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Android phones and USB DACs - Page 59

post #871 of 5075

Are any of those usb-2-go DACs going to rival the DX100? the DX100 uses the ES9018 DAC. Almost all the iBasso kit that the Samsung Galaxy S III drives uses the Wolfson WM8740. So I wonder how these DACs compare.

post #872 of 5075
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe Tag View Post

Are any of those usb-2-go DACs going to rival the DX100? the DX100 uses the ES9018 DAC. Almost all the iBasso kit that the Samsung Galaxy S III drives uses the Wolfson WM8740. So I wonder how these DACs compare.

As a previous owner of the DX100 (and might get it back), I can confirm that it sounds amazing, big size wise, but amazing.
Comparing it to the Note2 is wrong (completely different), even when amped the Note2 loses, why?

Simple answer, 192/24 support! the Note 2 with a DAC/amp, even if the DAC supports that bit, it will not be able to play bit by bit (Android is limited to 44.1, and Ibasso had to bypass this by its own driver/player).

The synergy in the DX100 between its components (DAC,amp..) just work with almost any IEM or full headphone

The software of the DX100 is its Achilles’ heel . Its slow (Gingerbread Android version), hangs a lot , and had some issues in SQ between different firmwares, but the latest firmware took it to a new level (unfortunately I missed that version) in SQ.

Ibasso might open its API to other developers to update their players to support DX100 (they work but there is a huge gap in sound) like Power-amp and Neutron , and will be able to play 192/24 bit bit by bit

Back to Samsung, Apex Glacier & Note2 is better, not in SQ but as a whole package.(Power-amp showing song's album-arts looks amazing on the Note2, and the UI fast , really fast ). What works for me might not for others, its a matter of priorities &/or prefrences.

If SQ is all what you care about (and can bare all the cons), go for the DX100 and never look back.

Ibasso might remove Play-store support and kill other processes not audio related, in a future updates, to improve the UI lag, so ...
post #873 of 5075
Thread Starter 
I find all this talk of 24-bit limitations a bit strange personally. Anyone here done an ABx test in Foobar to see whether they can actually really hear any difference? Don't want to derail the thread with the whole debate about 24-bit sound, just curious to see whether anyone has actually tested themselves.
post #874 of 5075
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZtechfreak View Post

I find all this talk of 24-bit limitations a bit strange personally. Anyone here done an ABx test in Foobar to see whether they can actually really hear any difference? Don't want to derail the thread with the whole debate about 24-bit sound, just curious to see whether anyone has actually tested themselves.

Between 44.1 and 96, yes I can could hear the difference (talking about the DX100) , but between 192 & 96 , nope...complete deaf here!
post #875 of 5075
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post


Between 44.1 and 96, yes I can could hear the difference (talking about the DX100) , but between 192 & 96 , nope...complete deaf here!

 

You could reliably tell a difference in a Foobar ABx test?

post #876 of 5075
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZtechfreak View Post

You could reliably tell a difference in a Foobar ABx test?
If you mean to ABx a song for 30min to discover a difference yes, but in a quick AB ,not with all songs. DAC, amp and the Headphones play big role in this test , right? with JH16, I could Definitely hear the difference than by other IEM.
post #877 of 5075
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post


If you mean to ABx a song for 30min to discover a difference yes, but in a quick AB ,not with all songs. DAC, amp and the Headphones play big role in this test , right? with JH16, I could Definitely hear the difference than by other IEM.

 

Certainly the whole chain has an impact, I don't think anyone would contend otherwise. Interesting, thanks.

 

I'm with you on the S3+USB DAC/amp rather than something like the DX100. Sound quality is still excellent, but a much better user experience overall too. Also, a better investment getting a quality portable DAC/amp in terms of utility for many - use with laptops, future devices.


Edited by NZtechfreak - 11/21/12 at 12:50pm
post #878 of 5075
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

Simple answer, 192/24 support! the Note 2 with a DAC/amp, even if the DAC supports that bit, it will not be able to play bit by bit (Android is limited to 44.1, and Ibasso had to bypass this by its own driver/player)...

As Android is open source, there is practically no limitation.

An example:
Google people don’t implement the standard USB audio in their so-called reference Google Nexus devices.
Samsumg people have implemented the standard USB audio in their Galaxy S3 / Galaxy Note2 / Galaxy Note 10.1.

Another example:
The current stock Android is limited to 44.1, iBasso has removed this limitation in the Android of the DX100.
Others can also remove this limitation.

“Android OS uses Audioflinger, which only can produce 16/44.1. We have our own API for the DX100's music player to achieve 24/192 playback.“ [iBasso]
http://www.head-fi.org/t/592076/ibasso-dx100-true-24-bit-for-bit-reviews-impressions-inst-downloads-imgs-video-pg-1/9030#post_8865306

Open source Audioflinger can be modified
http://gitorious.org/android-eeepc/base/blobs/08defa03546578b8c71a26668de8ff8feed727fd/libs/audioflinger/AudioFlinger.cpp

or replaced by other software module like PulseAudio:
http://arunraghavan.net/2012/01/pulseaudio-vs-audioflinger-fight/
post #879 of 5075
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanBa View Post

As Android is open source, there is practically no limitation.
An example:
Google people don’t implement the standard USB audio in their so-called reference Google Nexus devices.
Samsumg people have implemented the standard USB audio in their Galaxy S3 / Galaxy Note2 / Galaxy Note 10.1.
Another example:
The current stock Android is limited to 44.1, iBasso has removed this limitation in the Android of the DX100.
Others can also remove this limitation.
“Android OS uses Audioflinger, which only can produce 16/44.1. We have our own API for the DX100's music player to achieve 24/192 playback.“ [iBasso]
http://www.head-fi.org/t/592076/ibasso-dx100-true-24-bit-for-bit-reviews-impressions-inst-downloads-imgs-video-pg-1/9030#post_8865306
Open source Audioflinger can be modified
http://gitorious.org/android-eeepc/base/blobs/08defa03546578b8c71a26668de8ff8feed727fd/libs/audioflinger/AudioFlinger.cpp
or replaced by other software module like PulseAudio:
http://arunraghavan.net/2012/01/pulseaudio-vs-audioflinger-fight/

Yes, I agree with you, but currently can you name an android DAP/phone with the ability to play 192/24 with or without a DAC?
I hope this situation will change sooner than later, as I want this as many . I was just stating that until someone wakes up and do something about this, the DX100 is currently the only 192/24 Android player. mad.gif
Please correct me if I am mistaken.
Edited by turokrocks - 11/21/12 at 2:34pm
post #880 of 5075
At the beginning of this topic, there was no Android phone with digital USB audio out.

The progress is usually made step by step. Now we are only at the first step.
The open source Android is young, but the 24/192-capable ALSA USB audio of the Android Linux is mature: we should step up quickly.
http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Main_Page

In the future, I expect Android modders/developers will enhance the USB audio feature like Amarra or Audirvana for the Mac OS. It should be easier to modify the open source Android.
http://www.audiostream.com/content/media-player-qa-q6-it-more-beneficial-handle-upsampling-media-player-or-dac
http://www.amr-audio.co.uk/large_image/MAC%20OSX%20audio%20players%20&%20Integer%20Mode.pdf
http://soundcheck-audio.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/touch-toolbox-30.html
post #881 of 5075

Just to be clear, certain features require kernel or driver features, which may be supplied by the manufacturer as "blobs" and not in source format. Unless the manufacturer already provides the USB host drivers in source form then it is somewhere between very difficult and nearly impossible to implement digital-audio-out featured for that specific device. Even if they do, it isn't child's play and certainly needs to be done on a device-by-device basis. In some cases, the required hardware features may not be there, not wired to the rest of the phone, or even disabled in the bootloader.

post #882 of 5075
The AudioFlinger is not at the kernel level.





The ALSA Kernel Driver of the Galaxy S3 / Note2 is able to drive USB Audio Class 2 (UAC2) devices (i.e. USB DAC playing up to 32/384).
https://github.com/sgs3/GT-I9300_Kernel/blob/master/sound/usb/card.c#L246
post #883 of 5075

While there is AOSP code down to the JNI layer, the USB driver is phone/kernel specific. Unless the USB driver supports host mode to be able to manage the DAC client and stream audio samples to it, it doesn't matter how well it is supported in the libraries. There is also typically a switch in the device to set the USB connector up into different modes which needs the proper driver support. As this level of control is typically at the register or GPIO level, it isn't just a "plug-and-go" kind of thing, even when the phone architectures are similar. As a specific example, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G does have the proper hardware, but none of the "complete" kernels at this time support USG-OTG or any other host mode.  

post #884 of 5075

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

As a previous owner of the DX100 (and might get it back), I can confirm that it sounds amazing, big size wise, but amazing.
Comparing it to the Note2 is wrong (completely different), even when amped the Note2 loses, why?
Simple answer, 192/24 support! the Note 2 with a DAC/amp, even if the DAC supports that bit, it will not be able to play bit by bit (Android is limited to 44.1, and Ibasso had to bypass this by its own driver/player).

The synergy in the DX100 between its components (DAC,amp..) just work with almost any IEM or full headphone

The software of the DX100 is its Achilles’ heel . Its slow (Gingerbread Android version), hangs a lot , and had some issues in SQ between different firmwares, but the latest firmware took it to a new level (unfortunately I missed that version) in SQ.

Ibasso might open its API to other developers to update their players to support DX100 (they work but there is a huge gap in sound) like Power-amp and Neutron , and will be able to play 192/24 bit bit by bit

Back to Samsung, Apex Glacier & Note2 is better, not in SQ but as a whole package.(Power-amp showing song's album-arts looks amazing on the Note2, and the UI fast , really fast ). What works for me might not for others, its a matter of priorities &/or prefrences.
If SQ is all what you care about (and can bare all the cons), go for the DX100 and never look back.

Ibasso might remove Play-store support and kill other processes not audio related, in a future updates, to improve the UI lag, so ...

 

 

Regrettably I'm opening a can of worms here, specifically: "Now that we have usb2go android phones, is the DX100 obsolete". Coming in and peeing on the DX100 campfire is not going to make me any friends. But we have to look at it. And the debate has several dimensions. 

- Pure Sound Quality

- Is 96K important (or audible in double blind. or convenient - how exactly do I get my 50K song library into 96K format...)

- Convenience

- Cost

 

So really you have to put a weight on those factors, and I'm not even sure where I stand. The main argument for the DX100 is, that its unrivaled SQ. I have to ask though, with the dozen and growing list of USB DACs, surely one of them can touch the DX100. Remember the DX100 is not $850 worth of DAC, its $500 worth of phone plus $350 worth of DAC. And, that $500 worth of phone goes a lot farther when spent towards a Galaxy S III. And here we get into whether a light modern phone with a fantastic big OLED screen and Android Jelly Bean etc. etc. I guess my point is there is no way iBasso can keep up with Samsung, they can't even get the software up to date. 

 

Well I guess them's fightin' words but here is a truce that would make everyone happy. Get Cyanogenmod to support usb2go, and then port it to the DX100. And iBasso opens its API. Not my decision, but it is in fact the right thing to do, and the DX100 sales will be taking a hit now that usb2go is taking off. Hear me now, believe me later. 

 

 

turokrocks, yeah I need to understand bit by bit. I mean where do people get all these 96K music files I'm missing out on? I am not sure I could see upsampling from a CD at any stage in the chain as adding any information to the music. 

 

Of course, I'm never proposing using the DAC in the phone. I'm talking about using the superior UI (and light weight, and bugless software, and OLED screen, etc.) of the S III, but only trusting the S III to transport the music purely digitally and out the USB port. 

 

At that point, are there really NO portable USB DACs that can touch the DX100? Are people saying that this is because you can't send 192/24 over usb2go (is this true)? It seems like a technicality to me, 99.999% of the music comes off CD rips. 


Edited by Toe Tag - 11/21/12 at 8:58pm
post #885 of 5075

well if someone can somehow make the gs3 output 24/192 and the cypher labs people make the -db compatible with the gs3 then you will have an unstoppable portable rig :D

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