Getting Connected

How to connect our gear to most common devices

Okay, so you're new to this whole game. You don't know an LOD from a 30-pin, or what a USB A-B cable is. Where the heck do you start? Well, here's a brief guide to how to connect our stuff to some common sources and systems, together with some links to cables you might need.


Connecting to a Computer

Analog: You can connect a headphone amp to your computer via the headphone or line-out jack. Most computers have a 1/8" stereo jack, and our gear uses RCA inputs, So you'll need a cable like this one:

1/8" to Dual RCA Cable

Digital: You can connect our DACs to Windows, Mac, many Linux computers, and some Chromebooks via USB, optical, or coaxial digital output, depending on what the computer has. USB is the most universal. To use USB, you'll need a USB A-B cable, like this:

USB A-B Cable 

Fancy USB A-B Cable

Most Apple computers also have optical digital output via the headphone jack. To use it, you'll need a cable like this:

1/8" to Standard Toslink Cable


Connecting to an iPod/iPhone/iPad

Analog: You can connect a headphone amp via the headphone jack. iPhones and iPods use a 1/8" stereo jack, and our gear uses RCA inputs, so you'll need a cable like this one:

1/8" to Dual RCA Cable

Digital: If you have an older iPhone, iPod, or iPad with the 30-pin connector (the 1" wide one, not the new Lightning connector), you can connect to our optical-input DACs with a digital out dock, like a Pure i20.

30-Pin connector and iPad: If you have an iPad with the 30-pin connector, you can connect via USB with the Apple 30-pin Camera Connection Kit, together with a powered hub to avoid the "this device draws too much power" error. You'll also need a USB cable.

Lightning connector: if you have an iPhone running iOS7 or above or iPad running iOS6 or above with the new Lightning connector, you can use the Lightning to USB Adapter from Apple, together with a powered hub to avoid the "this device draws too much power" error. You'll also need a USB cable.

Apple 30-pin Camera Connection Kit

Apple Lightning to USB Adapter

Powered Hub

USB A-B Cable 

Fancy USB A-B Cable


Connecting to an Android Phone or Tablet

Analog: You can connect a headphone amp via the headphone jack. iPads use a 1/8" stereo jack, and our gear uses RCA inputs, So you'll need a cable like this one:

1/8" to Dual RCA Cable

Digital: You can connect our DACs to many Android devices (5.0 and up) using a USB On The Go cable. Some Android devices will need to be connected through a USB powered hub, since they cannot supply enough power to run the DAC. Some Android devices may need additional player software, such as USB Audio Player Pro.

USB On The Go Cable

USB A-B Cable 

Fancy USB A-B Cable

Powered Hub (for some systems)


Connecting a DAC to an Amp, Preamp, AV Preamp, or Receiver

Most equipment uses RCA cables. You'll need a stereo pair of RCA cables—we sell really short ones (PYST) for connecting our own gear together when it's stacked—or you can buy all kinds of lengths at the second length.

PYST Short RCA Cables

Longer RCA Cables


Connecting a Preamp to a Headphone Amp

Many preamps still have what they call a "tape out," which bypasses the internal volume control of the preamp. This is where you'd want to connect a headphone amp. All you need is a pair of RCA cables, like these:

RCA Cables

If your preamp does not have a clearly labeled "tape out," contact the manufacturer and ask them if they have an output that bypasses the volume control.


Connecting a Receiver or AV Preamp to a Headphone Amp

Many receivers and AV preamps have what they call a "stereo mix" output. This is where you'd connect a headphone amp, with RCA cables like this:

RCA Cables

If your receiver or AV preamp does not have a clearly labeled stereo output, contact the manufacturer for their recommendation as to where to connect a headphone amp.


Connecting to More Than One Device

Let's say you have one of our DACs and you want to connect it to both your headphone amp and a set of powered speakers on your desk (or any other group of two different products, like a headphone amp and a receiver, etc. To do this, you'll need a set of RCA Y-Cables, like this:

RCA Y-Cables