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While we wait, I'm beginning to look around for a portable DAC that will work well with the Noble X and my iPhone 6+. I've never owned a portable DAC before, so I'm hoping someone here can provide some insight. I don't feel restricted to just items on Massdrop, but it seems like a decent place to start. The Shanling UP is reasonably priced and the Massdrop listing (currently inactive) shows it working with the Noble X. Should I just wait for it to become active again or is there a much better option out there?
All depends on how much are you willing to spend for it. Shanling seems like a decent option.
I may buy into that when it goes live again. It's within my budget, but I'm willing to spend more if it would be worth the investment. I just don't know enough to even get started investigating the differences in chipsets and how they might pair with the Noble X. I've also read of issues with the Dragonfly Red and the iPhone after an hour or so of use and didn't want to run into anything like that, if possible.
In general, IPhone 6+ DAC would be just enough for these earbuds, especially if you rely on streaming services. It would be hard to find any difference other than having a better volume control unless you have golden ears. Guaranteed disappointment with higher spending.
I do a little streaming with Apple Music, but I'm planning to get KaiserTone and use it (along with HibyMusic) to maximize quality. Maybe I should start with the built in chipset of the iPhone 6+ and see if I feel like it's worth the investment to upgrade to a portable external DAC.
I rarely recommend anything audioquest makes, but I've been using the dragonfly red for some time now and have not found a better competitor as far as size/sound/amping. I also like the fact that it has worked flawlessly with both my iphone, android, windows 7, 8.1 and 10 computers without any issues or driver nonsense. (In comparison I have a Centrance slim which I feel has the better sound, but has weaker amping, is a minor hassle to install and cannot be powered by the iphone.)
There are a few knock-offs around like the zorloo and the monoprice one which have very similar hardware for cheaper, but I cannot speak to the quality of those.
I'm seriously considering the Dragonfly Red (esp if I can find a decent deal on one somewhere) or the Shanling UP that pops up here every so often. Decisions, decisions...