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Recommendation for Portable DAC

  1. aznpos531
    I've been using the Fiio E7 with my Android phone for some time now and I'm happy with the sound. However I'm looking to reduce the bulk of my setup so I'm in the market for a small DAC/amp to replace the E7.

    I've been looking at the Dragonfly from Audioquest as well as the Fulla from Schiit. I would appreciate any comments on these DACs (specifically using them with an android phone in a portable setup) as well as any other recommendations.

    Not sure if it makes a difference but I will mainly be using the DAC/amp with the A12 from 1964 Ears when it arrives in a few weeks and occasionally with the HE-500 from Hifiman.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. billybob_jcv
    Can the Dragonfly or the Fulla work with an android phone? Aren't they both powered by the USB port? Neither of them has a battery.
     
  3. cel4145
    I've not heard, either, that the Dragonfly or Fulla will work with Android phones. Just because a DAC has a USB input does not mean it will work with a phone.
     
  4. kramer5150
    I think it would depend on the phone... whether or not it can serve as a USB host.  correct?
     
    Quick google-foo turned up a few links.  heres one off the top.
    http://android.stackexchange.com/questions/36887/how-can-i-determine-if-my-device-has-usb-host-mode-otg-support
     
  5. cel4145
  6. billybob_jcv
    JDS Labs has one of the better articles on the subject: http://blog.jdslabs.com/?p=838
     
  7. aznpos531
     
     
     
    Not sure about the Dragonfly but according to the Schiit website the Fulla will work with Android 4 and 5 as long as you have a power source for it as well. However I suppose that defeats the purpose of reducing bulk in the first place.
     
    Do you guys have other suggestions for a small DAC that will work with an Android phone?
     
    edit: According to Head-Fi member DanBa the Dragonfly V1.2 does indeed work with a Samsung Galaxy S4 running vanilla Android 5.0:
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/5865#post_11131882
     
    Still going through the list but so far the Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS looks very promising: http://droidhorizon.com/cambridge-audio-dacmagic-xs-review/
     
    A bunch of useful links from DanBa: http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-phones-and-usb-dacs/6210#post_11264569
     
  8. cel4145
    Great! Maybe the Dragonfly will work for you :)
     
  9. aznpos531
    Certainly looks hopeful! :)
     
  10. cel4145
    Have you used your E7 with the HE-500s? The HE-500s are very inefficient. Are you sure the DAC/amps you are looking at will power them?
     
  11. aznpos531
     
    I have used the E7 with the HE-500s and the volume is fine when the amp is turned almost all the way up (between 50 and 60 units out of 60). However there is a slight hissing when the amp is turned up beyond 55/60 units. So indeed I'm not sure if a DAC/amp without its own power source will drive the HE-500s.
    However, when I get my CIEMs I'll be using those instead in a portable setup and the HE-500s will stay home most of the time. I think most DAC/amps will be able to handle IEMs.
     
  12. cel4145
    No doubt. Most would be fine with IEMs :)
     
  13. aznpos531
    Awesome! Thanks for confirming! :)
     
  14. aznpos531
    Does anyone here have experience with the Shozy Magic Micro USB DAC/Amp?
    I happened across it while looking at something else and was intrigued by the very small size and confirmed support for Android devices.
    Thanks!
     

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