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"Music phone" or Phone-DAC combo

Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series

Rud31

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
106
Points
28
Location
Delhi
I bought LG V20 back in 2017. Now it's time to upgrade. Budget is 30K. Dilemma is either go for it's elder brother LG V40 or some other device and pair it with a portable DAC such as Dragonfly or iBasso. As I have prior experience of the mobile option, want to know the pros and cons and general user experience of portable DACs.
 

ktks1

Active Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
143
Points
28
Location
Bengaluru
want to know the pros and cons and general user experience of portable DACs.
I've been using the Hidizs Sonata II HD dongle DAC amp for both mobile and desktop and am happy with it. I've also heard a lot of praise for the Dragonfly Cobalt from a few friends of mine.
But then, I have spent only a fraction of my time and money on DACs than what many fellow members here have spent, so consider it my 2¢ :)
 

Jpereira

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Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
32
Points
8
Location
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
The advantage of having an external DAC is that the phone itself can be considered a disposable "commodity". Mostly any phone will do, so basically not much bother about warranty or service etc. You can always get a new one.
 

Rud31

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
106
Points
28
Location
Delhi
Then which one is better, Dragonfly family or iBasso or any other option that I'm not aware of? I do want to keep the setup simple and minimal to not to compromise on portability.
 

ktks1

Active Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
143
Points
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Location
Bengaluru
Then which one is better, Dragonfly family or iBasso or any other option that I'm not aware of? I do want to keep the setup simple and minimal to not to compromise on portability.
If you have the budget, get the Cobalt.. else the DC02.. there is also the Nextrdrive Spectra which is around $200, and has decent reviews on Amazon
 

Vivek Rao

Active Member
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Nov 19, 2009
Messages
184
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43
Location
bangalore
You could also consider a Fiio M11. Am quite happy with it and it offers quite a bit of flexibility...
 

Rud31

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
106
Points
28
Location
Delhi
Given the options available, I'm thinking of keeping 10K for DAC and 20K for the phone. I hope a big enough battery on phone would provide decent playback duration and active usage. As usb wires are the weakest element in the chain, I'm not too sure about "Dongle DAC". Thus I am currently considering Dragonfly Black and SMSL Idol+ . If any other option available between the two, price wise, do let ne know.
 

shibashis

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
999
Points
63
Location
Kolkata
LG V40 is an all in one solution, much easier to have that than carry your cable, your DAC and your headphones/earphones when you want to listen to music on the go. The sound quality is more than acceptable, paired with right earphones there is nothing to complain of.
Plus as a phone the V series is really good, I mean really good. Great camera, snappy performance, good call reception quality, no reason to complain of at all.
 

Jpereira

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
32
Points
8
Location
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
But whichever one you choose, most of them are good value for money. Also USB Audio Player Pro from the Play Store in order to get full functionality from your DAC. Especially bit-perfect playback.
 

Rud31

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
106
Points
28
Location
Delhi
When it comes to phone, I have had the experience of LG V20 (my current one). Poor battery performance of V series phones is the reason I'm not going for onboard DAC route again. Even the latest V50 has just 4000 mAh battery and that's not available in India either. Haven't had a good experience with Xiaomi, Realme either. Thus thinking of getting Samsung M30S and pairing it with portable DAC. Which one, that's why I'm here.
 

rdst_1

New Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
1
Points
1
Location
Bir-Billing, Himachal Pradesh, India
Hi,
Which option did you finally go with. Actually, I am sailing in the same boat. I am leaning towards the portable/transportable DAC/AMP because I need the solution to drive my HD 650 as well.
Currently doing lots of research and hence landed on Hifivision.
 

Rud31

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
106
Points
28
Location
Delhi
I got Samsung M30S 6GB variant and paired it with Fiio Q1 Mark II. As it's my first time going for a portable DAC AMP, didn't want to splurge as I prefer listening to music on a proper speaker setup and this solution is just for upcoming year only. I use IEMs, not headphones so it does the job well. For headphones I do have AKG K240 open back ones but never liked their sound signature. They do sound loud on this setup w.r.t LG V20 which I used earlier. All in all the setup serves my needs, is portable enough, at least in Winters as there's no dearth of pockets in clothing.
 
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