If you own a Google Pixel 6 phone, then you are in for a treat in the form of DAC support. Because Google has announced the features that the Google Pixel 6 will get in the upcoming June update.
In the upcoming June Pixel Drop update, Google will add the support for “Direct USB Access” to Pixel 6, meaning the device will finally allow for better DAC support.
Notably, the Direct USB Access feature in Android 12 acts as a pathway that allows apps on smartphones, to get direct access to the external DAC. DAC stands for Digital Analog Converter.
Folks at XDA shared a Twitter thread by @mike_freak07 showing the functionality in action. The new DAC support feature was ported back to the March update and it successfully played back high-quality sound using a DragonFly Red DAC on both the HiBy app and Neutron Player.
Another popular streaming service known for its support for hi-res music files, Tidal, seemingly failed to playback using DAC. Apparently, the app isn’t supported yet.
In simpler words, the DAC Support functionality will allow more external USB DACs and headphone jacks to work seamlessly. Additionally, it will help resolve issues related to audio apps such as Tidal, as mentioned above.
The new DAC support feature is currently confirmed only for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro
As noted by 9To5Google, this new DAC support feature that Google has made a part of the upcoming June update is only confirmed for the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro at the moment.
There is no word yet if Google plans to bring this new functionality to older Pixel phones or not. Moreover, it will be interesting to see if this feature makes its way to other Android devices running Android 12.
Though the overall usage of this feature seems niche, it could benefit those who use high-quality earphones or headphones. For those who still make use of high-quality wired headphones, the ability to playback through an external DAC could seem useful.
The DAC support feature is still in its early days. So, there will be multiple apps that support it, and others that will not. The upcoming June Pixel Feature Drop update will likely bring the “Direct USB Access” feature to the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.
However, if things don’t go as planned, Google may delay the release. A slight shouldn’t hurt anyone as Google will have ample time to fix the bugs or DAC issues that may be leftover from when the Pixel 6 launched.