Audiolab’s M-ONE compact integrated amplifier is the latest addition to the M-DAC family, harnessing the company’s acclaimed DAC and amp tech in a single diminutive box. The M-ONE takes Audiolab’s DAC technology, adds high performance pre/power amp circuitry and a range of connectivity options including aptX Bluetooth.
Outwardly, the M-ONE is almost identical tothe M-DAC+, Audiolab’s flagship DAC component. It sports the same compact aluminium case, small enough to sit unobtrusively on a desk, table or shelf, with the same central OLED display and dual rotary control scheme. But while standalone DACs like the M-DAC+ require a separate power amp to drive a pair of speakers, the M-ONE has stereo power amplification plus preamp facilities for analogue sources as well as digital. The M-ONE shares the same core D/A conversion technology, based around the peerless ES9018 Sabre32 Reference chip family from ESS Technology in this case, the recently introduced two channel ES9018 K2M, little brother to the flagship eight channel ES9018 chip found in the M-DAC+. It sports the same patented 32-bit HyperStream® DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, unique to the Sabre32 Reference family, surrounded by Audiolab’s signature circuitry. The preamp section mixes minimalist design with high-quality components, ensuring a short, direct signal path to maintain sonic purity. Volume is digitally controlled in the analogue domain, outputting directly to the Class AB power amplifier, which delivers an output of 40W per channel into 8 ohms–plenty of power to drivee fficient modern speakers.A low-noise linear power supply benefits all circuits from the DAC to the power amp, incorporating a shielded, precision-wound toroidal transformer and multiple power supply sections to keep crossover interference to a minimum. In addition to themain power amp stage,the M-ONEshares the same high-quality headphone amp featured in the M-DAC and M-DAC+, ensuring it’s just as capable with headphones as it is when powering speakers. There are two USB inputs – aType B socket (ideal for PC/Mac connectivity) andaType A socket (useful for Apple iOS device docking and playback). Both USB inputs are compatible with PCM data up to32-bit/384kHz, as well as DSD64/128/256, and both are asynchronous–data is regulated by the precision master clock in the M-ONE’s DAC section, rather than by the source device, thus helping to minimise jitter. Other digital devices can be connected via optical or coaxial cables; one input of each type is supplied, supporting PCM data up to 32-bit/192kHz.These are accompanied by two RCA-phono inputs for analogue source components, while those who enjoy the freedom of wireless connectivity can pair smartphones, tablets and computers via Bluetooth, with support for the sonically superior aptX codec.
The Audiolab M-ONE is available from August in finely textured black or silver. RRP is £799.95