DAC Reviews

Sort By: Post DateTitle Publish Date
John Grandberg  |  Nov 14, 2017  |  8 comments
There's no shortage of choice for quality headphone amps. Whether your budget is $249 or $5,000, or somewhere in between, you should be able to find an amp that satisfies your requirements.

The same goes for D/A converters. The little Grace Design SDAC is killer at only $79 while high-end DACs routinely go for many thousands of dollars.

Preamps? Same story. As a more "traditional" hi-fi component, there's a seemingly endless supply of designs out there. A surprisingly large number of brands sport prices you might typically associate with a new luxury car. On the other end, Schiit's Saga does a bang-up job at $349.

Yes, there are more options than ever for building a system using separate components for each function. Yet things don't often go as well when using integrated devices.

John Grandberg  |  Jun 17, 2014  |  11 comments

About the size of a roll of quarters—and far lighter—the Resonessence Labs Herus is a portable DSD capable USB DAC with onboard headphone amp. There's no way a tiny thing like that could actually be any good, right? That was my thinking when Resonessence offered to send one for review.

I figured I should try it anyway, and boy am I glad I did.

John Grandberg  |  Nov 19, 2018  |  5 comments
I've always found the divide between the "Audiophile" and "Pro Audio" scenes  fascinating. While both theoretically aim to recreate music as accurately as possible, there's a huge difference in terms of their approach. Pro gear tends to be no-nonsense, straight-to-the-point in terms of design ethos, while the same can't always be said for audiophile-oriented devices.
Steve Guttenberg  |  Feb 27, 2012  |  26 comments

I’ve been a Schiit head since day one. The Asgard, the company’s very first Class A headphone amp lit up my old Sennheiser HD 580s, big time, and I’ve never looked back. The Asgard was followed by the all-tube Valhalla, and the Lyr high-output headphone amplifiers. Every one a winner as far as I’m concerned, so I just had to get my hands on Schiit’s Bifrost DAC.

John Grandberg  |  Nov 06, 2013  |  11 comments

Never has there been so much choice when it comes to all-in-one DAC/amp solutions. Many of them have some level of compromise, whether it be size, price, features, or sound. Here's one that seems to tick all the boxes without costing a fortune.

John Grandberg  |  Dec 07, 2012  |  5 comments

I just love checking out previously unknown (to me) gear from Japan. They have quite a few high quality headphone-oriented brands that don't get much exposure anywhere else. Case in point - the Izmo M1. Check out the picture above: looks like a nice portable amp right? That was my first thought as well but it turns out I was wrong. Sort of. It's far more than just a portable amp but can impersonate one with the right accessories.

Confused yet? Allow me to explain...

John Grandberg  |  Feb 21, 2014  |  2 comments

I love relatively compact devices packed with features. Unfortunately many of them involve significant compromise to achieve their size or price point.

Here's one that doesn't.

John Grandberg  |  Jan 22, 2016  |  13 comments

The market is jam-packed with DACs and DAPs. Every size, shape, and price is well represented. Aurender's unique FLOW is something else altogether. But what? And why do we care?

Read on to find out....

jon iverson  |  Jun 21, 2010  |  0 comments
YBA Design's new WD202 D/A processor and headphone amplifier showed up while I was turning the pages of Don and Jeff Breithaupt's Precious and Few: Pop Music of the Early '70s, recommended by John Marks in his October 2009 "Fifth Element" column. Each page drips with great examples of why the 1970s often wind up on the wrong end of the culture stick (the Osmonds, anyone? Terry Jacks?).

Pages

X