1. AniketB's Avatar
    Okay so after moto z, without any headphone jack, Audio through usb c has slowly started to replace the previous methods.
    After searching for the pros and cons the thing that most stood out everywhere was the digital audio being delivered as opposed to the old analog one.
    But doesnt the audio output HAS to be at some point converted to ANALOG to play through the speakers.
    What we hear will at last will be a digital to analog converted sound, not that the sound is digitally transmitted to our brain.
    Moreover isnt it a cheap shot, not adding a better dac but removing it altogether from a phone?
    And wont it even further detoriate the experience, as most of the headphones/speakers will have a cheap dac that wont be capable as that of some premium or good sounding dac like that on htc??
    07-25-2016 06:46 AM
  2. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    Okay so after moto z, without any headphone jack, Audio through usb c has slowly started to replace the previous methods.
    After searching for the pros and cons the thing that most stood out everywhere was the digital audio being delivered as opposed to the old analog one.
    But doesnt the audio output HAS to be at some point converted to ANALOG to play through the speakers.
    What we hear will at last will be a digital to analog converted sound, not that the sound is digitally transmitted to our brain.
    Moreover isnt it a cheap shot, not adding a better dac but removing it altogether from a phone?
    And wont it even further detoriate the experience, as most of the headphones/speakers will have a cheap dac that wont be capable as that of some premium or good sounding dac like that on htc??
    1) Yes, there is a DAC to convert the audio for the built-in speaker.
    2) Unless the phone has a specific high-end DAC they are almost always cost saving parts. Meaning that whatever you plug in to the phone will probably have at least the same quality.
    3) As said above, using the HTC 10 as the baseline isn't exactly fair since that is specifically designed for high-end headset audio.

    I have seen external DAC/heaphone amp with a C port and ESS Sabre parts end-to-end for ~$70. In the world of audio that's not expensive at all if you want great sound.
    Golfdriver97 likes this.
    07-25-2016 11:37 AM
  3. dpham00's Avatar
    Okay so after moto z, without any headphone jack, Audio through usb c has slowly started to replace the previous methods.
    After searching for the pros and cons the thing that most stood out everywhere was the digital audio being delivered as opposed to the old analog one.
    But doesnt the audio output HAS to be at some point converted to ANALOG to play through the speakers.
    What we hear will at last will be a digital to analog converted sound, not that the sound is digitally transmitted to our brain.
    Moreover isnt it a cheap shot, not adding a better dac but removing it altogether from a phone?
    And wont it even further detoriate the experience, as most of the headphones/speakers will have a cheap dac that wont be capable as that of some premium or good sounding dac like that on htc??
    First the phone does have a dac for the external speakers. Secondly, usb provides a digital signal. So even having a top notch dac built into the phone won't mean anything if you are using headphones over usb c.
    Golfdriver97 likes this.
    07-25-2016 11:41 AM
  4. Ryan Matthew Headley's Avatar
    It is a legit as the equipment you plug into it. Everything said above is accurate, in that if audio is connected via USB, then you are bypassing the phone's internal DAC. Whatever device you plug into that USB port will need its own DAC. I would strongly discourage buying headphone with a built-in DAC. The quality of the headphones themselves and the built in DAC will both be poor.

    This means that you really have to buy two things for decent sound: decent headphones/earbuds and a decent DAC. Of course this has always been necessary for all but a few Android phones if you wanted decent sound. I really believe that the removal of the headphone jack is a marketing ploy that will send some people in the direction of $200 USB equipped Beats headphones that sound like crap, and it will send others straight down the audiophile rabbit whole.
    08-15-2016 03:50 PM
  5. QMaverick's Avatar
    I think that you can legitimately get good sound out of the setup, but the decision to remove the jack, in my opinion, is not legit. Frankly, there's no need to move away from the 3.5mm jack--at least, not yet. BT isn't quite there yet (for true HQ sound), and most people already have a nice pair of normal, 3.5mm headphones that they like to use (like myself).

    So, you need to buy yet another accessory to use equipment you already have? I call shenanigans. The right way to move away from 3.5mm is to introduce viable alternatives while still supporting the old standard. For example, we could try something crazy like Wi-Fi Direct audio or simply ship the phones with a good set of US-C earbuds--all while keeping the 3.5 mm jack. That way, you can use your old gear and try out new gear if you want--it gives people a transitory period.

    So, in short, removing the jack is not legit, IMHO.
    08-17-2016 10:48 AM
  6. kramer5150's Avatar
    But doesnt the audio output HAS to be at some point converted to ANALOG to play through the speakers.
    YES a digital bit-stream, be it MP3, WAV, redbook CD is inaudible data. At some point the data stream MUST be converted to an AC waveform, then amplified / attenuated, and then converted once more to sound pressure waves for our ears to hear.

    What we hear will at last will be a digital to analog converted sound, not that the sound is digitally transmitted to our brain.
    YES

    Moreover isnt it a cheap shot, not adding a better dac but removing it altogether from a phone?
    Hard to say without actually knowing the circuit design. Moto is taking the digital bit-stream from the file and converting it to USB-C bit stream. Are they achieving this conversion entirely in the digital realm? Or perhaps they take the internal DAC process / analog out from the Snapdragon SoC and then converting it back to some form of USB-C digital bit stream. The phone MUST have some sort of DAC process, in order to use the speaker output, so the latter scenario as crazy as it may seem is certainly plausible.

    And wont it even further detoriate the experience, as most of the headphones/speakers will have a cheap dac that wont be capable as that of some premium or good sounding dac like that on htc??
    YES (generally)... headphone/speakers for the masses are not going to be designed with sonic fidelity in mind.

    HOWEVER... USB-C is still in its infancy and the sky is the limit at this point. There are MANY really good sounding USB-B DACs that are capable of headphone output. Chord, Audioquest, oppo, Meridian come to mind immediately. It would not surprise me to some day be able to plug in a Chord Hugo into a USB-C device. Actually an Audioquest Dragonfly plugged straight into an Android phone USB would be a really killer little setup.

    The reality is if you want a really good DAC process, be it built into the phone, or peripheral accessory... you will pay for it. Be it a premium ~$700 handset that features a really good DAC chip like the LG V10 / V20... or an external DAC/amp device. The product designers know the target consumer here is a music listening / audio fanatic. Myself included 8^). If you are feeling brave surf on over to head-fi, its an entire world of these consumers... and the products they crave.
    08-17-2016 11:39 AM

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