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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. shuto77

    That's good to know.

    My concern with this is that older versions of Android may have trouble with Tidal and other streaming services.

    I'll check this first thing when I set up the phone.
  2. Peridot
    I have my S3 in low power mode and it works without problem for playback of local files and streaming.
    Having tried various players I seem to have settled on USB APP although I quite like the Onkyo one too.
    I know that Tidal Hi-Fi needs Android 4.4.4 or higher.
  3. shuto77

    Ok, thanks for this info. This is the only potential drawback I see with using an old phone as a DAC. I guess that once I get Tidal and my other apps running with whatever version of Android the S4 is on, I'll avoid upgrading the apps if possible.
  4. Peridot
    Yes, once it's working I think it's best to avoid making any changes unless you have to. It's difficult to be certain of the effects of any changes to firmware/apps before you make them as they can be different on different handsets.
    Good luck with getting everything working [​IMG]
  5. emgeebee
    Some more analysis - I tried a Fiio DAC on the phone and there's no interference, so this suggests it's a software or cable issue (the Fiio uses a mini usb cable, the chord is a micro) which can both be fixed (probably).
    I'll wait for the better OTG cable to see if that helps...
  6. shuto77

    Thanks, buddy!

    I really like using my Oppo HA-2 with my phone, but it's so inconvenient to plug in and plug it out all the time. Also, I'm concerned about killing my phone's USB port prematurely with all the plugging in and out. Also, my HTC One M8 is a little tall (big speakers on top and bottom of the screen) and has a rounded back. These features make the M8 a nice phone, but a less than ideal match for the Oppo.

    For me, this is the ultimate portable solution, at least until Fiio or Onkyo or Pioneer make the ultimate Android DAP/DAC combo with the full suite of apps all playing nicely. The Fiio X7 seems to be close, but it's still lacking features and is double what I've paid for my setup.

    Provided I don't have any firmware issues, I think my setup will be pretty killer considering i only spent $300 total for the Oppo and the S4.
  7. Peridot
    We are of like mind [​IMG]
    When I first bought the E18 I used it with my Note phone, but the combination stuck together looked ugly, and the cable connection was unreliable.
    I picked up a cheap second-hand S3, and fitted both devices into a satnav case from Amazon. I also added the Anker extended battery to the S3 and a 256GB SD card (via a micro SD adapter). This has served me really well.
    I broke it recently when I started using Tidal and installed a ROM that I thought would provide full USB audio capability but didn't.
    Then I bought an X7 only to find that it couldn't store offline content from streaming services on its SD card, and live streaming suffered from lots of Wi-Fi noise, so I've returned it.
    I was really happy when I eventually found an S3 firmware that restored full functionality including Tidal Hi-Fi, so I'm back clutching that satnav case  [​IMG]
    I've also considered the Onkyo DAP, but that also seems to be a work in progress at the moment. Perhaps the iBasso 200 will have something to offer if indeed it is Android based.
  8. shuto77

    Great minds think alike. :)

    It's a mystery to me why Fiio or iBasso, etc., hasn't approached LG or HTC to just make the ultimate Android DAC.

    Both companies make nice devices, but haven't hit it big.

    I believe coupling Fiio's engineering chops with HTC or LG's design skills would make a great device.

    Surely Samsung could do this too, but I doubt it would be a great use of resources for them.

    Such a project would make a lot of sense for htc, imho.
  9. Peridot
    I am surprised at how much difficulty FiiO and Onkyo are having in integrating the Android OS with good quality hardware. 
    Perhaps Sony made it look too easy with the ZX2.
    It certainly seems that they could do with some help, either from the big boys or the open-source community.
  10. RamblerBoy
    could you please name that firmware or provide a link to it?
  11. Peridot
    RamblerBoy likes this.
  12. H20Fidelity Contributor
    Ok, as some interest to our previous conversation the Galaxy S4 I ordered arrived today.
    It would 'not' work natively with my Tralucent DacAmp One running Android KitKat or when I upgraded to 5.0.1 lollypop later that day. On Kitkat the music would not start when pressing play. On 5.0.1 it made really bizarre semi-slow motion / alien noises through the left earpiece, certainly not healthy music. Using UAAP it then worked fine on both firmware.
    Why is this so strange?
    Because the last Galaxy S4 I owned a few months ago DID work natively on 5.0.1 as our previous conversation discussed here. I have no idea why, different service providers, different updates etc? but it simply will not work natively like my previous Galaxy S4 did so easily with so many different DACs.
  13. SonofKalas
    some variants use Snapdragon and Others use exynos
    some variants use Snapdragon and Others use Exynos, this can sometimes make a difference as in the case of the note 4 and certain SDXC cards.
  14. oldmate
    Have you enabled USB Audio in S4 settings??
    Settings-->My Device-->Accessory

    Then check mark "Audio Output Mode".
    Just a thought.
  15. H20Fidelity Contributor
    I didn't try this, unfortunately. The S4 has gone to a new home (friend) [​IMG]
    Its not a great loss because I can use my Note 3 for the time being. Everthing with the S4 was just for fun/testing etc. 
    Thanks for the suggestion though!
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