I've been downloading quite a few albums from the likes of HD Tracks and playing them on my iPod Touch with the FLAC Player app. I realize the Touch has hardware limitations as to the bit rate it can output etc, but as the owner of a new iPad 3, I've been reading that with the help of a Camera Connection Kit from Apple when plugged into a DAC (Digitial Analog Converter), it's possible to output 24 bit music.
Has anyone done this?
What DACs are available in New Zealand? In the Auckland area? I've seen some on the Computer Lounge site, but they seem to only have the Firestone brand, which range from the reasonably priced to the quite expensive, and I haven't a clue whether they'd work or where I'd start.
The iPad 3 has superb output quality already, as per the measurements at Golden-ears. Some debate about pros and cons of 24-bit music, and to be perfectly frank I doubt you will actually hear any audible difference between lossless down-sampled to 16bit Vs true 24-bit play. If you did it will be a marginal difference at best, since in blind studies people cannot reliably tell the difference between 320kbps MP3 Vs FLAC, let alone FLAC at 16 Vs 24-bit. For the considerable expense involved I don't think it is justifiable.
Also, you'll probably need to upgrade your IEMs/headphones to add to the expense, otherwise they'll be the limiting step.
To get a DAC that can do 24-bit, and is at all improved over the inbuilt one in the iPad3, and to get a headphone capable of reproducing what will be a tiny difference (at best) you are probably looking at a cost upwards of $2000. Obviously some will want to try and chase that unicorn down regardless, but for myself, even as someone with a massive investment in audio I cannot see this being at all worthwhile.