Periodic Audio Rhodium: Revenge of the USB DAC?
Do you like your ears? I got to take you on a quick flashback. When phones started losing headphone jacks, there was a glimmer of hope. It could lead to something better for audio fans. Imagine a legit audio brand, like sennheiser or audio technica, making their own usb adapters to properly power. Really nice headphones. It wouldn’t matter what phone you owned? You could buy an ultra cheap handset and always have an audiophile grade. Portable player, kinda didn’t come true in any high profile way. We pushed consumers to bluetooth and that was always going to be the play to extract more money from consumers, but the cabled audio market. Just sort of slid into something more niche for a hot minute. I was super into testing little usb dongles. It was mostly a disappointing experience, so i got burnt out and started turning more to things like portable dax and wireless adapters. Well, periodic audio makes some rad little earbuds and they sent over their usb dac the rhodium for me to share some thoughts and the thoughts are pretty positive. This will immediately look familiar it’s, a little usbc plug a braided, rugged cable and a 3.5 millimeter input in the tiny little box periodic also supplies a usb, a adapter so that you can use rhodium with laptops and desktops. Now, not all usb audio adapters are created. Equal so it’s really refreshing to plug something like this in and hear just just hear plainly how it’s an improvement over most of the awful options dumped on consumers, while also showing some muscle against some of the other boutique solutions.
We’Ve seen before in this tiny usbc plug casing, retreat it to a high res dac capable of properly decoding 32 bit audio. Now, depending on your music philosophy, we might be approaching placebo quality, but if you’re out there buying high quality flack, you might want to know that your portable hardware really can properly put out all the audio you’re buying, even if you’re listening to compressed mp3s or streaming On a compressed service, cleaning up the hardware side will make your music sound a little better compared to the headphone jack found on many mid ranger phones, we’ve got noticeably cleaner output, a better noise floor, a better signal to noise ratio and a lot less distortion. All the fancy words to say this hardware will serve up a better version of the audio file being played than the more budget friendly hardware found on even more expensive phones. The last critical component isn’t just the quality, but also the power packed in the tiny shell, is a respectable amp that seriously outpowers most phones, shy of the lg quad dax out there cleaner signal and enough oomph to properly drive nicer headphones. I did pretty well even moving up to my thirstier studio cans. The most demanding options in my collection were right on the edge, i think, we’re getting a good signal out, but of course, headphone aficionados would probably be correct in wanting more boost it’s, not just volume. It’S not just how loud, but how a headphone represents an audio signal changes with the amount of power on tap a brief aside, periodic audio does sell a standalone amplifier called the nickel it’s important to note that when we look at increasing the power of an audio Solution and maintaining a clean signal we don’t want to just make something louder and add a bunch of noise or distortion.
That hardware starts getting more and more expensive. A whole new class of portable amps are far more reasonably priced than the audiophile grade gear of the past. The combo of a rhodium and a nickel sounds pretty good for a portable solution and i have to give a major thumbs up that the rhodium is a proper output and input option. There is support for headset microphones on this adapter that’s, a really nice consideration. Considering the periodic audio guys are so nerdy they don’t sell earbuds with mics because of potential distortion. It is nice to see input support on their audio adapter. I just think it’s lame when an audio solution focused on mobile ignores the fact that a lot of us use these things to take calls and listen to music. You want me to get a little nitpicky. Okay. I wish these options came with a cable tie, a little rubber band or a clip. So you could attach this to your headphone cable. Make it a little easier to hold on to a little harder to lose. That’D be nice getting down to brass tacks listed at 99.99, but at the time i made this video rhodium was on sale for 50 bucks and that’s, not bad we’re right in the ballpark of some of the boutique 24 bit dax solutions with a decently punchy, amp And 50 bucks isn’t crazy money to give your mobile audio a serious shot in the arm. I’Ve recently reviewed some audio solutions which can out power what’s happening here, but all are at significantly higher prices and larger form factors it’s tough, to beat for something that is nearly as discreet as plugging headphones directly into a gadget.
A periodic audio rates rhodium for android phones, tablets, windows and mac, pcs, i was able to get playback working on an iphone, but given the silly limitations of the lightning connector it’s, probably not the preferred solution, plus it’s super annoying using dongles and adapters to get it To work i like direct plug and play a lot better. Rhodium is a super straightforward way to spruce up your audio on the go. I’Ll, of course, leave some links down below where you can find more information on rhodium and the rest of periodic audio’s gear. They are becoming one of my favorite nerd, core boutique audio label, so i i really do hope you check them out, as always, thanks so much for watching for sharing these videos subscribing to the channel supporting your favorite content, creators has never been more critical than it Is today, so i greatly appreciate those of you who do check out the links in the description below. Maybe you shop, some of my merch. That kind of stuff really does help keep production rolling on this channel there’s a full list of all of my affiliates and partnerships over on some gadgetguy.com or you might consider joining the list of names scrolling by on your screen. From my patreon patreon.com, some gadget guy, this list represents a collection of the coolest tech pals on the internet. So i hope you check them out now.