Iphone into NAC202, which DAC?

Hello, I used to post in the old forum, but I am new in this community !

May be I get lazy, but since I moved 4 years ago I am almost exclusively listening music through my iPhone (files are Alac 44.1/16, MP3 320, and lower), connected to my 202/200 through Audioengine B1 bluetooth/DAC.

It is clearly not as good as my CD5/FC2, but well, not so bad, and I have my music library with me to listen at home, car, office, outdoor,…

I started using Vox instead of Apple music app, and noticed an improvement in quality. Then browsing the community I realized that there may be some more room for improvement…

As I want to keep my iPhone as a player, I believe the path for improvement should be to upgrade the DAC, and from my reading here I have selected 3 options to :

  1. Audioquest Dragonfly Red for a wired connection to 202,
  2. Chord Mojo, for a wired connection to 202, or bypassing Audioengine DAC (optical) for a Bluetooth connection,
  3. Naim nDac, wired or wireless with Audioengine Bluetooth

My wondering is which option does really make sens, being an improvement from current DAC, and not an overkill for my source ?
And may be there is also other better options to consider ?

Considering where I live, it is impossible to listen to any of this.
Any though is welcome !

Hi Axel I dont have a great deal of experiance with dac’s but i do use the ndac in my second system ND5XS/NDAC/112/150/FC. Mainly used at the weekends. My streamer does not have the blutooth module. This weekend i wanted to play something from the Mixcloud app on my phone and found plugging it into the front USB port of the NDAC produced really nice sonic results. I also love the way all the slim boxes look together so this would be my recommendation. The Ndac is a fantastic bit of kit and bargains can be found. If you dont like the results i doubt you would loose much selling it on.

Thanks Nagual!
I believe Mixcloud files are not more than mp3 320kbs, so same as mines, do you believe Sound quality achieved with Mixcloud on your iPhone + nDac, justify purchase of the nDac ?

Well the Ndac is by far the most expensive option but it’s a top quality Naim source. Possibly overkill for what you have in mind currently but it will sound great. If you ever go down the streaming route I’d think you would have great results playing hidef files from say the Qobuz App into the Ndac

I’m a bit confused. Option 1 and 2 are fairly inexpensive. I bought a second hand mojo for under 300. Then the nDAC. I’d say go with the mojo. An nDAC for streaming from an iPhone seems like overkill with little in return for the extra $$. I thought the mojo was great. Better than the Bryston DAC I had

Thanks Nagual & GregU, despite I believe nNac is from higher class compared to other options, I understand I will not get all it can deliver if paired with an iPhone…

So seems more consistent (and versatile) to go for the Mojo.

The last question being, will the Mojo be a serious improvement for me ? (but it seem there is not a lot of Audioengine B1 users here… so yes probably it is !!)

I’d take a look at the Audioquest Cobalt. No need for extra chargers (Mojo). It’s a neat solution for getting very good quality audio from your iPhone.

Seconded on the Cobalt. I’m using one off my laptop into Sennheiser HD 700’s as a second system and it’s very enjoyable.

Thanks James_n & MaxiMe, Cobalt has also great feed back on the forum from what I read!
But I don’t think Cobalt has a line level output option, as the Mojo has, and my main usage is to be plugged on the 202, that said not sure this is an issue…

Here you go -

You can also use DragonFly as a traditional fixed-output source component (such as a CD player, DVD player, or Blu-ray player), connected to a standard input on a receiver or preamplifier. When used in this manner, DragonFly functions in fixed output mode, which allows the overall volume level to be adjusted with the audio/video system’s master volume control. For this application, both the music player’s volume control and the computer’s main (operating system) volume level should be set to maximum.

Clear, thanks!

I’m using an Arcam miniblink Bluetooth receiver/ dac into my 202.

Works great, also tried a dragonfly cobalt which was more detailed and open but I actually preferred the Arcam overall as it had better pace and was just more fun a listen.

I ditched the 3.5mm to phono cable that came with it and got a decent improvement by using an Atlas cable.

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I’ve used an iPhone into both dragon fly red and the mojo for years now.

While the audioquest is very good the mojo is truly excellent and that’s is what I would recommend and use myself

And yes the mojo will be to my ears a serious I improvement

I do also recommend an audioquest jitterbug between the iPhone and the mojo

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Thanks all, I fell for a Mojo, just have to wait 2 months for delivery now…

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