Japanese electronics company Denon has launched its DA-10 portable USB-DAC and headphone amplifier.Providing a fix for compatibility issues that can exist between portable devices and premium audiophile headphones, the DA-10 is designed to bring premium headphone sound performance to a range of portable devices.
Indeed, Denon notes the internal headphone amplifier section of many devices is most often designed for low power consumption to extend battery life, which, while fine for ordinary ear buds, can impede the performance of higher-range headphones.
The DA-10 features an advanced analogue output stage equipped to handle a wide range of headphone types, including premium audiophile and studio headphone models that often feature high impedance ratings, requiring more power from the output stage.
A side-mounted gain switch allows users to adjust the output stage’s gain to precisely match the needs of premium headphones, including high-impedance models, while the final analogue audio stage features a discrete current buffer circuit for the “ultimate listening experience”.
An option for fixed output, for connection to an external audio system, is also provided.
Housed in an aluminum chassis with a solid aluminum alloy volume knob, the DA-10 is equipped with the reference class Burr-Brown PCM-1795 32-bit high-resolution DAC chip, capable of handling multiple sampling frequencies all the way up to 192 kHz and bit depths up to 24 bits.
The DA-10 is also able to decode high-resolution DSD audio tracks, features the ability to decode 2.8 and 5.6 MHz DSD files, and is equipped with Denon’s AL32 technology, using proprietary DSP digital filtering, upsampling and processing algorithms to upconvert and noise-shape high-resolution digital audio to 32 bits, delivering “dramatically improved low-level detail and vanishing distortion”.
The DA-10 additionally features dual master clock crystals, each optimised for specific sampling frequencies and located directly adjacent to the DAC chip on the audio board for maximum jitter reduction, and the digital section features asynchronous USB signal handling for the “highest stability and sound quality”.
There are individual circuit cards for the digital audio block and the power supply block, to prevent interstage interference, and the D/A converter section features the ability to decode the widest range of sampling frequencies (up to 192 kHz) and bit depths (up to 24 bits).
The DA-10 comes with multiple connection cables for compatibility with a wide range of portable music players and smartphones, while it can also be used to make analogue hi-fi systems digital compatible.
Featuring a 3200 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery, the DA-10 delivers up to seven hours continuous operation when connected to a portable music player or smartphone via USB.
Denon’s Australia site is yet to confirm the timing of an Australian release.