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Connection between an iOS or Android smartphone/tablet and a DAC, let’s focus on the connectivity.

Door Philippe Daussin |

Connecting a smartphone, or a tablet, to a DAC, portable or not, requires the use of suitable connectors, and this is not always easy, whether on Android or on iOS.

Even if the pairing with peripherals on Android devices is still mostly made through micro USB, the new USB-C connector is found on more and more smartphones, and probably tablets, even if we did not have the occasion to see one equipped with it yet.

For Apple smartphones and tablets on iOS, this is the Lightning connector which has been equipping all models released since 2012.

As for DACs, they use almost any type of female USB connector known to man: USB B, mini-B, micro USB, USB-C, sometimes even female USB A for a connection with an iOS device equipped with a MFI-certified chip (Made For iPod, iPhone, iPad), but those are rather rare and probably threatened with extinction (and not with loss of sound).

Let’s now visualize all the different male USB and Apple connectors in order to easily identify them (source: Belkin); this will be their female version—of some of them at least—that you will find on smartphones and/or on DACs.


Therefore, you will have to choose a cable equipped with connectors allowing it to be plugged, obviously, both into the smartphone and into the DAC.

However, some types of cables do not seem to exist, such as micro USB-USB type B (many non-portable DACs or audio systems with DAC are equipped with a female USB B connector).

In this case, you will have to use an OTG adapter constituted of, on one side, a male micro USB or USB-C connector, and on the other side, a female USB A connector.


These adapters will allow you to get out of any tricky situation since you only need to plug them into a standard cable equipped with a male USB A connector and a male USB connector whose type corresponds to the DAC (micro USB, mini-B, USB-C or USB B).

You will also find USB-C to micro USB adapters that you can use with a micro USB-micro USB cable.


The Apple equivalent of the OTG adapter is the Camera Kit, which comes with both a Lightning connector and a 30 pin connector.


Regarding the cables and other Apple Lightning or 30 pin connectors or adapters, it is strongly advised—unless you want to be subjected to disappointments—to buy products from Apple or certified by the brand. This also applies to USB-C cables and connectors bought cheap, which can cause device failures, and it is better to favor vendors and specialized websites with a good reputation.

The cables and adapters previously cited will allow you to listen to Qobuz in Hi-Res with a compatible DAC. For adapters, DACs and headphones equipped with a Lightning connector and that are MFI-certified, the playback in Hi-Res is limited to 24-Bit/48 kHz.

Finally, let’s remind you that all DACs are not necessarily compatible with Android and iOS, and that this piece of information is always included in the Qobuz testing grounds!

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