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Portable DAC for I-pod??

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


I'm very new to this (hi-fi headphones & gear), but for a long time have been into hi-fi stereo music.


I was lucky enough to receive a pair of B&W P5's as a gift from my girl!... (Now she's gonna have to put up with it becuase I won't be talking much to her anymore! dt880smile.pngha!)


Here is my quesion:


I want to get a good Portable amp/DAC, but I'm wondering if there is any combo that is actually a DAC for i-pod or i-pad devices (as opposed to using a computer's USB out only); much like the funcions on the new NuForce Icon iDo, but portable/battery powered?


I mainly intend to use it with my 160 GB i-pod playing Lossless files, or my i-pad or i-ph (less quality files) when I'm on the go, as I don't really use headphones much form my laptop or desktop (I can typically be as loud as I want when on the computerbigsmile_face.gif)  


Been reading a bit, but can't seem to find such a thing.


Here is the other thing: I would rather not spend more tan $100~$150.



I also have a pair of Grado iGi, and a pair of AudioTechnical ATH-ANC7B.






post #2 of 7
Congratulations! The P5 definitely needs more juice to sound its best. Obviously, your price restriction will rule out the best option, which is the Algorythm Solo (close to six bills). However, audiophile sound can still be had with a little ingenuity at that price point. What you are really looking for is a dac/amp combo that will interface with the I-device. This solution will only work with the ipad unfortunately but it results in excellent sound. The HRT Headstreamer can be had for $139 and it is a combination dac/amp. You will need two things to make it work with the IPad: an Apple camera connection kit and an ingenious little device called Dr. Bott's T3 Hub. This device fools the dac into running on the iPad since you will always get a message that the device needs more power otherwise. Search the Internet for these items and get the best prices you can and you will only be a little over budget. I use this setup at times and it works!
Let me know if you have any other questions and enjoy the P5's!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Boy!, It would have taken me a long while to figure that out myself!... or most likely I wouldn't have been able to!


Thanks a lot!!



That Algorythm sure is expensive!... To bad for me.

& too bad not easier/cheaper to achieve this for an i-pod... I was affraid that could be the case.


I'll look for your other recommendations for the i-pad. So is the HRT Streamer the one to go for the money?Anything close to it that works on batteries?, or would that defeat the purpose of this trick?




post #4 of 7
Another great option is the Leckerton Audio UHA 6S.... a portable dac/amp of excellent quality with excellent reviews. When you order it new, you can request a factory modification that will enable it to communicate with the iPad. Unfortunately, it is a little more but if you consider that you won't need the other devices and you are getting a very high quality product that you should be happy with for quite some time, the $279 doesn't look like such a bad deal. especially since it also works as a very high-quality amp for your iPod as well.
If that is still beyond the budget, then the Headstreamer is tough to beat for the price/performance. However, you will still need a portable amp for the IPod to be happy with a smaller setup. Choices choices......welcome to head fi. Buy nice or buy twice! If only it was really twice. My advice, save a little more for the Leckerton if you can.
post #5 of 7
I suggest not buying a DAC at all and saving money for future headphone upgrades. I personally did not notice much difference between audio sources until I started buying headphones that cost over $700. The B&W P5 is not revealing and detailed enough.
post #6 of 7
I have had little problem picking out quality differences in sources from headphones that cost far less than $700......as I am sure many here would agree. That being said, at the level of the P5 he can get significantly better sound by putting a Fiio LOD and E11 in the chain. Although the P5's were designed for portable use from an I-device, I found them to benefit significantly with a good portable amp. This is the cheapest option to really improve the SQ for his phones.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

I’m back!... Had a few quite “eventful” days at the office.


Thanks for all the ideas.



Although I’m curious about sound from my i-stuff using DAC’s, it seems like adding the other items to get an inexpensive DAC to run from the i-pad is going to somewhat affect the mobility I’m looking for, and anyways I use the i-ph and i-pod more for on the go listening…

So, I just went ahead and ordered myself an E11 J… I’ll arrive mid next week J


I’ll post “how I feel about it” later.



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