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HiFiMAN’s EF600 DAC/Amplifier Utilizes A New R2R DAC: CanJam NYC 2023

At $799, the versatile EF600 serves as a headphone stand, high-resolution Bluetooth transmitter and balanced desktop DAC/Amplifier.

HiFiMAN EF600 Desktop DAC/AMP Front and Rear Angle

CanJam NYC 2023 starts in 3 days but that hasn’t stopped HiFiMAN from already announcing 3 new products including the $1,999 USD AUDIVINA Planar Magnetic Headphones that require a DAP or desktop headphone amplifier to really justify the price of admission.

When HiFiMAN discontinued its EF6 Headphone Amplifier, it created a void in its product lineup; the remaining amplifiers were designed to be paired with the Susvara, Jade, Shangri-La, and Shangri-La Jr. headphones. A quick look at the HiFiMAN website reveals some eye-opening prices for these particular systems and unless you don’t mind going without a car — they are priced well out of the reach of 99% of the planet.

HIFIMAN today introduced the EF600 balanced desktop DAC/amplifier, designed for audiophile-grade desktop performance. It follows the EF400 desktop DAC/amp ($599) introduced last year.

Designed for use as a DAC, or independent headphone amplifier, the EF600 (SRP: $799) features an industrial design that is not only aesthetically appealing, it also serves as a headphone stand, reducing desktop clutter. Included are fully balanced input/output connections, high-resolution Bluetooth connectivity, an independent power supply and a thermal optimized tower case.

“The EF600 has the power and advanced technology to stand out from a field that too often relies on off-the-shelf technologies instead of incorporating technologies that are truly unique to the category,” says Dr. Fang Bian, President and CEO, HIFIMAN Electronics. “The Hymalaya Pro DAC module alone represents a giant leap forward from DACs that were considered state-of-the-art only a few short years ago.”

HIFIMAN’s Hymalaya Pro consists of an array of highly accurate resistors that use a “ladder” method of conversion. This approach converts the digital signal with maximum accuracy and overall musicality.

The Hymalaya Pro supports up to 24-bit/768kHz PCM; there is no support for MQA or DSD.

HiFiMAN EF600 Desktop DAC/AMP Front and Back

The EF600 includes two Hymalaya Pro modules for improved sonic output, especially when compared to the more commonplace PCM1704k module. The Hymalaya Pro, with the added support of a new algorithm and 0.01% precision resistors, reaches a THD (total harmonic distortion) rate of -60dB 2%.

Bluetooth connectivity is achieved with an upgraded design that supports multiple codecs, including LDAC, delivering lossless sound reproduction for audiophile-level sonics.

An array of RCA and XLR inputs allows the EF600 to be used as a high-performance headphone amplifier that is fully compatible with most CD and SACD players or even external phono pre-amplifiers.

The EF600 requires the bare minimum of desktop or rack space. The physical dimensions are: 104mm/4” x 135mm/5 1/4” (top); 104mm/4” x 165mm/6 1/2” (bottom); 283mm/11”(height).

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The front panel includes four balanced outputs – 6.35mm single-ended, 3.5mm single-ended, 4.4mm balanced, XLR four-pin balanced – in addition to a four-level function switch and volume control. The rear input panel includes jacks for RCA, USB-B, and USB-C source connectors, in addition to dual (L/R) XLR three-pin full balanced line outputs. 

The signal-to-noise ratio is measured at 118dB (weighted), channel separation is 131+/-3dB, and THD+N (line out) is 0.0014% (-8dB).

Maximum power output is robust at 5.12 wpc @ 32 ohms balanced/1.8 wpc @ 32 ohms unbalanced, giving the EF600 the power to drive the majority of low-efficiency planar headphones, including HIFIMAN Electronics’ flagship model, Susvara

Price & Availability

The EF600 DAC/amplifier will be available in April 2023 at a suggested retail price of $799 from authorized HiFiMAN dealers and the company’s online store.

Related reading: CanJam NYC 2023 Coverage

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