Digital Audio Signals and How They Really Behave In the Real World
That would be completely overkill (i.e. an order of magnitude beyond audibility). I have an O2/ODAC and that's already overkill (though much more affordable).
http://www.esstech.com/pdf/noise-shaping-sigma-delta.pdf (starting around page 29)
The O2+ODAC is certainly a good solution, but I need more than just a USB input, and if I'm buying an external DAC, I would like to be able to use it for a stereo speaker setup as well, rather than just headphones. The Benchmark DAC2 has a lot of good connectivity, and remote control, which would be very nice to have in my setup. Unfortunately I don't know of anything cheaper that has similar functionality. (you can certainly spend less for equivalent performance)
I've seen a mod in the classifieds here of an O2/ODAC combo with an extra RCA line-out.
Good marketing reasons, yes. It makes little sense to worry about noise that fluctuates from -112 to -102 dB when you're listening to music on CDs (16 bit). And I'm sure ESS didn't pick a very high performance competitive product for this presentation either.
Even if ESS is saying they did blind tests etc. why are they not publishing these findings in journals? How were these blind tests conducted? What were the results other than "someone could hear a difference"? ...
Bottom line: more marketing than science in that presentation, imho.
Edited by xnor - 2/28/13 at 10:44am
Could that effect be responsible for the pops and clicks (amplified by 40 dB) in this file ? The onboard codec from which it was recorded does have some noise modulation issues, but it could also be simple interference. This other file recorded from a sound card does not have such artifacts.