Standalone battery powered DAC
Oct 10, 2009 at 7:13 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26

steaxauce

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I'm looking for a standalone battery powered DAC with at least optical or coax input, preferably USB as well. The only one I've found is the Headroom Micro DAC, but I can use something larger and was hoping for something more high-end. Anyone know any others that might work?
 
Oct 10, 2009 at 10:37 PM Post #4 of 26

steaxauce

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Thanks guys; I know I said I wanted something bigger and more high-end, but both of those are too big and too high end. I'm looking for something smaller than, say, the Benchmark, and the more compact, the better.

I most likely plan to use this with the Zune HD, via the dock, which has an optical output. I plan to carry a small 5V USB battery power supply with the dock so that I don't have to plug it in, and maybe cover the pins that it uses to charge the Zune so that it doesn't use the power to do that. It shouldn't draw too much current if it's just running the optical output. I plan to have the DAC outputting to an amp (likely the Pico Slim or RSA Shadow), which will be driving a JH-13. I'd go with an integrated amp/DAC, but I don't know that there are any which are particularly well-suited to driving IEMs

I'll be carrying this setup (on my skateboard) to the library, the local coffee shop, etc. to use while I work. It'll always be sitting on a desk when I use it, but I'd prefer not to have to find an outlet. I would go with an integrated amp/DAC, but there don't seem to be any that are particularly good at driving IEMs. I am considering the Headroom Desktop Portable as well, but it seems all that extra power might be wasted on the JH-13. It also lacks the digital volume control that the Shadow and Slim use.

So, any other ideas?
 
Oct 10, 2009 at 11:21 PM Post #5 of 26

some1x

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Beg Justin to add an optical input to the Pico DAC/Amp
tongue.gif
Other than that, maybe check out the HifiMAN.
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 12:14 AM Post #8 of 26

some1x

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Quote:

Originally Posted by steaxauce /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Heh, yeah, but he'd also have to add a battery. I can't go with the HiFiMan because I need a player that supports a subscription music service.


Pico DAC Amp already has a battery
smily_headphones1.gif
So you're 50% there.
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 12:20 AM Post #9 of 26

steaxauce

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The Topaz is an idea, but if I were going to choose something that I would need an external battery power supply for, I'd go with something that used a 5V supply, likely the Gamma2, so that I could use the same one to power the Zune HD's dock. I'm already carrying around the Zune, amp, dock, DAC and battery pack for the dock. I'm only willing to deal with so many items.
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 12:23 AM Post #10 of 26

steaxauce

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Quote:

Originally Posted by some1x /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Pico DAC Amp already has a battery
smily_headphones1.gif
So you're 50% there.



Does it? Wow, I wasn't aware of that. It has to be plugged into a USB bus to work anyway, so I figured it would just run off of bus power.

Edit: Oh, right. The DAC with amp.
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 12:34 AM Post #11 of 26

Duggeh

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Headroom ultra micro DAC plus a suitable battery pack and wire is your best bet here I think. Tyll of Headroom himself uses one on board his motorcycle rig.

You'll be looking at a chunk of weight for the SLAB battery to run the thing though I suspect.
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 1:02 AM Post #14 of 26

steaxauce

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That looks like it just might fit the bill, thanks for pointing it out. One thing I'm a bit worried about is that it looks like it might not be good for carrying around. I'm afraid things will get into the ventilation holes in the top. Maybe I can put some mesh over it. Also, I'm not sure how I feel about a non-oversampling design. ASRC would probably help, since I don't know what the Zune dock's jitter performance is like. I'll admit I have a lot to learn about this stuff, though.

Edit: Also, it only has a BNC input. I'd need an optical-to-coax converter, which would require power and add jitter.
 

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