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Author Topic: Bit-perfect, DSD files, USB dongle DAC and an Android phone  (Read 282 times)


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Bit-perfect, DSD files, USB dongle DAC and an Android phone
« on: March 29, 2023, 01:57:48 pm »

Hi all!!!

Once I have got all my digital music collection working fine in my living room equipment and also in my Surface connected to the main Library Server, I have started to try to have the same music quality in my mobile with my headphones or in my auto, when I'm at home or away from it.

The first thing I have done is to buy an external USB dongle DAC, knowing the internal Android DAC will not provide sampling above 48 KHz.

Given that I do not want to spend a fortune before to see if it's worthy and also that I do want maximum portability, I decided to buy iFi Go Link USB DAC, a very cheap option (59) with really high capabilities in its minimum space: PCM 384KHz/32 bits, DSD 256 and MQA Render, FLAC, WAV, DSF, MQA Decoded files.

I attached it to a Samsung S22 Ultra with Android 13 and JRemote2 and, without any effort and need to say to it anything, JRemote2 has recognised the USB DAC and, at home and in the same network of the JRiver Main Server, has played 192KHz/24 bit FLAC files lossless perfectly, as the yellow color of the LED in the DAC indicated.

The problem at home arises when I try to play FLAC files over 192/24 and DSF files (DSD64, 128 & 256). I don't know if it's the server or the remote, but, in all cases, it downsamples those files, nor even to 192/24 or 96/24, neither even to 48/24; it downsamples to 320Kbps MP3 poor quality!!!  :o What a step down!!!.

So here are my first questions:
  • Why not to maintain, in a capable WiFi network and with a capable USB DAC, the original format?
  • Let say some of this signals need to be downsampled: why not to downsample it to a better quality 192/24 or 96/24 lossless.
When I try to do the same in a mobile network (5G), things go a little worse. It can reproduce without problems until 96/24, but, when I try to reproduce a 192/24 file, it suffers of recurrent pauses every 10 sec., more or less, what makes the file inaudible.

For resolutions above 192/24, the strategy is the same as if you were at home, downsample the file to MP3 quality, so no problems at all!!!  >:(

And here the resuming question:
  • Will be any future version of JRemote2 in Android that will take into account the capacity of the USB DAC and of the communication network to decide if it is possible to play a bit-perfect, lossless signal or, if downsampling is necessary, do it to maximum possible quality?
If I'm doing something wrong, I will withdraw my words without problem.

It is needless to say that I have set up JRemote2 to "Use native audio format" and Audio quality to "High (320Kbps)", wondering myself if it can be considered as high.  :o

Probably you have noticed that I have not mentioned at any time JRiver for Android. And I haven't because, i. m. h. o., it is  far behind JRemote2 in this issues, when playing files loading the library of a main server, in the same network or via mobile:
  • You don't know what sampling rate/bit depth the file is playing at.
  • It seems to me that JRiver for Android do not notice the presence of an external USB DAC, so uses internal Android DAC and plays everything at 48KHz/24bits.
  • When you are playing a file above 48KHz/24bits, sometimes you suffer of a music corruption as is the music it is chopped with a Kalashnikov, but it is temporary and, normally, returns to normal after some seconds.
I'm eager and grateful if you share with me and the community some ideas or comments about having the best quality music anywhere, at home or away home, something is becoming more and more important for us all, as quality music lovers.

Best, Manuel.
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