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Sep 2, 2016
Portable iPhone DAC
Just wondering if there has been a portable DAC/Amp made available for iPhones that has a Lightning input or what options might be possible.
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I use an Audio Quest Dragonfly Black with my iPad Air2. I bought a $3 lightning to USB adapter on amazon.
Thanks to all I ordered an Oppo HA-2 today. Can wait for it to arrive :-)
I love my Oppo HA-2.
Few off the top of my head are the highly reviewed...
Oppo HA-2: https://www.oppodigital.com/headphone-amplifier-ha-2/
Audioquest Dragonfly Black & Red (need Apple Camera USB adapter): http://www.audioquest.com/dragonfly-series/
and the PeachTree Shift: http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/shift.html
There is also the Cozoy Astrapi: http://www.cozoyaudio.com/main/
...which has mixed reviews, but nicely priced.
Currently I am using a Dragonfly Black with the Apple USB Camera Connection Adapter. Couldn't be happier with the sound quality. Although one day I hope to get my hands on an Oppo HA-2.
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I'd agree with that!
As far as sound stage and stereo imaging, while using headphones, it really comes down to nitpicking for me. I have better judgement when playing through loudspeakers.
There are a lot out there. Just look for MFI certified, just like what you look for when buying a cable. One that I like because of its tiny, very protable size is the Cozoy Astrapi. It is made for iPhone/iPad (MFI). It makes amazing sound for a DAC its size, or any size. I have an iFi Nano iDSD, and the sound from the Cozoy Astrapi is just as good as the iFi. Now, if size is not a concern, then an iFi Nano DSD is a great device as well, and it can be considered a benchmark them for portable DAC's. I would not buy a new one though. For one, they are really tough, so odds are, it is good. Second, the list price and the used device price have drifted pretty far apart, mostly because of people speculating what the new iFi Pro would cost. So, a good used one is available for a great price for someone starting out. Check the classifieds on Head-fi.org for good used gear ( http://www.head-fi.org/f/6552/source-components-for-sale-trade/-filter-/RmlsdGVyJTVCdHlwZSU1RCU1QjElNUQvMS9GaWx0ZXIlNUJ0eXBlJTVEJTVCNCU1RC8xL0ZpbHRlciU1QnN0YXRlJTVEJTVCT3BlbiU1RC8xL0ZpbHRlciU1Qm9yZGVyX2J5JTVEL0NsYXNzaWZpZWQuYnVtcF9hdC9wYWdlLzA,/ ) Now, it IS NOT MFI certified. But, I have learned that many of the MFI certified devices just use a MFI certified cable, which is not that much different than having to get an Apple Camera Connection Kit. I would prefer that the device have the MFI chip in it, and that any cable be able to be used, but that is not the case for many, if not all of the devices. So, re still tied to the value of the cable they send you, which may not be as strong in many cases. Back to the Cozoy Astrapi. It can give big DAC sound quality in a micro DAC size. You will most likely need an amp, and there are lots of good micro amps available too. It makes for a very portable and easy to use set-up. URL: http://www.cozoyaudio.com
There are a ton of options, what you want to look for is an apple certified DAC or one that states it works with IOS. You don't really need a native lightning connection to get most DAC/Amps to work with IOS just a lightning adapter cable. Here is one example that has a native lightning connector http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/one-dac
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