My Portable Wireless Hi-res 2TB DAC/Headphone Amp/Tablet Solution

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by Hiltonk, Dec 6, 2017.
  1. Hiltonk
    Hi all I was so excited about my new setup I just had to share it here.

    [​IMG]Wireless Hi-res Audio! by Hilton, on Flickr

    I've put the ultimate portable wireless 2TB Hi-res solution together.

    It consists of:
    Hardware
    Creative Labs Sound Blaster E5 DAC/Headphone AMP
    Chromecast Audio
    Sony MDR1ADAC Headphones + HD600 Headphones (depending on the mood)
    Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus LTE 10" Android tablet
    iPhone X
    2TB Western Digital My Passport Pro
    Shutter Bluetooth Remote

    Software
    Android 6.0.1 (after trying a custom Lineage 7.1.2 ROM I went back to stock rooted with Magisk/TWRP)
    Neutron Music Player / JRemote / Spotify / Tidal (all on Android and IOS)
    Automate as my Android front end launcher (using this in the car and as a general front end instead of native interface)

    JRiver Media Centre 23 to curate my library on my main server and export music and playlists to the 2TB drive (via USB3)

    JRiver MC23 transcodes my SACD rips to Hi-res FLAC as well as exporting my MP3s, FLAC and other file formats

    It also works in the car. :) (via line out from DAC) < This was the main motivation for this solution if your wondering why I bothered with a Chromecast audio.
    After playing around with custom battery powered Raspberry Pi's and all other sorts of solutions I've finally come up with something that works reliably and sounds amazing.
    The chrome cast is powered by the E5 DAC and connected via optical out into the optical input on the DAC @ upto 192k/24bit

    [​IMG]chromecast 192 by Hilton, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Wireless Hi-res Audio! by Hilton, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Wireless Hi-res Audio! by Hilton, on Flickr

    The tablet is setup as a wifi hotspot and the chromecast audio and WD 2TB Wireless Pro both tether to the tablet.

    [​IMG]Wireless Hi-res Audio! by Hilton, on Flickr

    Neutron player is connecting via SMB share to the 2TB wireless hard disk and scans the music in once (it does take a while the first time but it only rescans when I tell it to, and then it only updates, it doesn't rescan the whole library in)

    Other solutions I've tried for carrying around a large collection are always slow and clunky and portable DLNA type servers want to often rescan after being powered off. By using SMB and having Neutron keep it's own database library of whats on the wireless disk, I don't have to fiddle with Twonky DLNA on the wireless disk. I just turn on and go. (especially important in the car)

    I can also use JRiver JRemote on the tablet and stream directly from my home server, even when out and about.

    I can also use my Sony MDR1ADAC headphones directly plugged into my iPhone X when I want something a little more portable. I just wireless tether the 2TB WD disk to the iPhone instead of using the tablet and E5 DAC, and instead use the DAC built into the headphones and use Neutron for iPhone for DSD over PCM DoPE if I really want!

    I'm so happy with the solution and flexibility of it.
    I got sick of bluetooth quality in the car and when pottering around the house, so the tablet replaces my headunit when Im in the car and I carry the E5DAC/Chromecast in my pocket around the house using wifi and use the Bluetooth remote to skip tracks/volume/pause when im chillin out without having to fiddle with a phone or tablet. (great for that late night session in bed!)

    This is a video of how it works in the car (was using Car Launcher AG and have now switched to Automate instead)
     

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