Tiny DAC makes high-resolution music mobile
Generally speaking, the audio output of your mobile device or laptop probably isn't particularly good, which means that many music lovers will look to external gear to improve the groove. Periodic Audio has launched a tiny DAC designed to do just that.
We've seen a number of teeny DACs (Digital-to-Analog Converters) designed for mobile music lovers over the years, including an angular unit from luxury audio brand Astell&Kern and a capable crowdfunded effort from Hong Kong's Zorloo.
Periodic Audio says that its Silicon DAC "is about 33% of the size of a AA battery, [has] a footprint that is 42% of the size of a US dime, and not much longer than a deck of cards is high." And it weighs in at just 0.14 oz (4 g).
Despite its petite proportions, the company has managed to cram in an AK4377ECB DAC for PCM playback at up to 32-bit/768-kHz resolution and support for native DSD256 too. That works with a Semtech RT6863 amplifier to drive plugged-in headphones. The Silicon is reported capable of a continuous output of 153 mW per channel at 32 ohms, with a signal-to-noise ratio of 125 dB and total harmonic distortion of 0.0003%.
That's all wrapped up in anodized aluminum housing with polycarbonate ends, rocking a USB-C port at one and a 3.5-mm headphone jack at the other. "There are no controls or LEDs on the device, to keep its user interface to an absolute minimum," the company's Dan Wiggins told us. "Adjust the volume with the volume control on your phone or laptop. Likewise – you want to know the resolution you’re playing? Check your music player. Since our DAC never downsamples/rate converts, whatever the source file is, is the rate you’ll get." All up, Periodic Audio says that users can look forward to "true audiophile performance that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face."
The project has been in the pipe since August 2021, with a prototype making its way to CES 2023 ahead of a crowdfunding run on Indiegogo. The campaign is now live, and pledges currently start at US$129. The usual crowdfunding cautions apply, but if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start from March next year. The video below has more.
Source: Periodic Audio