I read through the description, is this anything else than a low powered amplifier? I have my PC connected to my receiver, and that puts out 130W per channel at 8ohms.
It’s primarily a DAC - it turns the digital stream into an analog one. Your PC has several of these, but this one is supposed to be better, and more isolated. So if you have great speakers or headphones, and excellent audio sources (FLAC audio rather than, say, Pandora or YouTube), and great ears, you’ll notice better sound imagery.
I work in those worlds regularly but for home audio I’d never notice the difference.
It’s funny what I find on Sony’s site and other places is about the amp/DACs with storage. So yeah what he said, and low power is relative. This draws 65W for 46W of output and I bet the speakers also for sale are pretty efficient, I’m will to bet this amp with those speakers gets pretty loud for PC speakers. I’m also willing to bet if you tried to use all 130W of your home amp the magic smoke would come out.
Audio Noob question. If I primarily am listening to MP3’s downloaded from Amazon/Google Play/Itunes and the high bit rate setting on streaming services (spotify) is there any real reason to have something like this? I know the sound quality of those files are quite poor compared to CD or lossless, I just don’t have any of those files and my entire collection is in the other category? Listening through Sony MDR-1a’s and a creative soundblaster E1 amp/dac.
I’m thinking about connecting this to a TV where I listen to Pandora, because this DAC would let me use proper speakers instead of the tiny TV speakers.
I would get a low cost receiver instead. The value here is in the DAC, not the amplifier.
for $399 you can get a refurb denon soundbar @ amazon with hdmi and wireless sub. It would smoke this setup in 2 seconds
(4Ohms 20-20kHz) THD: 10%
This is the worst THD I have ever seen. I normally think anything over 0.1% isn’t great. My receiver at home does .05% THD. I can only assume this sounds like garbage unless you are seeing something I’m not…
I forgot to mention that the 24" TV is wall mounted in the kitchen, so real estate is premium. If I could get something small enough to mount behind or on the tv that would be best. Most of the receivers (and soundbars) I’ve seen are too big.
Will this be compatible with voltage at 220-240v. Really want to buy this one but I’m afraid to blow up my house D:
Those high-bit-rate MP3s (320kbps) and the higher-bandwidth streams of Spotify and Pandora are all actually quite good. On the vast majority of audio systems and headphones, you (or anyone) would be hard-pressed to tell the difference. And that’s assuming you have average hearing, which means you probably don’t hear anything above 15kHz, even though the human limit is about 21kHz.
If you have remarkably good reproduction equipment in a very quiet room, and assuming it’s OK from an acoustics perspective, and your hearing is average or slightly better, you can definitely tell the difference. You’d still have a hard time saying which one is better.
It’s not all that different than wines, really – some people can absolutely detect certain subtleties and appreciate a $100 bottle. Most of us can’t and don’t.
Best advice I’ve heard in this discussion thread so far. So if you need the DAC, then yeah - not bad. But if you just need a low-cost receiver, check out Onkyo’s web store. Great stuff, and they often have factory refurbs at good prices…
or even still wicked cheaper, this
If you like what you are listening to now, I would stick with it - especially if you are not listening to any hi-res (e.g. 24 bit and/or higher then 48 khz or DSD). High on spotify is like 320 mp3.
As a USB DAC - this looks to be a really good deal (especially with DSD, other digital/analog inputs and analog out). Throw on added benefit of the amp (both headphone and speaker) and remote and it would be perfect sitting on a desk, driving small speakers listening to hi res music from my computer. The reviews that I have seen are relatively positive.
I am very tempted, but the DAC and amp that I have work well and I don’t have any DSD.
Agree there are other options out there for small amps - but not sure about these. I would especially stay away from the lepai (i’ve heard it and it is not good).
Regarding the 10% distortion rating is too high at 23watts. Yes that is more than you would want to listen to, that is why you turn down the volume to get a lower volume with less distortion that is pleasing to the ear. Given that this is a replacement for computer speakers I guarantee that it is 99.9% better sounding than what you currently have sitting there. It can also feed a receiver if you want high power.
There are some interesting graphs here. The THD is pretty good at low volumes (less than .02%), but it spikes like crazy when the amp starts clipping. That page says it generally clips around 12 watts, so it’d be fine for some small bookshelf speakers, or headphones.
Frankly, I don’t get why they’d even rate it at 20 watts if it starts clipping at 12…
We’re talking about a simple electrolytic capacitor, right? This is what happens when you let marketing people write technical ad copy.