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Looking for a DAC to pair with Pixel 7 Pro to Car Aux

CMuss

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I'm looking for something to replace my Meizu Hifi (non pro) USB-C adaptor that has a loose connection at the USB-C port. I just replaced my KabelDirekt 6ft aux cable that also started having connection issues. I went with the UGREEN Hi-Fi 3ft aux cable. I already feel the UGREEN has better audio performance over the KabelDirekt from a quick A/B comparison. I also have the WKWZY and both V1 & V2 Pixel USB-C headphone adaptors. I preferred my Meizu over them.

I'm mainly going to use my USB-C to 3.5mm aux setup for streaming Tidal HiFi Plus from my Pixel 7 Pro to the aux input in my car. I also have a set of Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee headphones that I use on occasion. I've spent a lot of time with upgrading my factory system over the last few years with sound treatment, driver replacement, and RTA tuning. I'm now turning my focus at giving my setup the best input source for my situation.

DAC headphone adaptors I've been looking at:

UGREEN HiFI Audio Pro (CS43131) $40
TempoTec Sonata HD PRO (CS43131) $46
MOONDROP DAWN (CS43131 x2) $70
Musiland MU2 Plus (CS43130) $70
CX-PRO (CX31993) $15
Meizu Mblu HiFi (CX31993) $23
TempoTec Sonata HD II (ES9270) $30
iBasso DC05 (ES9219C x2) $69
Shanling UA1 PRO (ES9219C) $49

(update) Added to the list:

E1DA 9038D6K (ES9038Q2M) $130
E1DA 9038S (ES9038Q2M) $110
E1DA 9038D (ES9038Q2M) $100


I'm sure there are others I have looked at too. I've been reading up on this forum as well as looking at other resources. Honestly, I'm a bit overwhelmed and would appreciate any input, tips, or suggestions. Is there a certain chip or power output rating that I should be looking for that would work better in an automobile environment? Options that work better for streaming Tidal from a phone? Better aux cable options? Best DAC phone adaptor value?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Any of @IVX dongles. I have the 9038D and it's the best dongle I've ever owned.
 
I'm using a Topping BC3 connected via Bluetooth to my Pixel phone using LDAC BT. It works great for me and tested well here. It is battery based so I charge it about once a week via USB-C.
 
I'd scratch the two CX31993 off the list. 1Vrms output and worse distortion and noise than the 9$ Apple dongle. Impressively low power consumption though.
 
Thanks for the reply's so far. I've been looking at the E1DA stuff. They look pretty solid. Just curious which one would be best for me. Not sure if they are power hungry and would drain the battery on my phone. Also see there could be an issue with 4G LTE or 5G?

Not sure if I want to go back to Bluetooth. I've been down that road before and don't mind having a cable. May consider it though.

I've crossed the CX31993 off the list. I don't want to go backwards with my Meizu Hifi (non pro) USB-C adaptor. I'd like to find something equal or better. Thanks!
 
Just curious which one would be best for me.
9038S G3 if you just want to plug in headphones directly, you need some serious power into low impedances, you don't have sensitive IEMs, and you can get 2.5mm balanced cables for your headphones and IEMs

9038D6K if you want to be able to plug in external Amps, you don't need tons of power into low impedances, you have sensitive IEMs, or you just want to continue using the stock 3.5mm cables.
Not sure if they are power hungry and would drain the battery on my phone.
Screenshot_20221115-210952_Sheets.png
 
I went ahead and purchased the UGREEN HiFi Audio Pro for now. I believe I'm also going to pick up the E1DA 9038D6K before the end of the year. Looks like an awesome little device!

Any product recommendations or tips to pair the 9038D6K with a USB-C splitter and 3.5mm aux cable? Looking at better cable and power options while streaming during road trips.

Thanks again!
 
Any product recommendations or tips to pair the 9038D6K with a USB-C splitter and 3.5mm aux cable? Looking at better cable and power options while streaming during road trips.
For the Aux cable, I'd pick one up from Thomann:
https://www.thomann.de/de/cableguy.html
(well, personally I'd make my own, but, ya know)

For the USB splitter, you have two options.
You can get a splitter like this, which allows you to supply power to your DAC externally from a power bank, so that it won't drain your phone:
1746155335-268275470.jpg
Advantage: works with all phones
Disadvantage: won't charge your phone

(If you're in Germany and get an error when opening the link, then you can still buy one by contacting the store via AliExpress. The store has to get some new certificate which they'll do early 2023)

Or you can get a splitter like this that'll charge your phone as well:
1275764513-718289215.jpg
Disadvantage: your phone must support USB Power Delivery charging.
Disadvantage 2: depending on your phone, Type-C chargers may not charge your phone through the adapter. You can read about my findings here.

(The product page says: "Only suitable for these devices:" That's a list of devices that Ugreen have tested themselves, which are not the only compatible devices. The splitter works fine on my Tab S5e and Tab S7+.)
 
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For the Aux cable, I'd pick one up from Thomann:
https://www.thomann.de/de/cableguy.html
(well, personally I'd make my own, but, ya know)

For the USB splitter, you have two options.
You can get a splitter like this, which allows you to supply power to your DAC externally from a power bank, so that it won't drain your phone:
View attachment 244435
Advantage: works with all phones
Disadvantage: won't charge your phone

(If you're in Germany and get an error when opening the link, then you can still buy one by contacting the store via AliExpress. The store has to get some new certificate which they'll do early 2023)

Or you can get a splitter like this that'll charge your phone as well:
View attachment 244436
Disadvantage: your phone must support USB Power Delivery charging.
Disadvantage 2: depending on your phone, Type-C chargers may not charge your phone through the adapter. You can read about my findings here.

(The product page says: "Only suitable for these devices:" That's a list of devices that Ugreen have tested themselves, which are not the only compatible devices. The splitter works fine on my Tab S5e and Tab S7+.)

Thanks again for all the great info! I was looking for that UGREEN splitter, but looks like they're no longer available. Nice to know the differences between them.

I could try making my own cables. I used to be an Electrical & Instrumentation Technician and made different types of cables before.
 
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