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How to turn smartphone to Hifi Audio Player | Aune BU1

How to turn smartphone to Hifi Audio Player | Aune BU1

How to choose the best hifi player under US$ 250?  It was asked many times. Well, if we are focusing on sound performance, it is really hard to reach audiophiles level though there are some good players launched. 

But we wondered: is there was a way we could turn our cellphone into a hi-res music player?

While Android smartphones in recent years have natively supported high-resolution audio, there has been no sign Apple officially has plans to do the same with iPhones. 

That’s a shame, as we’ve found iPhones to be the best-sounding smartphones around. They consistently outperform rivals smartphones in terms of pure audio quality, and being able to play better-quality recordings would certainly be a bonus in our eyes.

The good news is that there's not only one but two ways you can play hi-res music on an iPhone. You can stream it through the Tidal iOS app if you are a subscriber to the music service's £20/month HiFi tier, thanks to a very recent update (more on that later). Or you can store and play your own files through a dedicated iOS app.

Predictably, it’s not that straightforward with Apple. When you’re listening to music on, say, the iPhone 8 Plus via the Lightning connector, you bypass the iPhone’s internal DAC entirely. You’d think this means we’d be able to play hi-res files unobstructed, but even then we hit a snag. If you’re listening to your iPhone using the Lightning to 3.5mm adapter that comes bundled with new iPhones, the output is limited to 48kHz.

This makes things a tad complicated, but the solution here is to connect an external DAC, such as the portable  Aune BU1 or Chord Mojo. Not the most elegant solution, but if you want to hear the full original resolution of your hi-res files through your smart iPhone, using a portable headphone amplifier and DAC is the way to go.

The alternative to a portable DAC is to plug Lightning connector headphones straight into your iPhone, although many pairs' portable DACs are limited to a 24-bit/48 kHz output.

Aune BU1 ( US$ 299 )

The portable Aune BU1 is a high-quality portable DAC with a headphone amplifier that purely focuses on sound quality. It supports up to 32bit/768k and DSD512 decoding; the amp is fully discrete; supports Apple/Android portable devices/portable music player connection; it can be used in multiple scenarios.

Such things have been discarded to meet the entry-level (by the company’s usual standards) price point. Here, the product name/logo Aune is simply etched at top and certifications/PN etc details are etched at the bottom, which gives the game away about it being an obviously high-quality product.

This is a good place to mention that the Aune BU1 DAC runs on a rechargeable battery. One of the two micro-USB ports on the bottom is dedicated for charging and the second is purely for data streaming from your player of choice, whether that may be a computer or a handheld ‘smart’ device. When fully charged to its 4000mAh battery, the Aune BU1 will last around 8 hours of continuous playback and consecutive charging takes much less time - approximately four hours or so. 

Current, Aune is able to accompany headphones, dimensions, performance, everything is balanced in Aune BU1  DAC / headphone amplifier.

If you are in the mood for carrying a small best buy portable headphone amps for $100 that has some of the best features incorporated, this Aune BU1 model is surely a great catch.


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