Old phones as streaming sources

   I'm curious how many  of you have converted old phones to streamers. I have found  that when I remove the sim card and shut off blue tooth and wire the phone to a dac with an appropriate USB adapter cable, my old iphone 6s makes a pretty good streamer. Just wondering what others experiance has been. It is a really economical way to source digital to a 2nd or 3rd system. You can even cut electronic noise further by running on battery power when listening and shutting off the screen once the music is rolling. Going one step further would be to transfer local files to the phones memory and turn off wireless altogether. I have not done this but theoretically it should help. I usually just run the Qobuz app and stream from that to my Chord Mojo. What's your experiance?


Ag insider logo xs@2xbruce19

Earlier in the thread some negativity if not distinct animosity was directed at the poor little phone. It stinks, is shite, it sucks, ….really? I feel some need to defend this diminutive communications device and it’s heritage, particularly as it pertains to our hobby.
To start with consider the amplifier; invented by Bell telephone in Murray Hill NJ to strengthen voice signals as they traveled long distances. the tube…ditto, the transistor…yep, cables… nobody knew more about those than good old Ma Bell. Satellites, networks, yea, yea, yea, Bell Tel.
Why were all these miracles of tech derived from the phone? In good measure because the American Telephone and Telegraph company had a monopoly that brought in almost unlimited funds and management was very nervous of the government breaking up this sweet deal as they had with most other monopolies in the early 1900’s. To their credit Bell set themselves a mission to continually deliver communications that were better AND cheaper. It worked for a while.
Today we have Google, Apple, Amazon, etc. They are our modern day monopolies and oddly enough phones and networks are still a big part of how they deliver the fruits of their R&D labors to us consumers. One very small, tiny, minuscule fraction of their markets is the audiophile world and it’s spinoff companies. So lets have just a bit more respect for the cell phone and it’s inner workings which include knowledge of quantum mechanics and nano scale technology.

If any of this little rant appeals to you and you would like to know more about this dimension of hi-fi tech history I highly recommend “The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation” by Jon Gertner. A great read.

....and, as been touted, recycling beats creating just more digi-trash....

One reason I've no issues about 'recycling' drivers in my fashion.... ;)

I use an old Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra phone as a streamer in my garage system.  I mainly listen to Internet radio stations, Radio Paradise and JB Radio, via the USB Audio Player Pro app.  Although I have utilized an Audioquest Black DAC with the phone, I'm currently just using the DAC in the phone.  Sounds pretty good to me.  Using an aux input on an SAE receiver I bought in 1978. Using the USBAPP app UPnP function I can also play 192,96,44.1k  FLAC files stored on SS drive in the house.

I've used an older android phone as a remote control for streaming Spotify but not as a host for local digital files. The real issue you run up against is that most of the streaming services update their apps with some frequency and eventually the phone (after no longer receiving firmware updates) can't run the latest streaming app.

Of course, I don't use Apple Airplay which forces you to stream tvia the phone so I avoid the issue of having the phone being the source when I'm at home. There, the phone is just a remote and volume knob at that point since I have some Denon home smart speakers that are connected directly to the home wi-fi and I use the onboard DAC. Which is fine for background music.