iPhone DAC
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diggygun

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As some of you know I have some issues connecting my iPhone to a dongle DAC to a headphone amp.

Doing further research, is the best way to connect the iPhone using a Lightning to OTG / CCK Adapter to a USB DAC, e.g. Audioquest Dragonfly Black then to the Headphone amp.

I’ve read that the OTG has better data transfer than a Lightning DAC Dongle.

Has anyone got experience of using an iPhone as the source.

Many thanks in advance.
 
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dachad

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I have an iPhone 11 Max, the Lightning to USB3 adapter and an Audioquest Red. Works great. The only caveat connecting to a headphone amp is that the Audioquest already is a bit noisier (just doesn't sound as good) connected to a headphone amp (at least on my Asgard 3).
 
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NCUS

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I use a lotoo PAW S1 over a lotoo lighting-USBC cable and it works fine with full passthrough of even 192khz files.
 
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corgifall

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I can also recommend the lotoo paw s1. Are you using over ear headphones or iems mostly? I have two over ear headphones that wont go past volume level 76/100 on high gain without the S1 constantly restarting. This is an issue of the iphone's power output from the lightning adapter. I'm using an older iphone 10 however so I'm not sure if the max power output from the lightning port is better or not on newer iphones.
 
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diggygun

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As advised earlier, I’ve been playing with different connections and the way I’ve overcome the situation is to use a Lightning to an OTG / CCK with a USB female connection. This overcomes the iPhone’s Lightning power problem. I’ve then connected this to a Fiio K1 DAC, which is then connected to the Helot 2x Headphone Amp.

Consequently, the volume levels have increased considerably and when connected to the headphone amp, the volume level is now around 45/100 rather than nearer 90/100, which controls the sound much better.

I’m still playing round with different cables and connectors to see if there are any further improvements can be made and I’ll advise the results accordingly.

175A2608-FC3A-4510-97CF-529A1C305E61.jpeg
 
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johny5

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As some of you know I have some issues connecting my iPhone to a dongle DAC to a headphone amp.

Doing further research, is the best way to connect the iPhone using a Lightning to OTG / CCK Adapter to a USB DAC, e.g. Audioquest Dragonfly Black then to the Headphone amp.

I’ve read that the OTG has better data transfer than a Lightning DAC Dongle.

Has anyone got experience of using an iPhone as the source.

Many thanks in advance.
For my ipad/iPhone I use the lightning to USB camera adapter from Apple. I usually pair it with an Ifi micro black label and it sounds amazing.
 
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daytrader

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The charge port output from these Apple Iphones is just the digital signal, not converted through a dac into analog internally right? Unless one uses the Apple dongal which has a dac inside?

I’m asking because if I want to go from an iPhone to an external dac, from the charge port, that I’m concerned about a double conversion resulting in a over processed signal.
 
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diggygun

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Yes, you’re correct. The iPhone internal DAC only works when you play music through the phones speakers.

If you don’t want to use the Apple Lightning DAC Dongle, you can use another similar one, or use an OTG (Camera Connector Adapter) to connect to a non-dongle style DAC, as shown in the photo

05EA1B00-740C-44A6-9E66-14E31AFAF585.jpeg


These are alternate Dongle style DACs.

A09D3E2F-95B2-410D-9B5E-0BF48431A1B9.jpeg

5B13B9ED-68F0-4635-BCFD-D4B472458442.jpeg
 
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daytrader

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Yes, you’re correct. The iPhone internal DAC only works when you play music through the phones speakers.

If you don’t want to use the Apple Lightning DAC Dongle, you can use another similar one, or use an OTG (Camera Connector Adapter) to connect to a non-dongle style DAC, as shown in the photo

05EA1B00-740C-44A6-9E66-14E31AFAF585.jpeg

These are alternate Dongle style DACs.

A09D3E2F-95B2-410D-9B5E-0BF48431A1B9.jpeg
5B13B9ED-68F0-4635-BCFD-D4B472458442.jpeg
Ugreen is great quality at affordable pricing. Use it myself too.
 
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jvcinsc

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Unless things have changed radically; Dongle DACs are limited to 24 bit 48 khz This is an Apple lightning limit than can only be overcome with the CCK approach.
Thanks, that's super helpful
 
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diggygun

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Those look like a super-clean solution, I assume the specs don't measure up for your use?
I was thinking of getting a DAP instead of using the iPhone and a dongle or CCK and DAC to reduce the number of connections and for a cleaner look.

After a number of comments stating that I might not get what I want with a dedicated DAP, I will probably stay with the iPhone as it is working well for what I need. Plus it is one less thing to carry round and charge up.
 
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If you were to go with a CCK / DAC (or DAP) solution, its worth seeing how much power draw the DAC puts on the iphone. A low power draw might work with the original smaller CCK; most solutions require the second generation which allows power to be supplied to the phone while connected to the DAC.
 
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