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Musiland Monitor 02 US - A cheap DAC to get you away from your computer's sound card!

A Review On: Musiland Monitor 02 US

Musiland Monitor 02 US

Rated # 22 in DACs
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Design
Quality
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $150.00
HyperDuel
Posted · 4714 Views · 0 Comments

Pros: Async, 24/192, Low-jitter transport

Cons: Windows only, drivers can be a pain depending on computer and OS, weak built-in Headphone amp

If you are looking for for a cheap Async DAC that does a lot for $150 then look no further than the Musiland Monitor 02 US. 

 

Unlike many DACs in the market this DAC focus on Computer Audio only (which is great for me since I don't need Toslink or Coax inputs).   Using Async USB the DAC delivers Hi-Fi sound performance, but I do have to question why Musiland have to use a lower-end Op-amp in the analog stage?  I'm thinking because of the lower-end Op-amp the DAC is not delivering up to 100% in my opinion. 

 

Because of Async this DAC for the price supports 24/192 files, but honestly most of my digital music is the redbook standard so the hi-rez doesn't get used often.  I listen to 24/176.4 files on this before (Reference Recordings HRx stuff) and I found the DAC to do a great job with those. 

 

If you decide that you want to use the Monitor 02 US as a digital transport you can.  With the Monitor 02 US using its own power source it will do a better job as a digital transport than the Monitor 01 US (which uses USB power which IMO should be avoided at all cost when it comes to audio).  It has Toslink and Coax outputs if you were wondering.  I prefer one-box DACs so I don't want to use the Monitor 02 US as a digital transport (but you can if you want). 

 

I think the issue people could see with this DAC that it is Windows only because of its drivers.  Also the drivers did cause issues on peoples computers (I heard that it was giving problems with Windows 7 computers with AMD processors, I had this problem before). 

 

Also by looking at the picture of the product it does have two headphone jacks.  Headphone jack 1 is for high impedance cans while 2 is for low impedance.  With my experience with the headphone jacks I would recommend to avoid them at all cost.  These headphone amps just don't cut it IMO with my Grados for example.  If you are getting this DAC you better get an external amp for your cans.

 

Overall with some issues this is a good value DAC for people who want to get into Hi-Fi without breaking the bank. 

 

Note:  I would say the drivers are adding in new features and now this DAC can decode HDCD (via driver software) and have a special precision mode so the internal clocks will be close to its perspective sampling rates.

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