available do not support external USB DACs. Even iphones require a proprietary chip from apple to bypass the iphone's own DAC. 

 

However, with the coming of the ice cream sandwich OS, google is rumoured to open up the USB capabilities which should allow for DAC and amp makers to utilise the mini usb port on android phones as possibly line outs or program the signal to go through it, allowing for external Dac support.

 

In short, no you cant use amps or external DACs with current android phones. 


I don't know where you're getting your information but plenty of Android phones have a line out, I see no reason why this wouldn't work, if you could be a bit more specific that'd help a lot.

 

post #5 of 81

Android phones with a line out? Do you mean the headphone jack? Thats different.

 

The headphone jack is connected to an internal amplifier within the phone. What a line out does is transfer digital audio out of the phone and bypass the internal amp, allowing the digital audio to be received by the external amp which will most likely be "cleaner" than most phone's internal amp.

 

If you plug an external amp to a headphone out its basically like stacking the two amps; the power output will increase, but the initial phone amp is the one that the audio signal is derived from, the second external amp cannot improve the clarity of the signal.

 

However with the ice cream sandwich OS, it might enable the mini usb on most android phones to act as a line out, allowing the signal to travel to the external amp unadulterated

 

I might be wrong btw, not a professional or anything.

post #6 of 81

Amping a phone's headphone-out won't increase sound quality. Only volume. Amping a true line-out could result in better sound quality but there is no phone around that actually has a true line-out, apart from the iPhone when you use a LOD. 

 

BUT!

 

When you flash your Android phone with a custom ROM like Cyanogenmod7's latest nightlies, you can enable USB-HOST mode. This enables you to hook up driverless USB DACs to your Android's micro-USB port. You have to use a USB adapter though and a powered USB hub for this to work. If you set it up right, your Android can stream it's music playback through the USB DAC and that way increase sound quality. 

 

 


Edited by Negakinu - 11/16/11 at 12:53am
post #7 of 81

An actual av out, most of them have it, typically micro hdmi or miniusb, boom there ya go.

post #8 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negakinu View Post

When you flash your Android phone with a custom ROM like Cyanogenmod7's latest nightlies, you can enable USB-HOST mode. This enables you to hook up driverless USB DACs to your Android's micro-USB port. You have to use a USB adapter though and a powered USB hub for this to work. If you set it up right, your Android can stream it's music playback through the USB DAC and that way increase sound quality. 

 

 


I see, might have to try that out, although i have some reservations on rooting my phone. Thanks, and you too Funkmaster. Hope we answered the OP's question.

 

post #9 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaJM View Post


I see, might have to try that out, although i have some reservations on rooting my phone. Thanks, and you too Funkmaster. Hope we answered the OP's question.

 



Indeed, rooting doesn't have to be risky, just make a backup

post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkMasterFlex View Post

An actual av out, most of them have it, typically micro hdmi or miniusb, boom there ya go.



Not sure about the HDMI part, but just because a phone has a mini/micro USB port, doesn't mean that the OS will allow for audio data to go through it, the same way the 30-pin dock does on an iPhone.. Hopefully my Atrix will get the ICS update.. *fingers crossed*.

post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Pocalypse View Post



Not sure about the HDMI part, but just because a phone has a mini/micro USB port, doesn't mean that the OS will allow for audio data to go through it, the same way the 30-pin dock does on an iPhone.. Hopefully my Atrix will get the ICS update.. *fingers crossed*.



Most of the new ones at least, and if it has any av out then audio will be part of that. The Atrix eh?

post #12 of 81

If amps only improve the loudness, does that mean we only need to find an amp that can drive a can to the loudness we desired and that's it??? No need for any fancy amp???

post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negakinu View Post

Amping a phone's headphone-out won't increase sound quality. Only volume. Amping a true line-out could result in better sound quality but there is no phone around that actually has a true line-out, apart from the iPhone when you use a LOD. 

 

BUT!

 

When you flash your Android phone with a custom ROM like Cyanogenmod7's latest nightlies, you can enable USB-HOST mode. This enables you to hook up driverless USB DACs to your Android's micro-USB port. You have to use a USB adapter though and a powered USB hub for this to work. If you set it up right, your Android can stream it's music playback through the USB DAC and that way increase sound quality. 

 

 



Is it possible to turn my android phone into a USB DAC to play the music files in my laptop? I think my phone has better sound than my laptop.

post #14 of 81

There's more to it than loudness, if an amp is poor quality, it'll sound bad coming out of it, same for the DAC. Look at the NFB-12 from Audio GD

post #15 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by umvue View Post



Is it possible to turn my android phone into a USB DAC to play the music files in my laptop? I think my phone has better sound than my laptop.



No.

 

Well, you could enable USB HOST on your Android phone and hook up an external HD filled with music. That way you could play your music archive through your phone's music player app. Sounds a bit like a hassle though. Just get a decent USB DAC and you can hook it up to your phone (if you decide to flash a custom ROM) and your laptop. 

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