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Audioengine D1 24-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter
|Price:||$169.00 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Mac/PC plug-n-play
- USB and optical S/PDIF inputs
- Stream bit-perfect 24/96 HD with low jitter
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Streams high-quality audio from your computer to headphones or any music system. Mac/PC plug-n-play, no drivers to install High-performance headphone amp USB and optical S/PDIF inputs USB Pwered Based on Burr-Brown AK4396 DAC Stream bit-perfect 24/96 HD with low jitter
Top Customer Reviews
Checking my options I started looking at USB DAC, the price has dropped and thats why I hadn't been paying much attention. On the other hand the price of PCI good sound cards are ridiculous.
I can compare this to my ASUS Xonar ESSENCE ST - PCI card which I have used for years on another desktop. That is a great card and I've really enjoyed it for analog from the desktop to a stand alone amp with 2 full stereo speakers. That card is also going for 250 -280 bills today, wow for a PCI bus slot! The downside to the ASUS Xonar Essence was constant snafus with the drivers, ASUS sucked at drivers for any of the soundcards I used the unified drivers. Its still a awesome soundcard as is the $$$ Clarooo Halo.
At 170.00 this audio engine once dialed in with my music player (foobar2000) is every bit as great sounding as either of those 2 decent sound cards there is absolutely no way I would ditch this for a MB slotted sound card. Plug and play no drivers no issues with hum, static from the MB or other internal components. Can move it to other devices, which I haven't tried yet.
I don't have any headphones that are that great but a decent set and its up there with the quality of the ASUS ST ESSENCE. Again I am running this to a 400 amp from my desktop as the preamp with the audioengine, then out to a 2 way analog full stereo speaker set. I haven't tried the optic just the RCA.
I wish there was a power switch on it. I just leave it on even when I power down the pc because pulling the USB chord in and out all the time will cause that to wear out, they are delicate and always break on me anyway. I also which the volume knob had a notch in it so you could tell where you are on volume.
I can see where for some using a lap top it would be a issue that there is no power cord and it strictly uses the USB port for power, but this is a desktop.
There simply is no comparison to the real tech sound card integrated in the Intel MB, I mean not even close to what this DAC will do for your system. I am on windows 10 and this is plug and play. It is recognized but check your sound settings, I have made it the default sound. There are some settings and DSP features if you right click on the icons properties in sound or volume mixer on windows. I have them off other then setting for full size speakers .
I've used this heavy for about a month before I wrote this so time will tell but I think its a winner seems built well. Great 2 way stereo DAC.
The test...I spent over three hrs. obsessing over 30 second snippets of varying styles of music....CD's on the S300BL vs streamed lossless files trough the D1. Honestly, I was determined to find a flaw in the D1, and I was sure I would find it. I am not sure if it matters, but I was connected to the D1, through the Mac Book Pro, via a toslink cable, not USB The rest of the system consists of a Mcintosh MC2500 (500 watts per channel x 2) a McIntosh C34 pre-amp, and Polk LSi25's. The amp and pre-amp were just treated to a complete factory refurb in the past couple of weeks. THD of the amp tested at less than .025%...In short, we are not talking a mid range system here. Any flaws in sound quality are easily detected in this system.
The verdict...there was no audible difference between the S300BL and the streamed, lossless files, through the D1. If anything, the D1 sounded, ever so slightly, better. I was really surprised. I simply did not expect this type of performance. Even more surprising, the D1's owners manual calls for a 40-50 hr. burn in. It clearly states that no analytical listening should be done before this burn in. My tests were with the unit, as it came out of the box. I am so very pleased with the D1, and after a week of extensive listening, it does seem to keep improving! The only down side...this little box is finally going to force me to re-rip a 1400 CD collection in lossless format. Thanks, for that...
Some note, it's not for the quality of the DAC but in general - for my taste (and also it depends on your headphones plus quality of audio record) it makes some styles sound blurry - for instance electronic music, you can hear that it's blend, generated. For contrast with classical records you can even hear sounds of fingers touching instruments - it's really got my exited. Be prepared that not of details of your favorite record will be pleasant, and this DAC has enough spec to show it.