I have tried a few stuff and here are some feedbacks on them.
My objective is simple (pun intended).
To decode DSD files and listen to them on the road. Even DXD if possible. The point is, if I can reach that resolution, that means I could play almost any thing.
Biggest problem is storage. A DXD file could be as large as 1GB per piece of music! Having portable large storage would be the only answer. Running around with multiple microSD cards is possible as well, but of diminishing returns. ~4 pieces of 64GB cards, I can get a 1TB wireless drive...
So the first try:
DLNA server -> iPhone 5s -> HUGO -> JH16pro
This setup I try 8Player and Hibiki (both are free version). I use a standard DLNA to test (rather than purchase the Seagate Wireless Plus).
- Plays nicely FLAC 24/192khz files from my DLNA server.
- Refuses to place DoP FLAC files. Not unexpected as I've read, only DOP ALAC embedded file could be read. But it is not easy doing that, and doing from DoP FLAC -> ALAC is not right.. somehow..
So, 8Player plays well from DLNA system, but limited only to FLAC based files.
- Very similar to Onkyo player.
- Plays DSF and DFF natively. Including WSD. No conversion needed.
- Plays to very high resolution, not only DSD128 but DXD and above as well.
- Does not play streams from DLNA, need to load file locally.
- Sounds really good actually.
Above are from iPhone 5s.
And I found a disadvantage from the above mentioned system. iPhone could not be charged in parallel while the music is played via CCK. So inevitably, we will run out of juice pretty soon on this. But this appears to be the only way to play native DSF and DFF files.
Than I tried iBasso DX90.
Of course, it uses microSD. I have 2-3 cards for my GoPro and it worked well. (DoP Flac)
So I tried external storage. How? Simple, because, iBasso does OTG. Get the right cables and you are up and running.
I have an external 2TB 3.5" drive for my desktop. I formatted it to ExFat and copied some DoP FLAC files onto it. It played perfectly!
Unfortunately, iBasso had similar issue to 8Player. It plays DSD via DoP FLAC. But at least its FLAC and it is decoded as DSD properly.
This would mean for DX90 to be used, the drive has to be formatted to ExFat. (Something Seagate Wireless is not supporting - only NTFS).
So comes Lacie Fuel. It is the only wireless external drive with external USB and ExFat format. Unfortunately I have not played with this yet. Will purchase this soon.
By chance, I decided to try the following. Connect DX90 directly to a 2.5" portable drive (only powered via USB). The drive powered up just fine! At this moment, I could not read the drive as its Filevault encrypted. I need to try it on another drive. It is in office and will update accordingly.
So at this moment, the likely way for both to work is (to be confirmed):
Lacie Fuel (1 or 2TB) Hacked -> iPhone/iPad -> CCK -> HUGO -> JH16pro
Lacie Fuel hacked -> USB -> iBasso DX90 -> HUGO -> JH16pro
or (if it works)
2.5" external HDD -> USB -> iBasso DX90 -> HUGO -> JH16pro (iBasso will need to power the HDD)
note : Why the hacked version of Lacie Fuel? Because the hacked version have MiniDLNA. And there is also an updated version of DLNA that could support streaming DSD..., need to try. The hacked version does full FTP and such, so it is more a small computer than the crippled original version.