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Bluetooth capable DAC with balanced output


Jan 22, 2021

I am looking for a Bluetooth DAC with balanced outputs that has a very specific function. Let me start out by describing the function I’m looking for and some background of what I got going on currently.

I am looking for a balanced DAC (while connected via Bluetooth) to be able to adjust the Bluetooth volume from the source device (in my case an iPhone or iPad). From my understanding the higher end DACs with Bluetooth and balanced outputs (Topping d70s) don’t often include this function. I’m assuming to reduce any noise and have the best signal. I currently have a Topping BC3 (Bluetooth dac) and it allows me to adjust the Bluetooth volume from iPad or iPhone. This is very nice when listening from outside the range of the Topping remote as I often am. I also have a Topping d70s that I thought was going to be able to “do it all”. However, I noticed almost immediately upon setup that I was not able to adjust Bluetooth volume from the iPhone or iPad (+/- buttons on the side of the device). Thus, I found myself having to get up and physically get in range of, as well as, aim the Topping remote directly at the sweet spot of the d70s screen (not very convenient for listening from another room via Bluetooth).

Why not just continue to use the Topping BC3 and add another dac for when I want to directly connect? I would like a DAC that would do both, one less device to manage... and the BC3 while is very good in my opinion, doesn’t have as good of range as Topping Bluetooth DACs that have an antenna. I get some signal loss from probably 15 feet away with the BC3, whereas the Topping d70s I tried had unbelievable signal via Bluetooth.

I am a pretty casual listener of music. However, I do enjoy connecting my source to a good quality DAC at times for the highest quality music and critical listening. I understand it’s kind of a waste to buy a $600+ DAC to utilize its Bluetooth feature. I just really want to avoid having a bunch of devices to manage in the chain. Thus, I really want a device that can do it all.

I was very intrigued by Toppings new D70s, and I ordered thinking that the device can “do it all”. And let me say, the d70s is a very soundly built and very nice DAC, but I found it missing the very specific function I happened to be looking for. (Controlling the Bluetooth volume from the iPhone or iPad). When controlling the Bluetooth volume from your phone it’s either full volume or muted. The phone shows the volume in gradual steps, but again, the Bluetooth volume is either full or mute. I reached out to Topping and they said the d70s was intentionally designed this way and the BC3 was designed to include this function. Thus, I am forced to return the d70s which is completely perfect other than this missing function. I am stuck with the BC3 for my Bluetooth audio for now.

LONG STORY SHORT and the question I am really wanting to have answered...

Does anyone know first hand of a nicer DAC with balanced outputs, and Bluetooth where you are able to adjust the Bluetooth volume with the (+/-) buttons on the side of your iPhone or iPad??

I’ve searched a few forums for people with the same issue and don’t see much feedback on the topic. Racking my brain to find a capable dac that will allow me to adjust the Bluetooth volume from the iPad or IPhone while also including balanced outputs.

Thanks for any help! I apologize in advance for getting wordy/repetitive.
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