Originally Posted by USAudio
I still haven't purchased the DACport yet. The only thing holding me back is there seems to be consistency in the reviews that the unit lacks a bit in lower frequency impact.
Given it is making due with only the power supplied by the USB cable, it's still very impressive.
Any DACport owners here have any feedback regarding the unit's Low Frequency (bass) performance?
First, a note on power consumption. In the stereophile article on the dacport, it is explained that although it does rely on the USB for power, the Dacport's software "tricks" the computer into providing more than the USB limit, so there is enough class a power on tap for a given situation.
As for the bass, I have the dacport and have run it into a set of AK702 and Etymotic HF2. The AKG 702 sounded a bit bass light, disappointing to be honest, but then again that is its reputation, plus, it is a big load to drive anyway. With the HF2, the bass was actually better, surprisingly deep and very articulate.
The Dacport is an awesome product, it is portable and very practical. However, in my limited experience it does seem to have limits in driving cans that are more difficult loads. This, or course, makes sense. It is awesome because it is a tiny tube, but this is also its limitation.
I am happy with this tradeoff since it is so easy to carry around and all I need is the Dacport, a small usb cable and the HF2 and I have a very enjoyable rig wherever my laptop goes, i.e, something I can use at home, work, and on road trips.
However, the issue is whether the trade-off is worth it to you. A larger, dedicated headphone amp will almost surely give you more robust sound (not just bass) but it will also be bulkier and likely require a separate dac. The dacport gives you both pieces in a smaller portable package.
Its all about synergy, not just with system sound, but system purpose. If you have larger and/or harder to drive cans, then you will not likely be porting them around anyway, so the Dacport's portability may not help at all. In turn, maybe a larger amp or dac/amp is best anyway. Hey, the Dacport isn't cheap, there are lots of larger dedicated DAC/AMPs in its price range, maybe they are a better match for your system and purpose.