Denon has unveiled its first ever stand-alone USB digital to analog converter, the DA-300USB. And from the looks of things, this little piece of audiophile badassery is not messing around.
Standing just two inches high and seven inches wide, the new converter presents a supremely compact way to enjoy your favorite audio files at an extremely high resolution level – no matter what you throw at it.
The DA300USB converts files at a laser-precise 32 bits resolution, and at a 192kHz sample rate. While even the highest resolution files usually don’t top the 24 bit level, Denon’s AL32 processor promises premium upconversion of all of your digital files. The device can act as a sound card add-on for any PC or Mac, connecting via a plug-and-play USB-B connection to put a hi-res gloss on anything from MP3 to hi-res FLAC files, and everything in between. It will even handle DSD files – Denon claims the DA300 USB will process DSD2.8 and DSD5.6, with native support by DoP (DSD audio over PCM frames).
Other features include a DAC master clock for ‘distortion free’ playback with low jitter, a noise-isolating circuit to clean up your USB connection, high quality line-level signal output, and a built-in high-grade headphone amplifier capable of handling a wide range of impedance levels. The device can also perform 24-bit 192 kHz transfers for consumer components like CD players, media players, and set-top boxes via a trio of digital inputs (one coaxial and two optical), proving a true all-in-one solution for nearly any digital audio need.
The converter also comes at what some might consider a premium price of $500, but in audiophile bucks, that’s chump change. By comparison, the Antelope Zodiac DAC/headphone amp demands a much loftier $1700. Still, if you’re looking for a piece of gear to buff up all of your digital audio, this powerful little box looks like a very serious contender.
Look for the release of Denon’s new DA-300USB converter sometime this March.
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