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[Tell Google to] Enable USB audio on any Android 4.0 smartphone/tablet
DanBa
post Oct 27 2012, 12:14
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QUOTE (andy o @ Oct 27 2012, 06:35) *
The actual official Nexus 7 implementation (with the dock/speakers as host) is the way to go, it will allow charging at least, functioning basically like an iPod dock (presumably even like the new "lightning" port docks which should be digital).

It's possible to charge the Android smartphone / tablet in standard USB audio:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...05#post_8748466

The Google guys should not know the Battery Charging Specification, Revision 1.2.


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DanBa
post Oct 27 2012, 12:18
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A list of standard USB DAC reportedly interworking with the Android-powered smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note II:

stock Galaxy Note II > digital USB audio out >> USB OTG cable (micro-A plug inserted in the Note II) >> standard USB DAC >> amp >> headphones

. FiiO E7 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.headfonia.com/fiio-e7-portable-dac/
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...80#post_8771744

. GoVibe Magnum (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.head-fi.org/t/324577/review-gov...num-usb-dac-amp
http://www.head-fi.org/t/633201/confirmed-...-2#post_8809248

. HeadAmp Pico (USB DAC/amp): (via USB 2.0 hub)
http://www.headamp.com/pico/pico_dac_amp/index.htm
http://www.head-fi.org/t/625054/samsung-ga...30#post_8774905

. iBasso D12 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.ibasso.com/en/products/show.asp?ID=63
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...05#post_8750862

. Leckerton UHA-6S MKII (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.leckertonaudio.com/products/uha-6s-mkii/
http://www.head-fi.org/t/625054/samsung-ga...30#post_8777791

. Objective DAC (ODAC):
http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/our-produc...iature-usb-dac/
http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=46
http://www.headnhifi.com/index.php/shop/objective/odac
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...35#post_8758515

. ODAC+O2 (USB DAC/amp):
http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/our-produc...r-with-usb-dac/
http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=48
http://www.headnhifi.com/index.php/shop/ob.../o2120527192048
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...35#post_8758515

. Sony PHA-1 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.touchmyapps.com/2012/10/09/sony...-amp-in-review/
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...65#post_8769593

. VentureCraft Go-Dap X (USB DAC/amp):
http://venturecraft.jp/gadget_en/index.php
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...65#post_8769593



So far, like the quad-core Exynos powered Galaxy S III, the new quad-core Exynos powered Samsung Galaxy Note II can work with the FiiO E7, the iBasso D12, Leckerton UHA-6S MKII, the ODAC and the VentureCraft Go-Dap X; has some issue with the HeadAmp Pico; and doesnít work with the FiiO E17.

So, in regard to standard USB audio, the behaviour of the Galaxy Note II is likely identical to the behaviour of the Galaxy SIII.



A list of standard USB DAC reportedly interworking with the Android-powered smartphone Samsung Galaxy S III:

stock Samsung Galaxy S III > digital USB audio out >> USB OTG cable (micro-A plug inserted in the S III) >> standard USB DAC >> amp >> headphones

. AMB Gamma 1:
http://www.amb.org/audio/gamma1/
http://www.head-fi.org/t/608535/wolfson-da...80#post_8750043

. AMB Gamma 2:
http://www.amb.org/audio/gamma2/
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.p...p;postcount=279

. Apex Glacier (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.ttvjaudio.com/Apex_High_Fi_Audi.../aaa0000010.htm
http://www.head-fi.org/t/608535/wolfson-da...25#post_8776449

. Asus Xonar U3 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.asus.com/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_U3/
http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php...l=1#post8551119

. Behringer UCA202 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/UCA202.aspx
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...40#post_8654226

. Behringer UCA222 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.behringer.com/en/Products/UCA222.aspx
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-d...338/#post171651

. Beresford Caiman:
http://www.techradar.com/reviews/audio-vis...n-673787/review
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-d...338/#post171651

. C-Media chipset-based sound card Dynamode 7 channel USB 2.0 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.chinacomputerparts.com/d-p11401...5616900-cables/
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.p...p;postcount=449

. Cakewalk Sonar SPS 25:
https://www.cakewalk.com/support/kb/reader.aspx/2007013101
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-d...338/#post171651

. Corsair HS1 Gaming headset (USB DAC/amp/headphones):
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3989/corsair...-gaming-headset
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread...17#post27238117

. FiiO E7 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.headfonia.com/fiio-e7-portable-dac/
http://www.androidnz.net/2012/07/galaxy-s-...iew-part-2.html

. Furutech ADL Cruise (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.furutech.com/a2008/product2.asp?prodNo=399
http://www.head-fi.org/t/608535/wolfson-da...85#post_8567838

. GoVibe DAC:
http://jaben.net/forums/index.php?topic=2824.0
http://forum.lowyat.net/index.php?showtopi...;#entry53317360

. GoVibe Mini USB DAC:
http://www.jaben.com.au/collections/go-vib.../govibe-minidac
http://www.head-fi.org/t/614111/finally-di...15#post_8525675

. GoVibe Petite (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.head-fi.org/t/290711/govibe-pet...s-little-update
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...95#post_8552452

. HRT HeadStreamer (USB DAC/amp):
http://highresolutiontechnologies.com/headstreamer
http://www.head-fi.org/t/608535/wolfson-da...50#post_8677483

. HRT Music Streamer II:
http://highresolutiontechnologies.com/music-streamer-ii
http://www.head-fi.org/t/608535/wolfson-da...65#post_8534856

. HeadAmp Pico (USB DAC/amp): (Exynos-based S III connected to Pico via USB 2.0 hub)
http://www.headamp.com/pico/pico_dac_amp/index.htm
http://www.head-fi.org/t/608535/wolfson-da...80#post_8539705
http://www.head-fi.org/t/608535/wolfson-da...50#post_8688938
http://www.head-fi.org/t/608535/wolfson-da...20#post_8638606

. HeadRoom Total BitHead (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.headphone.com/learning-center/bithead-faq.php
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...35#post_8527516

. HeadStage USB DAC cable:
http://www.inearmatters.net/2010/04/short-...-dac-cable.html
http://www.headphiles.org/index.php/topic,....html#msg241979

. HiFiMan Express HM-101:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/571330/hifiman-ex...ortable-usb-dac
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.p...p;postcount=291

. iBasso D-Zero (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.ibasso.com/en/products/show.asp?ID=73
http://neutronmp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f...;start=20#p1636

. iBasso D2 Boa (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.ibasso.com/en/products/show.asp?ID=30
http://www.head-fi.org/t/552014/pictures-o...35#post_8509186

. iBasso D2+ Boa (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.ibasso.com/en/products/show.asp?ID=42
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-d...338/#post171651

. iBasso D5 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.head-fi.org/t/556490/ibasso-d5-...her-usb-dac-amp
http://www.head-fi.org/t/614111/finally-di...ii#post_8462693

. iBasso D10 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.ibasso.com/en/products/show.asp?ID=39
http://www.head-fi.org/t/628374/samsung-ga...le#post_8735134

. iBasso D12 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.ibasso.com/en/products/show.asp?ID=63
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.p...p;postcount=924

. iQube v2 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.i-qube.nl/index.php?id=24
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.p...;postcount=1268

. JH Audio JH-3A (USB DSP/DAC/amp/JH16 CIEM):
http://www.jhaudio.com/product/jh-3a-dsp-a...tom-ear-monitor
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...85#post_8799910

. Jabra GN 5035 (USB headset):
http://reviews.cnet.com/headsets/jabra-gn5...7-32462996.html
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.p...;postcount=1368

. KingRex UD-01:
http://www.kingrex.co.uk/dac.html
https://www.facebook.com/headfonia/posts/352787358128700

. Leckerton UHA-4 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.leckertonaudio.com/products/uha-4/
http://www.head-fi.org/t/536982/leckerton-...20#post_8773152

. Leckerton UHA-6S MKII (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.leckertonaudio.com/products/uha-6s-mkii/
http://www.head-fi.org/t/602493/new-lecker...35#post_8698006

. M-Audio Duo USB Audio Interface:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct02/articles/maudio.asp
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...40#post_8788814

. Matrix Mini-i (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.headfonia.com/matrix-mini-i-balanced-dac/
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...65#post_8768166

. Microsoft Philips Digital Sound System 80 (USB DAC/amp/speakers):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Sound_System_80
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1703218

. Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 (USB headset):
http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-au/p/...-3000/JUG-00003
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.p...;postcount=1355

. NuForce Icon HDP (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.nuforce.com/hp/products/iconhdp/index.php
http://www.head-fi.org/t/608535/wolfson-da...85#post_8567838

. NuForce Icon Mobile (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/nuforce10/mobile.html
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...35#post_8759826

. Objective DAC (ODAC):
http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/our-produc...iature-usb-dac/
http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=46
http://www.headnhifi.com/index.php/shop/objective/odac
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...15#post_8707637

. ODAC+O2 (USB DAC/amp):
http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/our-produc...r-with-usb-dac/
http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=48
http://www.headnhifi.com/index.php/shop/ob.../o2120527192048
http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?stor...164588276945555

. Ordnance .25 (USB DAC/amp):
http://jaben.net/forums/index.php?topic=9984.0
http://www.head-fi.org/t/614111/finally-di...ii#post_8462693

. RSA Intruder (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.raysamuelsaudio.com/products/intruder
http://www.head-fi.org/t/627080/new-balanc...30#post_8781567

. RSA Predator (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.raysamuelsaudio.com/products/predator
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...50#post_8538933

. Stoner Acoustics UD100:
http://stoneracoustics.blogspot.fr/
http://forum.lowyat.net/index.php?showtopi...;#entry54596977

. Syba SD-AUD20101: (optical S/PFIF capable)
http://www.sybausa.com/productInfo.php?iid=1191
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...75#post_8736082

. Topping D1 Mark 2 (USB DAC/amp):
http://translate.googleusercontent.com/tra...dszs9J4x85vGfDg
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.p...p;postcount=871

. Topping D2 (USB DAC/amp):
http://www.mightybigword.com/tnt/2012/03/t...-d2-dac-review/
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.p...;postcount=1357

. Topping TP30 (USB DAC/amp):
http://news.cnet.com/8300-5_3-0.html?keyword=Topping+TP-30
http://www.androidnz.net/2012/05/samsung-g...-usb-audio.html

. VentureCraft Go-Dap X (USB DAC/amp):
http://venturecraft.jp/gadget_jp/gdx.php
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...15#post_8708233

. xDuoo XP-1 (USB DAC/amp):
http://translate.google.fr/translate?hl=fr...w.asp%3FID%3D47
http://translate.google.fr/translate?tl=en...ved=0CCcQ7gEwAA


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skamp
post Oct 27 2012, 12:53
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QUOTE (DanBa @ Oct 27 2012, 01:54) *
There are people and people.


What?


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DanBa
post Nov 10 2012, 13:05
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Galaxy Note II & Headstage Lyrix Pro USB total :
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...95#post_8854850

stock Galaxy Note II > digital USB audio out >> USB OTG cable (micro-A plug inserted in the Note II) >> Headstage Lyrix Pro USB total USB DAC/amp >> Beyerdynamic DT-770 Premium





A list of standard USB DAC reportedly interworking with the Android-powered smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note II / S III:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...95#post_8855342

This post has been edited by DanBa: Nov 10 2012, 13:07


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DanBa
post Nov 20 2012, 21:43
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Samsung Galaxy S III & planar magnetic Audeze LCD-2:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...55#post_8873554

stock Galaxy S III > digital USB audio out >> USB OTG cable (micro-A plug inserted in the Note II) >> RSA Intruder >> Audeze LCD-2 headphones




"The LCD-2's sound phenomenal in balanced mode off the Intruder... Yum."


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DanBa
post Dec 8 2012, 14:35
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The $43 Samsung Galaxy S3 + Car Stereo Upgrade for WAaaY better sound quality!
http://www.head-fi.org/t/639883/the-43-gal...r-sound-quality

Galaxy S3 > digital USB audio out >> "USB OTG" cable >> Behringer UCA202 USB DAC >> car stereo amp >> car stereo speakers

"...
And so what are the results you ask?

HOLY MOLY!
Not only is the audio quality MUCH improved, but the sound is so CLEAN now. No clicks, burps, or any other weird background noises. Just straight CD quality background silence.
Even my GPS voice sounds prettier. hahah
Bass is tighter and deeper. Highs are more revealing. Everything is so much better that a novice could tell it sounds better.

And yes, GPS navigation works perfectly. If I'm listening to Pandora or an MP3 and my GPS needs to talk, then my music will go several db quieter and GPS will speak up, then afterwards the music will automatically go back to full volume.

Also, one thing I hated about Bluetooth was everytime I turned my car off for just a minute, when I would power it back on the Bluetooth would not consistently reconnect. Well, this USB-OTG has been very consistent for me so far. Music just picks back up where it left off at and is fairly quick to do so.

Cons? Well, I haven't tested hands free calling yet. But I'm told it doesn't work with this USB-OTG to DAC configuration. Maybe there is a bluetooth solution for that. I dunno? And AOSP does not yet support DACs.

Pros? Freakin everything.

Pics are below.


Here is the DAC and the USB-OTG cable:


This is how you configure the DAC.
You can probably also use the headphones output instead of the stereo RCA, but I didn't try it.


I wired up my USB-OTG cable to my iBOLT dock. It comes up through my dash defrost vents.


This is what the three connectors on the USB-OTG cable look like:


Here is the DAC being wired up. I taped up the non-used RCA's to prevent anything bugging with them.


I wrapped up the DAC with DUCT tape.
Not sure how or why the pic is sideways. It looks normal on my desktop.


Hid it behind my dash.


Here is the USB-OTG cable with my iBOLT dock.


The car stereo w/audio cable attached. Some car stereos have the 3.5mm connector in the back. Or a dual-RCA input. I'd prefer one of those to have a cleaner install. Maybe someday I'll upgrade my car stereo.


And here is the finished product. My S3 docked, charging and outputing beautiful digital music!


.." [CZ Eddie]


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[JAZ]
post Dec 8 2012, 15:48
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QUOTE (DanBa @ Dec 8 2012, 14:35) *
HOLY MOLY!
Not only is the audio quality MUCH improved, but the sound is so CLEAN now. No clicks, burps, or any other weird background noises. Just straight CD quality background silence.
Even my GPS voice sounds prettier. hahah
Bass is tighter and deeper. Highs are more revealing. Everything is so much better that a novice could tell it sounds better.


Are you aware that you are at Hydrogenaudio? You know... where there's a Term of service number 8 that goes against gratuitously giving audio quality impressions.


But even then, haven't you forgot to say versus what are you comparing it to?

This post has been edited by [JAZ]: Dec 8 2012, 15:48
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OzarkVe
post Dec 8 2012, 17:23
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I was actually interested in the topic name but should be renamed the DanBa/BaDan show... blink.gif

That all aside - one gentleman asked a few pages ago, 'what's wrong with the internal DAC'. I like the ABX philosophy here, but I don't know how you can do a ABX with the internal dac vs external. I know over on soundexpert they tested devices but it's an aged list.

Using the same philosophy, and coming to the realization that I thought I had pretty good ears.... but find that 96k aac files are 'pretty good' for listening on a portable level AND being a recovering audioholic - I wonder how much 'better' adding complexity is to this system.
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skamp
post Dec 8 2012, 18:25
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QUOTE (OzarkVe @ Dec 8 2012, 17:23) *
I don't know how you can do a ABX with the internal dac vs external


Record the two outputs with a good recording device, and ABX that, I guess?


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DanBa
post Dec 8 2012, 18:59
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QUOTE ([JAZ] @ Dec 8 2012, 15:48) *

But even then, haven't you forgot to say versus what are you comparing it to?

"No [more] clicks, burps, or any other weird background noises. Just straight CD quality background silence."

If you read the linked post, the guy has compared his car stereo system with analog USB audio out (i.e. Samsung-proprietary line out) and with digital USB audio out.


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[JAZ]
post Dec 8 2012, 19:15
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Analog USB audio??? What does that mean?
[Edit: Ok, i found this link that somehow talks about using the USB cable as an analog output... Never heard of this before, so i cannot even talk about how it is supposed to be implemented)

So.. I have to assume, somehow, that the analog circuitry of the SGS3 (used for headphones) has operational noises, similar to those that happens on computers when moving the mouse or reading the hard drive?

At last, it is not possible to get CD quality background silence, because he's using the (analog) line in of the radio.

This post has been edited by [JAZ]: Dec 8 2012, 19:20
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OzarkVe
post Dec 8 2012, 22:00
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QUOTE (skamp @ Dec 8 2012, 12:25) *
QUOTE (OzarkVe @ Dec 8 2012, 17:23) *
I don't know how you can do a ABX with the internal dac vs external


Record the two outputs with a good recording device, and ABX that, I guess?


Not sure what would constitute a 'good recording device', but what I have available is my laptop mic input where I could record some sample via the phone jack to HD and then compare that to another sample the same way. Is there a 'standard / acceptable method' to match the output levels so there's no loudness bias? Sorry, this is probably OT for the thread a little.. Wait... I don't even own a DAC.. crap... maybe we can use a sample off of the sample section here and we can swamp converted samples for ABX'ing?
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andy o
post Dec 12 2012, 18:12
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Wow, that looks messy. Especially for the car, I've realized that bluetooth is probably a great thing. I've been temporarily using my Nexus 4 with my little Jambox stuck on my dashboard, while I figured out what to do with the gaping hole where the (now stolen) stereo used to be, without having to get another one. Music and receiving calls is pretty seamless. So I just bought this little BT adapter, which comes with music controls as well. Will be connected to a little amp and most of the stuff will be hidden inside the hole or somewhere else. When something reasonable comes out, I'll get a Qi wireless charging dock for the N4 and I'll be completely wireless in the car.
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DanBa
post Jan 26 2013, 20:29
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The compatibility list of Android devices / USB DAC is regularly updated at the following topic:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/595071/android-ph...d-usb-dacs/1500


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kwanbis
post Jan 26 2013, 21:15
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This is the most gallant thread on a long time.

People actually waste so much time and energy on this bs instead of just connecting to the aux?


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ChronoSphere
post Jul 7 2014, 14:43
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QUOTE (kwanbis @ Jan 26 2013, 22:15) *
People actually waste so much time and energy on this bs instead of just connecting to the aux?
If the analog output has a good quality, sure. But what if it doesn't? I had random clicks on my old nexus 7 tablet when listening to music via the headphone output. Connecting an USB card could have solved this, but it wasn't possible. According to this, Android L will have this feature added.
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skamp
post Jul 7 2014, 16:59
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QUOTE (ChronoSphere @ Jul 7 2014, 15:43) *
Connecting an USB card could have solved this, but it wasn't possible.


Or, you could get a much smaller and infinitely less cumbersome portable music player that works well, like a Fuze+ with Rockbox and a 32 GB microsdhc card.


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kornchild2002
post Jul 7 2014, 17:26
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QUOTE (skamp @ Jul 7 2014, 08:59) *
Or, you could get a much smaller and infinitely less cumbersome portable music player that works well, like a Fuze+ with Rockbox and a 32 GB microsdhc card.


Although being a solution, it goes around the whole ideology of using a single device for everything. I used my 64GB iPhone 5 as my sole means of portable music playback along with having the option to make phone calls, text, browse the internet, act as a GPS, and even implement as a point-and-shoot digital camera. I recently upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy S5 with a 128GB microSDXC card. Again, it is my all-in-one device and having a dedicated music player, especially with a "paltry" 32GB of storage, pretty much defeats the purpose of having an all-around device with that much storage.

I used to rely on my Droid X as my smartphone, camera, internet browser, and GPS while turning to a 64GB iPod touch for music playback. I did that for 2 years (actually 5 years in total since I used to just have a cellphone and an iPod) and quickly grew tired of it. The ability to have an all-in-one device, with more than enough storage to house my 5-star playlist, is extremely convenient.

Having said all of that, I haven't had any issues with Galaxy S5 as I just rely on Bluetooth when in my car. I "installed" an aftermarket Bluetooth 4.0 hands free accessory that outputs audio to my car's aux input. It has aptX so I've been pleased with the results thus far, nothing to really complain about for mobile listening. I plugged my S5 directly into my car's aux port prior to that and again, was pleased with the results. I just wanted something that was wireless so I wouldn't have to take my phone out of my pocket just to listen to music.
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skamp
post Jul 7 2014, 17:44
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QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Jul 7 2014, 18:26) *
Although being a solution, it goes around the whole ideology of using a single device for everything.


One tablet + one USB DAC = Two devices

One tablet + one good DAP = Two devices


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ChronoSphere
post Jul 7 2014, 18:37
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Tablet + USB card = one music collection to sync
Tablet + DAP = two music collections to sync
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kornchild2002
post Jul 7 2014, 18:59
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QUOTE (skamp @ Jul 7 2014, 09:44) *
One tablet + one USB DAC = Two devices

One tablet + one good DAP = Two devices


But you're still relying on one actual audio device for playback. Leave the DAC in the car and just plug it into the smartphone when driving. As previously pointed out, it also means syncing multiple devices. This used to be the norm, I did it all the time with my iPod classic and iPod nano back during my regular cellphone days. Then it was syncing some content (mainly pictures) across my smartphone and iPod touch. Now it's just much, much easier to sync content to one device and use that device for everything. Smartphones used to be Jack of all trades, master of none devices and DAPs would still provide a better music playback experience. That really isn't the case anymore. The iPhone is the same exact music experience as an iPod touch and, with numerous apps available, there is bound to be something in the Google Play Store that fits the audio playback needs of people.
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skamp
post Jul 7 2014, 20:04
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What? No. We've established that the tablet sucks ass for music (with a limited space of 32 GB and a 100+ ohms output impedance, it does suck). That's why the DAC is needed.

The only device you need to sync (music to) is the DAP.

Look, if your device sucks so bad that you need an external DAC (which you need to charge too and which will be hanging on your supposedly portable tablet device), you better do your homework and get a "single device" that doesn't horribly suck at audio. Anything else is just your usual Head-Fi audiophoolery non-sense. Next thing you know, you'll be buying silver interconnects for 200 squid.

Also, what's all this talk about a "single device" that includes (1) a tablet and (2) a smartphone? That's… one, two devices. And (3) a USB DAC. That's… THREE!

Oh and, your smartphone and tablet and USB DAC will be sucking up so much power, you'll need (4) an external battery pack! That's FOUR! Not counting (5) the portable headphone amplifier because that part of your USB DAC doesn't do the job (FIVE).

This post has been edited by skamp: Jul 7 2014, 20:16


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saratoga
post Jul 7 2014, 20:22
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Qualcomm devices uniformly have low output impedance, and relatively close to 16 bit limited performance, so the scope for using an external DAC is mostly limited to a handful Tegra devices like the old Nexus 7 and very cheap tablets with lowend SOCs.

More interesting IMO is the ability to play audio through USB while charging while avoiding issues like ground loops. It would be great to see support for 2 amp charging + digital output in future stock car stereos and receivers.
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kornchild2002
post Jul 7 2014, 22:38
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QUOTE (skamp @ Jul 7 2014, 12:04) *
What? No. We've established that the tablet sucks ass for music (with a limited space of 32 GB and a 100+ ohms output impedance, it does suck). That's why the DAC is needed.


I am not talking about using a tablet, at all. I've very clearly stated "smartphone" in all of my posts. Others might be talking about a tablet but I am not and, after conducting a little search, have determined that the Nexus 7 is not the only Android device that has issues with analog audio output as well as Bluetooth connectivity. The Galaxy S4 and S5 have popping/clicking issues when relying on the 3.5mm headphone output (though I haven't experienced it, constant forum entries show otherwise), the Galaxy S4 and S5 have known Bluetooth issues ever since KitKat came out (again, I haven't experienced it but again, the interwebs disagrees), the HTC One M8 is experiencing similar Bluetooth and headphone output issues, and so are many other KitKat devices. The main issue appears to be surrounded by Android 4.4.

Despite all that, my "one device" ideology still applies to smartphones (as I've previously discussed) and to tablets. In this case, some people use their tablets as their media device. They sync movies, photos, music, books, and apps to the tablet. Using a DAP instead of the tablet means they have to sync movies, photos, books, and apps to the tablet while syncing music to their DAP. Again, they will be carrying two devices. This way of thinking, something of which I participated in for a really long time, is outdated especially in more modern times where smartphones and tablets can serve more than one purpose. Gone are the days when a dedicated DAP is required. However, that doesn't mean that smartphones, tablets, and DAPs aren't without issues. That's what is trying to be tackled here. I would never put a USB amp in my car and plug that in for audio output in my smartphone. I think the root of the issue, i.e. what appears to be Android, needs to be solved first especially since iPhone users are not reporting these kinds of problems.
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Audible!
post Jul 8 2014, 00:38
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Chris Heinonen at anandtech has done some actually objective cell phone analog output quality testing using an APx582 and various impedance dummy loads. This article compares the HTC One M8 and Galaxy S5 and explores their current methodology in a bit of depth.

While both the S5 and M8 use a rather similar Qualcomm SoC (Snapdragon 801 family), the M8 has considerably more power being pumped through the headphone jack - 55mw (@16ohm) versus 22mw for the S5. It also has a stupid "Beats Audio" EQ curve, which is happily optional. At any given volume level, the M8 fares better in terms of objective quality metics; that said, both phones are quite good compared to the issues seen in the first article.

Consequently, the SoC model or phone vendor cannot always be assumed to be the 'limiting factor' on cell phone analog audio output quality.

Indeed, in the first article, the differences between the Nexus 5 and the (all-but-identical: same manufacturer, Qualcomm SoC is the identical MSM8974 'dragon 800) LG G2 are quite interesting given the hardware similarities.

These articles may provide an illustration of why people are attaching devices to their Android phones in order to get a digital audio out that can then be converted by a DAC of the users' choice.

Edit: Indeed, the HTC EQ curve associated with "Beats Audio" might be sufficiently disconcerting for music fans with limited technical knowledge, that I wouldn't be surprised if some people are trying to get digital out in order to defeat a software EQ curve that can be defeated in seconds...if you know where to look.


This post has been edited by Audible!: Jul 8 2014, 00:40
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