Source for Monoprice THX Portable

Hello all,

I recently bought a Monoprice THX portable and it is on it’s way to me. I will be powering Argons portable and on desktop, and I have some questions about how to source the Monoprice portably. I have a few options about what to do.

One, I could buy Apple’s BS adapter and run it from my iPhone XR to the Monoprice via Lightning > USB > USB Micro. But that’s about $35 just to get cables.

Two, I could run the iPhone to the EarStudio ES100 via Bluetooth and then to the Monoprice. That way I don’t need to take a brick out of my pocket each time I need to switch tracks. These can be found used $50-$75.

Third, I can return the Monoprice and invest in a mid-tier DAP, one that can also connect to PC. I’m looking at the FiiO M11 Pro when it comes out. But I have seen one comment saying the current M11 does not power Argons properly, not sure if the Pro can or cannot.

Opinions on the best route? I’d like the convenience of a DAP for being in my pocket, yet the Monoprice will definitely be able to power the Argons. Are there any DAPs that can power anything like Argons? And what’s the best option for sound quality? There are different opinions on the SQ of using an iPhone as a source and on using Bluetooth for transmission VS a good DAP.

The cable direct to phone is the most effective and simple way, and probably the way you should go.

If you were concerned about power, you could look at the xduoo xd-05 plus and fiio m6 combo which would be cost effective and more powerful then the m11 and thx portable. Another combo could be your phone and a fiio q5s with a thx amp module if you still wanted a dac/amp not a dap. The m11 pro is also pretty sweet.

Also regarding power, technically the thx portable is less powerful then the m11 on balanced.

Bluetooth will reduce sound quality, so that is something to take into account.

And regarding the m11, a neat feature is fiio link where you can control the m11 from your phone to change tracks without touching it

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Thanks for the input. I’m actually shocked that the M11 would be more powerful than the Monoprice portable. Sounds like a DAP might be the best route for portable and I can still use it as a dac/amp connected to my computer, right? What recommendations for DAPs do you have besides M11?

The m11 pro or the astell & kern kann or kann cube are probably the winners for power output. The HiBy R6 Pro is also a strong contender. Most daps aren’t really made with power hungry planars in mind, so that limits your options. Yes these can be hooked up to a computer to be used as an external dac amp. Just make sure you have a balanced cable for the argons to use the balanced on these devices for the maximum power output

I was told by previous owner that these Argons are wired for Balanced so I would definitely use a balanced cable. What about the flagship iBasso DAP? And what would you personally do if you wanted to take hard to drive cans portable? Because there are a good number of options available to me.

I forgot one important option that you just reminded me of that I will recommend hands down. The iFi iDSD Micro Black Label. This thing is a single ended beast that will handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. It is single ended, but can output around 4 watts per channel, so no problem there. Would be my top recommendation over the other options

Yes I have seen that, although it’s a beast that I don’t see fitting in my pocket. If I had known there were DAPs that could power my cans I wouldn’t have picked up the Monoprice. I just assumed that none of them could, so now I might have to pay a restocking fee. FiiO M11 Pro seems like a good move to me.

Well if you don’t have to pay for restocking, the m11 pro is pretty nice, but if you would have to pay a fee, perhaps at least try the thx portable and see if it works for your needs.

That’s a good idea. I’m probably gonna end up getting rid of it anyways though, since I don’t want to deal with a stack and all that jazz in my pocket. I just got it since I was uninformed. Could try to sell it new in box on Reddit for a bit less and avoid a 15% fee. Anything else I should have in mind about DAPs?

They won’t be as fast as phones, and also with the fiio m11, while it is android, there is no google play support, so that’s something to take into account. You also have to get a micro sd card for storage. Otherwise not really, its like having a slimmed down android phone

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$250 for THX, slight battery boost, and slightly upgraded DAC chips is a big ask for the M11 Pro over the regular. I know Zeos opinion, but is THX really that spectacular?

It is a step up, but not a massive one, so imo its not super necessary

Hiby R5 is a new Android DAP with Play Store and a fair amount of power - on headphonics was a review if I remember correctly

Well that’s a pretty impressive package! When did that get released? That would be better then the m11 for less imo if it has the sound quality to back it

here is the link … have to leave office now… read you later

From reading that, seems like the R5 is an impressive unit. Still debating in my head about what I want to do. One concern I have is that DAPs seem to get outdated much quicker than dac/amp combos. And that for the same price as the Monoprice portable the audio components must be of lesser value in DAPs due to having processors, RAM, screen, etc.

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That is true as with any phone like device. I really like my questyle qp2r, as it in my head really won’t get outdated imo, but a device like that would not put out much power for the argons

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Decisions decisions… In my head I’m realizing that I’m looking to get a DAP when I don’t even know how much I’ll be using it out and about. I could get one and have it be a foolish purchase in comparison to a “transportable” dac/amp.

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If I were you, I would just by the apple camera adapter and use the THX portable. I have one and it is wonderful.

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What headphones/iems do you use it with? When I heard it it was pretty great