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Want a nice portable DAC/amp - but do I need one?

Bronco

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Joined
Jul 27, 2019
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As the title suggests, II’m considering purchasing a good quality portable DAC/amp combo strictly for travel duty. Given my particular use case though, I’m concerned that doing so might amount to little more than pissing my money away for no meaningful gain.

Here are the pertinent details:
- I’m in my 50s.
- All my music (rock/alternative/metal) resides on my iPhone 14.
- 95% of this music is stored at lossless CD quality resolution. I dabbled in some of the higher resolution stuff, but ultimately had to resign myself to the fact that I’m incapable of hearing any difference. I can, however discern between CD quality files vs. the lower resolution formats.
- I travel only with wired IEMs - one pair Campfire Solaris and one pair Moondrop Blessing 3.
- I don’t listen to my music at anything approaching exceedingly loud volumes.
- I like for my music to be as rich, full and non-fatiguing as possible within the limits of my hearing.
- I have both the Onkyo and Neutron players loaded on my phone.
- I typically travel with a backup battery bank.
- I have the basic Apple lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack dongle.
- I also have an Apple camera connector kit.

Given the above parameters, is there likely to be any discernible benefit to investing in anything more than the Apple dongle which I already own?
 
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Amir recently reviewed this. You might like it.

He said, "It is my pleasure to recommend the TANCHJIM Space dac and headphone amplifier. I will be using it as my everyday adapter for my phone from here on!"

 
@Bronco the most worthwhile investment would be a Qudelix 5K, IMO.

Advantages are:
-battery-powered, so won't drain your iPhone
(although the Apple dongle needs barely any current anyway)
-has a brilliant Parametric EQ on board, to tune the sound to your liking
(this will actually make a difference, as opposed to another DAC)
-it's a Bluetooth receiver, so no wire connected to the iPhone
(though you can connect it to your iPhone via Lightning, in case you don't want Bluetooth)
 
Amir recently reviewed this. You might like it.

He said, "It is my pleasure to recommend the TANCHJIM Space dac and headphone amplifier. I will be using it as my everyday adapter for my phone from here on!"


Thanks for the recommendation. They certainly do measure well. I see that SHENZHENAUDIO has them on sale today. Might be worth rolling the dice on one if for no other reason than to get a little more refined volume control than what the side buttons on the iPhone offer.
 
As the title suggests, II’m considering purchasing a good quality portable DAC/amp combo strictly for travel duty. Given my particular use case though, I’m concerned that doing so might amount to little more than pissing my money away for no meaningful gain.

Here are the pertinent details:
- I’m in my 50s.
- All my music (rock/alternative/metal) resides on my iPhone 14.
- 95% of this music is stored at lossless CD quality resolution. I dabbled in some of the higher resolution stuff, but ultimately had to resign myself to the fact that I’m incapable of hearing any difference. I can, however discern between CD quality files vs. the lower resolution formats.
- I travel only with wired IEMs - one pair Campfire Solaris and one pair Moondrop Blessing 3.
- I don’t listen to my music at anything approaching exceedingly loud volumes.
- I like for my music to be as rich, full and non-fatiguing as possible within the limits of my hearing.
- I have both the Onkyo and Neutron players loaded on my phone.
- I typically travel with a backup battery bank.
- I have the basic Apple lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack dongle.
- I also have an Apple camera connector kit.

Given the above parameters, is there likely to be any discernible benefit to investing in anything more than the Apple dongle which I already own?
I was considering using a portable DAC with my Huawei P30 Pro phone but I wanted to listen to music freely without worrying about it draining the juice from my mobile and it's also distracting having all these pop up messages (WhatsApp etc) while listening to your music.

You need some quality time of your own and it's better to be switched off from your phone, when you're not working.
After listening to all the rave reviews I opted for TempoTec Variation and as you can see from the photo's it has four outputs Normal 3.5 non-balanced / 4.4 balanced and High Power 3.5 non-balanced / 4.4 balanced. This DAP will drive any headphone, including my KZ planar magnet earphones.

The sound quality from the V6 is amazing, it can play DSD natively up to 512, and every format. Personally I see no point in an external portable DAC.
 

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