Best android tablet for USB DAC audio out for under $200?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Wombat Reynolds, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Colin M

    Colin M Forum Resident

    May sound strange but I bought a used Galaxy s6. Gave the connection required, and a backup mobile.
     
    Brother_Rael likes this.
  2. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    I just bought the LG Pad X 8.0, as suggested by another person earlier in the thread.

    The direct full size USB connection really interested me, and on the Neutron forum, another user said he was using this same tablet with "a DAC". That counted for something too... you never know how these tablets will or will not be able to correctly use your favorite app or USB thing.... a primary concern of mine for unknown brands and Amazon Fire tablets. Not saying they wouldnt work but enough evidence to suggest possibly not....

    now lets hope the screen is good enough. There was an 8" samsung with an AMOLED screen but that was twice as much money.....
     
    c-eling likes this.
  3. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    Nice! keep us updated.
    I was able to grab that Fire 7 for 40 bucks, installed Google Play on it, works fantastic as a Squeezebox Remote :) But of course I have every adapter on the planet except for a standard USB --> Micro. I'll have it Sunday to give it a whirl. I'll try using the Onkyo HF player app first.
     
  4. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Lenovo Tab v2 or v3. Excellent tablets. My wife and I have one each. Reasonably priced too and available in 10" screen.
     
  5. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Just go to amazon, you will find tons of tablets with Android 6 or 7, or even 8 for well under 200. Don't know if they're "great" hardware-wise, but you said specifically software.
     
  6. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Great device. My wife has the S6 Edge and I use am S7. Brilliant for music too.
     
  7. Rolltide

    Rolltide Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    I might be more selective with my Android products then some. Yes, you'll find tons of them. No, most won't get software updates. And hopefully I don't even need to get into why one should avoid the no-name Chinese brands.

    It does seem that Samsung has revived the 8" $199 loss-leader tier reminiscent of the Nexus 7. I am interested to see how the OP's race to the bottom works out. He seems to be going for a single purpose appliance of sorts, so it should come down to the hardware support.
     
  8. anorak2

    anorak2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    There's also brandname Chinese brands, like Xiaomi or Lenovo
     
  9. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Had my Lenovo for about three years now. Hard to fault it and it gets upgrades still yet. It's either Samsung or Lenovo.
     
    c-eling likes this.
  10. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    I can confirm the Amazon Fire tablet 7 will indeed pass audio through to an outboard DAC, an Emotiva DC-1 in this instance
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    I'm all set except for one funny little bug

    I got my app (Neutron) on the LG tablet, it plays beautifully thru the DAC into the AUX line in on the car stereo. sounds great.

    However. the wife heard it and she basically wants her own list of songs. We have a lot of music in common we like, but there is much I like, that she does not.

    The answer would probably be a separate playlist for her - however, with about 8000 songs loaded onto the tablet SDcard - it would literally take forever to scroll thru, and long press and hold then "add" to playlist.

    I couldnt think of any other way to do it... then I thought, well, I'll download another music app, and load her songs up on that. Seemed like a good idea... however, none of them can play thru the DAC. Its weird, as soon as the Dragonfly DAC is connected, Neutron launches and even if its stopped... no other music app can use it. Its like Neutron has seized control of the DAC and will not let any other app access it, even if Neutron isnt running.

    Anybody got any clues on how to stop this from happening? I already asked on the neutron forum but its a sleepy place

    other than that weirdness, it's all good from here...
     
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  12. madaudio

    madaudio Member

    Location:
    QLD
    Two questions: what size SD card in the tablet, and will it take a bigger one, and (alright, 3 questions!!!!) please tell me you have not simply loaded 8000 songs one after another, rather than organising them into folders of either genres, artists etc?
    I am using a Samsung Galaxy Note Pro with android 5.0.2, with a 128 GB card and my folder structure is Genre (Jazz, Pop, World, etc), Artist, Album, and it takes no time at all to find a track. You might even need to use Hers, Mine folders as a starting point for your folder structure. I use UAPP for the software, and can create and save playlists also, to make it easier for playback of favoured tracks (admittedly, building a playlist in the first place is a little time-consuming, but again, a hierarchical folder structure helps a lot.
    Dac is an Oppo HA-2, headphones Oppo PM3.
     
  13. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    she has all her songs in one folder, and all mine are in another.

    Will UAPP create playlists that Neutron can read? The playlist creating process in Neutron is agonizingly slow


    actually, thanks anyway, but the Neutron forum is filled with people bitching that imported playlists dont work in the app. I've contacted the developer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  14. DyersEve726

    DyersEve726 Schmo Diggy

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Some music apps I've used let you browse music by folder. Is that an option maybe buried in Neutron? I know Pulsar+ let's you do this.
     
  15. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    so far, until I get another idea, I have her music in one folder and I use PlayerPro app for her. It cannot access the DAC, however, the headphone out on this LG is pretty good, better than my old Samsung - and I used the bass boost and the EQ to get PlayerPro to sound as good as I could get it, via the headphone jack into the car stereo AUX in. Not quite as good as Neutron via the DAC, but, good enough for her purposes.

    I'm in this car 500 times more often than she is. I dont think she'll complain. If she does, maybe I'll tell her to get her own tablet. That probably wont fly either....
     
  16. madaudio

    madaudio Member

    Location:
    QLD
    Unless I am misinterpreting you, you have your folder and her folder, but within each is one long list of songs/tracks?

    If so, this is the computer equivalent of an office with a thousand folders and no filing cabinets, drawers or cupboards: just desks covered in folders!!! No wonder it takes so long to find a specific single song!!

    Before I put a single file onto my SD card (or hard drive, or usb stick, or whatever) I create folders, and sub-folders, and where necessary sub-sub-folders. Here is my SD card directory:

    Directory: Z:\My Music

    Aix HiRes Sampler Disc
    Classical
    Country
    Folk
    Jazz-Blues
    Music DVDs
    Playlists
    Pop
    World

    and then inside, say, the Pop folder:

    Beatles, The
    Bee Gees
    Boney M
    Bread
    Creedence Clearwater Revival
    Don McLean
    Eagles
    Good Morning Saigon
    Hits Of The 50's
    Lobo
    Mamas & the Papas, The
    Moment by Moment - Larisa Stow
    Nancy Sinatra
    Neil Diamond
    Roy Orbison
    Shadows, The
    Smokie

    and then,inside the "Beatles" folder a folder for each album, and finally, inside each album folder, the song tracks.

    So I can find, say "Lucie in the Sky With Diamonds" in 4 steps: My Music, Pop, Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Admittedly, I have a good memory of how I have classified each cd into a genre, and a good memory of which artist album I will find a specific track.

    Re playlists, I recall creating one on my PC hard drive, but had to use find and replace in word to replace drive and directory pathnames to work correctly for whatever folder I copied the playlist into before it could work in the tablet.

    UAPP allows creating "queues" and then saving them as playlists - works great. I would be surprised if Neutron Player gives any better sound quality than UAPP. You might want to give it a short trial.
     
  17. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Neutron doesnt care about all that. As far as I can tell. You can have as many folders as you want, but in order for the program to play them, you must load it into the programs library and at that point, you can only use THEIR built in folders; genre, artist, album, songs. Thats not going to help much. The wife and I have so much music in common that we'd both have hundreds of files in each folder.

    And I'm not switching players because NONE of them will display my custom album art full screen, no controls visible.

    Unless you'd like to stop lecturing me about my file structure, download neutron yourself and then tell me how to do it, smart guy.

    I'm all ears. If you can learn me something, great, its all good.
     
  18. DyersEve726

    DyersEve726 Schmo Diggy

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    If you used an organizational scheme like he's proposed, you could use the folder navigator that I pretty clearly saw in a Neutron screen cap. Unless I'm missing something, that seems like a crazy easy solution to this his and hers music crisis.
     
  19. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA

    IF I can figure that out, yep, that would clinch it. There are multiple issues facing it, however, we like a lot of the same artists, but not the same songs. So it gets complicated quickly.

    The ideal solution would be to have Neutron scan the SDcard and find both folders (one for her and one for me) and then show the files in their own respective folders. NOT scattered across genre, artist, song, album etc

    So far I havent figured that out, but I'll poke around a little more.

    Honestly, I dont think she will mind using PlayerPro and headphone out.
     
  20. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    hopefully my final update.

    I did figure out a way to make two different playlists in Neutron, but it was convoluted and ridiculously time consuming. Playlists are not Neutron's strong suit, to be generous... however its the best sounding, with the best full display of art, app I've ever tried (and I've tried a bunch, not all of them, but a bunch)

    Last night me and the wife went for a drive. I played her stuff via PlayerPro, from the headphone out, not the DAC... and she said it was great.

    She doesnt care about sound quality as much as I do (And I'm no audiophile). She really only wanted her own thing, but as simple as possible for me to get it to work. She doesnt care if she gets to use the DAC or not. Other things to consider, she doesnt listen at loud volumes, and with the road noise of a car, and the stereo at a lower volume, theres not a ton of difference between the tweaked PlayerPro thru the headphone, and Neutron via the DAC.

    So we're happy, no playlists required. Neutron via the Dragonfly DAC is freaking awesome, with the volume up a bit, best sound I've ever had from this old car stereo.
     
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  21. madaudio

    madaudio Member

    Location:
    QLD
    Okay, I did download the app, and, as DyersevE726 stated above, once Neutron has scanned the card and set up its library, and goes to the app's start screen, top-right hand corner, is an icon of an arrow and 4 lines.

    Tap on that, and you get to a screen listing Playlists, Artists, Albums etc and if you scroll down far enough - voila - Folders!!

    Tap that, and you get a screen asking you to identify if the Folders are in internal storage or external SDCard. Choose SDCard.

    And again - voila - you get to the top of your own structured folder system (the top of which, on my system, is Music).

    So if you start with Music, Hers, Mine, and from there to your categories, artist, album, you can pick your tracks.

    A long press on a track (instead of the normal tap) activates choices including add to queue, add to playlist, etc
     
  22. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    i saw all that and decided I dont have time to long press and hold 3500 individual tracks. I started doing that and ran out of patience quickly. I could not find a way to select all of them at once. There is a "multi-select" feature but it was iffy or didnt work or seemed to not like me.

    There was also a way to select a genre or album, and it would add all the tracks inside that....but again, with so many tracks, it really was a manually intensive exercise, it was taking forever.

    she's happy with PlayerPro and the headphone out.

    However, I do appreciate your effort, that was above and beyond the call of duty.
     
  23. madaudio

    madaudio Member

    Location:
    QLD
    No probs: different courses for different horses.
     

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