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  1. #1
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    Apple adapter same SQ as $1K DAC

    Newbie here. I might get burned for this but here to learn. I uploaded some 192/24 files onto my Lotoo PAW 6000 DAC and directly plugged in my Sennheiser ie800s into the 3.5mm input to take a listen. There is absolutely no sound quality improvement after switching from connecting IEMs through the apple lightning to 3.5mm female adapter(I think this tiny cable works like a DAC too). I paid attention to everything from texture, timbre, separation, soundstage and clarity. NO difference whatsoever.

    On the Iphone I was playing the same song streaming via Tidal at the same range that is 192/24.

    Am I missing something here? missing any setting that would make SQ much better - pitching the $20 cable against a $1K DAC?? ontop of everything the small adapter cable has streaming audio as source vs the downloaded hi-res files playing on PAW 6000.

    Pls help.

  2. #2
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    Apple adapter same SQ as $1K DAC

    From what I'm seeing the product you're referencing isn't a DAC, it's a portable music player that is priced at $999. Your ($999+) iPhone has the ability to play music, but it's a smart phone as well. Apple has always done a pretty good job with the quality of sound it produces for a phone. Also while you have expensive ear buds, they are still earbuds which are going to be extremely limited in what they produce.

    To truly hear a jump in sound quality, you're going to need to move up the ranks and away from the headphone jack on a phone or portable music player.

    Many of the regulars here have well north of 100k in their stereos in the quest for high quality sound.


    If you're looking for a entry level DAC, check out Schiit or Bryston. You can find a used one online if you're on a limited budget.


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  3. #3
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    Re: Apple adapter same SQ as $1K DAC

    Welcome to the forum.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Apple adapter same SQ as $1K DAC

    If you are looking for portable use there are some very fine dedicated portables on the market that are far better than an iPhone for playing music. There are many good brands, however I am personally a fan of Astell & Kern players. The portable contains the DAC and haver internal storage and usually can be expanded with microSD cards to carry your music with you.

    I assume the Sennheiser ie800 are a decent ear bud (I have never heard them personally), but what headphone/ear bud you use will of course directly relate to the SQ you get. A good portable with a good set of headphones will certainly improve the sound from what you have experienced so far.

    If you are trying to put together a home system then there are many considerations. Please don't think that you have to get to the $100k mark to get a good system. Many/most of the people on the forums and into high quality of sound have only a fraction of that in their systems.
    Neil degrasse Tyson - "A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you are right, but not knowing enough to know you are wrong."

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  5. #5
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    Re: Apple adapter same SQ as $1K DAC

    Another thought is that not everyone hears differences in audio very easily. Sometimes it takes some learning, or someone pointing something out to you, before you know what to listen to and how to listen for differences. (This also applies to video, like someone not noticing a blotch on their TV screen until it's pointed out, at which point they can never unsee it and have to buy a new TV—and maybe will also hate you forever for pointing it out.)

    I do think that real Golden Ear ability requires both learning and regular training/practice.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Apple adapter same SQ as $1K DAC

    DAC = digital to analog converter. Your adapter is, a piece of wire with different connections on the ends and wouldn't effect the music file. Meaning all converting is done already, and the file would just pass through the adapter.

    The DAC is inside the iPhone. So you could detect no audible difference between the iPhone and your portable player.

    Although I use an iPhone I really don't know what their playback capability is. I've never seen any settings where that could be changed. There could be on your player, maybe do some exploring or check the manual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mstapee View Post
    Newbie here. I might get burned for this but here to learn. I uploaded some 192/24 files onto my Lotoo PAW 6000 DAC and directly plugged in my Sennheiser ie800s into the 3.5mm input to take a listen. There is absolutely no sound quality improvement after switching from connecting IEMs through the apple lightning to 3.5mm female adapter(I think this tiny cable works like a DAC too). I paid attention to everything from texture, timbre, separation, soundstage and clarity. NO difference whatsoever.

    On the Iphone I was playing the same song streaming via Tidal at the same range that is 192/24.

    Am I missing something here? missing any setting that would make SQ much better - pitching the $20 cable against a $1K DAC?? ontop of everything the small adapter cable has streaming audio as source vs the downloaded hi-res files playing on PAW 6000.

    Pls help.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Apple adapter same SQ as $1K DAC

    Your ear buds are supposed to be excellent sounding. You should hear a difference between the phone and your DAC. The DAC in the phone adapter is supposed to be decent though. The explanation as to why you cant hear a difference could be due to a few things. First, it could be that the dac in the looto may not be that good. It could be the type of music or that the recordings are not that good. Download a reference recording and then see if you can hear a difference, if not then the dac in the looto is not that good.

    I have owned several dac's from $200-$6000 and they all sounded remarkably different with the sound quality going up with the price.
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

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