DAC of delight

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DAC of delight
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The new X1 from Alpha Design Labs (ADL), a division of Tokyo-based brand Furutech, is a small, high-spec portable headphone amplifier and digital to analogue convertor (DAC). It supports digital input from Apple iOS devices up to 16-bit/48kHz as well as 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution files from PC via USB. In addition, a 3.5mm line-level input can be used with analogue source devices.
The 3.5mm output will drive any headphones in the 12~600 ohm range and supports remote and mic earphones. A switch makes it easy to change from one brand of 4-pin headphone to another. A 3.5mm TOSLINK optical digital output delivers USB source signal up to 24/192.
The X1 is built using “reference quality” components including a gold plated circuit board and connectors. The case is proportioned to fit into the palm of the hand and to stack with iOs devices. The internal rechargeable battery can be charged from a computer connected by USB or from an external power supply. The X1 does not draw power from a connected iOS device and so will not reduce playback time. A full charge will give approximately 7.5 hours listening. The ADL X1 will retail for £395.