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Review: Apple vs Google USB-C Headphone Adapters

max8

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Are there any compatibility issues with the Apple dongle on Windows and on Android devices (in particular new Samsung Galaxy phones)
 

infinitesymphony

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Are there any compatibility issues with the Apple dongle on Windows and on Android devices (in particular new Samsung Galaxy phones)
I think Windows 10 is necessary on the Windows side, though I haven't tested with Windows 8. Not sure on the Android side.
 
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Are there any compatibility issues with the Apple dongle on Windows and on Android devices (in particular new Samsung Galaxy phones)
I bought one with the UGreen USB-A to USB-C adapter, for use on my Win10 HP Zbook Studio G5 laptop from work. I plugged it into the laptop's USB-C and USB-A (3.1) ports, and into a cheap powered USB 2.0 hub, all worked, note that something needs to be plugged into the dongle's jack to get it recognized as an audio device. In my case this is a Zen Can with Sundaras.

The combination with the USB adapter seems a bit finicky, I only got the laptop to recognize the dongle on the USB-A ports by first putting in the adapter, then the dongle and finally the jack-to-jack wire to the Can line-in. Recognized once by Windows it seemed to work fine from thereon. Also tried it on an old laptop with only USB 2.0 ports, with immediate success.

Before this I used a Fiio K3 as DAC in this setup, with its lineout to the Zen Can, for the Apple dongle you need to turn up the gain one notch as dongle doesn't reach 2vrms, like the K3 does. To my ears sound quality is good, or at least equal to the K3 DAC, be interested to hear how you experience it (yes I got the European one, A2155)

Finally I inserted the dongle into a RPi (2/3), with shairport-sync installed, and that didn't work out, sound dropped every second, I'll retry that with a Volumio distro later on. Using USB devices on a Pi is a different can of worms.
 
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txbdan

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Because this is a DAC + amp, are there any considerations when using it simply as a DAC to provide line level outputs to an amplifier? I was thinking about getting a Purifi stereo amp for giggles running this as the DAC off my laptop.
 

samwell7

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Because this is a DAC + amp, are there any considerations when using it simply as a DAC to provide line level outputs to an amplifier? I was thinking about getting a Purifi stereo amp for giggles running this as the DAC off my laptop.
Only issue I've seen is the output voltage from the dongle will be at max 1V whereas line level from a DAC is typically higher so it may require more gain
 

guddu

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Only issue I've seen is the output voltage from the dongle will be at max 1V whereas line level from a DAC is typically higher so it may require more gain
So like adding a preamp to add gain?
 

samwell7

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So like adding a preamp to add gain?
I was thinking more like needing more gain on your amp rather than adding another piece of equipment into the chain, I guess a preamp would work though.

It may or may not be an issue, depends how powerful your amp is and how loud you listen really. I used it as a source in to my receiver for a while and it had no issues with level, somebody correct me if I'm wrong but line-level DACs are typically 2-4V.
 

guddu

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I was thinking more like needing more gain on your amp rather than adding another piece of equipment into the chain, I guess a preamp would work though.

It may or may not be an issue, depends how powerful your amp is and how loud you listen really. I used it as a source in to my receiver for a while and it had no issues with level, somebody correct me if I'm wrong but line-level DACs are typically 2-4V.
Pre-amp can add 6-10 db again before power amp, so may be worth a try.
But will running this small adapter as DAC for longer time be safe? Does it get too warm?
 
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Can anyone recommend the closest equivalent to the Apple USB-C to 3.5mm adapter that has at least 1Vrms for EU/UK?
I know the Apple product is limited to 0.5Vrms over here (model A2155), I'm after something similar without the limit.
 

samwell7

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Pre-amp can add 6-10 db again before power amp, so may be worth a try.
But will running this small adapter as DAC for longer time be safe? Does it get too warm?
Good question, I never noticed it being hot, it's got a fair bit of air clearance around it when I use it (hanging out the side of a laptop) so I don't think it'd be an issue, depends where it's placed I guess and how much free space is around it.
 

meowchin

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Has anybody tested this dongle's compatibilty with Playstation 4? Or, for that matter, the other ones (Samsung and Pixel) as well? I need to get analog audio out of PS4 and I know it supports some USB DACs, but I wonder if a better option would be this, or a cheap DAC with toslink input.
 
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I have this dongle with a 32ohm samson sr850, works beautiful
You guys think this apple dongle could handle senn HD560s with 120 impedance?
thk u
 

milw50717

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Pre-amp can add 6-10 db again before power amp, so may be worth a try.
But will running this small adapter as DAC for longer time be safe? Does it get too warm?
I have one permanently plugged into a Mac Mini to send audio to powered speakers. I use it for multiple hours per day and haven't had an issue yet (touch wood), but I hadn't thought to check if it gets warm. I'll try to do that tomorrow.

My only complaint so far is just how flimsy the wire is. I'm thinking of putting it into an enclosure with some RCAs rather than having to use an adapter to connect to my speaker cables. The cost of putting it in an enclosure is likely going to be 2-3 times the cost of a new dongle, so I may just go the shrink tube route as well.
 
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I have one permanently plugged into a Mac Mini to send audio to powered speakers. I use it for multiple hours per day and haven't had an issue yet (touch wood), but I hadn't thought to check if it gets warm. I'll try to do that tomorrow.

My only complaint so far is just how flimsy the wire is. I'm thinking of putting it into an enclosure with some RCAs rather than having to use an adapter to connect to my speaker cables. The cost of putting it in an enclosure is likely going to be 2-3 times the cost of a new dongle, so I may just go the shrink tube route as well.
I just added a spring to reinforce the cable.
 
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I keep 2 around. I did shrink wrap them so they last and have a spare just in case I misplace one or breaks. For $9.99 or even less in the big Az store its a great deal. If we ever do a SINAD to $ Ratio, this would easily be number 1. Lets see 99.001/$9.99 = 9.91 S$ . Now lets do it for the HIDIZS S9 112.63/$119.99= .9386 S$. What about Topping DX3 Pro 106/$224.99= .4711 S$. So the Apple is a great deal.
 

azik

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I got the EU version, model A2155 and can't really tell a difference in terms of quality between this dongle, Fosi Q5 and Creative SoundBlaster Play!4. The apple dongle seems to produce a slightly more bass or maybe this is just a difference caused by volume settings.

I tried using Sennheiser PC38X, 558, 559 and Bose QC35 II wired.

What I am more interested in is the built-in ADC. I plug it in using a TRRS connector and it works on Windows 10. Subjectively it sounds even slighter "richer" than SoundBlaster Play!4 and it would be great to confirm that objectively. @amirm considering how popular this dongle is, maybe you could throw some quick ADC tests like you did for SoundBlaster G6?
 
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