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Phone's (built-in) DAC's and their impact on the soundquality of USB-Dac's?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi there :tongue:

 

Great Site! Was a Lurker 'til now, decided to finally post a query (sorry if it was answered before):

 

I've been using my Samsung GT-I9300 S3 through Usb-Audio for a time now (Great Sonics btw), was wondering if I can replace it with a cheaper Phone (or better a Tablet), SHOULD THERE BE SONIC DIFFERENCES?


Reason I ask is:

the phone (I believe) acts as a Music transport, the decoding happens into the USB-Dac, AFTER the Music Stream left the phone, am I right?


IF SO, there should be no reason to invest in a costly Phone...only a basic Android one (if you don't mind High-tech Stuff) RIGHT OR WRONG?

 

My desire is to trade my SGS3 with a Cheap Tablet (buying maybe later a better phone), so i can use the Tablet for Caraudio duties (avoiding the need to buy an expensive Headunit).

Any Input appreciated (especially technically minded ones :D )

 

Thanxs

Daniel

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

Anyone? Nobody interested? :confused_face:

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlhifi View Post

 

the phone (I believe) acts as a Music transport, the decoding happens in the DAC, AFTER the Music Stream left the phone, am I right?

Quote corrected - USB out of a phone is USB out of a phone, the whole point is to bypass the onboard DAC so downgrade away :)  

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidal_orange View Post
 

Quote corrected - USB out of a phone is USB out of a phone, the whole point is to bypass the onboard DAC so downgrade away :)  

 

If I understood You right, this confirms my theory that the quality of the internal DAC of the Tablet (or phone) for Music listening isn't important, IF I WERE TO USE AN EXTERNAL (USB) DAC (wich I do) to drive, say, a headphone...:confused:

 

Thank You for chiming in, would love to hear more opinions (and maybe links to technical stuff related pages) to be really shure :beerchug:

Later

Daniel

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlhifi View Post
 

 

If I understood You right, this confirms my theory that the quality of the internal DAC of the Tablet (or phone) for Music listening isn't important, IF I WERE TO USE AN EXTERNAL (USB) DAC (wich I do) to drive, say, a headphone...:confused:

 

Thank You for chiming in, would love to hear more opinions (and maybe links to technical stuff related pages) to be really shure :beerchug:

Later

Daniel

 

There really isn't anything technical to read about or understand beyond what a Digital to Analogue Convertor does, and that is convert a digital signal into an analogue one.  Once the conversion is done you can't do it again so it doesn't matter how good the onboard DAC is if you're using an external one, and if you're connecting it by USB you definitely are.

 

I guess you could get a cheap phone which has really dirty USB power which would sound worse than one which had clean power (assuming your DAC uses this power), but as the power would be coming from a battery this should be less of an issue than with USB ports on your computer.

 

I'd suggest you should change the title if you want anyone to comment on that side of things, USB OTG is relatively new so I'm not sure anyone's done any measurements along these lines as relatively few phones support it (unless things have improved greatly in the past six months...)

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidal_orange View Post
 

 

"There really isn't anything technical to read about or understand beyond what a Digital to Analogue Convertor does, and that is convert a digital signal into an analogue one.  Once the conversion is done you can't do it again so it doesn't matter how good the onboard DAC is if you're using an external one, and if you're connecting it by USB you definitely are."

 

(Edited for better understanding):

1) Lets clarify my Question: I want(ed) to know if the quality of the internal dac (from a Phone or Tablet) matters if we find a way to bypass it (usbaudio does it redirecting the digital stream through the USB connector attached to a EXTERNAL and STANDALONE dac (like a Behringer uca202 or Hifimedia a.s.o.) so we do actually use the dac from the standalone one.

I'M NOT SAYING IF WE USE THE INTERNAL DAC OF THE PHONE TO CONVERT A DIGITAL SIGNAL INTO AN ANALOGUE! THIS IS ACCOMPLISHED BY THE EXTERNAL DAC!

 

Ok, now for the bad news: I purchased a Tablet, and comparing it with my phone INDEED it sounded worse!

I paired a Samsung gt-i9300 phone with a behringer uca202 dac: AUDIOPHILE BLISS!

Then I swapped the phone with a Nexus 7, and it sounded flat, without flair, in short: really dissapointing.

 

Conclusion (my personal understanding and Experience):

the quality of the internal dac of a phone DOES matter if you are trying to use the new USBAUDIO feature...But then again, I maybe wrong...perhaps I did something wrong down the Road. Who knows?


Edited by rdlhifi - 6/8/14 at 9:43am
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

IF THE INTERNAL DAC OF THE TABLET COULD BE EFFECTIVELY BYPASSED, (USING THE SAME  STANDALONE DAC FOR PROCCESING) WHY THE HELL DID IT NOT SOUND AS GOOD AS WHEN I PAIRED IT WITH THE PHONE?


Edited by rdlhifi - 4/5/14 at 1:40pm
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