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Android phones and USB DACs

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by nztechfreak, Feb 9, 2012.
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  1. rckyosho
    Those pesky RFI interference[​IMG].....so far I've found changing my network setting to "WCDMA Only" mode for network setting works best as in I get the least noise when I'm out and about.....maybe you guys should try it and report back. I hope that helps.
  2. SV_huMMer
    We have no WCDMA standard in my country at all, so this is not a solution for me. 
    DanBa, thanks for a detailed reply!
    But I am now totally confused, and have even more questions than before.
    1) USB Host and USB OTG on an android device would require the same type of cable? I.e. 4&5 pins shortened? 
    2) Isn't it true that in addition to supporting USB Host mode, the android device must support specific USB device types to work with them? E.g. to work with a USB DAC/Sound Card out of the box, the device must support USB Audio class of devices? Because this is exactly what is shown in the picture with Sony Xperia Z and Sony portabe headphone DAC/Amp: the "Z" series support USB audio device class out of the box.
    3) Does UARP add such support to Android devices which do not natively support USB Audio device class?
    4) How can one figure out, whether the claimed support of USB Host functionnality is sufficient for UARP/USB DAC combo operation, by reading the device specs? 
  3. DanBa
    USB OTG components of an Android device are used to switch the USB OTG-capable Android device in USB host mode or in USB peripheral mode.
    USB is a master-slave communication bus: USB communication can only take place between a master device and a slave device.
    A master, or USB host, is a computer.
    A slave, or USB peripheral, can be a mouse, a keyboard, a DAC, a telephone, a smartphone, a tablet …

    USB was designed to be easy to use: plug-and-play!
    When a user connects a USB peripheral (for example a USB DAC) to a USB host (for example a PC), the USB host’s operating system (for example Windows or Linux) detects the USB peripheral and loads the appropriate software driver (for example a USB DAC driver or USB audio driver).

    More and more smart peripherals, like smartphones or tablets, have all the features of a computer.
    For example, Android smartphones or tablets are Linux-based computers.

    Android relies on Linux for core system services such as security, memory management, process management, network stack, and driver model. 
    Thus Android handles all the things that Linux is really good at such as a vast array of device drivers, which take the pain out of interfacing to peripheral hardware.
    As legacy computers, legacy peripherals like Android smartphones or tablets having all the features of a computer need to interconnect with peripherals. This slave-to-slave communication functionality is not supported by the master-to-slave communication USB model.
    To address this need, the USB OTG concept is added to the USB standard in 2009. 
    USB OTG retains the legacy master-to-slave or USB host-to-USB peripheral communication model.
    A USB OTG device is a dual-role USB device, sometimes a USB host, sometimes a USB peripheral:
    . a USB OTG-capable Android device operating as a USB peripheral can interwork with a PC operating as a USB host
    . a USB OTG-capable Android device operating as a USB host can interwork with a USB DAC always operating as a USB peripheral.
    When the (functional) Micro-A plug (i.e. pin 4 & pin 5 connected) of a so-called USB OTG cable is inserted into the Micro-USB receptacle of a USB OTG-capable Android device, the ID resistance is less than 10Ω, and the Android device is configured to USB host mode by USB OTG components.

    Yes, in addition to support USB host feature, the Android device, like the PC, must support specific USB device drivers to work with them.


    Yes, to work with a USB DAC/Sound Card out of the box, the device must support USB Audio class of devices.
    "Well, the USB Audio issue feels like it could've belonged at LG, or Asus or whoever the maker of each specific device happens to be.
    It's the OEMs and platform vendors that actually implement the USB Audio support (I happened to be involved in this when I was at Sony Mobile).
    Google (as of Android 4.1) essentially just provides some of the higher-level mechanisms for detection of USB Audio accessories, while the OEM / platform vendor fills in the blanks. Those blanks can either be very small if you only want audio output at a fixed sample rate, or they can grow quite big if you want more features like recording, voice calls, etc.
    You could argue that Google should provide a complete basic solution for USB Audio, but that's not the setup today."
    A request to Google for supporting USB audio is ongoing:

     Yes, if these Android devices support full USB host and support the Android USB host API.

    These Android devices should support the Android USB host API (i.e. Android 3.1 or higher) and should support full USB host.
    Hopefully, there will be no more incomplete USB host implementation like the USB host feature of the Galaxy S2.
  4. SV_huMMer
    DanBa, thanks a lot! Tons of useful reading. But it did not save me from the first mistake already :)
    Today I bought Sony Xperia Go: I thought this is what I needed. Nice size, Android 4.1, USB Host support... only to find out I cannot install UARP JUST because it does not comply with minimum screen resolution requirements :frowning2:(((((
    Pls everyone be aware, that UARP needs AT LEAST 800x480! 
    Will try to return it to the seller and exchange for a Sola.
    drSeehas likes this.
  5. DanBa
    I didn't know that!
    • 800x480 screen minimum (in landscape)
    • Android 3.1 or higher (no root required!!!)
    • Android device with USB host capability
    • USB OTG cable"
  6. SV_huMMer
    Yeah... We all need to learn how to read those boring system requirements... :)
  7. DTKZ
    Hi Danba. Have there been any differences in compatibility between the Exynos and Snapdragon versions of the SIII? I saw that the ALO Pan Am was listed as compatible with the SIII in USB debugging mode. Thinking that the SIII was more or less interchangeable with the Note II, I tried the Pan Am with my Note II but have had no luck, regardless of whether USB debugging is enabled or not. I'm assuming the people who have the Pan Am working with the SIII are using the Snapdragon variant, hence the difference.
    As an aside, I can confirm the iBasso D42 works with the Note II.
    DanBa likes this.
  8. DanBa
    Yes, there is some USB difference between a Snapdragon-based Galaxy S3 and an Exynos-based Galaxy S3: the HeadAmp Pico USB DAC was only able to work with a Snapdragon-based Galaxy S3 before the fix by HeadAmp.

    It’s the case so far.
    By the way, can the ALO Pan Am work with the Galaxy Note2 using USB Audio Recorder PRO?

  9. devhen
    I've got the new Google Nexus 7 (2013 / 2nd Gen) working with my iBasso D-Zero using USB Audio Recorder Pro. So far other apps aren't working.
    DanBa likes this.
  10. jared basshead
  11. jared basshead
    DanBa likes this.
  12. satwilson

    Jared, could you please provide a link to the cable you purchased? I have Xperia TL, bought an alleged host USB, OTG cable. Could not get it to work with my Audio GD NFB12 in either debugging mode or with USB audio recorder Pro. Figured it is a bogus cable, hopefully not a problem with the Xperia and NFB12 combo. Thanks, satwilson
  13. drSeehas
  14. DTKZ
    Did some further testing and it appears that the Note II does need UARP to work with the Pan Am.
    Also, tried out UARP with my Note II hooked up to my Resonessence Concero and it does appear to work.
  15. imeem
    is there any android phones out there have native support for USB DAC that don't require USB Audio Recorder Pro? 
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