Outboard DACs

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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 13, 2022  |  0 comments
It might look similar to the smaller DragonFly models, but the Cobalt is rather different in execution
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 12, 2022  |  0 comments
Coming direct from a recording studio to your listening room, the Bridge adds network streaming
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Apr 19, 2021  |  0 comments
This ambitious wireless DAC re-evaluates exactly what Bluetooth is capable of
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Apr 15, 2021  |  0 comments
PrimaLuna has hit on something special with this usual approach to the traditional valve DAC
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 08, 2020  |  0 comments
When it comes to do-it-all components, few come better equipped than this one. HFC enters the Stratosphere
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 15, 2020  |  0 comments
Looking for a fully loaded streaming DAC? This flexible preamp could be the ultimate front end
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 11, 2019  |  0 comments
The smallest DAC in Audiolab's range packs a mighty punch
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 28, 2019  |  0 comments
The headphone amplifier/DAC that you can fit in your pocket
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 20, 2019  |  First Published: Jun 19, 2019  |  0 comments
Designed for both home and studio use, this ambitious component offers something for everyone
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 11, 2018  |  0 comments
It sometimes appears as though iFi Audio takes a rather scattershot approach to its product portfolio, with its nano and micro ranges offering almost a dozen portable DACs with similar designs and features. Every now and then, though, it comes up with a product that really stands out, such as the entry-level nano iDSD Black Label (HFC 433) that it launched at the end of 2017 for just £199. This year’s offering is the xDSD, which starts a new X-series of DACs, but it’s another impressive product with a £399 price tag that represents a challenge to the market-leading Chord Mojo (HFC 423). The xDSD immediately stands out from other iFi Audio products, with a more streamlined design that is well suited to portable use.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 15, 2017  |  1 comments
When Chord’s first Hugo portable DAC/headphone amplifier was launched at CES in January 2014, I instantly knew it was special – it looked, sounded and worked like nothing else, and was so good that many bought it to use as their main domestic digital converter, rather than a mere travelling accessory. That’s not to say it was perfect. Enthusiastic early adopters soon got to know its foibles, but it sounded so superb that we learned to live with them. Much as I loved it, the original Hugo had some niggles.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Apr 28, 2016  |  0 comments
And so it comes to pass that after nearly five years, the Audiolab M-DAC finally gets itself a bigger brother! Rather like that famous difficult second album that recording artists battle with, it was never going to be easy for Audiolab to improve on one of the strongest products it has ever released. When it came out, the original M-DAC (HFC 359) had no real rivals at its £600 price point. Indeed, it got off to a good start because it was essentially the digital converter section of the 8200A CD player – itself one of the best silver disc spinners under £1,500, thanks to designer John Westlake’s prodigious talent. Also, interestingly, it was one of the first DACs to use the (then) new and highly regarded ESS Sabre 9018 DAC chips.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 25, 2016  |  0 comments
Norwegian brand Hegel has many years experience in implementing DAC technology, both within its highly regarded integrated amps and standalone digital converters. So the advent of a new ‘reference DAC’ has many eager to hear more. In an eraof DACs becoming smaller and more portable for a new generation of headphone users, it’s refreshing to see Hegel buck this trend and produce a full-width option that unashamedly seeks to put audio quality first. The Norwegian company is a big believer in making its products convenient and simple to use, and the HD30 can be considered a veritable ‘plug ‘n’ play’ hub of digital connectivity.
 |  Jan 23, 2015  |  0 comments
For this writer, one of the most disappointing things about digital audio – and especially CD’s 16/44. 1 specification where the problem seems most acute – is its timing. It just doesn’t quite seem to accurately reproduce all the nuances you hear in music when listening in real time. The major issue to my ears is that if you go to a jazz club to hear Randy Crawford sing, then come back home and play the CD the digital disc just doesn’t have the natural ebb and flow of the live concert.
 |  Jan 21, 2015  |  0 comments
There’s more to life than hi-fi you know, and indeed many consumers are beginning to think the less of it you have, the better. This is heretical stuff to those who grew up during the seventies and eighties, when we were taught that if it didn’t come in umpteen separate boxes, it simply couldn’t be any good. Now, though, suddenly there are all sorts of possibilities presenting themselves. The most obvious example of this is the DAC/preamp.