Peachtree Audio SHIFT Portable Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC (Tan)
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- Compact and portable. Ultra-low-noise amplifier powers headphones from sensitive in-ear monitors to "difficult to drive" over-the-ear models. Hi/Lo gain setting matches low impedance or high impedance headphones.
- High-resolution asynchronous USB DAC for playback of music files up to 32-bit/384 kHz PCM and 5.6 MHz DSD. ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC with patented Hyper Stream Modulator and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator creates natural, life-like sound.
- Switchable output. Listen to headphones or connect directly to your desktop speakers or Hi-Fi system.
- Built-in 4100 mAh battery provides up to 8 hours playing time on a single charge. "On + charge" setting charges your iOS device while listening.
- Attractive and durable Tan leather and aluminum enclosure. Leather carrying case included.
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Shift is a USB Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier housed in a small and portable chassis roughly the size of a deck of playing cards. It is designed to completely bypass the headphone output on your smartphone, tablet or personal computer and provide exceptional sound quality - wherever you happen to be listening. The built-in battery pack provides up to eight hours of playback on a single charge so Shift is a perfect travel companion when you are commuting to work on a train or taking a flight to visit friends and family. The built-in headphone amplifier powers everything from in-ear monitors to "difficult-to-drive" over the ear designs.
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The sound of the Peachtree Audio SHIFT: After about 15 hours of burn-in, I found the sound Forward, Clear, Slightly Compressed, and a Narrow Soundstage. It compares very well with my Samsung Note 3 for playing back Spotify, No Loss FLAC and 24bit FLAC.
The function of the Peachtree Audio SHIFT: It looks good, feels good and the buttons are symmetrical. My eyes are not good enough to read the writing or decipher the icons. I think the USB micro for one function and the USB mini for another function is sensible. However, I have another preference. I like to leave cables at my office desk, home desk, luggage and backpack. I don't want to maintain multiples. I only want to manage one cable type for my phone, DAC, camera, Bluetooth headset, etc.
Sound comparison to the Geek Out 1000: The Geek Out 1000 is more Laid Back, Less Compressed and has a More Open Soundstage.
Function comparison to the Geek Out 1000: Even with an OTG adapter, I don't understand how to pair the Geek Out 1000 with my phone. With a computer, the Geek Out 1000 requires zero cable management. It plugs directly into my laptop or desktop and it is very small. The Geek Out 1000 is the DAC I use when I travel. The Peachtree Audio doesn't provide enough advantage for me to be included in my travel bag for weekly travel.
Sound comparison to the Grace m9XX: The Grace m9XX sounds much more natural than the Geek-Out or Peachtree. The Grace offers critical listening of each note with a detail and nuance the Peachtree and Geek Out can approach but not surpass. The superior sound quality motivates me to stash the Grace in my luggage every week. However, the Grace costs nearly 2x as the other devices!
Function comparison to the Grace m9XX: Pairing the Grace (with USB on the Go adapter) with my phone sounds better than with my laptop. The Grace seems at least twice as big and heavy as the Peachtree. One knob is far easier to use than the micro buttons and indecipherable writing and icons on the Peachtree.
For Windows users, each of these three Headphone Amp / DACs requires a proprietary driver. This is not necessary for Mac or Linux.
Final thought: Is the Peachtree good? No doubt! I chose the Peachtree Audio SHIFT over the Oppo HA-2 because the Peachtree has a better battery and should be able to deliver higher power. The Peachtree Audio SHIFT may be your perfect upgrade! Give it a listen and decide for yourself :-)
Update 4/25/16 -
Just wanted to report that I now have far better headphones JH Audio J13v2, SE 535 and Westone Pro UM 50 and the Shift scales beautifully with these high end IEM's. You must hear DSD files through it - incredible! I couldn't possibly be happier with it!
Now the bottom end is actually there and the detail of the mid and higher frequencies is better without being harsh. I am using this in my car through the Aux input.
The following headphone were used with this DAC and all sound amazing: Grado PS500e, Sennheiser HD 650, and Bowers & Wilkins P7.
If your looking for a nice portable DAC, this is the one to get!