All iPads iPad Pro / Audio Out / DAC + Amp ... !

D.T.

macrumors G4
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
10,509
10,034
Vilano Beach, FL
I marked this for 'All iPads' as I assume this is [mostly] applicable with the proper cables, but my specific experience is with an iPad Pro 12.9/3rd Gen. Kind of a side note: this is a really spectacular device, I'm making it my primary mobile/travel option, leaving my '18 MM at home/office, since I don't need a development machine on-the-road (looking forward to the Apple KB/trackpad peripheral).

Anyway ...

I've got a Schiit Modi 3 DAC with a Vali 2 amp (swapped to an EH6922 matched tube), that drives a couple of different cans (Sennheiser HD-6xx and Beyerdynamic Studio Pro 80s) and some desktop, powered near field monitors. I've been using the USB input (microUSB) on the DAC from my '18 MM, it supports USB, Coax and TOSLink - FWIW, I also use a CD source from a Teac P650, it's got a nice DAC, so I go straight to the amp.

I've been wanting to try the iPP with the DAC, it was my understanding it would "just work'. I had an existing USB-C_to_USB-A cable, and happen to have a pigtail that's a USB-A(f)_to_microUSB - excellent - so I connect these two cables which results in a USB-C_to_microUSB, connect it to the DAC. Nothing. I'm thinking maybe it's a power issue, so I connect external power to the DAC (it has two microUSB ports, one for data which is also supposed to power it, and a second for power only, technically for using it with Coax/TOSLink). Still nothing.

I'm thinking maybe it's something with the two cables, like power/data isn't being handled correctly, so I order an Amazon Basics USB-C_to_microUSB cable for ~$7. I get it in, connect it to the iPad (I tweaked my case a little, they never account for bigger connectors ...), connect the mUSB to the DAC, and it powers up - and without any other changes to settings, the Music app starts outputting through my DAC+Amp chain!

It sounds fantastic, and I __love__ have a dedicated music device here on my desk. So after a couple of days, I realized powering the DAC along with the device itself, drains the battery pretty quickly - so I ordered a uGreen (I've used a few of their cables) USB-C_to_dual_USB-C adapter (~$13), that should allow me to connect to the DAC and the power supply concurrently. I looked at a couple of adapters that also had a 3mm port/DAC, but I won't use corded, higher power requirement headphones away from my desk (I've got some Anker BT earbuds for mobile audio).

Anyway, it's pretty awesome with the Schiit stack, and it's' my understanding most DACs are supported, and the iPP makes a terrific audio device when matched with a decent quality DAC/amp and output gear :)

(I'll update to confirm the power/data/audio operation of that adapter I ordered ...)
 

ommachi

macrumors newbie
Nov 23, 2018
1
1
India
@D.T. : I have basically everything you mention (Schiit-stack, Sen 650, BayerD-DT-990 Pro —> iPP 12.9 via USB-C, with external power separately for the stack and iPP) set-up for a few months now.

You may want to consider installing a dedicated HD player app like MusicPlayer Pro to which you can side-load HD files via iPP USB-C port (easiest option: compress the entire folder of an album and open it using the app). Bliss. Enjoy.
 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
10,509
10,034
Vilano Beach, FL
Hi maybe i'm missing something but for the best portability and sound combination and without being battery draining use this setup.
Underlined = Yes, you are :)

Hahaha, seriously though, I wasn't looking for a portable audio solution, I was looking to utilize my spectacular desktop DAC/Amp setup, to power high power requirement, full sized cans. While that might be a decent solution for portability, it's not really comparable. For my very infrequent portable use, I scored a set of surprisingly good __and__ inexpensive Anker BT earbuds.


I can't wait for an update! :D
Did not work. o_O I even get the hub connected indicator on the iPad, the power connected, the iPad charges, the DAC connected it's gets powered, but it's basically not being detected - the audio output doesn't switch over - I tried all combinations of connection order / used the aux power on the DAC / confirmed operation without the dongle/hub, just not working. It wasn't clearly indicated for this use, but I figured "digital headphones" for the data port kind of implied it was for digital out, regardless of the device.

Not a big deal, I might just return it, can't think of another good use for it, I mean, it's $13 so no big deal, but I don't need something else to clutter my drawers :D
 
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D.T.

macrumors G4
Original poster
Sep 15, 2011
10,509
10,034
Vilano Beach, FL
Not a big deal, I might just return it, can't think of another good use for it, I mean, it's $13 so no big deal, but I don't need something else to clutter my drawers :D
I did return, per above (it was actually $15 :D).

So I was sort of shopping something else, that I realized might also rectify my iPad delima.

I wound up scoring a little USB-C hub that's supposed to work for a Nintendo Switch for video out , without having to use the dock (verified by several user reviews). Wanted something for the occasional on-the-go Switch use that was a little more portable vs. the OEM dock.

Anyway, since it is a hub that supplies power to the device, and has the two USB-A ports, though it might work on the iPad. So I connected it to the iPP (USB-C build right into the hub), plugged the iPP power supply into the other USB-C port, get the charging indicator and the dock icon. OK, cool, so I plug a regular USB-A_to_microUSB cable from the hub into the DAC ... it powers up, I see the music app volume ghost out, DAC detected! Music through my DAC/Amp stack __and__ charging at the same time ... WoooOo.

This hub also has HDMI out (which is how it works with a Switch), so this might also allow an external display + charging + digital audio at the same time with the iPP. pretty neat for $20 :)
 
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