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?


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sorry, i thought you were talking about $600 on the topping dac alone and led me to think the 'Octo'.  I did try e70 Velvet and it did throw deeper SS relative to previous topping dac I had but not really stand up to the Schiit dac whose house sound I like better. I kinda give up the mass production chifi dac now including smsl.  I may jump up to Denafrips Pontus II after I sort out which streamer I want to upgrade to as a whole digital source package.

@jastralfu  I do not have that level of DDC/DAC combo as the benchmark to do the comparison. However, to do justice to the iPhone 13, I switch it to airplane mode (but leave Wi-Fi on for Qobuz), turn off all notifications, Siri, and all other possible interferences I could think of. The test track was 'Fever' by Chantal Chamberland. With my iFi-ZS (with Lhy LPS) and Schiit Modius combination, paired with Burchardt S400 II, I would agree with you that the SS disparity is noticeable, but I also notice a volume level difference. The iFi-ZS volume output level is a bit higher. After I match the volume, the SS disparity is somewhat less. I would say it shrinks from a bit beyond the speakers down to right on the speaker. However, even though I was doing low-level listening, the bass articulation from both is pretty much on par. The midrange body is slightly less on the iPhone, but not by much. The treble details and airiness from the iPhone are impressive too. I would expect these disparities to be intensified with more revealing source components, as you have.  


Oh, no, the E70 I have is the one with the ESS 9028pro chip; I spent the huge sum of $349 on it!  The $600 was a reference to my Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra; it normally sells for $899; I misspoke, as I got it open box for $699, not $600.  I may upgrade from the Topping at some point, but it’s not a priority, as it’s part of my vintage system, which is very vinyl-centric.

The Okto is the Czech-made DAC in my family room system; if memory serves, I paid about $1,200 for it, and installed a Pi in it myself, as they were experiencing supply chain issues at the time.  All of my systems are posted, with pix, on my systems page.

@lanx0003 I was surprised at how it sounded.  It was much better than I expected given all the shade being thrown around on this thread.  Even though I know it can be bettered, if I had no choice other than streaming from an iPhone, I could certainly still enjoy listening on my system.

Interesting discussion so far. Thanks to all of you Who’ve taken time to contribute. Stepping back a bit, I noticed on this thread, but also many many others that “quality “is either expressly or implicitly referenced to another piece of similar equipment or to price. I know I am not unique in this, but I try to reference my listening experience to similar live music. Since I tend to like small group, jazz, and classical, this is reasonably easy to do and I take every opportunity I can to refresh my memory by attending concerts. Within that framework I find that reproduced music at home merely has to reach a certain threshold and then it is OK for me. I can’t help but wonder if the concept of “better” gets confused with “different“ by those who compare one piece of equipment to another as the reference. Your thoughts most welcome.

Another observation is that when music reaches that nebulous “OK “level. The quality of the recording itself becomes much more controlling of the overall experience. There are some recordings which no matter how good the system is just don’t create aural excitement for me :-) Anyone else find that to be true?

ok, i’ll go!  regarding reference music, I don’t know, I think live music and my system at home are very different.  For example, my most recent live music experiences, both very recent, were Blues Alley (very small) and Kennedy Center (much bigger but not huge).  In both cases, instruments were amplified, and there’s no “soundstage” to speak of.  So my view is that soundstage is an audiophile artifice created to replace the visual experience of live music.  It’s not really about recreating the auditory experience of live music.  

Re good recordings, totally agree, the quality of the recording really matters to my enjoyment.  There are some recordings that just suck, no matter how great the artist performance may have been.