Portable DAC/headphone AMP Compendium
- 12 Jan, 2021
Listening to music is always our first choice whatever you are doing, working, commuting or traveling. As a audiophile, we seek into performance improvements from the output of portable devices like phone, tablet, and laptop. Although our devices all have their own DAC built-in, having a separate dedicated amp. We are dependent on the external portable DAC/AMP’s available.
A portable DAC/Amp is a multi-purpose device. It accepts a digital input, converts it into analog audio, amplifies the signal, and finally outputs the music to headphones. Since we’re talking about portable devices, it also has to be small enough to fit into a pocket. Missing headphone jacks from the current batch of phones have also warrant the use of an intermediate device (or Bluetooth connection) for headphone listening.
The Beam 2SE is 3.5mm earphone ports USB product to offer an integrated MQA renderer hardware, making MQA playback easy and complete. Equipping with a single ES9281C PRO chip from ESS featuring HyperStream II QUAD DAC which allows the left and right channel to operate independently. And coupled with a OP-AMP configuration for the DAC/Amp. It also comes equipped with two ultra-low femtosecond phase crystal oscillators designed to provide best-in-class audio performance at 118 dB DNR and 0.0003% THD + N.
The HILIDAC Beam 2SE has an output power rating of up to 120mW at 32Ω, it is quite powerful for a device so small. It can power your demanding pair of in-ear monitors and low-power demanding headphones with ease. Priced at just 89.99$, you could enjoy your music portably now with the help of HILIDAC Beam 2 SE which delivers outstanding performance with its quality output and beautiful elegant looks.
Equipped with dual Cirrus Logic CS43131 decoding chips with MasterHiFi technology are used internally to construct a 4-channel DAC true balanced circuit, which advertises a significant improvement in sound resolution and channel separation. In terms of data, DC04's signal-to-noise ratio is as high as 133dB, surpassing the 120dB of the previous generation DC01, total harmonic distortion is reduced to 0.00032% (+110dB), and the noise floor is only 0.9µV (900nV), emphasizing the extremely clean and transparent sound floor. The output power has increased to 195mW (@32 ohm), which is more than 1.5 times that of DC01.
If the load is 300 ohm, the maximum output is 4Vrms. It outputs enough juice to power up your headphones on the go without any trouble. iBasso has equipped the DC04 with a fully balanced 4.4mm headphone jack that supports the Japanese Pentaconn plug. A 4.4mm offers a robust and sturdy connector as compared to the traditional 2.5mm and 3.5mm connectors. Uses USB-C specification and supports USC 2.0 specification. Most Android phones or tablets on the market are compatible. You can also use the included Type-C to Type-A adapter to connect to a Mac or Windows computer as an external DAC. .
Dual DAC ES9218 in BTR5 offers high resolution, clear and powerful output with low output impedance, while being very power efficient. This change not only has the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) increased, but distortion has also been reduced for greatly improved sound quality. It is featured with the latest high-end chip CSR8675. You’ll find a micro-USB input and a 3.5mm stereo output.
The latest Bluetooth DAC/AMP BTR5 comes with Bluetooth 5.0 which allows it can be used in many different ways, first, it can be connected via Bluetooth to your smartphone or digital audio players and supports Hi-Res Bluetooth codecs like LDAC, aptX HD, aptX LL and many more. Second, you can connect the BTR5 to your PC, MAC, Smartphone, or maybe Digital audio players through the USB Type-C port and provides a cleaner and powerful sound reproduction.
The XP-2Pro functions as a wired amplifier, a wired DAC, or a Bluetooth DAC. At the heart of the digital conversion is the AKM AK4452 DAC chip, with excellent decoding performance, supports native DSD, DXD and PCM signals. XP-2Pro applies the brand-new OP+BUF circuit structure, bring more thrust. The amplifier output power is enhanced to 300mW. It properly drive most headphones, and support a wide variety of connection methods.
Qualcomm Bluetooth chip CSR8675: adopts Qualcomm Bluetooth chip CSR8675, supports Bluetooth version 5.0, and supports SBC, AAC, APTX, APTX LL, APTX HD, LDAC and other high-definition audio format transmission.
XP-2 PRO also can be used as an external USB DAC. The USB receiving chip uses XMOS's new XU208, working in asynchronous transmission mode.
the XP-2Pro has fit itself into a sweet spot of affordable, high-quality portable audio.
It is a small, portable USB dongles that can be used on your computer, phone and tablet. xDuoo uses a Sabre ESS9118 chip decoding PCM up to 32-Bit/384kHz and DSD up to DSD256 natively. The xDuoo Link 2 has an output power rating of about 150mW @ 32 Ohms of load. It comes with bass boost and sound stage enhancement switches on the right side.
It has a 3.5mm headphone output port on the top, a USB Type-C connector port at the bottom, and volume and media control keys on the front. It all works well and you can work the Link 2 with one hand and without looking at it. It is small and highly transportable, sounds much better than your onboard soundcard and it is very affordable at US $ 99.00.