USB C OTG - Any more secure than Micro USB?

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by bixby, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Trying to determine if USB C on a phone is any more secure when connecting with an OTG cable to a DAC/amp?

    My multiple uses of Android phones and Micro USB connected dacs has been miserable. The movement in pocket on walks is just too much for the poor ole micro connector and playback abruptly stops when movement is just a bit too much.

    My guess is USB C might be similar since there are no pin latches on the connector that I can see.

    Is it best to just forego a dac amp solution for walking and get a phone with one of the better dac/amp setups like HTC or V-20?

    thanks for any experienced views from walkers, who have been down this road.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  2. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    USB-C feels more reliable to me, but frankly, I'd just stop dicking around with USB DACs banded to phones.

    I did that for ages, and it made me miserable, plus none of them sounded as good as a decent DAP anwyay. Not having to fret about charging extra devices, often with shitty battery life, not having to worry about cables coming loose, not having to worry about the phone interfering with the DAC.. It was wonderfully freeing.

    I sold my Mojo, bought a Sony WM1A. Got a balanced cable made, never looked back. I think if I hadn't done that, I would have taken the SQ hit and gone back to music right out of a phone.
     
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  3. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    I'm sure you've considered a dedicated player? There are some pretty good all in one options.

    I gave up on stacking extra gear when I'm active. I just run right out of a phone or dedicated player.
     
  4. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    It's mechanically a bit better, just by virtue of the shape, but that just means more force gets transmitted to the phone's connector and pcb ...

    Also, I've read multiple complaints on xda about issues with usb2 dacs on usb3 phones, like on the dac not working unless the phone was rebooted with the dac plugged in, though I haven't had any. Probably SOC/Driver dependent.

    Did some testing on my Moto Z, welllll ... I'm buying a V30.
     
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  5. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I find usb c a little more secure than micro usb due to a slightly larger connector with a slightly deeper insertion. That said, it is still a tiny connector and I wouldn't want to put that kind of stress on my phone if going for active walks.
     
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  6. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    No dedicated players on my short list at the moment.

    Foobar mobile on Android is so good it makes other interfaces and player I have looked at and heard in the price range of my Android phone hard to consider. Fiio X (cheap ones) and Cowon Pleanue- D? would be what would be in my budget, but I still have to carry my phone for steps.

    Not out of the question, the Plenue D did sound pretty good when I heard my friends. Fiio threads on HF seem to be all about fixing stuff that does not work right with Fiio rep responding to every 4th post or so.

    Any thing you can point me towards in the under $200 range that would be a worthy upgrade from my V-10
     
  7. DigMe

    DigMe Needs a baby bottle

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    There ya go, man. Just buy a $1200 DAP and you're all set. No prob right?
     
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  8. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    yes to go with my $29 iems, hahaha.

    Plenue D, anyone heard it?
     
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  9. MarcusV123

    MarcusV123 Friend

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    Hi Bixby,

    I went from using a V10 to using V20 and the connection seems to hold up better than the micro usb on the v10 at least when the v20 is being used as a source for my desktop DAC. After over two months of using the v20, I've yet to have any issues with the connection cutting out but the phone is usually staying stationary while It's being used.

    Although it seems you have to perform a little trickery for the phone to detect a connection to the DAC(atleast in my case with the bifrost gen 5). Such as connecting the otg cable to the phone first and then connecting it to the usb cable connecting to the DAC or as others have said, restarting your phone. Not sure if the issue has been fixed with v30.

    PS: Have you tried using USB audio player pro? I remember using foobar for android until I tried UAPP and heard a significant enough difference in sound quality for me to prefer it over foobar.
     
  10. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    This is probably because you're avoiding the Android audio subsystem's upsampling to 48kHz. UAPP, Neutron and.. that Onkyo thing can all do USB-direct.

    (Neutron can also do pretty nice upsampling of its own, if you're going direct from the phone, but the UI looks like a 90s crackintro.)
     
  11. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    @MarcusV123

    Thanks for the input. This is for now my big concern is the walking on the go project. I just found the second bad usb cable. Will do a short walk with this setup and see how it does.

    I tried USB audio player pro ages ago with standard Qcom SOC based phones, it was really nice sounding although not without glitches. Foobar just works all the time, no glitches. But willing to try UAPP again for sure.

    I did find a Westone Attenuator and got the LG- V-10 to go into high output mode with my iems. No doubt louder and a bit better but still sabre ish up top. Ext dac amp is more natural.

    More things to try, thanks.
     
  12. MarcusV123

    MarcusV123 Friend

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    Yeah I noticed that and it's led me to start buying albums I've really liked but I still listen a lot through spotify because of it's discover features even when I'm aware of it's drawbacks (sample rate, watermarking, android resampling). Would love for one the apps you've mentioned to support spotify playback with a direct connection to an external DAC. In a perfect world:rolleyes:

    You're welcome:D

    UAPP is definitely not perfect but it's got some pretty nifty features and the developer has rolled out more updates and at a more frequent rate than Foobars which shows, to me at least, that it has some pretty good support behind it.
     
  13. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    @bixby I assume you're already using an OTG cable with a 90-degree bend at the phone end like this.

    [​IMG]

    This is my actual setup with a Note 3 and micro iDSD. I don't use it "on the go", but often hold it in my hand at home and chuck it around in bed without any problems. Connector at the DAC end is a custom hack-mod I did myself.

    As for a cheap but decent DAP, there's the Sony NW-A35. The sound sig tends towards smooth and "organic". I'm actually debating selling mine as I'm not using it much after getting the ZX2 to pair with my Andros, so PM me if you're interested ;)

    I too prefer UAPP, even on my phones when not connected to a DAC. I tried foobar mobile and it sounded "veiled" to me in comparison. With UAPP you can set the sample rate output to the phone to match that native to the phone so that Android doesn't do any of the resampling, and I'm pretty sure UAPP does a better job of that than Android. The built in graphic EQ works fairly well, as does the crossfeed for tracks with severe L/R mixing. The only time I ever get glitching with more recent versions is when streaming via WiFi from my NAS. Sometimes it'll go into an A/B repeat loop which is fixed by tapping on the seek bar. Pretty rock solid otherwise.
     
  14. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    @gixxerwimp - I am using a right angle OTG with a female A connector the A male to a mini B. Actually less stressful looking than your setup, but longer and more prone to movement. And it still has some stress on that micro connection in the phone simply because of the movement in pocket.

    I will be ordering a few small new OTG cables to try before I toss in the towel. Sitting at my desk earlier tonight and even walking a bit around the house it sounded great and worked great.

    It must have been the brisk walking on my hike today when I herded up the Elk, that got the combo moving a bit in my pocket causing disconnects. :D


    20180118_143417.jpg
     
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  15. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    I have a V10 and V30. For walking I don't bother with a DAC, but on flights etc. I will use a GO2A. On the V30 the GO2A works without an external battery where the V10 needed extra juice. On a tray/desk there's no strain on the connection, but definitely the USB C is sturdier than microUSB.

    I find the noise of my walking is more than enough to defeat the need for further fidelity over the built-in DAC. Every step I take I can 'hear' the thump in my head of my feet and some microphonics from the cable moving and there's ambient noise as well. Even a great DAP would be pointless unless you find a nice quiet spot to sit and listen IMO.
     
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  16. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    I suspect you'll find this is it; I've had similar problems with the cables themselves being bad, regardless of how secure the connectors (at either end) seemed. The current performer has the 90-degree bend at the phone end and is a bit loose there - and I think was the cheapest of the ones I've bought - but doesn't give me any glitches when moving around (though I haven't herded Elk with it!).
     
  17. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Good info. No flights in my immediate future, though I tend to agree with your rationale on noise levels when on the move.

    I really thought exactly the same way, yet I have minimized the footfall thumps and even though I am not a loud listener (eg. V-10 no amp 35 on vol setting with normal iem efficiency) I welcomed the additional fidelity.

    And so I will strive to keep that new found goodness with dac/amp or will find another phone that does the trick.

    Ah, you are so right. I took one suspect cable and immediately cut it in half so as not to try and reuse in my quest to find a glitch free one.

    Another possible contributor may have also been the V-10 which by default floats a Foobar widget on the lock screen. and you can pause it without unlocking. This could be happening with the constant movement in the thigh pocket. So off that went and we will see how it goes.

    Yes, the Elk. Mon- Wed, Boulder county closes the trail on the ridge in the background of that pic for Elk Management, aka Elk Hunting in PC Boulder parlance. I asked a ranger a few weeks ago what the sign meant and he said the Elk were taking up a winter home during their migration near the trails and the "management" was to encourage them to migrate somewhere else. Kinda stupid if you ask me.
     
  18. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Back in the day in NZ - after they caught on there was a market and elk weren't just shot on sight - the more cunning farmers would put their paddocks just downslope of an area of bush and fence them just high enough that during the rutting season, interested wild stags were able to jump in but not out again. This was more efficient and safer than catching them by leaping from helicopters.
     
  19. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    To a degree, your brain can adapt to the "thump". Also, since I started using IEMs some years ago, I seem to have started walking more softly. It has lead to a few problems where people don't notice me coming into a room and scream when I say something. At the time I was wearing some form of Etymotic ear dildo, so clearly that was a particularly strict stealth trainer :D

    I definitely notice the difference when I'm using my WM1A balanced into my IEMs vs straight out of the phone, even on the hoof. It's not even close. Incidentally, those go for less than the price of a decent new phone, used. Other DAPs are available, of course, but the principle still applies.

    Seriously, the RRP of £1200 or whatever is bollocks. I paid £750 or so new, and have seen them used for circa £500. Otherwise, there are some surprisingly passable options from Fiio and co that are even more inexpensive. Failing that, I think audio out of the phone via Neutron would be preferable to the hassle from carrying a USB DAC- it's what I do when I can't bring the DAP for whatever reason. The lack of hassle is not to be underestimated.
     
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  20. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Well, with a front coming in and nice 65 degree westerlies 6-10mph, it seems @GoodEnoughGear point was driven home. With that wind, no subtle or not so subtle differences in fidelity would be discernible. And the fact that it did cut out 30 minutes into the hike, go to show that it may be more hassle than it's worth.

    I did stop by the t-Mob store to see how a usb C fits. Seems more secure, but at the end of the day for outdoor walks with the noise variable, I am kidding myself if I feel I will get SQ utility out of a separate dac/amp. Best to figure out a different use case or sell it.

    Thanks to all for enlightenment.
     
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