If you’ve been active in the Head-Fi or personal audio space for the past decade, you’re probably very aware of Centrance. The brand also has a sizable presence in the professional space and recently had their DACProHD top the “Dongle Madness” list which ranked over 200 models.
Their M8V2 DAC/Amplifier was just reviewed by Lynn Miller and he lamented having to send it back; it was that competitive with his existing desktop system in a much smaller package. Considering how prominent Centrance is in both markets, it’s rather surprising that they didn’t have a desktop DAC/Amplifier in their line-up until now.
Enter the new Centrance DACmini; don’t let the name fool you either as the DACmini 2 is a fully featured desktop DAC/amplifier with all of the bells and whistles that most consumers would ask for in 2022.
The only issue is that Centrance has not yet decided on the DAC and specifications of the unit — consumers get to decide that. You get to roll your own if you ask hard enough.
Much like the original DACmini of nearly 10 years ago, Centrance has asked for user feedback in helping to decide on what features to include.
Here is what we do know so far:
The DACmini 2 is a balanced desktop DAC and headphone amplifier as well as a pre-amplifier for use with powered speakers or a separate power amplifier.
It will offer both balanced and single-ended options for both headphones and for the pre-amplifier.
It can be powered either directly from a computer or through a second USB Type-C charging port. In addition to USB inputs, the DACmini will have both coaxial and optical inputs as well as Bluetooth supporting both aptX HD and LDAC.
It will also feature multiple gain levels to allow use of sensitive IEMs and hard to drive full-sized headphones. A digital volume control for improved channel balance and lower distortion and a custom-tuned EQ system designed to give users the best possible sonic experience.
The aluminum case shares its design aesthetic with the new Mac Studio for those who want to pair the two and create a true studio. But for those non-Mac users, the DACmini is equally at home with Windows, Android, or even Pi-based systems.
Centrance began taking pre-orders today and is giving the first 50 orders a $100 discount which will make the DACmini 2 only $999 USD for the first few early buyers. Pre-orders will continue at $1,099 after the first 50 orders with an expected retail of $1,850 once the pre-order period ends and the unit is in full production.
For more information: centrance.com