“The USB Box S+ from Box Design by Pro-Ject Audio Systems brings the most advanced technologies surrounding asynchronous USB data transfer together into a simple-to-use Digital/Analogue Converter; turning computers into a serious hi-fi source” says the press release. And this little box of tricks certainly seems to be continuing the Pro-Ject philosophy of keeping prices down and spec’ up!
The USB Box S+ uses an XMOS chipset to handle asynchronous USB streaming up to 32-bit/384kHz, with the lowest possible levels of jitter. The sample-rate of a playing file is displayed on the front panel, but in the device all digital streams are up-sampled to a higher level for optimal conversion without any loss (44.1, 88.2 & 176.4 sample rates are up-sampled to 352.8kHz; 48, 96 and 192kHz sample rates are up-sampled to 384kHz).
The compact device utilises a single PCM5102A chip from Burr-Brown and also offers a 2.1V RMS output meaning the audio signal path after the chip is clear of unnecessary extra capacitors, which can limit the overall sound quality. The two selectable Filter settings allow users to tailor the sound to suit by switching between “Brick Wall” FIR (Finite Impulse Response) and “Apodizing” IIR (Infinite Impulse Response) filters.
The USB Box S+ matches the size and aesthetic of other models in the Box Design ‘S’ range and is simple to set up and use the company say being compatible with Windows, Apple and Linux systems
Available from June in the UK the USB Box Plus will cost £169.