While many music promotional projects bring a seamless or catchy feel to their offerings, the interest of DACs (digital-to-analog converters, or “audio enhancers”) has grown exponentially – so we created this book. What used to be the earliest storage of audiophiles is slowly becoming a useful tool for those who want more than what their phones and AirPods can offer. But they have no warning. First of all, they are expensive, and sometimes no less expensive than the phone you are connecting to. Enter Tea DAC author Khadas.
Khadas began developing single-board media-connected computers (SBC – think … Raspberry Pi-type devices) before moving to computer DACs. Tea is the company’s first mobile DAC and seems to be heavily monitored by iPhone users – though it is also compatible with Android. The reason I recommend it is the best on Apple phones is that it is MagSafe compatible. Combine this with a small, iPhone-esque-all-screen interface and it solves one major problem with mobile DACs: Having a heavy object hanging on the back of your phone.
With Tea, it sticks to the back of your phone and the low profile makes it look better than Apple’s MagSafe wallets. You can get the powerful MagSafe for Android, but your phone and budget are essential.
Beyond its visual appeal, Tea does not follow its codec support. Using USB / Lightning, Tea can listen to voice up to 32bit / 384kHz. Since most popular songs do not provide anything beyond 192kHz, the broadcasts will not be large. Similarly, Tea can detect MQA (Tidal) along with DSD, AAC, FLAC, APE, OGG and all standard formats (WAV / MP3 etc.). If you want to go wireless, Tea also supports LDAC and AptX HD over Bluetooth.
Here I have to say that, because of its overall iPhone relationship, Apple does not offer LDAC or AptX HD support on its high-end phones. You can still use the Bluetooth feature in Tea, but you will not be able to enjoy the high quality interface. Although it does mean you can charge your phone while you are still DAC or you can walk around with a small Tea connected to your headphones instead of using your mobile phone. There are many Android phones as well to do support LDAC / AptX HD, but you should check the manufacturer’s page to confirm (Most Pixels, Samsung flagships and OnePlus phones offer LDAC / AptX HD decoding).
There are a few things you may not find here, but many that fall at the end of the audio. For example, there is only a 3.5mm headphone jack – no way to make cans with 2.5 or 4.4mm cans right now (although rumors say the “Pro” type may be available). There are also a few answers about the type of codec / audio you are receiving here, and just an LED color changer that you can see, which you can’t see unless the phone is down. The input is powered by USB-C only, which is why it works with your phone and PC, but no line.
This puts Tea in an interesting category. It is ideal for people who really want their advertising work and should attract audiophiles who are looking for a smart approach that touches a wide range of backgrounds. But at $ 199 I use it wisely. Perhaps its most obvious competitor is the BTR5 from Fiio. It also has a portable DAC with advanced Bluetooth support and a wide selection of cable types (as well as up to 32bit / 384kHz supported by MQA). Oh, and Fiio also offers a choice of headphone jack, too (2.5mm). Considering that the BTR5 retails for $ 159, you should be intrigued by its small MagSafe design.
I’m not still selling it. I tried BTR5 with Tea from side to side, and the simplicity of Tea was obvious. With Fiio, your phone feels like it is locked, almost overwhelmed by DAC. With Tea, it’s similar to using one of the iPhone cases with a battery inside – a little bigger, but you can still use the phone the way you do.
The tea also has a much larger battery – 1,160 mAh compared to Fiio’s 550 mAh. This is obviously not worth listening to, but it soon becomes like you want to listen for a long time or stay away from the payment method for more hours. Which, given the color scheme of these weapons sounds like a possibility.
However, I am not a big fan of user interface. The tea has three buttons: One on the left and two on the right. One button acts as a power switch or call your agent. Two buttons on the other side can adjust the volume or skip the music. You switch between volume and jump and double-click the power button and the top button on the other side. They work … well, but not very elegant. Also, if you drop it in the track to skip the mode and go change the volume, you will be on the next track before you know it. Something small, but frustrating.
In a wireless way, Tea produces strong, loud, clear voice. It probably doesn’t sound like other DACs. Even a smaller Firefly gives Tea its money there. But, the words you find are pure and useful, and that is the goal here: Take a good sign and let it sound without making colors.
Continuing with its major role as DAC, it will no longer be difficult to make phone calls. The mics under Tea allow you to talk back to the mic on your phone. Plus, the mics on Tea are a few better players than the ones on the iPhone, especially when talking to them relaxing at the desk. You can also stop Tea from charging through your phone if you drink too little water, or prevent this from charging your phone battery if you want.
All in all, Tea is a welcome addition to the growing community. At $ 199 it is not the cheapest at the store, but its well-thought-out design and aesthetics make it even more comfortable and smart. Unfortunately, if all goes well, you have to wait a little longer. While Khadas is ready to make, the company decides to go Indiegogo songs, is a campaign that is expected to take place in the coming weeks.
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