So far we have covered just about everything on the upcoming E18, so what is the surprise I have mentioned on the title? Well, if you have been chasing Android news as much as I do, you probably should know that USB Audio is supposed to be part of the Jelly Bean. Yet, besides some flagship devices from big brand that comes with their own custom built USB audio driver, the sad news is most of Jelly Bean devices just won’t detect USB DAC. It is a sad situation that I have experienced with my Xperia TX (JB 4.1.2). I have tried as many USB DAC as I could, but as usually, it keep telling me the USB DAC is drawing too much power, even when I have the USB DAC powered externally. Something in the stock Android USB audio driver or the OS itself seems to be missing, and I even started to doubt whether there is actually a stock USB audio driver or not – then comes the E18, takes my doubt away and turns it into joy. Now my TX has been transformed to a proper audiophile player. Okay, the sound quality isn’t quite as good as a DX100 or HM901, but it sure is more than good enough for day to day listening and way better than the smartphone itself. There is no guarantee that your Android will work, but there is more hope than ever. If anything, I reckon this is just about as close as a ‘must have’ for any Android user who suffer from a sub-par headphone-out on their smartphone.
OMG! Can you confirm again that e18 won't be drawing any extra battery from my phone? This is the life-long issue I have when trying to do DAC/AMP combo with android device. Currently using galaxy s4 and tried to hook it up with Ibasso D-zero before. The sound was great but it drains 20%/hour listening which is ridiculous considering I lose only around 5%/hour max listening directly from the device. If E18 somehow figured out a solutin for that and even give me a better sound quality, it's pretty much everything I ever wish for. Can't wait till it's officially out for retail.