AK4490 has been over hyped because it's the new kid on the block, manufacturers are using it simply because it's new (new sells) and its cheap at $5 a pop. It's nothing special in terms of dac performance, but it has a few dandy features built in, given the price, making it good value. The A4490 has been described as having a very smooth sound, that can be a good or bad thing depending on personal preference. Example being a diyer mentioned he prefers the older AK4396 to the AK4490 (due to personal preference).
Over hype also occurred when ES9018 came out (well actually that carried much more hype than AK4490), everyone and their dog made a dac out of the ES9018, but again the reality is that the dac is no better than other dac's like burr brown dacs that have been around for years, the bottom line is each dac usually carries some inherent sound style, and this is what separates each dac from each other, rather than technical performance, so coming back to AK4490, the only reason you should consider this dac is if you like very smooth sound (it will be too smooth for some people's tastes).
Although, in saying this, despite the inherent sound style in the dac's, the implementation can alter it, or the amp section can mask the dac's sound style with it's own style if it's distinct enough.
Edited by T.R.A.N.C.E. - Today at 2:44 am