Portable DAC/Amp for iPhone (also usable as a USB DAC on PC)
Oct 18, 2021 at 4:24 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

scottder

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As the title says I am looking at the various options out there (Fiio BTR5, Shanling UP5, Qudelix-5k), they all seem very similar, I am wondering which works best with an iPhone and Windows 10 PC). I mostly listen to FLAC on my PC and Apple Music Lossless on my phone.

Thanks in advance.

 
Oct 18, 2021 at 4:43 PM Post #2 of 16

Whazzzup

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Oct 18, 2021 at 5:02 PM Post #4 of 16

Whazzzup

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Well then
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 1:15 PM Post #6 of 16

ScubaDrunk

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Anything else besides the Chord stuff
 
Oct 19, 2021 at 9:31 PM Post #8 of 16

ClieOS

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You really need to include more detail if you want more than generic answer - are you mean small Bluetooth DAC/amp or wired small DAC/amp? I assumed it is the former since you mentioned BTR5 and alike.

First of, iPhone still has its BT codec stuck in 2007 when the first iPhone came out as AAC is all you are going to get (where the rest of the Android world has moved to the much better aptX and LDAC era). This means you already are not getting the best of any of the latest and greatest BT adapter in the market these days. As far as overall SQ goes, all three that you have mentioned are on the same level, so you are not missing much by choosing one over the other.BTR5 has the best / more stable USB DAC implementation, though its 3.5mm output doesn't sound quite as good as its 2.5mm output (though this might have changed on the new BTR5 2021 version). UP5 offer a 4.4mm output but the firmware is the least stable of them all (and Shanling is still trying to fix them). It does however support MQA if that's your fancy (so is the new BTR5 2021). 5K has the best app ever with a lot of tweak, but its USB only limits to 24/96.
 
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Oct 20, 2021 at 8:02 AM Post #9 of 16

rlw6534

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As the title says I am looking at the various options out there (Fiio BTR5, Shanling UP5, Qudelix-5k), they all seem very similar, I am wondering which works best with an iPhone and Windows 10 PC). I mostly listen to FLAC on my PC and Apple Music Lossless on my phone.

Thanks in advance.


Are you planning to use BT or USB primarily?
 
Oct 20, 2021 at 10:12 AM Post #10 of 16

scottder

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You really need to include more detail if you want more than generic answer - are you mean small Bluetooth DAC/amp or wired small DAC/amp? I assumed it is the former since you mentioned BTR5 and alike.

First of, iPhone still has its BT codec stuck in 2007 when the first iPhone came out as AAC is all you are going to get (where the rest of the Android world has moved to the much better aptX and LDAC era). This means you already are not getting the best of any of the latest and greatest BT adapter in the market these days. As far as overall SQ goes, all three that you have mentioned are on the same level, so you are not missing much by choosing one over the other.BTR5 has the best / more stable USB DAC implementation, though its 3.5mm output doesn't sound quite as good as its 2.5mm output (though this might have changed on the new BTR5 2021 version). UP5 offer a 4.4mm output but the firmware is the least stable of them all (and Shanling is still trying to fix them). It does however support MQA if that's your fancy (so is the new BTR5 2021). 5K has the best app ever with a lot of tweak, but its USB only limits to 24/96.

This is basically what I was looking for. I may use the BT features more with an Android device I also own for the reasons you mention. The BT is more a nice to have, and I don't have much interest in MQA, so I am going to look at the BTR5 and Qudelix 5k for now. Sorry for the initial vagueness of the post.
 
Oct 20, 2021 at 11:04 AM Post #11 of 16

rlw6534

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FWIW, I have all three of these and prefer the UP5. It's bigger but has 4.4 mm and a volume wheel. If I were using BT only maybe the Qudelix but the 24/96 limitation on USB is an issue for me.
 
Oct 20, 2021 at 12:01 PM Post #13 of 16

scottder

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FWIW, I have all three of these and prefer the UP5. It's bigger but has 4.4 mm and a volume wheel. If I were using BT only maybe the Qudelix but the 24/96 limitation on USB is an issue for me.
I have seen mentions of the UP5 being unstable (like above), have you had issues?
 
Oct 20, 2021 at 12:13 PM Post #14 of 16

rlw6534

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I have seen mentions of the UP5 being unstable (like above), have you had issues?

I've had to restart it a few times, but nothing I would call a deal-breaker. It's a new product, so I agree that it is in need of a firmware update to squash early bugs. Shanling is pretty good about updates so there's that...
 
Oct 20, 2021 at 2:10 PM Post #15 of 16

scottder

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I've had to restart it a few times, but nothing I would call a deal-breaker. It's a new product, so I agree that it is in need of a firmware update to squash early bugs. Shanling is pretty good about updates so there's that...

Thanks, I will check this out as well.
 

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