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HiFiMAN Unveils Goldenwave SERENADE Desktop DAC/Headphone Amplifier

HiFiMAN’S Goldenwave Serenade DAC/Headphone Amplifier features multiple streaming and input options along with the Hymalaya Pro R-2R Ladder DAC.

HiFiMAN Goldenwave Serenade Headphone Amplifier and DAC

HiFiMAN have already introduced two new DAC/headphone amplifiers in 2023 with a great deal of fanfare. Behind the scenes, the Chinese manufacturer has been searching for an acquisition to bolster its product lineup. The purchase of GOLDENWAVE opens the door to a new generation of desktop DAC/headphone amplifiers including the SERENADE which gets its official launch this week.

New from the GOLDENWAVE brand, the SERENADE desktop DAC/headphone amplifier ($1,199 USD) represents the best of both companies’ design capabilities. SERENADE is a compact, powerhouse of a class A amplifier with HIFIMAN’s proprietary Hymalaya Pro Ladder DAC, an update of the company’s first-generation Hymalaya DAC, originally released in 2021. 

“Since its introduction in 2011, GOLDENWAVE is rightfully seen as a leader in the development of desktop audio decoders and headphone amplifiers,” says Dr. Fang Bian, President and CEO, HIFIMAN Electronics. “Its reference Prelude and consumer-oriented Serenade models are among the most reliable on the market.

“By bringing GOLDENWAVE under HIFIMAN’s wing, we are embarking upon a new era for both brands, with products that feature the best of what each company has to offer, with music lovers ultimately being the beneficiaries.

The Hymalaya Pro ladder DAC and its application will set a new standard for what can be achieved in high-fidelity personal audio electronics at any price.”

HiFiMAN Goldenwave Serenade Headphone Amplifier and DAC Front

Measuring 300mm x 255mm x 50mm/12” x 10” x 2”, SERENADE includes a host of features and listening options that belie its compact size. 

SERENADE supports a wide variety of inputs, including PCM 32-bit/384Khz, DSD64-DSD256 (USB); DSD DoP64 (coaxial and optical); Bluetooth 5.0, LDAC, aptX HD, aptX (Bluetooth); and PCM44.1-PCM768, DSD64-DSD512 (LAN wired network).

Outputs on the front panel include 4-pin XLR, 6.35mm and 4.4mm, with XLR balanced and RCA single-ended outputs on the rear panel. 

HiFiMAN Goldenwave Serenade Headphone Amplifier and DAC Rear

HIFIMAN’S Hymalaya Pro R2R DAC, with the added support of a new FPGA algorithm and 0.01% precision resistors, provides performance that surpasses the PCM1704 in every way, reaching a THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) rate of 0.0012% at -6 dB. 

The Hymalaya’s architecture removes the switches while maintaining a similar or improved level of Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) as the PCM1704K DAC chip, with greater power handling and overall efficiency, as well as improved sonic performance.

The SERENADE features a FET operational amplifier, with a discrete component LPF analog circuit that translates into detailed sound with high-precision, low-noise test indicators.

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The design of the whole signal path eliminates coupling capacitors, removing nonlinear distortion caused by electrolytic capacitors, leaving only pure, full range sonic output.

Based on a class A design, the SERENADE is supplemented by a precisely matched, fully discrete amplifier circuit.

A 50w toroidal transformer, surrounded by oxygen-free copper wire, is comprised of high-quality full-band iron core, combined with a large pond filter capacitor of nearly 30,000 microfarads and a multi-stage, multi-channel, low-noise, high-speed voltage regulator circuit, providing a pure and fast power supply for the SERENADE.

The SERENADE’s frequency response is measured at 20Hz-20KHz, +-0.1dB @1KHz. THD+N is 0.0015% -3dBFS@1KHz. DAC output level is 4.5V/XLR, 2.2V/RCA, 0dBFS@1KHz. 

The headphone amplifier power output is THD+N<0.07% @1KHz balanced output is 4000mW@32 ohms, 760mW@300 ohms; single-end output is 2800mW@32Ω, 510mW@300Ω.

“GOLDENWAVE is a company I’ve always viewed with deep respect and awe for its approach to industrial design,” adds Dr. Bian. “I am proud to make this prestigious brand one of our own. SERENADE is the first of what will be many important introductions for music lovers at every level, from casual listeners to dyed in the wool audiophiles.” 

The SERENADE will be available in July 2023 for $1,199 at store.hifiman.com and at authorized HIFIMAN dealers.

Related reading: See what else is new from HiFiMAN.

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