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Best portable DAC/amps for use with iOS?

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by torifile, Mar 13, 2018.
  1. torifile
    This isn’t purchasing advice, per se, but a thread where I hope to collect people’s experiences with using a portable DAC/amp with iOS devices.

    I’ve personally tried 2: the Chord Mojo and the Oppo HA-2SE

    The Mojo

    Pros: works well, sounds good and looks fantastic. It’s, as many have stated, a little warmer and darker than neutral. I rather like the sound.

    Cons: In spite of its looks, however, it’s really unwieldy. Having to use the CCK kinda sucks, to be honest. And it is not a shape that makes for easy stacking at all.

    The Oppo:

    Pros: looks good, too, and is easily stackable. It doesn’t need the CCK and can work with a standard lightning cable.

    Cons: But that’s all I have positive to say about it with my iPhone. It cuts out randomly and makes the entire experience of using it miserable.

    So, is there a DAC/amp I can use with my iPhone that has the benefits of the Oppo with the reliability and sound signature of the Mojo?
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  2. Autostart
    FiiO Q5!!!!!!
    yong_shun likes this.
  3. Ynot1
    Accessport if you desire portability.
    Fiio Q1mkii for portibility with balance.
    Fiio Q5 if you must require everything.
  4. upsguys88
    I really like the ios cable albeit expensive ($50) to not have to use the cck with iPhone.
  5. torifile
    Link to that cable? Considering the CCK is $30, that’s not too terribly much.
  6. yong_shun
    you can consider FIIO Q1 MK II and FIIO Q5. FIIO Q5 comes with bluetooth DAC function. Both have balanced output. On the other hand, you can consider Audioquest Dragonfly Black or Red. Get a Dragontail to maximise the performance of Audioquest Dragonfly.
  7. Anaz
    Look at the RHA Dacamp. Some pros and cons from my experience with one:
    + It has a standard USB A female socket for connecting an iOS device using a any regular lightning cable
    + 4,000 mAh battery (IIRC) that can charge your iPhone
    + very black (quiet) noise floor for sensitive IEMs, and that is quieter than the direct jack on an iFi Nano iDSD BL via both an iPhone and a Mac (not as quiet as a Mojo, but what is?)
    + Full power from the SE 3.5 mm TRS jack and powerful enough to drive an HD 6XX
    + Extemely well engineered and built - feels more premium than a Chord Mojo
    + (if you like to EQ) independent treble and bass adjustement

    - volume pot requires very careful and fine adjustment - it goes from 1 - 5 and there is a jump in volume from around 1.5 to 2
    - 2 ohm output impedance on the 3.5 mm output (note, it still has a very quiet noise floor)
    - 4 pin mini female XLR balanced jack - seriously, what were they thinking????
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  8. silverfishla
  9. torifile
    I settled on the FiiO Q5 and I’ve been very happy. Far more convenient than the Mojo and far fewer problems than the Oppo HA-2.
    yong_shun likes this.
  10. cpetrillo
    You might want to look at the reviews of now discontinued Cypher Labs Theorem 720. If interested after checking out the reviews contact me, I might know where you can pick up one cheap:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
  11. Motocrossman24
    It does look like a nice form factor, but at 150mw into 32ohms it’s nearly useless imo...the Fiio a5 uses better dac chips, has almost 8x more power and is almost 100$ cheaper...I keep trying to find something that will truely best the a5 even at a 500$ price point and can’t find one.
  12. Stump909
  13. Koolpep
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  14. Koolpep
    ifi audio xDSD $399 has everything one could want.
    Sorry for double post.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018

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