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I use this as a DAC/amp for my iPhone 6-plus, and I also have an AQ Jitterbug in-line.
Do you just use the AUX to connect the two?
No, I use USB, but the "USB Charge" menu option has to be turned off.
Do you use the apple camera connection kit?, or how do you connect it to the iPhone?..
Thanks in advance :D
Are you using it for functionality other than pure audio reproduction such as EQ or power saving? From measurement, the iPhone 6 and 6 plus actually performs better electrically than this :/
You're going to have to provide a link if you're going to make assertions like that. From what I can find, the iphone 6 can't play high resolution audio files. This however can.
They do support ALAC up to 48kHz/16bit. Basically they're good up to CD quality. This DAC supports up to 192kHz/24bit.
Your first link shows some nasty distortion in the 997Hz sine plot coming from the iphone. The ~26mW output power capacity for 33Ω is not enough to properly drive headphones (especially for bass). Compare that with the >200mW @ 32Ω output by the E17K. The 24bit support will provide significantly improved SNR, and the higher sample rate will add clarity and definition.
The moral of the story overall from my brief research into the two is that iphone not even close. To be fair though: this is something of an apples to steak comparison. I'm sure it does very well compared to a samsung smartphone or another similar device.
I highly question the necessity of 24-bit vs 16-bit since most analysis I've seen indicate that very limited number of people are able to audibly hear the difference and recording/production techniques do not utilize the additional 8-bit headroom. As well, for most end-user listening environments even in a quiet home with sealed headphones, the background noise and signal path variability will sufficiently mask out any performance benefits.
I'm not sure what distortion you are seeing, but the measured THD+N of 0.0054% seems to suggest that the distortion isn't that nasty. Again I do question audibility of differences at that those THD levels but that's besides the point. Yes I agree, having more power available is definitely a reason to get this device. I can't imagine trying to drive say HD800s from an iPhone that would be ridiculous.
Justify whether you need high quality files, but the total power output capacity is what it is. Maybe an analogy will help. Think of a bass note like dumping out a bucket of water that needs to stay full for the rest of the sound spectrum to keep up. The iphone is like trying to keep it full with a squirt gun compared to the FiiO which would be more like a garden hose. This amp is still not quite going to keep the bucket full, but this is not a super high end amp. The difference is definitely going to be notable though.
Look at the output of the iphone of the 997Hz sinusoid picutre with the 15. Specifically the bottom of the negative swings. Do you see how it is squared off where it saturates the amplifier? That is called distortion. Just lowering the volume will remove that but that also decreases the output power capacity and that's where the FiiO amp will win every time.
I didn't disagree with you on power... My point was that for most applications the iPhone is sufficient. Unless your headphone power requirements do fall into that range, then of course the E17 or better yet another dedicated amp capable of those power levels would be better. Though I don't agree with the bass part. Yes there will be low freq drop off due to DC decoupling, however, amplifier simply don't work that way. When pushing amplifiers at higher gains, it's the higher frequencies that suffer due to the band limiting effects of non-ideal amplifiers.
I do see the squared off in that graph but I think that's misleading since it's driving a pure 15ohm load. Even the E17 is rated to drive loads above 16ohms. For most applications it'll be 30ohm or above for the load.
Don't get me wrong, I love the E17 and think it's a great device. Just not for replacing the audiopath of an iPhone 6. I have tried both before and from my own personal experience the iPhone 6 sounds clearer than the E17.
That's exactly what I'm saying. It's the higher frequencies that suffer although I suppose I wasn't very clear on that point looking back over it now. The less ideal the amplifier the less ideal the output waveform will be. What limits an amplifier from being ideal is that it can't drive infinite power.
You've touched on the ever present and probably most important aspect of listening though. It all depends on the ear of the listener. Personally, I can hear a significant difference between 44/16 and (96|192)/24, and the detail that comes out with a better amplifier, so I'd choose the E17 out of the two. I am almost always in a quiet enough environment to appreciate it though. For your case if your iphone is sufficient go for it. There's nothing wrong with that, but others' tastes may differ. However, your original assertion was that iphone measures better (performs better electrically).
Sorry to keep beating on a dead horse, but I do enjoy discussions about the science behind the sound (specifically the electronics component of it).
The Lightning version of the CCK is just the Lightning plug on one end and female USB-A on the other end, and 6 inch cable between.
That's the fun part - it sounds different - better in some ways, maybe worse in others. But with the Jitterbug it's even better, so hard to say. Obviously it's not as good as the Theorem 720 or Hugo, but the power reserve for dynamics makes a difference.
The iPhone can play hires with a custom player that has a 'container' for its hires files separate from the iTunes file storage. With the right DAC you should get the high resolution and sound, but if there's a source of digital interference in the iPhone, you'd need to look into that.
My experience is the iPhone is sufficient for most of the non-pro headphones under $500 or so, but the combination of a slightly less efficient headphone and low-volume music tracks can combine to thin out the sound or other problems.