Question Portable amp/dac for ipod touch

indus

Distinguished Member
Hi
I'm looking to improve the sound quality from my ipod touch. I've thought about just buying a better player, however I stream/download mainly from Tidal. I had a Pioneer xdp 30r for a few days and though the sq was excellent its wifi and interface with tidal were pretty awful.
I also think it wouldn't have let me download directly onto it for listening off line.

On top of that my new headphones have added functions that only work with apple devices.

So....could anybody suggest a small external dac/amp that plays friendly with an ipod touch?

Thanks very much.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
I have gone away from the Apple world at this stage ,but still retain an iPad 2 .. original series and a small itouch. Bluntly if you want to stay within the apple infrastructure, your options are limited, and probably revolve about buying a new iPhone or new iPad.
Perhaps you should consider some of the premium android offerings like a Sony or Samsung phone, without a SIM card, which will do tidal on WiFi, offer Hi Res etc and with a SIM card can even be a phone...
Again I am not a tidal user,..I'm with Deezer, but the interfaces by the streaming services for the major brands of phones are always better supported than for the niche products. So I would expect tidal to be more user friendly on a iPhone or an android than on a minority product which the Pioneer must be.
 

indus

Distinguished Member
I have gone away from the Apple world at this stage ,but still retain an iPad 2 .. original series and a small itouch. Bluntly if you want to stay within the apple infrastructure, your options are limited, and probably revolve about buying a new iPhone or new iPad.
Perhaps you should consider some of the premium android offerings like a Sony or Samsung phone, without a SIM card, which will do tidal on WiFi, offer Hi Res etc and with a SIM card can even be a phone...
Again I am not a tidal user,..I'm with Deezer, but the interfaces by the streaming services for the major brands of phones are always better supported than for the niche products. So I would expect tidal to be more user friendly on a iPhone or an android than on a minority product which the Pioneer must be.

Hi

I have a Samsung S8 but have never listened to music on it. I always assumed it would sound worse than an ipod touch.

Or do you mean it would be much easier to use an external dac/amp with a S8 than with an apple product?

Cheers
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Hi

I have a Samsung S8 but have never listened to music on it. I always assumed it would sound worse than an ipod touch.

Or do you mean it would be much easier to use an external dac/amp with a S8 than with an apple product?

Cheers

As the teacher says .. assumptions makes an ass out of u and i
Well get good earphones, perhaps the ones you use with the itouch, assuming they are not the standard ones, ..not the el cheapos they Samsung supplied you with, download one of the better Android music player apps, I can suggest Fusion or Radson, either of which will cost the price of a Starbucks coffee. Your phone does hi Res and flac, so yes easily outperform the itouch.
One great feature of these Samsung's is that they can adjust the sound to each ear,and therefore compensate for inaccurate earphone and ear frequency response. .. in the test mode, a random sequence of different audio tones at different levels are sent to each ear and if you can hear it, you respond. The machine then works out your response, with that headphone and readjusts the sounds to compensate. It makes a real difference.

Whether you feel any need for an external DAC then is up to you. .. my S7 drives my Sony MDR 1R beyond comfortable volume levels. I understand that external DACs are easy to connect using the micro usb and OTG connection
As I have hinted I did get recently a Sony Music Player, which I prefer for music and radio and i believe has an edge in sound quality... It's battery is good for 30 hrs continued playing ...
Note I say believe the quality is better from the Sony rather than knowing it as a fact. And remember your S8 is a later and better model so they will be very closely matched for overall quality. . It ensures that the phone battery is retained for browsing and phoning.
 

indus

Distinguished Member
As the teacher says .. assumptions makes an ass out of u and i
Well get good earphones, perhaps the ones you use with the itouch, assuming they are not the standard ones, ..not the el cheapos they Samsung supplied you with, download one of the better Android music player apps, I can suggest Fusion or Radson, either of which will cost the price of a Starbucks coffee. Your phone does hi Res and flac, so yes easily outperform the itouch.
One great feature of these Samsung's is that they can adjust the sound to each ear,and therefore compensate for inaccurate earphone and ear frequency response. .. in the test mode, a random sequence of different audio tones at different levels are sent to each ear and if you can hear it, you respond. The machine then works out your response, with that headphone and readjusts the sounds to compensate. It makes a real difference.

Whether you feel any need for an external DAC then is up to you. .. my S7 drives my Sony MDR 1R beyond comfortable volume levels. I understand that external DACs are easy to connect using the micro usb and OTG connection
As I have hinted I did get recently a Sony Music Player, which I prefer for music and radio and i believe has an edge in sound quality... It's battery is good for 30 hrs continued playing ...
Note I say believe the quality is better from the Sony rather than knowing it as a fact. And remember your S8 is a later and better model so they will be very closely matched for overall quality. . It ensures that the phone battery is retained for browsing and phoning.


Thanks.

I have Sony MDX 1000 mk2 headphones btw.

I'll give it a go listening to Tidal on my S8 this evening.

Thanks for the advice.
 

iGiDK

Active Member
Your mileage may vary but for me this really improved the headphone quality on my Note8. Same options should be present with the s8.

Settings >> Sounds and Vibration >> Sound Quality & Effects >> Adapt Sound >> Personalise Sound

While you're in there try setting the UHQ upscaler to on as well
 

malcolmduffin

Active Member
Are you intending to use portable? I have a Chord Mojo, Dragonfly Red, and Shanling Up which I use with an iPod 6. Depending on the sound you like they are all great. If it's for running, gym or getting bus etc then I'd recommend the Shanling Up or Dragonfly Red as much smaller and portable. If you shop around you can get a new Shanling Up for around £70 on eBay (from Malaysia but they are kosher) and around double that for a new Dragonfly. If it's about being able take easily somewhere and then listen then Mojo or Oppo or similar. All of these will do wonders for your iPod's existing SQ and also help boost the volume a bit
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Are you intending to use portable? I have a Chord Mojo, Dragonfly Red, and Shanling Up which I use with an iPod 6. Depending on the sound you like they are all great. If it's for running, gym or getting bus etc then I'd recommend the Shanling Up or Dragonfly Red as much smaller and portable. If you shop around you can get a new Shanling Up for around £70 on eBay (from Malaysia but they are kosher) and around double that for a new Dragonfly. If it's about being able take easily somewhere and then listen then Mojo or Oppo or similar. All of these will do wonders for your iPod's existing SQ and also help boost the volume a bit
Not sure you can add external dac to older ipod? I could be wrong
 

malcolmduffin

Active Member
I am using a Shanling Up with an iPod 6 as I type this. Comes with lightning adapter cable and you just plug into phone and then headphones into Shanling. Sounds great! Also use the Dragonfly and Mojo (need Apple Camera Lightning Adapter) and also great.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
I am using a Shanling Up with an iPod 6 as I type this. Comes with lightning adapter cable and you just plug into phone and then headphones into Shanling. Sounds great! Also use the Dragonfly and Mojo (need Apple Camera Lightning Adapter) and also great.
I must be misinformed so. I thought the iPod touch was different, ignore my ramblings :)
 

muljao

Well-known Member

dannnielll

Well-known Member
The notion of having multiple portable devices each dependent on another to work seems to me terribly fiddly.. and a travesty of the concept" portable". which is why i think that the new jackless iPhone is a bad idea. Any of the premium phone brands have excellent DACs , of course some more excellent than others. . Whether you could discern the difference on a crowded bus is moot.
Now unless a music player actually drives headphones with good quality sound , it's a failure. Sticking a dac onto the digital ouput end of a music player or phone is to reduce its role to that of a sd card. That one would need to put in an add-on !!!! ??? It's a sticking plaster solution.

. The Sony A series does all that is needed and more. In fact the latest in the series the A45 also can act as the usb DAC for a home hi fi. And as an added bonus they will be usable from within iTunes. Load iTunes and connect in the Sony and it will be recognised as a device to which music files can be sent....
Whether it competes sonically with a Firefly in a similar role would be an interesting comparison. .

So I had better stop before I am accused of bitching or rambling..
 
Last edited:

malcolmduffin

Active Member
Don't disagree with any of the above. All I'd say is the person posing the question has an iPod which he/she would like to add an external DAC to that improves the sound. The Dragonfly and Chord Mojo definitely do this. Whether an Ipod is the right player, or whether he/she needs better headphones is a different, but very valid question. I suspect in the long run if you want a better solution your suggestion is right.

But your recommendation of the Sony A is really interesting for me personally. Indeed I've just posted up here earlier today (which is why I came across this thread) as I'm wanting to ditch the iPod for a player that has Bluetooth 4.1 to make the most of my new Flares PRO earphones. I got these for EXACTLY the reasons you mentioned - I run and wireless with as little appendages as possible just makes sense in that context. As well as the wired option the Flares are Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX which Apple doesn't support. But where the Sony might fail (as well as most DAPs unfortunately for me) is my personal requirements are that it also needs to incorporate streaming platforms such as Deezer and Spotify. I don't think the Sony supports those? If not then I think a decent (used) android phone might be the way I go. But if you know of any other (under £200) solutions then I'm all, excuse the pun, ears.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
The only certainty I can bring is that none of those Sony players will stream internet music be it Spotify, Deezer etc. An older Sony Xperia class phone, will have hi Res and will stream that stuff.... . The only low cost..(these things are relative) is the Pioneer device listed in the first post which supports streaming.
My reading was that the user in the first post was looking towards an iPod replacement .
I am a fan of the Sony A series and believe they are both excellent value and give excellent sound, irrespective of price.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Panasonic LZ2000, LZ1500 & LZ980 Hands-on Launch Event | No QD-OLED for 2022, new 77-inch for LZ2000
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom