Denon has announced its first standalone USB Digital to Analogue Converter, the new £329 DA-300USB DAC which boasts the same Advanced AL32 Processing and 32-bit, 192kHz digital to analogue conversion technologies of Denon’s flagship CD/SACD players. It is scheduled to hit stores in February 2014.
The DAC can be connected via USB-B or the additional coaxial and optical digital inputs.When connected by USB the computer recognises the DA-300USB as an external soundcard, completely bypassing its own audio electronics. Any digital audio format that can be played from the computer’s own media player can be processed by the DA-300USB – including MP3/MP4, AAC, ALAC, WAV and FLAC HD (up to 24-bit, 192kHz) and DSD (the native file format for SACD; in 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz resolution). Transmission of the digital audio stream from the computer to the DA-300USB is in bit-transparent, asynchronous mode, to ensure a bit-perfect data stream for high definition Advanced AL32 Processing and High-Precision digital to analogue conversion.
The DA-300USB is an attractively styled, ultra compact unit. Measuring 17 x 17 x 5.5 cm, it can be positioned either horizontally or vertically (using the supplied clip-on stand). The minimalist front panel sports a power button, headphone output and volume control, a touch input selector switch, and an OLED display which shows the selected input, headphone volume and input signal resolution. Orientation of the display changes with horizontal or vertical positioning of the unit.