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iPods and External DACs

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

Once again, the newbie has a question. Recently, I've been thinking about getting a DAC to pair with my iPod, but I've read all over on Head-Fi that external DACs (e.g. FiiO E07K/E17) will only work as an amp when paired. Is this just a misconception, or do DACs only work with a *specific* range of iPods? Thanks for the help in advance.

post #2 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas L View Post
 

Once again, the newbie has a question. Recently, I've been thinking about getting a DAC to pair with my iPod, but I've read all over on Head-Fi that external DACs (e.g. FiiO E07K/E17) will only work as an amp when paired. Is this just a misconception, or do DACs only work with a *specific* range of iPods? Thanks for the help in advance.

No, as long as it is MFi by Apple it will work for all of them.  For example, my VentureCraft Sound Droid Typhoon only listed to support recent iPod/iPhones, but my 1st gen iPod Touch running iOS 3.1.2 still works fine with it.  There maybe minor issues like charging and what not here and there if it is not officially supported, but I have not heard a MFi DAC that will not work with an iPod/iPhone at all when it is not supported.

 

Here is a list of MFi DAC/AMP for your consideration above FiiO's:

Apogee ONE ($250, more for Mac and recording, but also serves as a DAC/AMP for iOS)

Sony PHA-1 ($350), PHA-2 (pending)

VentureCraft Go-DAP DD Socket 1 (DAC only, $328-426, ~$150 w/minor case defects)

VentureCraft Sound Droid Typhoon ($523)

V-MODA VERZA ($600)

Fostex HP-P1 ($650)

ADL X1 ($650)

CypherLabs AlgoRhythm Solo -R or -dB (DAC only, $500/$700)

CEntrance HiFi-M8 and varient ($700)

VentureCraft Go-DAP TT ($823)

CypherLabs Theorem 720 ($900)


Edited by DrSheep - 9/23/13 at 4:55am
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 

Oh my, of course their quality is higher, as well as their price >< What's with the VentureCraft DD Socket One? Defects? That I might be interested in. 

post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas L View Post

Oh my, of course their quality is higher, as well as their price >< What's with the VentureCraft DD Socket One? Defects? That I might be interested in. 

It posted about that in the VC DDS1 trend, but basically is just some very minor surface dings that didn't passed QC that VC sell pretty much at cost on their Japan Rakuten webshop.  It gives a "Ship to Japan Only" warning but that's not true, as VC ships international via EMS for about 2500 yen to the US. 


Edited by DrSheep - 8/26/13 at 7:35am
post #5 of 41
The algorhythm solo original is a excellent dac to pair with the ipod also. The new solos are using akm chips simular to the hpp1. Where as the older solos use wolfson dac imo its a better dac more aggressive sound then the akm. The only differences are the extra bells and whistles the new solos have but again imo if you are going single ended and not balanced I dont see the benifit and again I still like the wolfson dac chip
post #6 of 41

Can the new ALO International be added to the list? I am also trying to navigate the waters around which iPhone/iPad/iOS version will work with what DAC/Amp and with what cable. Confusing, but kind of fun to do all of the research as well.

 

I have been able to figure out over the last 24 hours is that iPads and jailbroken iPods or iPhones all work, but not 'normal' iPhones or iPods. Seems to be only 30-pin models that work? Still unsure.

post #7 of 41
What on earth are you talking about? All MFI DAC/AMP works with any iDevice out of the box with 30 pin or Lightning cable.
post #8 of 41

..l am not sure that was the response I was anticipating, especially the tone. Ok, let's reset the conversation.

 

From everything I have been reading only certain DACs work with iPhones if the external DAC is desired. And from what I read most external DACs are bypassed and only the amp section is used.

post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by voteforpedro View Post

..l am not sure that was the response I was anticipating, especially the tone. Ok, let's reset the conversation.

 

From everything I have been reading only certain DACs work with iPhones if the external DAC is desired. And from what I read most external DACs are bypassed and only the amp section is used.

Only if you use 30 pin to analog LOD, all MFI DAC/AMP I listed, including the ALO you mentioned, take digital input from 30 pin to USB, so it will uses both the external DAC and AMP.

post #10 of 41

Gotcha. Thanks.

post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by voteforpedro View Post

Can the new ALO International be added to the list?

 

I do not believe the International is 'new' new or certified MFI, but if others are getting results with cck and you are relying upon that...

 

Also the ADL X1 is out in some places: http://www.custom-cable.co.uk/adl-x1-usb-dac-and-headphone-amp.html (although I am concerned by reports of hiss if you are an IEM user)

post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFC_SL View Post

I do not believe the International is 'new' new or certified MFI, but if others are getting results with cck and you are relying upon that...

Also the ADL X1 is out in some places: http://www.custom-cable.co.uk/adl-x1-usb-dac-and-headphone-amp.html (although I am concerned by reports of hiss if you are an IEM user)

Nice, and I think the X1 will give the VC SDT some competition.
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFC_SL View Post

 

...but if others are getting results with cck and you are relying upon that...

Sorry for my ignorance. What does cck mean?

post #14 of 41

...and this is where I keep getting confused. If something isn't certified by Apple will the DAC portion still work? Hence my original question about the ALO and whether it will work with iPods, iPhones, etc etc.

 

It's tough to jump into this world and have to figure out things piecemeal.

post #15 of 41
No, non-MFI, like FiiO's, can only take analog line out from an iPod and it will still uses the internal DAC. The whole point of MFI is to take digital output from iPod and decode it with their own external DAC.
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