Denon announced the DA-300USB, their first stand-alone high-definition USB digital to analog converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier for audiophile playback of digital music files. Equipped with a range of advanced digital technologies, the DA-300USB connects via asynchronous USB to the computer and features the ability to decode both PCM (traditional digital audio format) and DSD (Direct Stream Digital – the advanced digital audio format of SACD). The new DA-300USB DAC also boasts Denon’s advanced AL32 processing along with high-precision, 32-bit, 192-kHz digital-to-analog conversion technologies that delivers astounding sound quality.
Users simply connect the minimalist DAC via its USB-B port to receive top-quality computer audio—via headphones like the Denon Music Manic AH-D600, powered speakers or directly to their stereo system—for computer-stored music files or streaming audio over the Internet. 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 lower-quality 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’s advanced AL32 processing and high-precision 32-bit, 192-kHz digital-to-analog conversion delivers audio quality that far exceeds usual high-definition, wide-bandwidth conversion techniques. In the same way that advanced Blu-ray players can deliver full HD video from standard-definition DVD, the advanced 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 highly advanced proprietary algorithm, to provide a full-scale, accurate reproduction of the original sound recording.
The advanced AL32 processor is matched with a high-precision 32-bit, 192-kHz digital-to-analog conversion circuit to fully exploit the advanced AL32 high-definition processing. Quantization noise, inherent in standard-resolution digital-to-audio conversion, is rendered inaudible. Digital processing and filtering artifacts are moved beyond the range of human hearing to reproduce pure, high-quality analog output signal.
The DA-300USB is an attractively styled, ultra-compact unit. Measuring approximately 7 x 7 x 2 inches, it can be positioned either horizontally or vertically (using the supplied clip-on stand) for compatibility with any desktop audio or hi-fi system. The minimalist 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.
- High-definition DAC with one USB-B, one coaxial two optical digital inputs
- High-quality audio components for rich, open, detailed sound
- Denon advanced AL32 processing and high-precision 32-bit, 192-kHz digital-to-analog conversion for exceptional high-definition audio quality
- DAC master clock design for distortion-free, fully transparent sound stage
- Noise-isolating circuit design prevents distortion via USB connection from computer-generated digital noise; ensures fully transparent and spatially accurate sound stage
- Universal bit-transparent, asynchronous playback of digital audio file formats and streaming audio from PCs via USB-B; up to 24 bit, 192 kHz and DSD2.8 and DSD5.6 native support by DoP (DSD audio over PCM frames)
- 3x SPDIF (coaxial/optical) inputs for upgrading sound from other digital audio devices (up to 24 bit, 192 kHz) with the DA-300USB’s advanced high-definition signal processing
- High-quality analog signal (line level) output and headphone amplifier stage for connection to hi-fi amplifiers or desktop speaker systems and superb listening with all kinds of headphones.
- Simple plug-and-play operation for connection to PCs and other devices with digital audio outputs
Price and Availability
The Denon DA-300USB will be available March 2014 for $499.