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USB 3.1 Type C Will Change Our World

Poll Results: Will USB 3.1 Type-C Change Our World?

Poll expired: Jan 31, 2015  
  • 50% (3)
    Yes
  • 16% (1)
    I HATE USB
  • 33% (2)
    No
6 Total Votes  
post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

This is more of a conversation starter. But I think that the Type-C spec of USB 3.1 will change the world of USB Audio.

20VDC at 5A available from a single port!?

Designers of DACs and AMPs will have all that power at their fingertips. Can we get 10-15V rails in a USB powered Amp?

With less space used for power handling*, we can start to envision our world of desktop-style dac/amp stacks reduced to Schiit Fulla form factors!

What do we think? Will 3.1 Type-C be a game-changer or am I fulla schiit?

 

*Motherboards will have to come up to speed and I'm making the assumption the power will be acceptably flat...

post #2 of 14

20VDC @ 5A for a single port will place high demands on a PC's PSU. It'll be interesting to see the ripple requirements for these switching 20VDC rails.

 

High voltage/current USB supplies will have minimal impact on portable audio equipment size/form factor. A device will still need to regulate and charge from USB, and ICs for these functions are already quite small, occupying < 1 cm^2 in most cases. Battery capacity remains the biggest limitation for portables. Higher current USB will enable faster charging rates.

 

Same for desktop equipment. Most desktop audio devices on the market utilize an external AC transformer and only 1-2in^2 of circuitry for regulation. You'll still need regulation (if not more for a noisy USB supply). At best, this will allow some designers to drop bulky wall warts. Also, 20VDC after regulation gives about +/-9VDC at best--and less for cleaner rails. Powerful desktop amps need at least +/-15VDC, meaning >=32VDC prior to regulation. So, a transformer will remain a better option.

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post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PyramidOfSound View Post

*Motherboards will have to come up to speed and I'm making the assumption the power will be acceptably flat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseaber View Post

20VDC @ 5A for a single port will place high demands on a PC's PSU

As far as I know (which admittedly isn't much), these are the two reasons why we won't see too many "full power" USB 3.1 Type C connections anytime soon. I think the vast majority of 100W Type C connectors in the foreseeable future will be USB AC adapters plugged directly into power outlets.

I'm actually more interested in Type C replacing all of the numerous USB 2.0 and 3.0 cables and ports into one single standard. The reversibility of the plug is just icing on the cake.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Very interesting to have an industry insider on this.

From your experience you don't think that even if the motherboard/PSU could provide that 100W power spec we would see a marked reduction in size?

I agree that the +-9VDC rails are more realistic, but that should be a marked improvement in driving capability, right?

 

I agree with kjk1281 as well, the high-power spec is most likely going to be used for input to a laptop or super-charging cell phone. That is sad, but when combined with jseaber's comment about the PSU in the PC not being able to provide that...cleanly, it makes sense.

 

I do like the reversibility and I really hope we can get out of the mess of different types of USB. I just don't see that happening though.

 

So what is the next big thing for USB-only DAC/AMPs...

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PyramidOfSound View Post
 

From your experience you don't think that even if the motherboard/PSU could provide that 100W power spec we would see a marked reduction in size?

 

For portables, none. A portable amp/DAC runs from battery power, so the battery and circuitry used to boost a 3.7V Li-Ion dictates device size. Charging ICs are already super small (<= 3x3mm). So, more USB current allows faster charging and little else.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PyramidOfSound View Post

I agree that the +-9VDC rails are more realistic, but that should be a marked improvement in driving capability, right

 

 

Depends on the design. The most popular amps these days run at +/-12VDC and higher. It's possible to push ~1W into 32 ohms using +/-15VDC rails, and more power is the trend. In other words, 20VDC via USB would still be a limitation for serious desktop amplifiers.

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post #6 of 14

With regard to mobile DAC (i.e. DAC connecting to smartphones) perhaps not too much more power, as most smartphone would likely not be setup to provide more than a small amount (i know the N6P can only provide minimal power over the Usb-c as a host).

 

However, I am very much looking forward to the whole "multi-use cable ends" thing. I mean, I can use the same cable to: Charge my phone, connect my DAC to my phone, connect my phone to my PC, connect my PC to my DAC, this is so awesome. I use my DAC a lot with my android phone, and the whole 'OTG' thing is very often a problem, lot of cables don't work, or only work half the time etc.

 

 

I do have a question though: are there any usb-c DACs out there yet? Any in the works that people know of?

 

 

ETA: I just talked to a google store guy (not sure about how true this is, sounds true enough but I cannot find a reliable source that authenticates this), but 5x and 6p are capable of upto 9W-ish of power (the guy told me like 1.9 odd Amps). So that's good news, hopefully Fiio will make a new versino of their E18 that can draw more power/charge faster and use usb-c to usb-c (if nothing else, MERELY for the simplicity it will create in my life...i can finally have only 1 type of cable and no little OTA cable that gets lost all the time). 


Edited by TjPhysicist - 2/4/16 at 6:45am
post #7 of 14
Does anyone make an affordable audiophile USB Type-C cable?
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angular Mo View Post

Does anyone make an affordable audiophile USB Type-C cable?

 

Several ordinary Type C cables I tested failed to connect Nexus Type C phones to self-powered DACs. This adapter worked perfectly while available:

https://www.amazon.com/Poweradd-MacBook-Tablets-Smartphones-Supported/dp/B00ZFP3FHU?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

 

So, we identified the internal resistor values to enable OTG equivalent operation. It gets the job done for $5

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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TjPhysicist View Post

I do have a question though: are there any usb-c DACs out there yet? Any in the works that people know of?


Finally found one...though not sure how good the chips are here's to hoping more people get on that bandwagon, I want something that's better than my e18 at least given the extra power availability
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TjPhysicist View Post


Finally found one...though not sure how good the chips are here's to hoping more people get on that bandwagon, I want something that's better than my e18 at least given the extra power availability

 

Try this perhaps http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Type-C-to-Right-Angle-Micro-USB-Cable-OTG-for-LG-G5-Nexus-5X-Huawei-6P-HTC-10-/291802637497

post #11 of 14

Hi!

Isnt OTG universal for ''evryone'' UE device?

 

Janis

post #12 of 14

Thanks, but your completely missing my point. I have plenty of usbc to micro and mini cables. I wanted to find a dac that actually USES usb c
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TjPhysicist View Post


Thanks, but your completely missing my point. I have plenty of usbc to micro and mini cables. I wanted to find a dac that actually USES usb c

 

Yea but I didn't want to carry a huge setup since that particular DAC doesn't have a great amp and this cable came in recently and fits very well for existing DAC/AMP and stacks well with my Nexus 6P.

post #14 of 14

I just recently got a LeEco LE S3 which has a USB Type-C instead of a normal headphone jack. I tried the apple earbud clones that came with it and they sound quite good for the cost. Much better than the apple earpods out of a normal headphone jack to my ears. I have no idea why this is, it could be something as simple as higher volume. I'm interested in seeing companies adapt to this change. Soon DACs/Amps/Headphones might all come in the same package, which sort of makes sense for optimization purposes, but does reduce the ability of the audiophile to switch around stuff.

 

Edit: These are the earphones, for refrence:

 

http://us.lemall.com/us/detail/400501000004.html

 

According to them

Quote:
 The LeEco CDLA earphones, besides featuring the reversible USB Type-C connector, include a digital decoding chip to deliver audio quality in 24 bit/ 96 kHz. They also have a turbine architecture design with dual rear acoustic chambers; built-in Knowles MEMS microphone for taking calls, and 14mm moving coil cells with premium composite films. The earphones are about $29.99 US

How exactly they squeezed a dac into something so small is beyond me, but the results are interesting and I'm kind of excited to hear more upmarket offerings. In an ideal world there would just be audiophile CDLA USB Type-C cables that you can plug into your high-end Shure IEMs, HD650's or whatever, but I doubt we'll ever see that.


Edited by TimSchirmer - 11/11/16 at 2:52pm
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