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Arcam rPAC USB/Headphone DAC Reviews


Average sounding, at this price there are MANY better options


Pros: Build quality, aesthetic. Warm sound

Cons: Lacks detail. Very flat sounding compared with others in this price bracket

Being a Brit you might think I would be biased in favor of the Arcam rPAC but I am sad to say this DAC has let me down big time. The overwhelming choice of headphone DACs out there puts the Arcam in a difficult position. Arcam has a good reputation in mainstream HiFi and is obviously trying to carve a niche into the headphone world also, but this attempt falls way short of the competition IMHO.   I compared this with a FIIO E17, NuForce uDAC2 and Audioquest Dragonfly.   Source headphones for my trial included: Sennheiser HD650, AKG K550, Audio Technica M50 and Westone 4Rs with custom tips. All music files tested were FLACs and the source computer was a Macbook Air...
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Great sound, compact form, does what it does well.


Pros: Very clean and pleasant sound. Small size with nice build quality.

Cons: Underpowered for some headphones. Crashes occasionally.

I spent a few hours with this unit today, and tried it with about 8 pairs of headphones. My setup was Macbook Pro -> Audirvana Plus v2 player -> rPAC The unit is very simple - no display or indicators, just plug and play. Feels nice in the hand too, small but solid. I was really pleased with the combination of the Audeze and the rPAC, which was articulate and perfectly balanced and natural. It had enough power to drive the Audeze and Beyerdynamic T5p easily but some phones needed maximum volume to get loud and I think it was the Hifiman HE 560 which just didn't get loud enough. I only had time in the shop to compare it with one other DAC, the Asus Xonar Essence STU. I preferred...
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Excellent value for the money


Pros: Excellent build quality, Good amplification and DAC with good instrument separation, wide soundstage, articulated & detailed sound, excellent PRAT.etc

Cons: no battery, can’t be used just as amp (only as dac) , has only volume buttons with no screen or menu

  Hey guys, I have seen this little box recently and it intrigued me a lot. It has an impressive build quality. It has a very thick aluminum case and it feels like a tank can get over it and wouldn’t hurt it. Ok…Now I am curios..would it hurt it? Why am I thinking of this? Because of this crazy video: Hmm…All i need now is a tank… Does anybody knows a guy…with a tank? I managed to get a test unit and while I had a good feeling about this small box, it still managed to surprise me. Let’s get to business shall we? For testing, I have used Sennheiser HD800, Focal Spirit One, Audeze LCD2,  Fiio E17 and...
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Great Performance for Price and Size


Pros: Drives AKG K702s fairly well, small, portable (USB bus powered), great SQ, well priced

Cons: Amp section not able to drive HD650s very well, but what did I expect-it's tiny and bus powered, so pretty damn good, considering

I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Using it (temporarily) as an amp for my K702s and Hifiman RE-262s and as a DAC for my HT and stereo system, I am very impressed. The amp section, a huge upgrade from the headphone amp in my Pioneer Elite VSX-52, has given the AKG's famed anemic bass a well needed boost (I don't EQ) and has improved my Blu-Ray audio experience as well. Easy to just put it in a bag with my laptop and headphones and go-an incredibly convenient product to use. I would highly recommend this to anyone frequently on the go for a "one stop shop" audio solution. 

Audio Pedigree for a bargain price!


Pros: Smooth but pretty neutral, great detail/soundstage, Amazing build, neat

Cons: Nothing for this price!!

I just wrote this for my blog so I thought I would post it here too.     A&R Cambridge Ltd. (or Arcam to the rest of us) are well established in the field of hifi audio, but it could be said that the rPAC represents a departure from their usual products. It's true that they've made DACs before, but not combined with headphone amplifiers, not USB powered portables and not this reasonably priced.  Data is transferred to an asynchronous USB for the Texas Instruments PCM5102 DAC chip to convert - up to 24bit / 96khz - audio into glorious analogue. There are also RCA sockets for connecting the DAC to an external...
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Arcam rPAC for those that need it's features


Pros: Versatile

Cons: Below average headphone sound

Full review here: http://www.pandatechreview.com/arcam-rpac-review/ http://www.head-fi.org/t/624610/new-arcam-rpac-review         Snipet here:   Sound Quality:   Headphone out: The sound of the Arcam rPAC as a whole is quite mellow. It doesn’t stand out overly, but nor is it just like flat soda and lifeless. The DAC and amp together gives a soft and not as pronounced but more mixed in low frequency bass hits. It is noticeable however that the rPAC as a whole however does have nice staging that is not visible on many other units which quite surpised me. As a whole the staging although it did have a more pulled back and surround kind of effect was...
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Arcam rPAC


Pros: Great sound for the price

Cons: Treble could have had a little more sparkle for my taste

Hey head fiers! The rPAC is a great bit of kit! I got to compare this to Fiio e17 and the Arcam was just this little bit better than Fiio in every regard. It was just more musical - sound was more full, punchier and more detailed. Can't really comment on soundstage coz the headphones i used were closed back ones and not very good for imaging! And since i own the Arcam's rDac a standalone dac i compared the rPAC's analog output ability! The rDac is about twice the price of the rPAC so as i thought the little rPAC was not able to output a soundstage as detailed as rDac and i felt like there was a little treble roll off or some sparkle missing in the very highest frequency's! So in overal...
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