headphone DAC

Audioengine D1 USB DAC

Audioengine D1 USB DAC

How quickly do things change? Just a couple of years ago a headphone enthusiast could count the number of headphone DACs in a handful of seconds. Now, in the early months of 2012 the list is significantly larger and growing with each passing day.

Specifications:

DAC type: Dual Mode USB and Optical (SPDIF)
Inputs: USB/Optical (SPDIF)
Outputs: RCA stereo/3.5mm headphone
D/A converter: AKM4396
Optical receiver: CS8416
USB controller: TI1020B
USB: Type 1.1 or above
Full-scale output: 2.0V RMS (RCA and Headphone)
Output impedance: 47 ohms RCA, 10 ohms headphone
Power source: USB 5V
Power requirements: 200mA
USB power filtering: 2-stage redundant regulation
SNR: >110db
THD+N: <0.002%
Crosstalk: <-85db
Frequency response: 10Hz – 25KHz +/- 0.5db
Input bit depth: up to 24 bits
Input data rate: up to 192kpbs (optical), 96kpbs (USB)
Product dimensions: 3.5ā€ x 4ā€ x 1″ Shipping weight: 1.0lbs (0.5kg)

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Matrix mini-i Balanced DAC

Matrix mini-i Balanced DAC

Specifications:

Digital Input:

  • Toslink: 32-192kHz
  • BNC: 32-192kHz
  • USB: 44.1-48kHz
  • XLR: 32-192kHz (AES/EBU)

Digital Output:

  • RCA S/PDIF: 32-192kHz
  • Support AC3, DTS

Analog Output:

  • Pair of unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR
  • Frequency Response: 20-20kHz
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 120dB
  • Dynamic Range: 118dB
  • Distortion 0.0002% (1kHz)
  • Stereo Separation: 110dB
  • Power: 110v A/C via standard IEC power cable
  • Weight: 2 kg
  • Device Dimension: 205 x 155 x 48mm (L x W x H)
  • MSRP: $349.95
  • Distributor: eBay User TAM’S AUDIO

The quest for a budget balanced digital to analog converter has been an on going for quiet some time. The benefits on an external DAC for a stereo application are well known in the audio industry, it just comes down to how much one is willing to spend and what features they are looking for. The first balanced DAC that I was able to get my ears on was the great Neko Audio D100. This piece of equipment is basically flawless, but since it lacks a USB input, may not be perfectly suited for some PC audio listeners. After many hours on the internet looking at countless balanced DAC from many manufactures, I happened upon the Matrix mini-i DAC sold by Tam’s Audio on eBay. read more…

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