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REVIEW - Encore mDAC portable headphone DAC/amp with 24bit/96kHz USB input - for Mac/PC, iPhone with Camera Connection Kit, and Android - 2 THUMBS UP - Page 2

post #16 of 62
I am using mDAC on the go with microB direct plug. Now the setup even smaller and fits on my palm. Some cable coloring has gone and it brings more neutral crisp sounding. Shown in the pic is ZX1. I hooked Rockets up.
post #17 of 62
@headphoneaddict...This maybe an unfair question but how does it compare to the icon dac.
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasaki View Post

Hi Jason, That French site mentions about DSD compatibility on mDAC. (chart tells but I don't read French text body)
Does mDAC has a native DSD compatibility via DoP or ASIO?

 

No, mDAC doesn't do any native DSD decoding.  It is an extremely good sounding DAC for its price.

If you want a portable DAC that can do everything, I mean DSD128 native, PCM384, USB cable connection to PC Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices, plus wireless streaming via Airplay and DLNA at 24/192 (fastest wifi streaming on the market), wait for the high-end portable DAC from a new brand that I am launching in late November.

Curved frame machined from a single block of aluminum, gorilla glass top and bottom, exceptional build quality unlike anything on the market.  Price? Very affordable.

That's all the tease for now :). 

 

By the way, I need to ask the Admin to change my Sponsor name, I am no longer with NuForce, the company that I co-founded.  I left NuForce to start a new venture creating and managing brands: NuPrime Audio, Encore Design, and soon Celsus Sound.


Edited by jasonl - 10/11/14 at 11:04pm
post #19 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzlybeast View Post

@headphoneaddict...This maybe an unfair question but how does it compare to the icon dac.


The Icon DAC is a bit more powerful, and a little warmer and laid back sounding, but with excellent detail and soundstage for the price.  I'd say I prefer the Icon DAC for full size desktop headphones like HD600, HD800, HE-500/560, LCD-2 rev2, and Denon D7000.  It's one of the few budget headphone DAC/amps that has good synergy with HD800 and doesn't make them sound a little fatiguing, yet it works with a wide variety of headphones that are nothing like the HD800.

 

But the mDAC can drive drive full-size phones decently, and is of course a portable DAC/amp that is well suited to portable headphones like V-MODA M-100, Westone 3, or JH16Pro custom IEM.  It's slightly forward sounding with the Nuforce Primo 8 but still very enjoyable, and it's easier to set for low volume listening with IEM than with the Icon DAC.

 

If you can only pick one, and going portable is not an issue, the it's the Icon DAC.  But you're comparing apples and oranges with a desktop amp vs portable.

post #20 of 62
I guess Jason doesn't want to answer my question and that tells me a lot for this product.
post #21 of 62
Hi Jason, it's a nice tease smily_headphones1.gif

> It is an extremely good sounding DAC for its price.

Yes I agree with you. mDAC is very nice. Especially for A combo with Sony ZX1.

> Airplay and DLNA

I very much anxiously waited for such a portable gear. I think wired connection is not smart for smartphone age. But BT degrade sound quality. Kleer need a bulky dongle. The DLNA for portable amp would be a good solution. Airplay is nice too.

> from a new brand

Is it Encore or another?
Edited by Sasaki - 10/12/14 at 2:27am
post #22 of 62
Thread Starter 
UPDATE - 10 14 2014:
 
I like to talk about synergy between two pieces of gear, because one person might try a headphone on one DAC or amp and love it, and another person might complain about the headphone's faults because they have different gear, etc.  Many things can contribute, including combined frequency response of the paired devices, or headphone impedance vs amp output impedance comflicts.
 
I wanted to note that I bought a new pair of V-MODA XS at RMAF, and I tried them with the Pico DAC/Slim, CEntrance HiFi-M8, and both the iPhone 6 & 6+ headphone jacks.  I thought they were dark and forward with the Pico DAC/Slim and the HiFi-M8 was best, because I could change the output impedance and treble boost switch to suit them.  But for listening without any EQ I felt that the iPhone headphone jack suited them the best, and gave the benefit of being able to use the microphone button to control the music or talk on the phone. 
 
When I had Michael at CEntrance try the XS headphones on Saturday night, I paired it with the mDAC for the first time and he hated the sound and thought the phones were junk, until we switched to the HiFi-M8.  I was confused, because I hadn't spent much time at all with the mDAC + XS combo yet. He then went on to compliment Val Kolton on the XS and thought they were a good bang for the buck.
 
Tonight I tried the XS with the mDAC for a good hour, and got the same result that I got with some other amps - the XS sounded a bit dull and mid forward. But when I switched to my CEntrance DACport, which I had never tried, the improvement in sparkle and soundstage depth of the XS was remarkable. The XS and mDAC just don't pair as well as I or Michael would like.
 
So, I have two points to make - the XS are a fine budget portable headphone that can sound poor with the wrong amp, and the mDAC is a fine budget DAC/amp that can sound less than optimal with the wrong headphones.  If you buy an mDAC and don't like it, it's likely that you will with some other headphones, but I can't make any promises.  I admit that with the DACport I have yet to be diappointed when using any of my headphones or IEM, but I am disappointed that it doesn't work with the camera connection kit like the mDAC.
 
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakkal View Post
 

Thanks for the review. It looks interesting, but I wonder what the output impedance might be?

The output impedance of mDAC is 5.6ohm. 

post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakkal View Post

I guess Jason doesn't want to answer my question and that tells me a lot for this product.

 

Hey, I am busy :)

The output impedance of mDAC is 5.6ohm. 

post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasaki View Post

Hi Jason, it's a nice tease smily_headphones1.gif

> It is an extremely good sounding DAC for its price.

Yes I agree with you. mDAC is very nice. Especially for A combo with Sony ZX1.

> Airplay and DLNA

I very much anxiously waited for such a portable gear. I think wired connection is not smart for smartphone age. But BT degrade sound quality. Kleer need a bulky dongle. The DLNA for portable amp would be a good solution. Airplay is nice too.

> from a new brand

Is it Encore or another?

 

It is from a "high end" mobility brand call Celsus Sound where every product from this brand is going to be exceptional. 

The Celsus Companion One will be previewed at the Tokyo headphone show in October.  We will also show a pre-production prototype of an ear bud (call IE-Gramo One) sounding like a Sennheiser HD-800. It is that good. You might have to look for staff from our distributor Fuhlen to hear the earphones.  I have been looking for a super high quality ear bud for listening in quiet environment for a long time. But it is impossible to find until now.  I find IEM has too much isolation and pressure for listening at night and top of the line on ear headphones are just too heavy for prolong listening. 

post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonl View Post

The Celsus Companion One will be previewed at the Tokyo headphone show in October.  We will also show a pre-production prototype of an ear bud (call IE-Gramo One) sounding like a Sennheiser HD-800. It is that good. You might have to look for staff from our distributor Fuhlen to hear the earphones.
Tokyo Headphone show!? I will definitely be there. I have to check it.
But I don't think Fuhlen will be join in. They are speaker oriented distributor. Is Kanjitsu-denki your distributer?
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonl View Post

Hey, I am busy smily_headphones1.gif
The output impedance of mDAC is 5.6ohm. 

Thanks for the answer Jason, but that impedance is just too much for sensetive IEMs.
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakkal View Post


Thanks for the answer Jason, but that impedance is just too much for sensetive IEMs.


x2. Hopefully the new one Jason mentioned has lower O.I...

post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post If you buy an mDAC and don't like it, it's likely that you will with some other headphones, but I can't make any promises.  I admit that with the DACport I have yet to be diappointed when using any of my headphones or IEM, but I am disappointed that it doesn't work with the camera connection kit like the mDAC.
 

so which headphones or in ear you would match?

i mean something more musical and with a punchy bass or an iper detailed one?

thanks

DM

post #30 of 62

and i would like to know if , when plugged to a mobile-samsung or i phone-does it works as a dac amp or just amp?

thanks

DM

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › REVIEW - Encore mDAC portable headphone DAC/amp with 24bit/96kHz USB input - for Mac/PC, iPhone with Camera Connection Kit, and Android - 2 THUMBS UP