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Alpha Design Labs - Cruise Portable Headphone Amplifier with USB DAC
|Price:||$299.00 & FREE Shipping|
- Fits in the palm of your hand
- Beautifully finished carbon fiber body
- Gold-plated 3.5mm analog line input
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It's the age of personal, portable electronics; everyone carries their music with them. Accessories reflect your personal style and the Cruise is sure to create jealousy and envy wherever you go. It delivers thrilling sound to match its gorgeous appearance. When you're on the road plug your music player's analog headphone output into the line input of the Cruise and open the player's volume to maximum and use the volume control on the Cruise. For higher resolution all-digital signals simply connect the Cruise to your computer's USB port. The USB port charges the battery and you can listen to music while it's charging! Features: Mega performance, Furutech takes what's there and makes it better! Beautifully finished, lustrous carbon fiber body and mirror-polish nonmagnetic stainless steel panel. Fits in the palm of your hand, enjoy your music anywhere High quality volume control (front) and On/Off switch (rear) Gold-plated 3.5mm analog line input (switched) or gold-plated USB digital input for PC audio (Phone jack overrides output from USB mini-B interface on rear panel) Runs on USB power or an AC/DC switching power adapter that recharges battery High performance headphone amplifier drives 12 to 600 ohm headphones Gold-plated circuitry on high quality printed circuit board
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The 24/96 dac in it is a Wolfson WM8716 and is of high quality. I use it to replace my onboard soundcard in my 2011 HP laptop and it is an obvious upgrade. The overall sound signature is very balanced & smooth. The highs are never sibilant and the low end packs a decent punch. It also helps the mids shine, most notably with female vocals (I listen to a lot of electronic dance music)
It is also a nice amp that compliments my pair of 32ohm Fidelio X1's well. Amping them is unnecessary, but I like to anyways as I feel it also sounds nicer than my the audio out on my HTC One M7 smartphone (even though this phone's stock audio does sound very nice on it's own). I hear that the amp is however not powerful enough to drive a higher impedance headphone such as the Sennheiser HD600.
Overall, I think this is a very sharp piece of technology. In my opinion, as a portable dac/amp it looks nicer than any of it's competitor's offerings (Fiio, JDS labs, Aune, etc), and competes with all of them quality wise. I really like how this piece is small enough to take as an on-the-go amp, but also stylish enough to be used as an at-home desktop dac.
June 2015 EDIT: I have now upgraded the items in this review, so while at the time I wrote this I had an HTC M7 + Fidelio X1, I now have the HTC M8 + Fidelio X2. I am changing my review from 4 to 5 stars, as this little dac amp is amazing for the price. While the M8 (and M7 for that matter) are probably the best audio-focused phones available in my country at this moment, they are still not as great as the ADL Cruise. I love how this thing feels in my hand, while being small enough to comfortably fit in my pocket.