I reviewed a similar product before, so I won’t repeat why it’s a good idea to have something like this. In a nutshell, it solves this problem as stated in that post:
For an iPhone user, unless you never plan going past a 6S, needing a lightning headphone adaptor is an inevitability. And while Apple does supply the newer iPhones with adapters, it does have its limitations. For one you can’t charge your phone when listening to music.
And of course the Wizician, for the most part, came through – but not without some misgivings (mostly build quality). Here I am now with ADV.SOUND’s AccessPort to see how it stacks up with the competition.
It’s going to be a short review because the AccessPort practically trumps the Wizician in all aspects except price. So let’s see what that extra $20 premium got us.
Right off the bat, everything about it looks good. While I would’ve preferred something like a double-shot surface treatment, the rubber-like finish is fine and premium-looking – but you just know it’s not going to look good over time once wear and tear start kicking in. But hey, at least it doesn’t look like a cheap china knockoff.
The [braided] cable also seems to be better on first glance, but was way less stiffer than the Wizician’s – so I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. 1 Good as in did they find a cable technology that was durable but very bendy? Because as far as I’m concerned, the stiffer the better In any case, I didn’t take any chances and gave it the same DIY treatment as the Wizician to ensure stiffness and durability. Here it is side by side with the Wizician.
I noticed the AccessPort has less distortion on higher volumes than the Wizician – so it would be safe to assume it processes audio better. But not by much, so don’t expect anything spectacular. As far as it being noticeably better as a DAC/AMP vs just plugging straight through the 6S jack 2 Which I realize is unfair, since it was built specifically for iPhones that don’t have jacks it seems to be just like the Wizician: good, possibly as good as straight to jack – but nothing spectacular. Both just give an extra boost in volume because they are amplifiers after all – and I guess the AccessPort can amplify sound with less discernible distortion.
The controls are on the side of the AccessPort, which form-wise look really slick. Function-wise though, I’d have to give it to Wizician for having larger buttons that are much easier to access.
I also find it a tad annoying that the alignment of my particular unit had the lightning connector perpendicularly aligned to the main unit. So Whenever it’s plugged in, you’d have to twist it a bit for it to be flush to the same angle. But I guess it kinda works in the sense that it does expose the buttons to the front when plugged in LOL.
Lastly, and this is something the Wizician doesn’t have at all; the firmware on the AccessPort is upgradeable. I’m not sure what exactly more can be done via firmware upgrades given the simple purpose of these sorts of units. Re-program the algorithm that actually processes the raw audio data perhaps? Whatever it may (or may not) be, I think we can all agree that allowing a product update/upgrade of any sort after purchase is always a good thing. And that, for me, coupled with the fact that it improves on every aspect of it’s competitor, merits the $20 premium.
All-in-all, it’s just as I said, the AccessPort is a superior to the Wizician in nearly every way. So dropping an extra $20 for it seems okay for me. But again, given the purpose of these products, the regular listener would probably enjoy either equally – it’s just a matter of them willing to spend an extra $20 or not. If you take audio more seriously than the average listener though, then the AccessPort would be the better choice.
As for me, I have use for both: The Wizician goes in the car, and the AccessPort as part of my “audio EDC”… maybe until a decent sounding bluetooth solution presents itself.
|⇡1||Good as in did they find a cable technology that was durable but very bendy? Because as far as I’m concerned, the stiffer the better|
|⇡2||Which I realize is unfair, since it was built specifically for iPhones that don’t have jacks|
|⇡3||Not sure if it’s already commercially available or if it’s a pre-order page|