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Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Denon Launches the DA-300USB USB Digital Audio Converter and Headphone Amplifier
Denon today announced the DA-300USB, the company's first stand-alone USB digital to analog converter (DAC) that improves audio quality from computers and other digital sources.
The DA-300USB is a hi-fi upgrade that enables audiophile playback of computer music libraries and streaming audio (from any PC or Mac) via a user's stereo system or headphones. It amps up the sound quality of other digital audio devices - like media players, CD and DVD players, televisions, Apple TV, and game consoles - by connecting them to the additional coaxial and optical digital inputs.
Measuring approximately 7 x 7 x 2 inches, the DA-300USB can be positioned either horizontally or vertically (using the supplied clip-on stand) for compatibility with any desktop audio or hi-fi system. The front panel has a power button, headphone output and volume control, a touch input selector switch, and an OLED display that shows the selected input, headphone volume and input signal resolution. Orientation of the display changes with horizontal or vertical positioning of the unit.
The USB-B input allows computer-stored music files or streaming audio from Internet music, video and film services to be processed and played via the DA-300USB for the best-possible sound quality. The computer recognizes the DA-300USB as an external soundcard, and bypasses 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, 192 kHz) and DSD (the native file format for SACD; in 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz resolution).
The digital audio stream from the computer to the DA-300USB is transferred in bit-transparent, asynchronous mode to ensure a bit-perfect data stream for high-definition advanced AL32 processing and high-precision digital-to-analog conversion.
Denon says that its AL32 processing and 32-bit, 192-kHz digital-to-analog conversion delivers audio quality that exceeds usual high-definition, wide-bandwidth conversion techniques. In the same way that Blu-ray players can deliver full HD video from standard-definition DVD, the AL32 processor up-converts and up-samples all input signals to a 32-bit, 192-kHz high-definition data stream that is interpolated, using a proprietary algorithm, to provide a full-scale, accurate reproduction of the original sound recording.
The AL32 processor is matched with a 32-bit, 192-kHz digital-to-analog conversion circuit. Digital processing and filtering artifacts are moved beyond the range of human hearing to reproduce high-quality analog output signal.
The DA-300USB ($499) is expected to be available at select electronics dealers in March.