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Android phones and USB DACs - Page 280

post #4186 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post

Does someone know if new smartphone/tablets have been announced yesterday ay the MWC 2014[/URL][/COLOR] that :

- Support USB Audio out without downsampling
- Has more than 64 Gb of internal memory / Micro-SD slot.

Does Android 4.4 bring some hopes about the Support for USB Audio out without downsampling ?

There are no changes in Android 4.4 which improves USB Audio, and Google has not gone public on any such improvements in the future. Basically, it is up to chip suppliers and OEM's to do such changes, which is difficult since the whole Android framework is buiot upon resampling into 48kHz/16 bits.

However, Sony Mobile presented two new products yesterday, the Xperia Z2 phone and T2 tablet, which offers high-res audio over USB, through what we call "Direct mode". Basically we completely bypass the audio framework and send the decoded audio data directly to the USB driver without any processing or any mix-in of notifications, ring signals, et c. We also replace the USB driver and the FLAC decoder, to support 192kHz and asynchronous USB Audio Class 2. The only thing we change in the data stream is that we pad 16 bits to 24 and 24 bits to 32 when required by the DAC. Together this gives us the ability to support replay of FLAC and WAV at any sample rate from 44.1 to 192kHz at either 16 or 24 bits.

This is part of the overall Sony High-Res initiative, by which we want to bring back the excitement of high quality music reproduction and leave hard-compressed MP3 behind us.

As product owner for this feature I will be available in this forum to try to answer your questions and note any criticism we can use to improve our products.
Edited by Xp-Audio - 2/25/14 at 11:18pm
post #4187 of 5935

Great list, DanBa. Thanks for that!

post #4188 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZtechfreak View Post

Not sure if already on your list DanBa, but Z1 Compact working with USB audio (tested with HeadAmp Pico only, unfortunately my Glacier needs repair).

 

Thanks!

 

It was included in the compatibility list:

. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact using USB Audio Player PRO (smartphone):

http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/30/sony-xperia-z1-compact-review/

http://bit.ly/1gA7aTx

 

I guess your Xperia Z1 Compact can work with your Pico without the need to use UAPP.

post #4189 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinValentine View Post
 

 

Way more excited about this than I was about the Galaxy S5 launch.


Agreed! 24/192 built in DAC, real Hi-Rez screen, and SD card capability up to 128GB......

 

Nothing else even comes close.

post #4190 of 5935

Thanks for the info, XP-Audio! Please keep us posted with more information about compatibility, supported bitrates, etc. Might not be a bad idea to see if Sony Mobile could send out a couple of demo units to some of the more prominent and able members of the community (DanBa and NZTechFreak come to mind, although I don't know if they'd be interested) to test out compatibility and get some impressions available to everyone. I'm not sure how familiar you are with the culture around here, but one thing that some manufacturers do is set up a "tour" for a device that consists of getting a list of names (anywhere from 5-50) of people interested in trying out a product, and then shipping it to the first, who ships it to the second, etc, until everyone has heard it. The stipulation for the tour is generally that each person who gets an opportunity to try out a device has to post their impressions. 

 

Anyway, don't know if you or your company would be interested in something like that, but it might be a good way to get your product out there, if you feel pretty good about the sound quality it produces. Thanks for posting ;). 

post #4191 of 5935
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanBa View Post
 

 

Thanks!

 

It was included in the compatibility list:

. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact using USB Audio Player PRO (smartphone):

http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/30/sony-xperia-z1-compact-review/

http://bit.ly/1gA7aTx

 

I guess your Xperia Z1 Compact can work with your Pico without the need to use UAPP.

 

Correct, UAPP not required. Get a Dragonfly 1.2 any day now, will be interesting to see if any devices can manage that without UAPP.

post #4192 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xp-Audio View Post


There are no changes in Android 4.4 which improves USB Audio, and Google has not gone public on any such improvements in the future. Basically, it is up to chip suppliers and OEM's to do such changes, which is difficult since the whole Android framework is buiot upon resampling into 48kHz/16 bits.

However, Sony Mobile presented two new products yesterday, the Xperia Z2 phone and T2 tablet, which offers high-res audio over USB, through what we call "Direct mode". Basically we completely bypass the audio framework and send the decoded audio data directly to the USB driver without any processing or any mix-in of notifications, ring signals, et c. We also replace the USB driver and the FLAC decoder, to support 192kHz and asynchronous USB Audio Class 2. The only thing we change in the data stream is that we pad 16 bits to 24 and 24 bits to 32 when required by the DAC. Together this gives us the ability to support replay of FLAC and WAV at any sample rate from 44.1 to 192kHz at either 16 or 24 bits.

This is part of the overall Sony High-Res initiative, by which we want to bring back the excitement of high quality music reproduction and leave hard-compressed MP3 behind us.

As product owner for this feature I will be available in this forum to try to answer your questions and note any criticism we can use to improve our products.

 

 

This is great news Xp-Audio, congratulation to SONY, but what is the MAX capacity of those devices ? Are they expandable by Micro-SD ?   

 

Also, besides FLAC, can they play ALAC (and other formats) at 24/192 without downsampling when streaming out to an external DAC ?

 

Do they play (out to external DAC) at 24/192  with the stock SONY player or a Google Player ?  Does this player support playlists ? Do you have screen shot of those players ? 

 

thanks in advance

post #4193 of 5935
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post


This is great news Xp-Audio, congratulation to SONY, but what is the MAX capacity of those devices ? Are they expandable by Micro-SD ?   

Also, besides FLAC, can they play ALAC (and other formats) at 24/192 without downsampling when streaming out to an external DAC ?

Do they play (out to external DAC) at 24/192  with the stock SONY player or a Google Player ?  Does this player support playlists ? Do you have screen shot of those players ? 

thanks in advance

Z2 has micro SD slot, so up to 128gb expansion on offer there.

I would think the audio over USB should work with any music player, but certainly at the very least will work with the stock Sony player, which does have usual player features like playlists.

Not sure about ALAC.
post #4194 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theogenes View Post
 

Thanks for the info, XP-Audio! Please keep us posted with more information about compatibility, supported bitrates, etc. Might not be a bad idea to see if Sony Mobile could send out a couple of demo units to some of the more prominent and able members of the community (DanBa and NZTechFreak come to mind, although I don't know if they'd be interested) to test out compatibility and get some impressions available to everyone. I'm not sure how familiar you are with the culture around here, but one thing that some manufacturers do is set up a "tour" for a device that consists of getting a list of names (anywhere from 5-50) of people interested in trying out a product, and then shipping it to the first, who ships it to the second, etc, until everyone has heard it. The stipulation for the tour is generally that each person who gets an opportunity to try out a device has to post their impressions. 

 

Anyway, don't know if you or your company would be interested in something like that, but it might be a good way to get your product out there, if you feel pretty good about the sound quality it produces. Thanks for posting ;). 

 

We do send out samples to journalists and reviewers just before product release, but that is usually handled by the local marketing organization. If we can agree about a few people which the forum trust to review thoroughly and fairly, then I will do what I can to convince our local marketers to provide samples. But no promises....

 

When it comes to compatibility testing, I will post our results as soon as possible. Unfortunately we cannot buy and test more than a small fraction of the DAC's available, but I have chosen some products in various price ranges which I feel to be representative. I can possibly arrange for a few more if there is a lot of consensus about such products. but otherwise I was hoping to rely on you to test and complain if you find any issues.

post #4195 of 5935

Plus, remember that with a Ravpower, you can expand memory up to a terabyte+ without using the USB port on the bottom, so the need for extreme amounts of onboard storage is obviated somewhat. Still good to have, though. 

post #4196 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xp-Audio View Post

 

We do send out samples to journalists and reviewers just before product release, but that is usually handled by the local marketing organization. If we can agree about a few people which the forum trust to review thoroughly and fairly, then I will do what I can to convince our local marketers to provide samples. But no promises....

 

When it comes to compatibility testing, I will post our results as soon as possible. Unfortunately we cannot buy and test more than a small fraction of the DAC's available, but I have chosen some products in various price ranges which I feel to be representative. I can possibly arrange for a few more if there is a lot of consensus about such products. but otherwise I was hoping to rely on you to test and complain if you find any issues.

 

Sounds reasonable on all counts to me. Looking forward to seeing how the new devices stack up!!

post #4197 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougr33 View Post
 

 

Well, I wonder if the real trick is the AirStor app.  If it works with a standalone wireless hard drive like the Seagate Wireless Plus 1TB drive, that's exactly what I'd be looking for.  Anyone know any of the thumbdrive-size USB dacs work with the Nexus 5 (or the Samsung Tab Pro 10.1)? I know the dragonfly doesn't.

 

Natively or with UAPP? Anyway, depending on your definition of "thumbrdive-size", you may want to consider M2Tech HiFace DAC, or Resonnessence Labs Herus - both seem to be working with UAPP.

post #4198 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xp-Audio View Post
 

 

We do send out samples to journalists and reviewers just before product release, but that is usually handled by the local marketing organization. If we can agree about a few people which the forum trust to review thoroughly and fairly, then I will do what I can to convince our local marketers to provide samples. But no promises....

 

When it comes to compatibility testing, I will post our results as soon as possible. Unfortunately we cannot buy and test more than a small fraction of the DAC's available, but I have chosen some products in various price ranges which I feel to be representative. I can possibly arrange for a few more if there is a lot of consensus about such products. but otherwise I was hoping to rely on you to test and complain if you find any issues.

 

We REALLY appreciate this type of initiatives by big vendors! 

 

This is one of those rare and pleasant examples of companies REALLY listening to consumers, and coming up with improvements people really need, instead of pumping up screen size or pixel density!

 

Thumbs up for this from me! :-)

post #4199 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZtechfreak View Post


Z2 has micro SD slot, so up to 128gb expansion on offer there.

I would think the audio over USB should work with any music player, but certainly at the very least will work with the stock Sony player, which does have usual player features like playlists.

Not sure about ALAC.

The "Direct" output to USB should work with all media players which are using the "Player" component in the Android framework for music playback (basically, what this component does is opening a particular file upon request by the player app, and sending it to rest of the framework; when our high-res is activated, this file is unpacked/decompressend and is then routed directly to the USB driver). I am right now listening to a 88.2kHz file using Google Music, and the DragonFly glows in amber which is the 88.2 kHz indicator.

 

I am sorry that I cannot publish any screen shots yet, the software is still not finalized.

 

We currently support FLAC and WAV up to 192kHz. MP3 and AAC are supported at their native sample rates before compression (44.1 or 48kHz). ALAC is not currently supported. I have requested ALAC support, but it has been down-prioritized (and I cannot comment on future products or product updates). If you have ALAC files, you can use XRecode or similar programs to quickly convert between lossless formats without any impact.

 

Other formats generally supported by Android should work, at those sample rates supported by our chip supplier, but has not been in the scope of this feature and have not been verified - we have focused on formats generally available for high-res downloads.

 

The available user memory is approximately 12 GB out of the box; this memory is shared with downloaded apps and their data (the rest of the 16GB is reserved for Android and preloaded apps, etc). The SD card slot has been verified for up to 64GB; I hope we will soon be able to verify the new 128GB cards from SanDisk.

 

I am not sure if can state that we officially "support" this, but for me it works to use a small portable router between the USB OTG cable and the DAC. You can then connect a USB stick and play tracks from that. I will discuss with the product team if this voids your warranty or not....

post #4200 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xp-Audio View Post
 

I am not sure if can state that we officially "support" this, but for me it works to use a small portable router between the USB OTG cable and the DAC. You can then connect a USB stick and play tracks from that. I will discuss with the product team if this voids your warranty or not....

A small portable USB hub you mean, right? 

 

This is an old trick, and I am not sure it can somehow be related to warranty...

 

Another question: can you share with us the power limitations for OTG mode on Z2? I.e. how much current can the phone provide, before we see the deadly "The connected device requires too much power" message?

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