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Topic: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles? (Read 1908 times) previous topic - next topic
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Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Long time lurker. Hi y'all  O:)

There's this new thing with smartphones. And now, many come without a headphone jack.

I *need* that jack, believe me  O:)

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/headphone-dac-amp-comparison-lossless-hi-res-audio/

In brief:

* THX Onyx, $200
* Helm Bolt USB DAC, $99
* Questyle M12 Portable Headphone DAC and amp, $140
* Astell&Kern USB-C Dual DAC Cable, $149
* Zorloo Ztella MQA Version, $99

Are any of these good?

Are there good cheaper ones? When I have to get a new phone, I try to keep it <400€ and have so far succeeded with this.
Yes, there are still phones with a headphone jack. No, they are not an option (I like GrapheneOS and want to continue using it).

Do forum members have experience with this problem? Good resources coming to mind?

Thanks :)

Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #1
Googling some more...

I might try the

* AVANI alc5686 HD Typ-C zu 3,5mm DAC dongle (AliExpress)
* Abigail CX31993 HD Typ-C zu 3,5mm DAC Abigail Pro dongle (AliExpress) same product?

If I find more good optoins, I'll update

Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #2
I have a FiiO JadeAudio KA3 and it does a really good job.
EZ CD Audio Converter / FLAC or WavPack

Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #3
I use Qudelix 5k to overcome this problem.
Opus VBR 256 + SoX


Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #5
The Apple one is quite good in terms of sound quality, as long as you get the A2049 version (sold in the US).
The main downside is that, at least on an Android phone, you need to use something like Hiby Music to get the maximum volume out of it. I frankly don't know if that only happens with the Apple or if it's a general behavior on Android.

See also: Recommendations For A Cheap External USB Soundcard?

Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #6
I use a UGreen
On my A40 it sounded identical to the headphone jack if a bit louder.
Now that I do have a A54 without a jack, I use the UGreen.

Occasionally you can find a teardown like https://www.cabledo.com/surface-usb-c-to-3-5mm-audio-adapter-teardown/
You might try ASR for measurements
 
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #7
Is it not the case that there is a headphone connection within the Lightning/USB-C connector, and all it requires is an adapter?
It's your privilege to disagree, but that doesn't make you right and me wrong.

Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #8
Certain Android phones (Pixels for instance) don't have analog audio out via the USB-C connector

Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #9
I think that is what is called the "Audio accessory" mode.
In case the OP's phone supports it - and if so: is such an adapter any cheaper ... ? Those DAC dongles aren't too expensive anymore, and if you are sure they are more compatible ...

Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #10
I use this Maxonar after it was recommended to me by a friend that has tried loads. I've been pleased so far. Build quality (for me anyway) is great; very durable. I'm not sure I could abx between many of them what with my rave damaged ears, so stayed away from expensive ones.

Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #11
The cheaper dongles allow you to use your microphone and controls.

The more expensive amps don't allow you to use your microphone and controls.
EZ CD Audio Converter / FLAC or WavPack

Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #12
I use a Hidizs S8. I'm happy with it. And it measures well:

The cheaper Tempotec Sonata HD Pro is identical, from what I've read:

Re: Smartphones without headphone jack - good DAC dongles?

Reply #13
Thanks for all the input! I'll let that sink in and see what I'll do.

My next phone will very likely not have the option of a buil-int 3.5mm jack. Not sure when the time will be here that my current phone has to be replaced. But now I'm prepared :)

Awesome that hydrogenaudio is still so active! :))