This week we have a selection of new HD audio and DSD compatible products (some Hi-Res Audio certified). Let’s start off with the new Pioneer XDP-100 portable player, designed for dematerialised music and headphone enthusiasts. Pioneer has pulled out all the stops. The player features an aluminium case, an integrated volume control, an ES9018K2M ESS Sabre DAC natively compatible with DSD and PCM 32 bit/384 kHz, WiFi, DLNA, Bluetooth apt-X, double SD card player, 16:9 touch screen…and Android Lollipop, giving access to millions of Google Play Store applications, in particular Spotify, Deezer or Qobuz. It has a battery life of 16 hours in HD playback.
The Aune M2 Music Player is fitted with a 24 bit/192 kHz and DSD compatible DAC. It replaces the Aune M1 player and adds an extensive handling of audio files. Featuring a microSD card player, this portable device has been designed in accordance with strict regulations in order to control the transport of the digital audio stream to its converter (Asahi Kasei AK4490). To do this, two highly accurate digital clock-buffers have been implemented to reduce jitter at a particularly low level. Distortion is therefore particularly low, facilitating a meticulous and precise sound reproduction. Moreover, resistors and capacitors have been chosen for their musical qualities, just like the ALPS volume potentiometer.
Shure has launched its range of electrostatic earphones with the Shure KSE 1500. Shure KSE 1500 earphones are an in-ear model with electrostatic transducers. This technology is normally reserved for high-end hi-fi headphones. They come with a dedicated headphone amplifier, fitted with a 24 bit/96 kHz USB DAC and compatible with any computer, iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone and tablet. These earphones are among the first electrostatic models, this technology being all the rage with very high-end hi-fi headphones. The slimline cone making up the electrostatic transducer moves with an exceptional speed and transient phase. The sound delivered is quite simply perfectly transcribed while the passive isolation of background noise reaches 37 dB.
The PS Audio NuWave DSD DAC is a high-end model, fitted with an ESS Sabre processor and first-rate power supply. The US brand, a specialist in the manufacturing of digital to analog converters over the last 23 years, proves itself once again with this device whose technical specifications are exemplary and whose musical quality is clear for all to hear. It stands out from the previous PS Audio NuWave DAC thanks to its handling of DSD stream and additional I2S (HDMI) format input.
The Peachtree Shift portable headphone amp is designed to be used with any smartphone, tablet or portable device fitted with USB OTG, S/PDIF or headphone outputs. The Peachtree Shift features an ESS Sabre DAC, capable of decoding PCM 32 bit/384 kHz and DSD 5.6 MHz audio stream. This device is compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and 5th generation iPod touch as well as with Android smartphones and tablets with a USB audio output.
The Peachtree Audio Nova 220SE USB DAC amplifier delivers up to 2 x 65 Watts at 8 Ohms and features a 24 bit/192 kHz asynchronous USB DAC to play CD or HD quality audio files. It’s also an ideal companion for all your digital sources, computers in particular, thanks to its asynchronous USB port and digital inputs. It also has an analog input to connect an FM tuner or turntable paired with a Phono pre-amplifier.
Last but not least, the Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones. This model is a revised version of the already exceptional Sennheiser HD-800. Hi-Res Audio compatible with a frequency response ranging from 10 Hz to 40 kHz, which is a safe bet for hi-fi listening. It comes with two connect cables, one with a standard jack (6.35 mm) and the other, a balanced model with an XLR 4 connector to optimise the connection with compatible sources such as the Sennheiser HD-800 headphone amp. The Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones adopt the exclusive Sennheiser absorption technology, initially used on the Sennheiser IE 800 in-ear earphones, cancelling the masking effect on high frequencies. The Sennheiser HD 800 S adopts an all-black finish.