iPad & iPhone – 3 Ways To Connect Amps & Dacs
To Connect earphones and in-ear-monitors: Select 3.5mm Stereo Rt Angle Plug Premolded from our “Connector” pulldown menu.
To Connect headphones: Select Oyaide ⅛” Diameter Stereo Plug when connecting Fostex or other full size headphones.
Adding audio gear such as headphone amps and Digital to Analog Converters is more involved. Moon Audio receives hundreds of emails every month asking how to connect Apple “iDevices” such as iPhones and iPads to headphones, amplifiers and DACs (Digital Analog Converters).
iPhones and iPads require a Digital Analog Converter with an Apple authenticity chip to pull Apple’s digital signal. Some headphone amps and DACs have Apple chips in them and some such as the popular and Moon-Audio.com favorite Chord Hugo do not.
Apple’s design means there are 3 ways to connect audio gear such as headphone amps and DACs:
- Buy headphone amps and DACs with Apple authenticity chips
- Create an audio cable workaround (a Moon Audio specialty)
- Settle for the lesser sound quality provided by bluetooth connection (not recommended)
A. DACs & Amps with Apple Chips
DACs / headphone amps with Apple chips we recommend:
- RAL KEB02ip headphone amp/DAC
- CEntrance Hi-Fi M8 portable DAC/amp
- Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo -R
- Fostex HP-P1
These DACs and headphone amps are manufactured with Apple authenticity chips so they can pull digital signal (music) directly from iPhones and iPads.
New Apple Approved Dragons
When connecting to DACs & headphone amps that have Apple chips don’t forget to add Moon Audio Apple Approved Silver Dragon cables for the best sound:
We also love and highly recommend the Chord Hugo DAC and headphone amp. Chord Hugo doesn’t have an Apple chip at this time. Chord Hugo cannot connect directly to Apple iPads and iPhones.
Connect your Chord Hugo to your iPad or iPhone with audio cables in 5 easy steps:
- Buy a Silver Dragon USB or Black Dragon USB Cable.
- Buy an Apple Camera Connection Kit (CCK) in the Lightning or the 30 pin version (ipad, iphone 4, 4S, plus more Apple 30 pin versions).
- Connect Silver or Black Dragon USB cable to your Chord Hugo.
- Connect your Apple CCK to your iPad or iPhone.
- Connect your Dragon to your Apple CCK.
Chord Hugo connected to iPhones and iPads with bluetooth doesn’t provide optimal sound quality. Unlike Chord Electronics, Apple is not using the latest technology – AptX bluetooth.
Until Apple improves their bluetooth technology, we do not recommend connecting Chord Hugo via Bluetooth. Crazy to pay for the best headphones and audio gear & only to listen to inferior sound. There may be places such as your car where pairing an iPhone with your car’s stereo is acceptable. At this time, we don’t recommend bluetooth as a means for connecting amazing pieces of audio gear such as the Chord Hugo.
Ask Moon Audio?
Use the form below to Ask Moon Audio questions about connecting your iDevices or other headphone, amp, DAC or audio cable questions.