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Gold Note announces DS-10 streaming DAC

By | July 18th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

As teased at Munich High-End earlier this year, Florence’s Gold Note has announced the imminent availability of their DS-10 streaming DAC, one that features an internal headphone amplifier and switchable analogue pre-amplifier.

The DS-10’s broad range of streaming inputs (Wi-Fi and Ethernet) includes Roon, UPnP/DLNA, Spotify Connect, Airplay and V-Tuner, plus Tidal and Qobuz from a supporting iOS/Android app. A Bluetooth input is also present but advanced codec support is unknown at time of writing.

On physical digital inputs, the DS-10 gives us the following: a suite of 24bit/192kHz-capable S/PDIF (AES, coax, TOSLINK); an asynchronous USB-B input for connection to a Mac, PC or streamer that extends PCM capabilities to 32bit/384kHz and adds DSD128; a USB-A input for streaming from a directly-connected hard-drive.… Read the full article

Yulong DA10 Review

By | July 17th, 2019|Categories: Headfonics|Tags: , , , , , , |

The Yulong DA10 is an all-in-one desktop pure DAC, preamp and balanced headphone amplifier featuring an AK4497 DAC and up to 3W of output power. Disclaimer: The Yulong DA10 sent to us is a sample in exchange for our honest opinion. We thank the team at Yulong and Shenzhen Audio for giving us this opportunity. […]

The post Yulong DA10 Review appeared first on Headfonics.… Read the full article

dCS and the Bartók – CANJAM SOCAL 2019

By | July 2nd, 2019|Categories: Audiohead|Tags: , , , , , |

dCS Bartok DAC

The dCS Bartók uses dCS’ proprietary Ring DAC technology on the same type of control board as their Rossini/Vivaldi platform, so it’s based off of a set of designs that are upstream in the dCS product line. The Ring DAC processing platform is built around state-of-the-art FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) and Digital Signal Processing ICs. It allows almost any logical or signal processing function to be configured within the hardware simply by reprogramming the processor ICs. Finer details about how the dCS Ring DAC works and differs from the run-of-the-mill DACs in the hi-fi market can be found HERE.… Read the full article

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Cooking up a summer storm with the KEF LSX

By | July 1st, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Bluetooth. AirPlay 2. Spotify Connect. Roon. Room tuning. DSP. Firmware updates. Every one an audio tech abstraction until it meets the real world where many of us un/consciously look beyond our sub-optimal listening environments.

With the Berlin summer in full swing over the weekend, it was time to bust out the BBQ. My rooftop apartment offers a balcony long enough for a large group of people and wide enough for a large Weber-on-wheels — but not a four-seater table. We’d cook, chat and sink cold adult beverages outside but we’d eat in the kitchen.… Read the full article

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Nativ’s Vita is the complete high-end streaming package

By | June 25th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

There is no shortage of music servers, streaming players, and other such devices on the market today. It’s a booming category which I’ve seen go from relative niche to mainstream in a rather short time – no surprise given that standard PC or Mac playback is necessarily limited by the general-purpose hardware involved. True, an off-the-shelf computer can be improved via special software like JPLAY – not to mention various tweaks for power, USB or networking – but at some point, folks looking for superior audio quality will hit their PC or Mac hit a glass ceiling.… Read the full article

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Raspberry Pi 4 promises desktop performance from an SBC

By | June 24th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , |

A new version of the Raspberry Pi small board computer (SBC), announced today, brings with it some hefty hardware changes whilst holding the asking price to US$35. Version 4 (Model B) of the world’s most well-known and widely adopted SBC kicks the processor specification up the stairs from the RPi 3B+’s quad-core Cortex A53 to Broadcomm’s BCM2711 that features 4 x 1.5GHz A72 cores.

A more substantial hardware upgrade comes in the form of more RAM. The Raspberry Pi Version 4 Model B gives us 1GB of DDR4 RAM as standard with options for 2GB and 4GB that successively add US$10 to the board’s asking price.… Read the full article

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Radxa’s Rock Pi S as a $10 network streamer?

By | June 23rd, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , |

SBC. Small board computer. The most well-known is the Raspberry Pi, deployed in the audiophile world as a network bridge that, with the appropriate operating system loaded onto its microSD card, adds Roon Ready, Spotify Connect, UPnP, Squeezebox and Airplay streaming functionality to any direct-connected DAC: Ethernet/WiFi in, USB out. The RPi’s main appeal is its price: €35.

Now lesser-known SBC-manufacturer Radxa wants to offer us similar functionality but from a smaller, cheaper device. The Chinese company’s Rock Pi S is built around a quad-ARM-core Rockchip RK3308 with 256Mb of RAM.… Read the full article

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Cayin N6ii – First Contact

By | June 21st, 2019|Categories: Headfonics|Tags: , , , , , |

Disclaimer: The Cayin N6ii was sent to us is a sample in exchange for our honest opinion. We thank Cayin for this opportunity. To learn more about Cayin products on Headfonics you can click here.  There is a gap. On the one side, you have the N5iis at around $499 that competes with the likes of the […]

The post Cayin N6ii – First Contact appeared first on Headfonics.… Read the full article

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Cowon Plenue D2 Review

By | June 19th, 2019|Categories: Headfonics|Tags: , , , , , |

Disclaimer: The Cowon Plenue D2 sent to us is a sample in exchange for our honest opinion. We thank the team at Cowon for giving us this opportunity. To read more about Cowon products we reviewed on Headfonics click here. Cowon has been in the game about as long as anyone still in it. In […]

The post Cowon Plenue D2 Review appeared first on Headfonics.… Read the full article

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A short film about the Volumio Primo

By | June 18th, 2019|Categories: DAR|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Holes — dug by little moles. Logitech and AURALiC. The former’s Squeezebox Touch – a frugalphile favourite – was discontinued in 2012. The latter’s Aries Mini – another goto entry-level streamer – quietly slipped away in 2018. Those are big holes to fill.

Stepping forward is Volumio, coders of the SBC OS of the same name. The Italian company’s first piece of hardware, the Primo network streamer (€379), mounts an ESS Sabre DAC board to an Asus Tinkerboard S to convert Ethernet or Wifi inputs to digital S/DPIF (up to 24bit/192kHz) or analogue (up to 24bit/192kHz, DSD128).… Read the full article

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