I'm also wondering this!
- 18 Posts. Joined 10/2013
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Honestly, I hope they don't go with the larger desktop 9018. It is very difficult to get to sound right and for a $500 ($249 for early backers) device this small, I would rather them use a chipset much better suited to the product and one that they already like the sound of. There would have to be compromises somewhere.
Whichever works best...
Yes. The SNR difference is completely meaningless in the real world. There was a mention in the desktop chip about Time Domain Jitter Eliminator. Maybe that is a real difference.
I would love to read a comparison of the two
The Liquid Fire is my favorite headphone amp, but I haven't had a chance to direct compare it to the other amp I have really been impressed with recently.
The ES9018-2KM also has the Time Domain Jitter Eliminator. (check here: http://esstech.com/PDF/ES9018-2M%20PB%20Rev%200.8%20130619.pdf)
But I believe most of the recent DACs that use the Desktop ES9018 have that feature disabled and choose to use the chip in synchronous mode with an external clock from any of the asynchronous USB implementations. People find that running the chip that way with a very low noise power supply are key in getting the best performance out of the chip.