Frequently Asked Questions
Z:ero Digital Earphone
ZuperDAC Portable HiFi USB-DAC
1: How can I know if my Android mobile phone can work with Z:ero earphone?
We have tested Z:ero earphone to work with the following Android mobile phone:
- Asus Zenfone 2
- Google Nexus 5 (Android 5.x)
- HTC Droid DNA
- HTC One M7
- HTC One M8
- LG G2 Pro
- LG G3
- LG G4
- Motorola Droid Turbo
- Motorola Moto X
- OnePlus One
- Samsung Galaxy S3
- Samsung Galaxy S4
- Samsung Galaxy S5
- Samsung Galaxy S6
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
- Samsung Note 2
- Samsung Note 3
- Samsung Note 4
- Samsung Note Edge
- Sony Xperia M Dual
- Sony Xperia Z1
- Sony Xperia Z2
- Sony Xperia Z3
- Xiaomi Mi 3
- Xiaomi Mi 4
- Xiaomi Mi Note
2: Does it work with Apple iPhone?
Apple has it own proprietary lightning connector and it is not compatible with MicroUSB connector used in Z:ero. You can use the the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter and a USB Type A to microUSB Type B female adapter to connect to Z:ero.
3: Does it work with Android mobile Phone?
Yes and No. Z:ero earphone make use of USB Audio technology to receive digital audio data. However, Android version 4.x or below did not mandate the inclusion of USB Audio and it is up to the manufacturer when they build their Android firmware. Therefore the support of USB Audio varies between manufacturers and models. Starting from Android version 5.0 Lollipop, USB Audio is a standard component.
4: Why does Z:ero earphone connect to the USB port and not the 3.5mm audio jack?
Regular earphone takes analog auido from the 3.5mm audio jack, whereas Z:ero earphone takes digital audio directly from the USB port. By doing so, we can get original digital music data and do better digital to analog conversion outside the mobile phone.
5. Is there other way to use Z:ero earphone with my Android mobile phone that is not listed in (1) above?
There is a third party app 'USB Audio Player Pro' available at Google Play Store which included its own USB Audio driver. This will work with external USB Audio device even if Android doesn't include USB Audio support. You can check out their website for detail compatibility information. You can also try 'Onkyo HF Player' (in-app purchase) or 'Hiby Music Player' (free) which both included the USB Audio driver in their apps.
6. Why some Android phones work and some don't?
Z:ero uses USB Audio (it is part of the feature in the USB specification) technology to get raw audio data from the mobile phone. The first thing for this to happen is the requirement of USB-OTG support, that basically means the mobile phone USB port can operate in host mode. If the mobile phone doesn't support USB-OTG, there is nothing we can do to get it to work.
Now if the phone support USB-OTG, the next question is USB Audio driver support at the mobile phone Android system. To your surprise, Android doesn't mandate USB Audio driver support until Android 5.0 (we tested on Nexus 5 Kitkat and it doesn't work, after upgrade to Lollipop it works). This creates the major compatibility issue that we faced with the Android mobile systems. We have tested Samsung, LG and Sony flagship models and they include USB Audio driver support but this is not the general case across different manufacturers and models.
For an Android phone that doesn't support USB Audio driver, a standard audio player app can't turn any magic to get it to work. The exception is that if the audio player app includes its own USB driver inside, like the USB Audio Player Pro. We have tested USB Audio Pro Player Pro with Z:ero and it work well on the Android mobile that we have on hand (which previous doesn't work due to lack of USB audio dirver at Android).
7. What is the maximum bit depth and sample rate that Z:ero support?
Z:ero support 16-bit bit depth and maximum sample rate up to 48kHz.
8. Does it works with Windows Mobile Phones?
No, Windows Mobile Phone doesn't support USB OTB. See here for the USB capabilities at Windows Mobile Phones.
9. Could I use it with my Windows, OS X and Ubuntu systems?
Yes, you can use a USB Type A to microUSB Type B female adapter to connect Z:ero to your PC system. We have tested Z:ero to work under this configuration at Windows 7, Windows 8.1, OS X Yosemite and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. You need to select 'USB audio' as the audio output device.
10. Raspberry Pi is running on Linux, will it also work with Z:ero?
Yes, we have tested Z:ero wth Raspberry Pi model B running Volumio 1.55 and it works great.
11. Does it work with Nokia or Blackberry Mobile Phones?
We haven't test Z:ero with these phones but our customer Stuart Peters is so kind to provide his testing result to us. The following phones are found to work with Z:ero natively:
- Nokia 808 PureView
- Nokia 603
- Nokia C7
- Nokia E7
- Nokia E6
- Blackberry Z30
12. Do I need to install ZuperDAC driver for Windows?
Yes, Windows 7/8/8.1 only built-in support USB Audio Class 1. That means a maximum of 96kHz 24-bit resolution. In order to support up to 192kHz 24-bit, you need to install our provided USB Audio Class 2 driver which you can download from our website here.
13. Do I need to install ZuperDAC driver for Mac OS X?
No need, it is simple plug and play. Mac OS X has built-in USB Audio Class 2 driver support already.
14. Do I need to install ZuperDAC driver for Linux?
Mostly not but it depends on the Linux distribution you are using. We tested Ubuntu LTS 14.04 and it has built-in USB Audio Class 2 driver support.
15. How can I use the ZuperDAC with my iPhone/iPad?
iOS has built-in USB Audio Class 2 support. You just need the Apple Lightning to Camera Adapter to connect ZuperDAC to your iPhone/iPad. Please notice that standard audio output from iPhone/iPad is limited to 48kHz 16-bit resolution. In order to support higher resolution audio, you need to use music player apps like Onkyo HF Player.
16. How can I use the ZuperDAC with my Android Phone/Tablet?
Please check our compatibility list to see if your model is supported. You just need a OTB USB cable to connect ZuperDAC to your device. In order to support high resolution audio, you need to use music player apps like Onkyo HF Player, USB Audio Player Pro or Hiby Music Player. They also come with own USB driver inside their apps so they can also work at some unsupported Android devices.
17. I have connected the ZuperDAC to my Mac but there is no sound output from it, why?
It is likely that the audio output is selected to somewhere else. At the top left corner, click the Apple icon, select 'System Preferences ...', select 'Sound', select 'USB-Audio' as the output device. The sound should now come out from the ZuperDAC.
18. I cannot install your Windows driver, it reports a code-signing error?
Our driver used CodeSigning Certificate based on SHA2 (SHA1 certificate is not issued anymore as requested by Microsoft). Early Windows 7 release only support SHA1 so it won’t accept our SHA2 certificate and will fail to install. Please go for Windows Update to include the latest patches which include SHA2 certificate support.
19. Norton Antivirus reported Trojan.Gen.SMH virus found at your 20150715 Windows driver?
This is a false positive from Norton Antivirus. Our installer is virus free, you can try it at https://www.virustotal.com/en/ and Norton Antivirus is the only one that flags it. Anyway, if you don’t feel comfortable, please use our latest 20150906 driver installer, this one passes all the scans.