Portable high resolution from Onkyo


The DAC-HA300 is Onkyo’s entry into the portable high resolution audio market and takes the unusual step of combining a USB DAC for mobile phones with an SD card based player. The D/A converter/headphone, amplifier/SD player has a slot accommodating up to 128 GB of music stored on microSD card, an OLED screen, and playback controls. A Micro USB Type-B input enables asynchronous D/A conversion of hi-res audio from PC without the need to install drivers. The device also features a switching optical/coaxial/analogue input capable of accepting digital signals from connected devices up to a maximum 192/24 resolution, making it the perfect all-rounder for home, desktop, and portable use.

The DA-HA300 dovetails with Onkyo’s HF Player application for iOS and Android devices. When the DAC-HA300 is connected to the mobile handset via USB (standard Lightning cable for iOS devices, On-the-Go cable for Android), a free app upgrade to HD Player Pack enables output of Hi-Res PCM and 5.6 MHz DSD files at native resolution to the DAC-HA300 for decoding and playback — “a first for the portable audio industry”. The application also imports and seamlessly presents other audio formats stored on a mobile in an intuitive user interface, and includes a 16,384-band FIR equalizer that allows users to create and save their preferred EQ settings for specific artists, genres, or albums.

Rather than using a low-cost integrated circuit amplifier, the unit is based around the MUSES8920 op-amp, a discrete, high-quality audio component with an optimized circuit layout to ensure signals are amplified with minimal distortion. Combined with a fully discrete push-pull output stage and a selectable gain adjustment function, the DAC-HA300 will effortlessly drive any headphone, from low impedance IEMs to full-sized 600 Ohm open-backed cans. The 192 kHz/32-bit TI Burr-Brown PCM1795 digital-to-analogue converter was selected for its exceptionally low out-of-band noise performance and excellent resistance to jitter. The DAC-HA300 includes a long-life internal lithium-ion battery that returns approximately seven hours of playback when connected to an iPhone via USB Type-A input, and can be recharged via USB and PC or more rapidly with the supplied 5 V DC cable and plug. The DAC-HA300  is due at the end of April and will retail for £499.

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