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Sound, USB and nothing else

A Review On: JDS Labs ODAC


Rated # 7 in DACs
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Pros: Small, USB powered, solid 2V output, noise-free, sounds clean.

Cons: No RCA (on my version), no Toslink/Coax.

Disclaimer: This review isn't based on NwAvguy words and/or the stereotypes arround the ODAC. You won't see me using the words "transparent" and or "clinical". I actually gave the thing an honest listen, compared it with what I had arround me and this is the review I came up with.


Now, you might ask me, why did you buy the ODAC? Well, I wanted something small that I could strap under my computer desk and forget there. That's it.

But how does it sound?

Silent. This thing is completely silent. When I sit next to it in a quiet room, It doesn't talk or scream to me, which is nice. Ok now kidding aside, where as my E10 was picking up EMI that I could hear easily on louder than normal listeneing levels, now I can max out the volume and I can't hear a thing (with no music on obviously or my ears would be bleeding), which is really good in my book. Now, how does it sound with music on? First thing that striked me: the details. Bad recordings now sound terrible and good recordings sound terrific. I'm not talking about 24/96 "post-modern alternative on the verge fusion" jazz here, but well recorded 16/44 albums from Supertramp, Mumford and Sons, Muse, Jason Mraz, Maroon 5, Pink Floyd, Radiohead and so on. The sound is well laid-out and no part of the frequency spectrum jump at your face. I like that.

Now for a little comparison. My dad has a Bifrost on his fulls-size speaker system, so I replaced it with the ODAC to see if it feels any different, I asked him. We listened to Jazz at the Pawnshop songs where we can hear people moving their glass of whatever they are drinking arround and talking in the background. Our conclusion? He and I can't tell apart each DAC.  Both sound really good, and that's all what really matter. Now, please don't ask about our methodology or whatever. This wasn't a scientific test and we didn't have any expectatrion or preconceived idea of the results. We just gave an honest listen and WE just couldn't tell the difference really on our setup. It might be worth nothing to you, and that's cool, but there you go.

Conclusion? For 150$, you get really great sound from a simple USB port. If you want more inputs and flexibility, look elsewhere.

Gear used: Odac, Bifrost, Valhalla, HD650, Grado SR80, dad's speaker setup.



Nice, many reviews said that ODACs are really great and can compare to some other expensive DAC in sub $400 category. I read few comments and the owners said Bifrosts are just better than ODACs a little bit.
My combo is ODAC-> C421 OPA 2227 and HD598 but somehow it makes me feel tied for long times listening or maybe I do not like HD598. Maybe I will try other headphones. It is time to buy a new pair of headphone but the problem is money ha ha ha.
Thanks for the review.
Thanks for the review....I compared to several dacs costing alot more and could not honestly tell any difference....the ODAC is well designed and works well....does exactly what its designed to do perfectly.
Thanks for the review man. I just got mine, it certainly is better than my built-in soundcard. I agree, if you want more or specific I/O's this is not the DAC.
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