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Review: Apple vs Google USB-C Headphone Adapters

Niklasmagnus

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I will try to see if it works on the Pi4, it's been proven on the Pi3, as long as the kernel is 4.19.
I have not seen it work correctly on the later Kernel 5 (Since 27/05/2020) except at 48000 (no 44100 rate available).
- but would be interested to see anyone else getting it working with the Linux 5 kernel

(I think it's the 'snd_usb_audio' module at issue - try lsmod | grep audio)
In this reply the member write:
“ I have a Pi3b running kernel 5.10.27-v7+“
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-bath-audio-streamer.21446/page-3#post-766525
Are you able to test for confirmation?
 

CuteStudio

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In this reply the member write:
“ I have a Pi3b running kernel 5.10.27-v7+“
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-bath-audio-streamer.21446/page-3#post-766525
Are you able to test for confirmation?

Confirmation?
At that time I was struggling to get any sound out of it at all ;).
I then discovered I had to plug in the 3.5mm headphone jack to switch the DAC on!

As part of that process I upgraded the kernel, but only later noticed that it was playing 10% fast.
I tend to switch between 3 different rooms so remembering an exact sequence is tricky.

So I don't recall any time I managed to get 44100 out of it with a 5 kernel.
But whenever I've tried a 4.19 kernel it's been perfect.

Sorry to not be more precise, currently I'm not running any Pi on kernel 5...
 

Niklasmagnus

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Confirmation?
At that time I was struggling to get any sound out of it at all ;).
I then discovered I had to plug in the 3.5mm headphone jack to switch the DAC on!

As part of that process I upgraded the kernel, but only later noticed that it was playing 10% fast.
I tend to switch between 3 different rooms so remembering an exact sequence is tricky.

So I don't recall any time I managed to get 44100 out of it with a 5 kernel.
But whenever I've tried a 4.19 kernel it's been perfect.

Sorry to not be more precise, currently I'm not running any Pi on kernel 5...

thanks for clarifying that. I miss understand. If i get this correct now. For the Apple USB-c dac to work with RPI4 one can use kernel 4.19?
And since I’m new to RPI, is there a guide posted anywhere how to change the kernel version, if its 5 when purchased? I’m a complete newbie so this will be a great project, just read about kernel last night on wiki what it is ;-)
 

CuteStudio

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thanks for clarifying that. I miss understand. If i get this correct now. For the Apple USB-c dac to work with RPI4 one can use kernel 4.19?
And since I’m new to RPI, is there a guide posted anywhere how to change the kernel version, if its 5 when purchased? I’m a complete newbie so this will be a great project, just read about kernel last night on wiki what it is ;-)

Yes! This 4.19 works on the Pi4 (all Pi), this post details how to get the last 4.19 version, and how to lock in the kernel so an 'update' doesn't wipe it out.
( sudo apt-mark hold raspberrypi-kernel raspberrypi-bootloader )
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...gle-usb-c-headphone-adapters.5541/post-878090

The link shown is for the lite desktop version, but the other link shows how to find the headless one too. You just need to aim for the 27th May 2020 build, the last build that used the 4.19 kernel.

You can, in theory change the kernel version: I tried this and ended up with something that would not boot: so i suggest a fresh install as for a new Pi. I have a USB to 'any card' adapter:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/153102896832

Looks clunky but works well and you can prepare a new SD card from a running Pi (the easiest way in my view), I tend to favour fast 32G microSD.
Let me know if you need help to do this, the commands are straightforward from a Pi with this adapter
(e.g. sudo dd if=2020-05-27-raspios-buster-armhf.img of=/dev/sda bs=10M , type dmesg to confirm the 'sda' bit, it's sda on my Pi
 

Niklasmagnus

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Yes! This 4.19 works on the Pi4 (all Pi), this post details how to get the last 4.19 version, and how to lock in the kernel so an 'update' doesn't wipe it out.
( sudo apt-mark hold raspberrypi-kernel raspberrypi-bootloader )
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...gle-usb-c-headphone-adapters.5541/post-878090

The link shown is for the lite desktop version, but the other link shows how to find the headless one too. You just need to aim for the 27th May 2020 build, the last build that used the 4.19 kernel.

You can, in theory change the kernel version: I tried this and ended up with something that would not boot: so i suggest a fresh install as for a new Pi. I have a USB to 'any card' adapter:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/153102896832

Looks clunky but works well and you can prepare a new SD card from a running Pi (the easiest way in my view), I tend to favour fast 32G microSD.
Let me know if you need help to do this, the commands are straightforward from a Pi with this adapter
(e.g. sudo dd if=2020-05-27-raspios-buster-armhf.img of=/dev/sda bs=10M , type dmesg to confirm the 'sda' bit, it's sda on my Pi
Great, thanks :)
Only thing left to confirm of my question is if the DT770 80 ohm can be powered by this dongle (EU version)? According to the calc it will produce 100dB at full volume but is it enough as peaks if listening at lower levels?

I side track, I read that Amir also recommends the MEIZU Hifi Pro USB-C phone dongle. It’s x4-5 the price but still no big money. It output more power and maybe is easier to setup in the Pi?

edit: …or the newly reviewed Tempotec Sonata HD Pro
 
Last edited:

CuteStudio

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Only thing left to confirm of my question is if the DT770 80 ohm can be powered by this dongle (EU version)? According to the calc it will produce 100dB at full volume but is it enough as peaks if listening at lower levels?

I think the Apple is good into low impedance, and with a decent PSU behind it should be good, in my judgement.

But I would also look at one of those small tube headphone amplifiers, to add on.
I suspect diyaudio has some useful reviews and good mods for them - but that would unload the DAC, give a rotary level control and probably a class A tube amp, that may need slightly modding but might be a nicer solution.

Just my thoughts, anyway.
 

Niklasmagnus

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Yes! This 4.19 works on the Pi4 (all Pi), this post details how to get the last 4.19 version, and how to lock in the kernel so an 'update' doesn't wipe it out.
( sudo apt-mark hold raspberrypi-kernel raspberrypi-bootloader )
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...gle-usb-c-headphone-adapters.5541/post-878090

The link shown is for the lite desktop version, but the other link shows how to find the headless one too. You just need to aim for the 27th May 2020 build, the last build that used the 4.19 kernel.

You can, in theory change the kernel version: I tried this and ended up with something that would not boot: so i suggest a fresh install as for a new Pi. I have a USB to 'any card' adapter:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/153102896832

Looks clunky but works well and you can prepare a new SD card from a running Pi (the easiest way in my view), I tend to favour fast 32G microSD.
Let me know if you need help to do this, the commands are straightforward from a Pi with this adapter
(e.g. sudo dd if=2020-05-27-raspios-buster-armhf.img of=/dev/sda bs=10M , type dmesg to confirm the 'sda' bit, it's sda on my Pi

#CuteStudio, just a follow up question regarding the kernel issue. The link you posted to prior releases is for the Raspbian OS?? But I was planing to run Moode audio player, and another OS?? Sorry newbie question :eek:
The big reason for running Moode is the 12 band peq.
post #4, CAPS was added in Moode version 7.0.0
http://moodeaudio.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=609&pid=30983#pid30983
https://github.com/moode-player/moode/blob/master/www/relnotes.txt

According to Moode relnotes kernel 4.19.115 was in the version 6.5.x. So if I’m forced to use this release I loose the 12 band peq?
 

CuteStudio

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I don't know anything about Moode, but anything with 4.19 will work.
Anything with 5.XX - I have never sen working, but perhaps other people have.

EQ is very handy, I recently added it myself to my stuff: some of my speakers did indeed require significant EQ to sound good (but after, they did sound transformed!).


So I would try and see - just take note of the runtime of a track, to ensure a 44.1k track lasts as long as it should.
If not - then investigate from that basis! :).

Another tip is to install 'Spectroid' on your phone, which gives you a dynamic frequency analysis that makes balancing a speaker far easier.
 

RadioBuddha

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Yes! This 4.19 works on the Pi4 (all Pi), this post details how to get the last 4.19 version, and how to lock in the kernel so an 'update' doesn't wipe it out.
( sudo apt-mark hold raspberrypi-kernel raspberrypi-bootloader )
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...gle-usb-c-headphone-adapters.5541/post-878090

The link shown is for the lite desktop version, but the other link shows how to find the headless one too. You just need to aim for the 27th May 2020 build, the last build that used the 4.19 kernel.

You can, in theory change the kernel version: I tried this and ended up with something that would not boot: so i suggest a fresh install as for a new Pi. I have a USB to 'any card' adapter:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/153102896832

Looks clunky but works well and you can prepare a new SD card from a running Pi (the easiest way in my view), I tend to favour fast 32G microSD.
Let me know if you need help to do this, the commands are straightforward from a Pi with this adapter
(e.g. sudo dd if=2020-05-27-raspios-buster-armhf.img of=/dev/sda bs=10M , type dmesg to confirm the 'sda' bit, it's sda on my Pi

I don't understand the back and forth on the kernel and the usability of the Apple external DAC with a Raspberry Pi 4, does it currently work, if not could you kindly list the steps to make it happen, thanks.
 

Niklasmagnus

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I don't know anything about Moode, but anything with 4.19 will work.
Anything with 5.XX - I have never sen working, but perhaps other people have.

Thanks. I’ve asked I the Moode forum if they have any experience with the Apple usb c dac. Long shot but if it work it will be great.
 

CuteStudio

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I don't understand the back and forth on the kernel and the usability of the Apple external DAC with a Raspberry Pi 4, does it currently work, if not could you kindly list the steps to make it happen, thanks.

Hi, as far as I know, if you follow the steps in my posts for a Pi4 it should work fine.

The key, according to my experience, is to ignore the 5.XX kernel, how to do this is detailed in my posts.
Once you download and extract the full image file, there's lots of info on the internet to get that onto an SDcard in the correct way, so you can plug into the Pi and run it. :)
 

mysiak

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CuteStudio

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Just FYI, I built a little PSU for the Apple DAC here (A USB-A PSU, I use an adapter with the Apple).
It sounds pretty magnificent to me, but have not the gear to test for any improvements: only the theory of a nice quiet, stable 5V supply for it.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...dio-cables-make-a-difference.1887/post-884114

I suppose it wouldn't be too big a deal to wrap it in a box with a mains PSU and RCA out, to rival many DACs. :cool:
 

Veri

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Just FYI, I built a little PSU for the Apple DAC here (A USB-A PSU, I use an adapter with the Apple).
It sounds pretty magnificent to me, but have not the gear to test for any improvements: only the theory of a nice quiet, stable 5V supply for it.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...dio-cables-make-a-difference.1887/post-884114

I suppose it wouldn't be too big a deal to wrap it in a box with a mains PSU and RCA out, to rival many DACs. :cool:
Cool little box built around an apple dongle haha :D
 

Marty111

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Being in France I can't seem to be able to buy anywhere the new unopened A2049 American dongle. Could someone from America buy it for me and send it to France via simple mail without tracking number? I would send 25$ with paypal to the person. It should cover the item+ reshipping cost to France and the person would earn the gigantic sum of about 10$ all for herself.

Or maybe I could just buy it myself with opened box on ebay for 30$. I would prefer unopened though.
 

Sharur

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Seems that the Apple Dongle is almost as sharp as a Chord M-Scaler
Screen Shot 2021-08-29 at 12.59.08 PM.png

M scaler (red):
1630263027805.png
 

MrBridgeSix

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Subjective feedback comparing the A2049 to the FiiO K3:

Loudness is just a touch higher on the A2049 when compared to the Low Gain setting in the K3, A2049 starts having volume instabilities sooner when using crazy levels of bass boost with Equalizer APO (maybe because of 1 volt vs. 2 volt?) and the highs are a bit harsher, sounding a bit more piercing on the A2049.

My takeaway from all that was that I should just sell the K3 and pocket the USD 100 difference and that's what I did, the K3 sold in just 3 days.
 

ray007

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I tried the EU version with my Xiaomi 10T Pro+Sony Mdr-1A along with UaPP and was pleasantly surprised by the audio quality.

Just how is it possible for a £8 dongle to produce better sound quality than a £400+ smartphone is beyond me.

Guess its time to invest in a better quality dongle. Any recommendations?
 
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