Sony NW-ZX2 - USB Output

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by Clemmaster, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Anybody tried the DAC USB output on their ZX2?

    I bought the WMC-NWH10 cable, which enables USB Audio on Sony Hi-Res DAPs (including the A10 and derivatives).

    This thing is certified for Sony's USB DACs, as well as the Oppo HA-2.

    Since the ZX2 is running Android (albeit a very old version), I figured I'd try it with my DACs to check if that great DAP can also become a great USB source.

    So far I've only tried with the Modi Multibit, with the following observations:
    1. It doesn't work at all with the ZX2 plugged directly into the Modi Multibit.
      This does not surprise me, because I'd expect the ZX2 to behave like a smartphone - with power limitation on the port - as opposed to a tablet (which work just fine. At least my Tab S2 does).
    2. Adding the Wyrd to circumvent the power limitation did improve things: I managed to output sound on the Modi Multibit for approximately 1 second! After that, silence.
    3. #2 only worked through the built-in audio player. Tidal out.
    Was anyone more successful than me with their non-approved DAC?

    Of course, being a stupid Android 4.2, USB Audio Player Pro is out of the picture :rolleyes:. So is Roon :(
     
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  2. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Eh? You said "Modi Multibit", that's always mains rather than bus powered- mine works fine with any phone I plug into it. It probably needs the VBUS line to be active, but I don't think it draws much from it. Even famously whiney Apple devices work OK.

    (What am I missing here?)
     
  3. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    I'd be much more interested in using the Z2 as the DAC, playing from a computer to the Z2 instead of pre-loading the tracks to the player.
     
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  4. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Now I'm not sure. I thought it didn't work with my Nexus 5X. My OTG cable might be damaged o_O
     
  5. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    And I'd be much more interested in being able to install Roon on it...
     
  6. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I can run UAPP on my S3 (4.3) and Note 3 (4.4.2) just fine. Google Play says, "Requires Android 4.0 and up". Give it a try.
     
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  7. WNovizar

    WNovizar Facebook Friend

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    I think you need BCR-NWH10 in order to use ZX2 as DAC. AFAIK WMC-NWH10 only outputs digital signal as walkman digital signal, hence only compatible with other sony gears. BCR-NWH10 outputs digital signal as USB Audio
     
  8. vtrinidad87

    vtrinidad87 Rando

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    I didn't know that much, but it matches my experience. No luck into a Modi Multibit until I got the Sony dock.
     
  9. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    It's all about how much power you report you need. Try a Lightspeed revive or something similar that rips out the power reporting and replaces it with an ask for 0mA to operate.

    Edit: remind me in a week to try this out to validate my assertion. I might be wrong but let's see.
     
  10. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Afraid someone will shit on his opinions

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    I heard the ZX2 is a good usb transport....I know purk uses it with his Yggdrasil so might enquire him. I believe instead of buying the cable, it works when you use this dock, which allows the ZX2 to digital out via usb, as well as providing enough power to go through. I know it has OSCON caps in the cradle which amplifies the signal from the ZX2, which is too low.

    https://www.amazon.com/Walkman-Cradle-BCR-NWH10-NW-ZX2-Japan/dp/B00S94R5RK
     
  11. loplop

    loplop Acquaintance

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    I've used my ZX2 quite a bit as a transport. The WMC-NWH10 works fine for digital out if you have a DAC that doesn't draw much power' something like my ifi iDSD BL in battery mode, for instance, although it works fine with my Audeze Deckard, as well. I bought the BCR-NWH10, as well, because the battery drain when using the WMC cable is insane; the battery life drops to around 6-8 hours in digital out mode, from a full charge. The BCR cradle is self-powered, which allows you to play and charge at the same time, not only fixing the battery drain issue but also allowing the connection to DACs that draw too much power.

    FWIW the OSCONs in the BCR are for power stability only. They do nothing for the output power, per se. The cradle does tend to improve sound somewhat; I suspect there's a fairly dirty or jittery signal, and the cradle improves this somewhat, also allowing something like a USB decrapifier which tends to improve things further-and make it a really rather good transport, at that point. I haven't done any serious comparisons with my MBP, but I use it a lot on my work rig and felt it was good enough to leave the MBP at home.

    There's some goofiness with the ZX2 digital out' you often need to unplug/replug the ZX2, or do the same to the BCR, to achieve stable output. Sometimes you get nothing, other times digital static and an oddly fast-forwarding transport. You may need to fiddle with power on sequences to make it work. I often have to unplug/plug the BCR to sync back up with my iPurifier2/Deckard, which I use at work.

    I've used the ZX2 a lot with my iDSD BL, as well, with the NWH cable directly into the BL. It's more tonally full than my iPhone7, although not as focused or detailed. My iPad Pro is better than both, but I do often use the ZX2 as I have a lot of music on it that I like, plus the iPad Pro really isn't very easy to stack with the iDSD BL ;) might as well use my MBP at that point, which is better than all of them...

    TL;DR - if you have a ZX2, buy the cradle and cable. I think it's worth it, you get a nice warm, full sound. It's not reference-level, though, and may benefit from decrapifiers.
     
  12. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Yeah, I have UAPP on an old 4.xx Galaxy S3 that drives my Mojo (mostly in flight mode), and it works just fine too.

    I'm somewhat surprised that you claim your MBP is "better"- what revision is it? What sort of output are you using?


    Edit:
    Looking forward to seeing how you get on- it'd be cool if the Revive can do that. Meanwhile, for those who are curious, the Modi Multibit asks for 100mA:

    Which isn't enough to upset my fully patched-up iPad Pro 9.7 using a non-powered CCK, or any of my Android things.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  13. loplop

    loplop Acquaintance

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    @Kattefjaes just your average '15 MBP Retina. I generally use other devices to stream, but for my own files from local storage I prefer the MBP. I have been using it for Tidal lately, to play with MQA, as well. USB3 out into an ifi iUSB3 nano.
     
  14. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    It'll soon be a week. Get ready to be reminded.

    I'm wondering how this would be possible, unless the revive is more than (yet another) well-clocked/well-powered USB hub.
     
  15. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    It's a reclocker but it also fudges the power reporting. It makes any device behind it report 0mA draw.

    Remind me on Friday to try this :)
     
  16. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I just got a WMC-NWH10 for my newly acquired ZX2. It doesn't work with an iDAC2 which wants something like 300mA. Will try my micro iDSD on pure battery mode when I get home.

    BTW, Playstore won't let you install UAPP on ZX2 because Davey has disabled it for Sony devices as they don't support OTG USB output without the fancy cable. He gave me a link to download the apk directly, which will then phone home to confirm your license after installation.
    http://www.audio-evolution.com/priv_downloads/USBAudioPlayerPRO_3.6.9.apk
    (Note: link may go dead as he updates to the next revision. Just email him if you need it.)
     
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  17. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Like @WNovizar said: you need the cradle (BCR-NWH10) for USB Audio devices that are not the Oppo and Sony's own DACs.

    Thanks for the UAPP link!
     
  18. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Not true. I tried it with my micro iDSD in battery mode which draws zero current from the source. The WMC-NWH10 works with both the ZX2 and A35.

    The native app of the ZX2 works just fine. There is no notification that a USB DAC is connected. When UAPP is opened, it gives a strange "Android no, Linux yes" error, but outputs to USB anyway, I think via the android audio pathway of the ZX2 (or whatever you call it). I was able to use it to stream from my NAS, out to the iDSD.

    Didn't really attempt to listen for sonic differences, but Sony devices might have sounded a bit smoother than the Note 3 I usually use.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  19. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Was having trouble connecting my iPad 2 to my new Eitr so I thought I'd try the ZX2. Didn't work with the NWH10, nor directly to the Modi Multibit.
     
  20. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    As part of my Eitr power draw debugging, I plugged it into a Windows PC which said both it and Modi Multibit were requesting 100mA. Guess that's too much for the lil' ZX2 to handle.
     

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