I am always intrigued by @torq’s perceptions of performance, as I find them very much aligned with my own. My dongle solution has been Lotoo PAW S1 & S2 which I have found very acceptable. Looking forward to trying out the W4 when it arrives.
Just received my W4 today. Just for fun, tried it with my MySpheres 3.2 - no go… will not drive them.
Listening to them with my U12Ts, and they are very good. Need to compare them head to head with the Lotoo PAW S2, which has been my goto dongle for the last year.
As in doesn’t work at all?
If that’s the case, there’s something odd going on … possibly a marginal 4.4mm connector (plug is usually the culprit) - which can result in shorting.
There is sound, just not acceptable on the MySphere 3.2s Very thin sounding. Even at MAX volume, it was very faint.
But I did have a problem with the lightning connector making good contact on my iPhone. The case for the iPhone was causing the lightning connector to not fully seat. Requires a little exacto surgery to open the opening for the lightning connector.
The A&K SP3000 drives the MySphere 3.2s perfectly.
Also my U12Ts sound great from the L&P W4.
That could be a misaligned connector. I’ve had plain old 3.5mm TRS plugs “leak” a little audio when not aligned, and then become quite loud with an adjustment. Some jacks are longer than others, some sockets are longer than others, and some plastic surrounds have a different shape. My Bottlehead Crack socket is deep, and some jacks require a credit card thickness gap to get both channels working.
Very strange … definitely sounds like there is something else going on there.
I’ve had no trouble getting much more demanding headphones to unsafe volume levels, and still exhibiting good control, from the W4. Synergy is another matter, but lack of power/drive with anything not pathologically inefficient, has not been an issue.
I had a Lotoo Paw S1 that was super fussy with its 4.4mm connection. Had to get that replaced. Though I’m still fairly sure it was the combination of plug and socket, and not just one or the other, causing the issue.
I think I have a defective USB C to lightning cable or socket.
I will check the USB C to USB C cable and see if it works better. (UPDATE: works perfectly, must be the USB C to lightning cable that is the problem)
I did try a Lotoo PAW USB C to Lightning cable, and that didn’t work at all.
I sent an email to L&P, but haven’t heard back. If I don’t get this fixed I will return the unit for a replacement. (UPDATE: MusicTek, distributor of the L&P W4 replied is sending me a new USB-C to Lightning cable). Very responsive service.)
After having a busy month, and only being able to try the W4 on a few headphones, last night I spend some time listening to the W4 with my Rosson RAD-0 using Hart Cable balanced connection. Source was Qobuz coming from a new Apple iPad Mini.
This combination was very musical and not at all fatiguing. Even listened to almost all of the new remaster of Talking Heads “Stop Making Sense (Live)” which is certainly demanding from the music fatigue point of view. I was, in a short while, just listening to the music , which is clearly the proper level of oblivion, and often difficult when you’ve been in the audiophile camp and listening critically for far too long. I even found a lovely new album, “A Song for Leon” which is a tribute to Leon Russell. This album is a compilation of different cover recordings, one or two of which are slightly muddy or distant, some intense and intimate like Monica Martin’s rendition of “A Song for You”, and gives an excellent workout of the detail and nuance from the W4.
Over this past month, I’ve tried the W4 with most of my headphones and have enjoyed the pairing. It even stretches the Sennheiser HD-6XX about as far as it normally goes, especially with balanced cables. (I usually run the HD-6XX on more power - the Lyr3 with the “solid state tube” and Bifrost 2/64 which has great detail, years after @Torq rubbed my nose in the fact that the Dragonfly Black didn’t cut it with those phones).
I hope you get your connection/power issue straightened out so you can report what it’s like with the MySpheres.
There is a saying, sometimes attributed to Twain, but certainly from around the mid Mississippi-Missouri River flood plain - “Sometimes I sits and thinks, other times I just sits.” and it is pointed out that you need to pass through the first stage before getting to the latter and more blissful state. This is what happens when the audiophile eventually lets go in the face of low irritation, which is, I think, the W4’s forte.
Thanks. A replacement cable is on the way from MusicTek.
I know what you mean about “just sitin”. I have been listening for the last hour to the Sun Bear Concerts (Japan - 6 hours) by Keith Jarrett on my OG Utopias, where everything gets out of the way, and my brain is immersed in his incredible improvisation. On first listening, he sounds repetitive until you get into his groove, then you “get it” as the waterfall of notes washes over you, and he takes you on an incredible hypnotic journey. Wow. Just “sitin”.
Thanks @pennstac , very nice review!!!
Just a quick add-on note -
You can see elsewhere that I had tried using the W4 with my Sennheiser Momentum 4 in wired mode. The sound signature of the Momentum made me want to try some EQ on Classical, and the W4 was happy to oblige.
This did open up the sound reasonably on the Momentum 4 - no complaints. I’ve ordered a silver cable from Hart to do the 2.5mm to 3.5mm connection. The included cable looks like a cheap afterthought and is just a bit short. I’ll report if the 4 foot braided one helps any more.
I really do like the choices afforded by the W4. Its light weight and impressive quality are really making it a go-to for me.
I have been having trouble getting my iPhone to charge consistently. A colleague suggested that I might have “pocket lint” blocking the connectionsl. He had a similar problem which was solved by a pair of ceramic (non-conductive) needle nose tweezers to pull this out of the socket. I will give it a try.
Cotton ear swabs. 90% or 99% isopropyl alcohol (minimal water).
Pencil eraser on the pads.
What @generic said, or try canned air, or take it to an Apple Store and they have a tool to pull crud from a lightning port in a few seconds. Fixed one of my old phones easy-peasy.