I'm seeing more and more of this, it's really getting out of hand. It's not a bit misleading, it's very misleading just look at some of what it says in the link provided:
Under specifications "SNR: 125 dB, A-weighted, 2.2 Vrms": - Firstly they have deliberately used dBA which manipulates the results by at least 2 or more dB. So the absolute best the unit can achieve is actually 123dB. But earlier the advertising says "delivers an unprecedented DNR of up to 135dB". So in other words, 12dB of the dynamic range exists below the noise floor of the unit and therefore cannot be heard! If that is not enough they say "the Calyx uses 8 Sabre 32bit converters!" So in actual fact the unit should be capable of 192dB dynamic range but obviously isn't. In fact, this unit cannot even resolve 21bits of resolution, let alone 32bits.
The problem facing DAC manufacturers is that even 16bit offers roughly 1000 times more dynamic range than the most dynamic CD or LP ever commercially released. DACs can be produced which are perfectly linear within the hearing spectrum. Manufacturers can't produce a product which is better than perfectly linear, so what are they to do to sell product? They only have two choices, produce a perfectly linear DAC at a lower price or produce DACs with ridiculous claims about specifications and then use marketing to convince consumers that these completely outrageous specifications are in some way better. Do you actually know what a dynamic range of 32bit would sound like? Let's hope you never do, because if it was actually possible to resolve 32bits of dynamic range it would kill you instantly!
Edited by gregorio - 8/30/11 at 7:27am