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DAC/Amp + Android Phone vs. Standalone Player Battery Life?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone, this is my first post. I've been a lurker here for years though. I need help figuring out the best way to listen to high quality music while I'm backpacking. I am currently using my Samsung Galaxy Proclaim running Neutron to play .flac into Shure se535's. I have about 6 extra batteries so I can also update my blog and take pictures. My goals are to have louder, clearer and more bassy sound with less distortion when I turn it up and and lower noise or hiss during silent passages. My ideal solution would be a standalone player with a built in quality DAC and amp that runs off of lithium AA's so I can go for a week without recharging (which is usually limited to spending a couple of hours in a restaurant along the trail.) As far as I know such a player does not exist.

 

I'm upgrading my phone to the LG Optimus Showtime, which runs Android 4.0, on Tuesday. This makes using a portable DAC/amp from Fiio or iBasso a possibility. So my first question is how does the sound quality of this combination compare to using a standalone player like a Cowon D3 or Z2? If I did this, which DAC/amp has the best battery life? Are there any that run on disposable batteries? Otherwise, which standalone players have the longest battery life or, better yet, is there a standalone player with a quality DAC/amp that runs on disposable or at least interchangeable batteries?

post #2 of 9
If you like Android, have you looked into the Galaxy S3 or Note 2 phones? They have very good SQ as is, but you can upgrade the SQ by rooting them and installing a different kernel.

If you find a phone that sounds good to you but just need more power, you might like the C&C BH amplifier. Up to 80 hours of battery life: http://www.head-fi.org/t/644363/c-c-bh-portable-headphone-amp-80-hours-from-a-single-charge-buyer-review You could always get one of those mobile recharger packs to give it extra juice.
post #3 of 9

If you are looking for a DAC/Amp I can suggest you FiiO E07K. It lasts up to 40 hours in one charge and has good quality for the price.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Wow thank you for showing me the C&C BH that looks really cool. 80-100hr battery life, great sound but bad EMI rejection. Is there a way to get a line out from the LG phone for this or is that necessary? Maybe I could just get a sansa clip+ too.

 

As for getting an S3 or Note 2, I'm limited in which phones Walmart offers their accidental damage plan on, which is a must for me. Those two are not available.

 

So back to my original question, is the sound quality comparable between a good standalone player like a cowon and an android source feeding and external usb amp/dac like the E07k?

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by razmataz909 View Post

Wow thank you for showing me the C&C BH that looks really cool. 80-100hr battery life, great sound but bad EMI rejection. Is there a way to get a line out from the LG phone for this or is that necessary? Maybe I could just get a sansa clip+ too.

As for getting an S3 or Note 2, I'm limited in which phones Walmart offers their accidental damage plan on, which is a must for me. Those two are not available.

So back to my original question, is the sound quality comparable between a good standalone player like a cowon and an android source feeding and external usb amp/dac like the E07k?

I don't have the answers to your other questions, but the Clip+ might be worth giving a try. It has great low impedance output for IEMs, and the headphone amp in it should have plenty of power for high sensitive IEMs like your Shures. It's often described as comparable in SQ to an iPhone, and I sometimes like the sound of it over my Samsung Note 2. Yet, it is tiny and weighs practically nothing. Would be my choice for backpacking. Wouldn't cost much to return ship to Amazon if you decided you didn't like it.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by razmataz909 View Post

Wow thank you for showing me the C&C BH that looks really cool. 80-100hr battery life, great sound but bad EMI rejection. Is there a way to get a line out from the LG phone for this or is that necessary? Maybe I could just get a sansa clip+ too.

 

As for getting an S3 or Note 2, I'm limited in which phones Walmart offers their accidental damage plan on, which is a must for me. Those two are not available.

 

So back to my original question, is the sound quality comparable between a good standalone player like a cowon and an android source feeding and external usb amp/dac like the E07k?

 

Also this will not be the answer to your question but I am using E07K together with iPhone 4 and also tried it with couple players. I hooked my iPhone to E07K with analogue out (from dock connector to 3,5mm jack) and it worked miracles. I also tried it using it with my work computer (Sony Vaio) through USB and I can easily hear the difference. I know it does not really answer your question but so you know it makes a difference.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks again cel4145. I am leaning toward the Clip+ or a Fuze v1 if I can find one. I listen to a lot of electronic music and per this post about the Fuze electronic music sounds really good played on the fuze with an LOD and a portable amplifier. Does the C&C BH have coupling caps built in? And how does a CMOY stack up to the BH?

post #8 of 9
I don't know about coupling caps, but I do like the C&C BH better than the CMOYs I have heard.

I still would encourage you to try a Clip+ first because of it's tiny size (smaller than a zippo and a whole lot lighter). I have the C&C BH, an E17, and an Objective 2 amp. I don't find it worth double amping the Clip+ with any of those amps except with lower sensitivity headphones that need extra power. The sound is surprisingly good. Then if you rockbox it, that gives you PEQ capabilities and other features that are not available with the default firmware.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I suppose I'll just order a clip+ and go from there. It seems like a 4xAA charger like this Tekkeon would work to give me pretty close to what I'm looking for.

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