What’s your case?
The good thing about having a selection of high-quality mobile gear is how easy it is to take it with you and enjoy it everywhere, from the couch to the beach. The bad thing about having a selection of high-quality mobile gear is how hard it is to find the best way to carry it all safely, securely, and without adding so much bulk that it cancels out the benefit of being mobile in the first place.
I’m not sure about you, but I’m not the sort of person who sticks a few thousand dollars’ worth of audio gear in his pockets, or tosses it into a bag along with countless other items. Money doesn’t grow on trees, for one, and I’m also very particular about taking meticulous care of the gear I use.
My personal mobile rig currently comprises a Hiby R6 Pro DAP, a pair of IMR R2 Aten IEMs, a pair of 64Audio U12t IEMs, a few different cables, and an adapter or two. I don’t always take everything with me, but even when I’m not out and about, I want a convenient way to keep most of the pieces together securely.
To date I’ve done that using a combination of the covers and cases that shipped with each item, sometimes bundling them together into a larger case (like the ones sold cheaply on Amazon), and then it’s usually a battle of attrition trying to get everything to fit without crushing or breaking something.
Wouldn’t it be great if someone – anyone – made a purpose-built case for the different pieces of a typical mobile audio rig?
Enter DD’s Hi-Fi Carrying Case. It’s not the first or only case I’ve seen that does what it does, but it’s easily the most affordable ($38 plus shipping), is large enough for almost everything I need to carry and small enough to carry on its own or in a small bag. It’ll even fit inside a larger coat pocket.
Most importantly, it’s a quality case. There’s nothing ‘cheap’ about the water-resistant bifilar fabric on the outside or taslon-lined interior. The dual YKK metal zippers glide smoothly (when you’re not overloading the case). And the matching carry handle is a nice touch. The case measures 20×10 centimetres (in an ergonomic 2:1 ratio), and is approximately four centimetres thick.
The exterior is fairly rigid, but not too rigid that you can’t squeeze in the extra cable or component in a pinch. Inside you’ll find a long, empty bottom compartment, which you can subdivide with the included Velcro partitions, along with two elastic fasteners to keep a DAP in place. The shallower lid compartment has two mesh pockets for cables and adapters, along with a series of pre-cut micro SD slots for extra memory cards, should you need them.
You don’t need a college degree to figure out what goes where, and in minutes I had most of my rig fitted comfortably inside the case. A medium-sized DAP like the R6 Pro leaves just enough space for a set of IEMs with attached cable in the adjoining compartment, or inside a small case if you prefer another layer of protection for your IEMs.
The issue I have with carrying IEMs ‘loose’ is potential damage to the earpieces from crushing or rubbing against each other while in transit, and the DD case won’t do anything to alleviate that ‘problem’. It would have been good to see a small subdivided earpiece compartment included as standard, but you can just as easily buy aftermarket solutions from Campfire Audio or Van Nuys that will do the trick (albeit at extra cost).
I would have also liked to see a deeper lid compartment that allows for thicker cables and adapters, especially with a thick DAP in place that doesn’t leave much headroom for all but the slimmest cables in the adjoining mesh sleeve. Longer and more flexible Velcro partitions would have also been useful, especially if you plan on carrying larger daps. The dividers included just about hold firm when stretched to the full width of the case, but tend to rip off if you push the limits of what you’re putting inside the case.
All that said, these are minor gripes to what is otherwise an almost essential accessory for someone like myself who wants more than a ‘basic’ case to store and carry some rather precious cargo. The DD Hi-Fi case is purpose built, well designed and very well made. You can even poke your IEMs out of a small side slot in the case, so you can keep your DAP protected while listening on the go. I personally don’t use it this way, but can think of a few situations where it might be useful to do so.
If you’re in the market for an all-in-one case for a small to medium-sized mobile rig, this is the one to get.