I don't understand, why do people keep using USB DACs (or even headphone amps as preamps) in their cars? First, where will the tablet be mounted that you can easily see the display, choose the next track, and have the traffic light in your peripheral vision? Even cops nowadays depending on the regulations in your area can consider that a driving hazard.
Second, how do equipment made strictly for two channel, equidistant listening
help make the sound in a car "better"? All the better DACs and output stages in the world won't help much if you're still closest to the driver's side tweeter, the driver's side midwoofer next, then the passenger side tweeter, then the passenger side midwoofer, then finally the subwoofer? Plus all the reflections of the tweeter's sound due to its dispersion pattern being the least of the car manufacturer's concerns when they mounted it near the windshield as in most cars. None of these devices have the 3-way crossover (and matching car audio amplifiers capable of driving your upgraded 4-ohm speakers) with 3-way time alignment
that you can find in a $349 Pioneer 80PRS receiver which, compared to the previous models, now has USB. Even //////Alpine has a dedicated media receiver (no transport) that used to support only iPods, but now supports other storage options, and a $149 processor that hooks up to its Ai-Net port (which used to be for their CD changers) so no need to blow money on a PXA-H701 and its dedicated control panel.
Why blow $150 or so on a DAC when the Pioneer 80PRS can work on its own, sending the same processed signal through the speaker amp built into it? You're not "reshaping" or "EQ-ing" the signal, you're introducing time delays to minimize harsh treble and make for a coherent soundstage. If not messing around with the factory-installed dash is a must, there are are two ways around it. First, the factory sound canm with the proper adapters, be routed through the new receiver, which can be mounted on a spare 1-DIN slot. Second option, but this will cost more, is to get one those newer "integration processors" which have basically the same features as other processors, except instead of SPDIF or Ai-Net digital inputs, it has high-level (amplified speaker inputs) to take a signal from the factory receiver, then through an ADC so you can apply the crossovers and time alignment in the digital domain (doing it analog will make the processor too large using whole circuits vs a few microchips), then through quality DACs. Sure, G.I.G.O. applies, but most factory receivers aren't that bad compared to the real acoustic issues in a car that can only be worked around through time alignment in the processor as well as proper installation of the drivers. As much as the 80PRS can be great with just the factory 2-way speakers, I still kind of think of jsut adding a DAC to a car seems like using the same DAC and an amp to use with stock earbuds.
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Car/CD-Receivers/DEH-80PRSEdited by ProtegeManiac - 9/26/13 at 9:16am