Denon has released the DA-10, its first ever portable headphone amplifier with USB-DAC. It features “state-of-the-art” D/A conversion and compatibility with high resolution audio file types 24 bit/192 kHz PCM and 2.8 and 5.6 MHz DSD. Designed to enhance the sound quality of portable audio players, smartphones, and tablets the DA-10 is claimed to produce better sound with ordinary ear-buds as well as audiophile headphones. It also acts as an external DAC for domestic hi-fi systems. The DA-10 uses the reference class 32 bit/192 kHz Burr-Brown PCM-1795 converter chip, this can decode linear PCM files with sampling frequencies up to 192 kHz, and bit depths up to 24 bits. It is also compatible with one bit DSD files.
Internally it has separate circuit boards for the audio and power supply blocks to eliminate inter-stage interference. There are dual master clocks (22.6 and 24.6 MHz) to optimize performance with specific sampling frequencies (44.1, 88.2, 176.4 MHz and 32, 48, 96, 192 kHz), and the low phase clock crystals are positioned directly adjacent to the DAC chip on the audio board for maximum jitter reduction. The DA-10 features Denon's digital filtering and noise shaping algorithm, Advanced AL32 Processing. This takes standard 16 bit digital audio and upsamples it to 32 bits, in order to improve low-level resolution and high frequency detail. In addition, the technology features dynamic digital filtering, optimizing the digital filter algorithm according to the specific sampling frequency of the track being played.
Inputs include standard USB for iDevices, and an asynchronous micro-USB port for direct connection to a computer. The package includes a standard 3.5mm-3.5mm stereo analog cable, with "L" connectors on both ends. Output modes include a dual position gain switch for low and high impedance headphone types, as well as a variable/fixed output switch that allows for direct connection to another audio component, such as a home stereo amplifier. Housed in an aluminum finished casing, the DA-10 comes with a custom-designed carry pouch to protect the device and a phone while traveling. Further it combines the DAC and the phone to one handy device and covers all cables. Equipped with a high capacity (3200 mAh) rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the DA-10 provides up to 7 hours of run time with an iDevice, and up to 24 hours runtime when connected to a portable player via the analog 3.5mm input. The DA-10 lets the user know the battery level at turn-on by showing the charge LED in different colors.
The DA-10 will cost $399 and be available in November.
Advanced AL32 Processing
DAC master clock design
192kHz/32bit D/A Converter used in Denon High-class SACD Player
Dual Clock for 44.1kHz and 48kHz
Discrete Current Buffer for Headphone Output
USB-A input (for iPod/iPhone/iPad)
USB Micro-B input (for Computer)
USB Micro-B input supports 192kHz/24bit and DSD (2.8MHz/5.6MHz) files
3.5 mm analog input
Fixed analog output to connect to your Hi-Fi system as external DAC
Portability design and functionality for outdoor use
Up to 7 hour run time rechargeable battery
Micro USB cable (Micro B), Lightning USB cable, 30pin USB cable, Stereo mini plug cable are supplied