Music

Audiolab cuts the cord with Hi-Res Bluetooth DAC

Audiolab cuts the cord with Hi...
Audiolab's M-DAC Nano doesn't need to be cabled up to a mobile music source, but you will still need to plug your preferred earphones into the unit
Audiolab's M-DAC Nano doesn't need to be cabled up to a mobile music source, but you will still need to plug your preferred earphones into the unit
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The M-DAC Nano features a 64-step rotary volume dial which has a press function that pauses/skips playback
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The M-DAC Nano features a 64-step rotary volume dial which has a press function that pauses/skips playback
Audiolab's M-DAC Nano doesn't need to be cabled up to a mobile music source, but you will still need to plug your preferred earphones into the unit
2/5
Audiolab's M-DAC Nano doesn't need to be cabled up to a mobile music source, but you will still need to plug your preferred earphones into the unit
The M-DAC Nano's battery is charged wirelessly courtesy of the included Qi charging pad
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The M-DAC Nano's battery is charged wirelessly courtesy of the included Qi charging pad
The M-DAC Nano measures just 44 x 44 x 14 mm (1.7 x 1.7 x 0.5 in), and tipes the scales at 28 g (0.9 oz)
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The M-DAC Nano measures just 44 x 44 x 14 mm (1.7 x 1.7 x 0.5 in), and tipes the scales at 28 g (0.9 oz)
The M-DAC Nano features a  Class H headphone amp and its audio technology rocks right up to 32-bit/384 kHz resolution
5/5
The M-DAC Nano features a  Class H headphone amp and its audio technology rocks right up to 32-bit/384 kHz resolution
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British maker of award-winning Digital-to-Analog Converters Audiolab has added a new mobile DAC/headphone amp to its range. The M-DAC Nano cuts down on a little cable clutter by leveraging the wireless streaming power of Bluetooth.

The teeny DAC doesn't do away with cables altogether, as wired earphones still need to be plugged into the unit's 3.5 mm jack. But Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX and AAC codec support means that mobile music lovers can stream tunes from a smartphone through the device to those earphones, and enjoy CD-like audio quality while doing it.

The 44 x 44 x 14 mm (1.7 x 1.7 x 0.5 in), 28 g (0.9 oz) Nano certainly lives up to its name and won't take up too much room in your pocket. Its 64-step rotary volume dial has a press function that pauses/skips playback, and there's an integrated MEMS microphone which allows for hands-free calling when paired with a smartphone, and can also be used to communicate with Siri or Google Assistant.

The Nano has another neat wireless trick up its diminutive sleeve too – Qi charging of its built-in battery when placed on the supplied charging pad, for up to 8 hours of playing time per charge.

The M-DAC Nano features a  Class H headphone amp and its audio technology rocks right up to 32-bit/384 kHz resolution
The M-DAC Nano features a  Class H headphone amp and its audio technology rocks right up to 32-bit/384 kHz resolution

So why would you opt for a Nano instead of, say, a pair of dedicated Bluetooth earphones? The audio technology at the heart of this M-DAC rocks right up to 32-bit/384 kHz resolution, with the device able to upsample the streaming data to enhance sound quality. The Nano also features a Class H analog amp with auto sensing that adapts the output to suit the load.

Listeners can choose to get the best from the battery in standard mode, or engage the enhanced mode to boost audio quality, where "all forms of digital audio benefit from elevated definition, delivering a more dynamic and engaging performance through your preferred headphones or earphones. Bluetooth has rarely sounded so good."

The M-DAC Nano is priced at £149 (about US$190).

Product page: M-DAC Nano

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