Best Smartphone For (To Be used As) USB Audio Transport ?

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drkrack

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Dear All,
I am looking for Suggestions for Smartphones, which can be used as USB - C Audio transport ?
I recently used my Samsung Galaxy Note 10 as Roon Audio Transport / Endpoint as shown in the picture ( Samsung DOT is Default output) and surprisingly it sounded better than Allo USB Bridge Signature in Overall SQ wise. Since Roon gives an Option to control any endpoint from any other Roon Remote including the Volume control, it becomes quite easy to control for streaming purposes.

As Headphone audiophiles tend to use Smartphones as Audio transports to connect to their DAC/Amps; i am looking for suggestions for Smartphones preferred to be used as USB Audio Transport, I will be planning to buy a Smartphone to be used as dedicated Streamer/Transport. I am Looking For USB C Smartphones, or iPhones work better overall? I will be Planning to connect to My DAC with USB B input. So will be looking for USB B to USB-C Cables or Lightening to USB B cable as applicable. i am NOT looking for Smartphones with better in built DACs.
Thanks
IMG_0260.jpg IMG_0261.JPG
 

ssf

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When I was experimenting with Apple lossless, I installed the USB Audio Pro player (800 odd rupees including the MQA playback addon) and I was quite happy with the sound quality. Bypasses the android 48 Khz limitation and plays Tidal MQA and lossless. Installed on Samsung S10+ -> Zen DAC -> Marantz 7010 / Crown XLS 2502 with or without the FX audio DP 02 in the chain. For apple playback, S10+ enables UHQ Upscaler via USB but samsung S6 does not. S6 enables UHQ Upscaler only via headphone jack being plugged in.

Edit: Tidal app does not play MQA but I have read that it too is recently programmed to bypass the Android 48 Khz limit. So probably get lossless on the app.
 
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Naturelover

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Does a transport costing over 50k which will need to be changed every few years make sense over a proper transport which would last far longer?
 

fLUX

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Dear All,
I am looking for Suggestions for Smartphones, which can be used as USB - C Audio transport ?
I recently used my Samsung Galaxy Note 10 as Roon Audio Transport / Endpoint as shown in the picture ( Samsung DOT is Default output) and surprisingly it sounded better than Allo USB Bridge Signature in Overall SQ wise. Since Roon gives an Option to control any endpoint from any other Roon Remote including the Volume control, it becomes quite easy to control for streaming purposes.

As Headphone audiophiles tend to use Smartphones as Audio transports to connect to their DAC/Amps; i am looking for suggestions for Smartphones preferred to be used as USB Audio Transport, I will be planning to buy a Smartphone to be used as dedicated Streamer/Transport. I am Looking For USB C Smartphones, or iPhones work better overall? I will be Planning to connect to My DAC with USB B input. So will be looking for USB B to USB-C Cables or Lightening to USB B cable as applicable. i am NOT looking for Smartphones with better in built DACs.
Thanks
View attachment 60163 View attachment 60164

Hey Kritik,

The smartphone is not necessarily the best source for streaming, unless you use UAPP you will not be able to pass bitperfect and also notifications keep popping . For portable purposes a DAP with Android is preferred as they allow you to use USB out/Coax Out and does bit-perfect streaming via DTA implementation. I have tried Hiby R6 Pro via coax out and it sounded really good, just that I did not have roon and using it remotely was a big challenge , add to that the need to charge the device daily and turn it off when not in use as they drain off much more quickly.
 

ssf

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@drkrack

I think I have misunderstood the requirement. I configured my Samsung S10+ as a roon endpoint. To be frank, I don't see a noticable difference from connecting the Zen Dac to the Core (Gaming PC) and to the Samsung S10+ endpoint. But then again, I have aged ears.
 
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rsjaurr

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I owned iPhone 4S from 2012-2015 and used it in the car as a music source. It had a huge 64GB :) ROM so that I could store multiple albums in FLAC format. It was connected to Purei20 for lossless extraction of audio files to be fed to the rest of the system via optical cable.

I liked the sound very much and never thought of replacing the source with android phones. I never tried android though.

I had installed a USB audio pro, a bit-perfect music player, and liked the SQ and the interface. I had 1-2 other players which were supposed to be bit perfect but I do not remember their names anymore.

Flash forward, Last year I once tried my own Note10 + as a music source connected directly to DAC via OTG cable and then played the same songs via Chromecast connected to the same DAC via the optical cable. Obviously the SQ was far better with Note10+ connected via DAC than the other option. I however felt that CC would sound near equal with the better/linear power supplied to it.

I never compared android vs ios but if given an option I would prefer ios any day or night.
 

drkrack

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Does a transport costing over 50k which will need to be changed every few
Not necessarily 50k, I tried what I had in hand ; there may be much cheaper options, MI phones with USB-C out come under 10k, since we are not interested in other features (its going to be dedicated Streamer transport) you can switch off other Radios and run it on WiFi without a Sim card.
I Assume iphone will be superior and cheapest can be had at less than 35k and for this kind of sedentary usage they'll last 3 - 5yrs easily. The dedicated streamers cost much more and have a similar shelf life. Also if you go with used route you can cut costs significantly.


The smartphone is not necessarily the best source for streaming, unless you use UAPP you will not be able to pass bitperfect and also notifications keep popping .
Roon handles the streaming part more efficiently, I'll check with the bitrate and update you.

Fast charging becoming a norm even in budget androids, with bigger batteries it should not be a problem. I am open to suggestions on this, but DAPs may not be cost effective.
unless you use UAPP you will not be able to pass bitperfect and also notifications keep popping .
Will check UAPP and need to see whether it can be configured to work with Roon, since it's dedicated Streamer transport /Sim less and only WiFi radio is working, notifications disabled, I think those concerns can be resolved.


owned iPhone 4S from 2012-2015 and used it in the car as a music source. It had a huge 64GB :) ROM so that I could store multiple albums in FLAC format.
Well this is the kind of user experience I am looking for, thanks for sharing.
 

DB1989

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Not necessarily 50k, I tried what I had in hand ; there may be much cheaper options, MI phones with USB-C out come under 10k, since we are not interested in other features (its going to be dedicated Streamer transport) you can switch off other Radios and run it on WiFi without a Sim card.
I Assume iphone will be superior and cheapest can be had at less than 35k and for this kind of sedentary usage they'll last 3 - 5yrs easily. The dedicated streamers cost much more and have a similar shelf life. Also if you go with used route you can cut costs significantly.



Roon handles the streaming part more efficiently, I'll check with the bitrate and update you.

Fast charging becoming a norm even in budget androids, with bigger batteries it should not be a problem. I am open to suggestions on this, but DAPs may not be cost effective.

Will check UAPP and need to see whether it can be configured to work with Roon, since it's dedicated Streamer transport /Sim less and only WiFi radio is working, notifications disabled, I think those concerns can be resolved.



Well this is the kind of user experience I am looking for, thanks for sharing.
Hi Kritik,

I was using my Ipad Pro (USB C) and a Galaxy S9+ as a USB Streamer connected to a portable DAC (chord mojo) whenever I'd be carrying my portable setup. Then i decided to use my 5 year old Mi Note 4 which was lying around unused as a backup phone and it works just as well. Considering the fact that I'm only using it for streaming, the mi note 4s' older hardware, which may not stand up to scrutiny for a buttery smooth smartphone as we've come to expect nowadays, its more than sufficient. SQ wise, i couldn't really tell a difference between the smartphones though there is a perceivable one compared to the USBridge signature - whereas the former all sound cleaner, the USBridge signature sounds meatier.
 
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rsjaurr

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Instead of a smartphone, you can also use a tablet which will give you a much bigger user interface estate and probably lesser background processes and RAM usage. Theoretically this will result in better SQ.

How do you plan to control it remotely?
 

fLUX

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Not necessarily 50k, I tried what I had in hand ; there may be much cheaper options, MI phones with USB-C out come under 10k, since we are not interested in other features (its going to be dedicated Streamer transport) you can switch off other Radios and run it on WiFi without a Sim card.
I Assume iphone will be superior and cheapest can be had at less than 35k and for this kind of sedentary usage they'll last 3 - 5yrs easily. The dedicated streamers cost much more and have a similar shelf life. Also if you go with used route you can cut costs significantly.



Roon handles the streaming part more efficiently, I'll check with the bitrate and update you.

Fast charging becoming a norm even in budget androids, with bigger batteries it should not be a problem. I am open to suggestions on this, but DAPs may not be cost effective.

Will check UAPP and need to see whether it can be configured to work with Roon, since it's dedicated Streamer transport /Sim less and only WiFi radio is working, notifications disabled, I think those concerns can be resolved.



Well this is the kind of user experience I am looking for, thanks for sharing.

You can have a look at Ibasso DX160, Hiby R5 , Cayin N3 Pro, Hiby R6 Pro, Fiio M11, M11Pro as some of the options. If you ever intend to get into portable audio all these are powerful enough to drive majority of the IEMs too in the market.
 

rsjaurr

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You can have a look at Ibasso DX160, Hiby R5 , Cayin N3 Pro, Hiby R6 Pro, Fiio M11, M11Pro as some of the options. If you ever intend to get into portable audio all these are powerful enough to drive majority of the IEMs too in the market.
I agree. These days I would prefer dedicated audio devices over smartphones to be used as dedicated music transports. I do not know about the above mentioned brands but Astell & Kern devices can be controlled remotely with their apps on smartphones.

Something like Kann with multiple card slots and input/output options will be great for such a purpose.
 

ssf

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How do you plan to control it remotely?
If it is a Roon endpoint, it can be controlled by a Roon app on any other phone or on whichever device a Roon software is installed.

So the phone becomes just an endpoint connected to the DAC and to the stereo.

A good idea, @drkrack.

Edit: In my case, MQA won't work though as iFi has no drivers for Android. My Zen Dac is only a Renderer. Hopefully, HiRes should work.
 
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fLUX

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I agree. These days I would prefer dedicated audio devices over smartphones to be used as dedicated music transports. I do not know about the above mentioned brands but Astell & Kern devices can be controlled remotely with their apps on smartphones.

Something like Kann with multiple card slots and input/output options will be great for such a purpose.

These are Chinese brands , offering great value and quality too and come in budget as compared to A&K. They have their own apps to control the playback of local files on dap from phone.
 

drkrack

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Ibasso DX160, Hiby R5 , Cayin N3 Pro, Hiby R6 Pro, Fiio M11
I have no experience with recent DAPs, But I am not looking for a good in built DACs, but option for using as better USB transport, with a OS on which Roon Can be installed.
Cayin n3 is upwards of 40k, with miniature Tube, which is quite interesting. Have you tried using any of these as USB transport? What's been your experience?

Also an inevitable question, Which Device Sounds better as USB transport, Android or iOS of comparable hardware capabilities?

This is the Chain as seen in SS, When Roon is Playing Via Samsung Note 10 as a Roon Endpoint. I have not enabled any DSP or Sample Rate conversion, Roon is optimizing for a better compatibility with the Endpoint I suppose.
DSD :
TJo38-vmtzcio4w5ex75cfrkdak3ly.png.png
FLAC
jTroc-rumo6gnkgnvtsytsvsvnjx6f.png.png
 
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