Introducing the ALL NEW µDAC-HD!
(Approximate lead time is 5 business days)
"All things considered, the uDAC-HD is somewhat of a triumph of the law of diminishing returns."
Gary L. Beard, Positive Feedback Online
"Vocals are beautiful, instrumentation clean and crisp especially the bass and piano, sound is musical, sounds like I'm in a recording studio where they're taping live."
Feedback from a customer running Sennheiser HD 650 headphones using the class A output stage.
The µDAC-HD is a compact USB DAC that streams files up to 24/192kHz resolution and performs very well. For only $499, you can open the doors to high quality digital playback through any Hi-Fi system. We have created a simple to operate device so you can spend more time listening and less time reading the operations manual. The W4S logo on the top of the chassis functions as a signal lock light and will indicate when the device is recognized by your computer. Once the DAC is plugged into your computer you have the option to power the unit through the USB connection or by the 9VDC power supply that can be purchased separately. Outputs consist of both RCA as well as a ¼” headphone output which can be used simultaneously. It’s that simple!
Many DACs in the marketplace have various limitations when streaming music over a USB connection. These limitations may include limited support for different operating systems, poor performance, or an inability to play high resolution files. We have ensured that the µDAC-HD is proficient in all of these areas without any sacrifices. Derived from the latest asynchronous XMOS design, the µDAC-HD is certified USB 2.0 High Speed as well as Audio Class 2.0 compliant. A quick driver install is required for PC machines; however, it remains driverless for Mac (10.6.4 and above) and Linux systems. Audio grade clocks, incredibly low latency and asynchronous mode of operation help ensure brilliant music reproduction.
For an absolutely fresh start to the analog signal, we decided to convert the digital stream with the Sabre DAC once again! This chip is based on the same platform as the award winning DAC-2. The ESS patented Hyperstream™ and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator technology guarantees a jitter-free digital signal with any input and the sonic result is remarkable! We have carefully tweaked the output levels of the Sabre to lower noise and distortion. Having the option to drive the RCA’s directly from the DAC chip would be too easy, so we take it to another level. To help boost the presence even further, we found the STP-SE line-stage topology to be a perfect fit for this assignment.
For amplified analog resolution, we opted to implement a discrete class A headphone amp driver. We set out to create a DAC that headphone enthusiasts can place on their desk taking up negligible space yet packing the power to drive any pair of headphones. Measuring down to 0.0008% THD+N (Total Harmonic Distortion) with loads at 32 ohms, driving the typical 300 ohm phones should be no sweat! Because of the purely Class A implementation, the USB connection cannot be used as the power source as it lacks sufficient current. To take advantage of the discrete circuitry, you will need to use the supplied 9VDC supply. The HD will activate the class A headphone stage when both DC power is used and the headphones are plugged in. When in USB powered mode, you can run headphones with an impedance of 300 ohms or higher with astonishing performance.
We have combined cutting edge USB DAC technology and a robust headphone amp in a chassis that will fit in the palm of your hand! Benefiting from advanced engineering technology, we have been able to design this compact unit without making any major sacrifices in performance. The landscape of digital music is constantly growing and evolving and this product is a perfect example of that! The µDAC-HD will refine your casual music sources such, as Pandora and MOG, while feeling right at home with high-res files in critical listening sessions. With no more than a Netbook, the HD, and your favorite pair of headphones, you have a portable reference Hi-Fi system….Consider that!