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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. SpiderNhan
    I haven't heard any of the DACs you listed, but I do have a Dragonfly Red and I love it. Besides the sound upgrade, I mainly like that it barely touches the battery life of my device. I read that the Dragonfly Black might have a bit more battery draw than Red, but I'm fairly sure it'll still be less than all the others you listed.
     
  2. redkop
    I have the Dragonfly Black and highly recommend it,I mainly use it with the PC but also use it with my LG G3/Onkyo HF app when I don't want to carry my DX80 around and I must say it really opens up the sound on the phone,I would probably use the phone as a source all the time if it wasn't for the fact that playing music drains the battery too much,not that the dragonfly adds much drain,just the normal playing of music drains my phone.So easy to use as well,awesome little DAC !
     
  3. GoldenTooth
    Please i need audio experts to answer me ,  i have galaxy note 5  which supposed to claim nice audio ,but for me it is different :\ ......... when i made  A/B  comparison with my cheap GA-H61M gigabyte motherboard default realtek audio , it blew my note 5 out of water  -.-   , the question is if i buy a $100 usb dac like Fiio e18 or dragonfly v1.5 for example will i get better audio from note 5?
    i don't need amplifier though cuz i wont use large monitors  only earphones with low impedance , so all i care about is audio quality , please help thanks...
     
  4. bixby

    You just found one of the more interesting issues in audio.  Having owned top of the line and many other phones over the years, I can tell you they are not that great as a source in the grand scheme of things.  That being said, Yes, you should get some increase in quality from a decent USB dac/amp.  How Big the perception of quality increase may be debatable, but it should sound different.
     
    You may wish to try a different player for your Note as they can make a difference.  And you did not mention what cans you are using and whether the files are full res or not.
     
  5. GoldenTooth

    I use 320kbit mp3 and flac. With $30 sennheiser mx370. (Cheap earphone but i can realize the difference in quality from note 5 and my cheap realtek board) i dont care about amplifier though cuz i am only using $30 - $100. Earphones with low impedence . Still i wanna make sure if a $100 usb dac will be at least the same quality of my cheap realtek on board sound.

    Btw , i use neutron music player
     
  6. bixby
    It may be the realtek synergizes a bit more with the Senn earbuds.  If it were me I would not spend more money trying to get the buds to sound better, but rather would change source player and file types if you can.  both of these are free.
     
    Lots of variables in your comparison that could account for the SQ differences.
     
    EDIT:  Neutron was pretty good when I tested it.  Make sure you have a level playing field adn have all effects off on both setups.  Just for grins try downloading Onkyo HF player.  It is free.  And run the Note in Airplane mode to see if that helps a bit.  Not saying you will hear big differences but it may help.  Good luck.
     
  7. GoldenTooth

    I did comparisons with many types of earphones and onhead headphones and the difference was clear for me even with $5 chinese headphones . Its is just came to be sennheiser my default one rightnow so this means if i buy future highend earphones the realtek will still have better audio than the so called wm1840 dac in the note 5

    All i want to know if. Fiio e18 will make better audio quality than the wm1840 built in note 5
     
  8. bixby
    you may wish to pose your question to the folks in this thread:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/778690/galaxy-note-5-audio-quality/45
     
    All but a few really like the Note 5.  Some complain about mp3 playback however.  Remember, the codecs used for decoding mp3 can vary quite a bit and they use cpu power which may also affect SQ.
     
    It will be a pretty narrow audience that will have the Note and the dac/amp you mention.  So you may never get someone who has heard both.
     
    Here is another thread to check out:
     
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/note5/general/note-5-headphone-jack-audio-performance-t3186790
     
  9. bixby
    Note:
     
    The XDA guys give a measuremenet for the Note hp out at 4.6 ohms.  For a 16 ohm headphone you will have some issues.  that does not mean an external dac/amp will be better.  I have seen some Teac and Onkyo ones that have 10 ohm impedance.
     
    And the Realtek page has some interesting stuff.  Not sure of what piece of HP and SW you are running in your computer but some of the functions Realtek mentions seem really decent.  Especially when the Android framework wants to convert everything to 48khz before sending to hp out.  At least I think it still does this.
     
    Realtek's proprietary impedance sensing and jack detect techniques allow device loads on inputs and outputs to be auto-detected. All analog IOs are input and output capable. Headphone amplifiers are also integrated at each analog output.
     
    1. Single-chip multi-bit Sigma-Delta converters with high S/N ratio
    2. 1 stereo DAC supports 16/20/24-bit PCM format with 44.1K/48K/96K/192kHz sample rate
     
  10. GoldenTooth

    If android force 48khz output does it mean that an attached usb dac will be capped at 48khz too no mattet what?
     
  11. tekwrx
    If you use USB Audio Player Pro that app will output the native sample rate of the file to the DAC
     
    bixby likes this.
  12. LajostheHun
    Many phone MFRS been bypassing the Android framework for years, which is why it was possible to to use OTG cables with USB DACS before Android 5.0. This hasn't changed, and some of the Apps doing this as well. So the answer is it depends on the phone, and apps being used.
     
  13. Taggerung
    Can the ODAC be powered by a Moto E2 LTE? The stated power draw of ODAC by JDS is 45mA. Would the 2390mA battery of the Moto E be sufficient? Would the phone even allow such external peripheral power draw? My usb otg cable from ebay is still otw, so haven't been able to test yet. The ODAC would then be paired with a Vorzamp Duo and Poweramp player.
     
  14. Muniek66
     
     
     
    Thank you very much for these responses.
     
    Maybe someone have the opportunity to compare new Dragonfly Black with Encore mDSD or GeekOut 450? Dragonfly Black support only 24bit/96kHz and it raises my doubts about buy it.
     
  15. DanBa
     
    It should work (certainly when using UAPP).
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/2025#post_9322048
     
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