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How small could one make an Amp/DAC combo?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm just curious to know how small you can make one that could drive something like the Hifiman RE262 and still have decent battery life.

post #2 of 15

I think the Pico slim is about as small as is currently available. Though after seeing the Dragonfly, I'm betting it's possible to go even smaller. The only problem would be losing the amp tongue.gif

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

So what about a bluetooth DAC/Amp Combo about the shape and size of this belt buckle?

post #4 of 15

Typically only Audiophiles will go through the trouble of purchasing a headphone amp for hifi music reproduction. Bluetooth is not as good as wired when it comes to transmitting signals, negatively impacting quality. Thus that amp would be targeted a very niche market. There was something similar to what you described on Kickstarter (Vampeo), but it never got fully funded.

post #5 of 15

It didn't have a DAC, but the Xin Micro was pretty darn small for the big sound it could make.

 

I suspect that in general, the limiting factor for size is the battery.  If someone was really motivated, they could put most of the circuit into a much, much smaller surface-mounted IC package.  All it takes is money...

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzjin View Post

Typically only Audiophiles will go through the trouble of purchasing a headphone amp for hifi music reproduction. Bluetooth is not as good as wired when it comes to transmitting signals, negatively impacting quality. Thus that amp would be targeted a very niche market. There was something similar to what you described on Kickstarter (Vampeo), but it never got fully funded.

 

What about something like Wireless USB or Bluetooth 4.0? Both of those have significantly higher bandwidths. 

post #7 of 15

Those would theoretically both work. Just nobody has decided to make one utilizing those technologies yet. I'm not sure how useful it would be rather than just having the amp/DAC parked next to the DAP though.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

I was thinking of something the size of the belt buckle I linked to earlier with a clip to secure it to your pants or shirt with play/pause and previous/next controls along with a switch for a user modifiable selection of EQ settings. Having the amp clipped to something would allow a more consistent and natural spot to reach for the control without having to take your DAP out as opposed to player controls on the cable which move around. Parking the DAP and the amp next to each first off limits where you can put the amp, but it also can make the DAP/amp combo really bulky for you pockets. Clipping the amp somewhere else allows the DAP to stay in your pocket until you actually need to take it out. That and you could connect the amp to speakers and control them wirelessly from your DAP. 

post #9 of 15

What source will you use?

 

Have you seen the GD04 from Venturecraft?

 

http://venturecraft.jp/gadget_en/gd04.php

 

I'd say that is belt buckle size...

 

Jim

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

What do you mean by source?

post #11 of 15
What will be playing your music files?
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Any bluetooth 4.0/Wireless USB enabled device. The amp/dac would be charged via micro USB with the option (if there's space) of a few EQ settings that the user could custom make for each set of headphones and load onto the device and toggle through them. 

 

As far as the size of the GD04, I would say if possible a bit smaller and curved like a belt buckle so it sits more comfortably and less conspicuously on your hip. I'll see if I can throw together a quick rendering of the general idea in the next day or two. 

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzjin View Post

I think the Pico slim is about as small as is currently available. Though after seeing the Dragonfly, I'm betting it's possible to go even smaller. The only problem would be losing the amp tongue.gif

Just want to point out that the Pico Slim has no DAC function.

post #14 of 15
So you are inventing something that does not exist?

Jim
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

That's the idea. tongue_smile.gif 

 

I'm an industrial design student. It's a condition. 

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