Mobile Streaming - USB DAC wired vs Wireless LDAC

A: After my Chord Hugo epic fail, I resorted to the Cyrus Soundkey wired to my Samsung Note 8 using USB Pro APP with the full MQA in app add on.

B: The later sounded good, MQA blue light on not bad, for me purely the full unfolding SQ.

C: I had ordered a pair of Sony WI-1000X (wireless neck band in ear type), I also own the Sony WH-1000XM3 cans but find my ears get warm and a pain to lug around.

I would rate A bottom of the pile for SQ and VFM, B is very good but cranking up the volume does become tiresome.

C the Sony WI-1000X with a few developer option tweaks (advantage of Android), coupled with noise cancelling really equals a very detailed, rewarding and engaging listening experience.

Add Alexa to boot and integration with my mobile a much neater and great SQ setup.

The Sony WI-1000X can be wired, I plan to try them wired with the Cyrus DAC, be interesting but silly as earphones are premium wireless.

Thinking of getting the BT2 cable for my Shure SE425’s for convenience. I doubt it will sound as good as my DF Black and definitely not the the Cobalt but it makes for carrying less around and more battery life on my phone.

Not had BT headphones for a while I lost my last lot with my bag on the train commute home, I tested a bunch of others but they where all crap except the Sony over ears you have but they are just too heavy and hot for 6 months of the year and pricey. That’s why I went for IEMs and wired in the end. But at least I can’ adapt these now with a different cable if I want to.

After a relatively short stint wired, it was a total faff around, cables in the way, using phone to control music and the odd occasion getting up and nearly dropping the mobile.

Try as I think you’ll be surprised at how close to wired you get, only issue is a bit of bloating bass.

I don’t mind the wired. Shure cable doesn’t really knot so it’s less hassle. The only issue I have is on my phone I have to activate USB OTG for the Dragonfly to work. Don’t have to on my tablet though.

So testing the Sony WI-1000X wireless and wired, Sony provide a USB to 3.5mm cable, sadly the stop start headphone controls work.

Test method same volume, same track only changes where unplugging the headphone and the DAC, noise cancelling is active for all.

The short summary C (Wired) was the worst, A (Wireless) was good but that bass was too much, C (Wired USB DAC) the best. On the go i would use A (Wireless) if sat (work/travelling) I would go with C.

A = Sony WI-1000X Wireless
Very, very bloated bass, but has the scale, a bit over powering, sounds a bit fake, assume this is the Sony digital engine processing.Overall spoiled by ludicrous bass. No ticking sound (see below).

B = Sony WI-1000X Wired / Samsung Note 8 / USB Audio Player Pro
Lacks scale, less dynamic, softer and less detail, can hear a faint ticking sound.

C = Sony WI-1000X Wired / Cyrus Soundkey / Samsung Note 8 / USB Audio Player Pro
The scale, impact, slam,so much texture and detail, i can even hear a backing singers breath, ticking sound very clear (it is some micro detail). It is like i have applied cross fade (HAVE NOT) to get that out of the head soundstage.

Tidal MQA full unfold (Blue & Green dots) courtesy of USB Audio Pro MQA Add in, streaming does sound more detailed (purely the higher bit rate), but given i am at work on around a T4 internet connection and it still struggles is a waste. MQA is purely for home not mobile, i would even say with 5G a struggle.

I would say for those wishing to dip their toes into the USB DAC (Mobile use) and also try Qobuz 16bit for 3mths (free with the Cyrus) - a very good punt.

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