The DAC1 is designed for maximum transparency and is well suited for critical playback in studio control rooms and in mastering rooms. This is a professional-quality, two-channel 192-kHz, 24-bit audio digital-to-analog converter. It accepts up to 192 kHz and downsamples to 110 kHz. The DAC1 features Benchmark's UltraLock technology. The UltraLock system is 100% jitter immune, making the DAC1 ideal for critical applications where only the highest level of performance will do. Stereophile was so impressed with the Benchmark, the December 2004 issue named the DAC1 as a "Product of the Year." According to the magazine, "The Benchmark's measured performance is at least as good, if not better than, the best high-end designs. Its use of a high-performance sample-rate converter chip ahead of its DAC chip means that its rejection of work-clock jitter is about as good as it gets, allowing it to be used, say, to wrest high-end sound from a cheap DVD player." No shortcuts were taken in the implementation of the DAC1. The D/A conversion clock is totally isolated from the AES/EBU digital audio clocks in a topology that outperforms two-stage PLL designs. A fully digital de-emphasis circuit supports 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96 kHz sample rates and is automatically enabled in response to the source signal. The quality design and construction is evident in the performance. "The sonics of the Benchmark DAC-1 are very refined and listenable, and it is a winner at this price," reports Bascom King in Volume 11, Issue 1 of The Audiophile Voice. Benchmark's new professional quality HPA2TM headphone amplifier drives two 1/4 headphone jacks. The HPA2TM is a high-current amplifier that is capable of driving a wide variety of headphone loads while achieving less than 0.0003% distortion under load.