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Audio Technica AT-PHA55BT: BT headphone amplifier (LDAC)


Do you consider using LDAC (choose one)?

  1. No, I prefer wired connection for my portable audio gear.

  2. No, I am perfectly happy with my SBC bluetooth gear.

  3. No, I am perfectly happy with my AAC bluetooth gear.

  4. No, I am perfectly happy with my aptX bluetooth gear.

  5. No, I am perfectly happy with my aptXHD bluetooth gear.

  6. Yes, I consider using LDAC earphones.

  7. Yes, I consider using LDAC receiver.

  8. I may consider using BT only if much better LDAC products (specswise) become available.

  9. I may consider using BT only if much better aptx HD products (specswise) become available.

  10. I may consider using BT only if much better codecs become available. LDAC is not enough.

Results are only viewable after voting.
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  1. myusernameislove
    Introduction (with some additional information about this product /specs, review/ and about other ldac products).

    It is BT4.2 LDAC/AAC/Aptx receiver based on ES9118 SABRE HiFi SoC with an impedance switch, that is currently available in Japan only, but some units are available online.

    Learn about LDAC's compression algorithm here. It is an intelligently operated variable bitrate lossy BT codec that is supposed to transfer CD quality audio (16bit 44.1kHz) without a data loss under optimal signal strength conditions when run in Quality priority mode. It is computationally demanding, as it analyzes audio in advance during playback to apply optimal compression settings variably for optimal wireless data transfer, and in combination with DSEE HX software upscaler Sony claims, that it can successfully restore some of the data, that were cut out from HiRes audio sources (upto 24bit 96kHz).

  2. Researcher
    for 140 USD on amazon.co.JP link. This seems to be ultimate solution to portable DAC-AMPs. I wish it had BT 5 and 2.5mm balanced output. It is really tempting though.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  3. waynes world
    The Radsone Earstudio seems to be worthy competition. Looking forward to comparisons.

    Note: I'm pairing with my Samsung S7, so I am mainly interested in APTX at this point (and maybe APTXHD at some point).
    dabotsonline likes this.
  4. Researcher
    AFAIK The Radsone Earstudio is not available, and no one knows definitely when it will be accessible.
  5. waynes world
    No need to cloud the truth with.facts lol.

    You are correct. Some people have it, but I'm not sure when it will be ready for the masses.
  6. myusernameislove
    Not sure if Bluetooth standard Ver.4.2 mentioned in specs means EDR (Enhanced data rate). It may be needed for Quality priority mode.

    I should have it next weekend, so I will confirm on that. I will compare it with direct output from my Xperia phone and with Chord Mojo as well. I may also compare it briefly with cheap Aptx HD receiver (Inateck BR1006) and with Aptx receiver Samsung Level Link. I expect PHA55BT to outperform all of these except Mojo of course.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  7. p50kombi
    Mine is in transit from Japan to the UK, on a plane as we speak.
    I'll give you guys my honest review when it gets here.
    I spoke to radsone but it looks like the ear studio won't be available in the UK due to no CE certification.
    I might ask a friend of mine to order one on Amazon when it comes available in the US depending on how the audio technika perfoms.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
    Researcher and myusernameislove like this.
  8. myusernameislove
    There are 2 potential weak spots that I registered in japanese user reviews. 1st one mentioned connection interuptions in Quality priority mode. 2nd one wrote something about sound skipping issue that is apparent in low listening volumes and with low volumes at the end of songs. Otherwise japanese guys seem to be happy with the sound quality.
  9. Researcher
    I look forward to your review. I am wondering how much you have paid for it
  10. imparanoic
    has anyone purchase this item? is it good? the sound quality and if the connection is flawless? i would like to use it with my NW-ZX100 dap and Sony Xperia XZs phone, 3.5mm is great for my XBA-40, XBA-30 and full size AKG K551, it's amazing that sony ignore this ldac bluetooth reciever, their current equivalent SBH56 only support bluetooth 4.2, no ldac or bluetooth 5.0 or aptx hd, but there again it's quite cheap at US$100
  11. p50kombi
    Still stuck at customs.. Sigh
  12. waynes world
    Fwiw, I think the Radsone Earstudio supports all of that for $80. It hasn't quite been released yet, but initial reviews are quite favorable.

    Edit: not ldac. But also 14 hour playback, and balanced.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
    wslee likes this.
  13. p50kombi
    Well, not exactly.
    Radsone do not support LDAC.
    There is still a huge difference between LDAC and APTX-HD.
    Make sure you don't confuse the two :wink:

    SNAP....just saw your edit :D

    For me LDAC is still one of the main reasons for not getting the Radsone, plus the fact that we can't get it in the UK :D
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
    Deaj likes this.
  14. waynes world
    Yeah, as per the edit that you quoted, I realized that.

    I don't know much about ldac, as I doubt my s7 will ever support it (or aptxhd for that matter), but I'm going to find out more about it for my own edification :)
  15. p50kombi
    Yeah, sorry, didn't see that edit till later...
    I would still love to get an ear-studio as I thin kyou get plenty bang for your bucks there, plus I love the fact you can tinker with it firmware wise and app-wise.
    Might still get one later on if I don't like the audio technika, although I think once I get used to playing my FLAC files over LDAC, it'll be hard to go to aptx-hd.

    @myusernameislove When are you getting yours?
    Mine has just been released from customs and is on it's way to the depot.
    Need to pay customs charge so I'll probably won't have it in hand till mid next week....
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
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