AKS DAC1851HPA
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mgunin

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Joined
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Thanks to Kirill (who is the product engineer) I had an opportunity to get acquainted with the device. It's a multibit one, with the ability to switch the oversampling rate.



My main headphones are Sony MA900 and Thinksound ON2, as well as in-ears (Lear LHF-AE1d MKII and Periodic Be). All models aren’t tight in both impedance and sensitivity, but the background noise is very low and (to my ears) is not felt as soon as you turn on the music. With BAs and hybrid models, the situation is probably different. Still, not sure if listening to IEMs with the desktop source is all that necessary.

I should note that metal and other aggressive music is not my universe. I mainly listen to jazz, soul, funk, disco, afrobeat, some electronica and other related genres. As for the tonality, my preference is something smooth and musical, without a peaky treble or upper mids.

The device more than corresponds to my tastes, but I can't tell that it heavily colors the sound. Rather, it reveals the nature of the headphones themselves, but does it very delicately, with its own tone and intonation.

The general SQ level is definitely higher comparing to budget sources (such as Encore mDSD or HRT microStreamer). The increase in resolution is clearly felt from the first minutes of listening. Here we have a device with a really mature sound.

Lows are massive and deep, yet perfectly controlled. Not on a basshead level, but fans of slightly emphasized low end should definitely enjoy. Lows immediately focus attention on themselves, but, as it should be with devices starting from a certain bar, do not overlap the rest of the frequency range.

Midrange has excellent resolution, but without focusing on the micro-contrast and, as often happens in real life, emphasizing the slightest flaws sound engineering. They are emotional, musical, made (subjectively) for the pleasure of the listener.

Treble is slightly "vintage". Unlike the mass of modern equipment, highs are slightly rolled off to the background, but not at the expense of resolution (especially if the owners of bright sources take some time to get used to them). For a long listening, this level of treble seems perfect.

I compared AKS with the second generation of Audinst HUD-DX1. The latter is more neutral and monitor-like, a bit thinner sounding and more treble-oriented. What you’ll like more is a matter of taste, habits and synergy with your headphones. For me personally AKS seemed a little more preferable, but YMMV.

Pics, info and ordering here
 
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