The Well-Tempered Computer, an introduction to computer audio

Thursday, October 31, 2013


WiSA is an open industry standard to connect speakers wireless.
It allows for lossless 24-bit audio with sample rates of  32, 44.1, 48, and 96 kHz
It supports 2 channel up to 7.1 surround.
It operates in the 5Ghz U-NII band.

At the present (2013) B&O is the only brand known to me using this standard.
As Pioneer, Onkyo, TEAC, Klipsch en Sharp are members of WiSA too, one might expect them to bring out models in the near future.

Beolab 17 speaker with WiSA and Toslink input

B&O Transmitter1 with analog and Toslink input.

The WiSA™ Association

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cambridge DacMagic XS

Cambridge DacMagic XS £99.95

Connections Micro USB input, 3.5mm analogue output 
Digital to Analogue Converter ESS9023 24-bit DAC 
Sample Rates Supported
USB 1.0 mode: 16/24-bit, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz 
USB 2.0 mode: 16/24-bit, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz
Output Voltage 2V RMS
Max. Power Consumption 150mW 
Min. Headphone Impendance 12 Ohms
Frequency Response +/-0.2dB 20Hz – 20kHz
THD (unweighted):<0 .004="" td="">
SNR 103 dBr (unweighted) 
Crosstalk 66dB
Output Impedance 0.5 Ohms
Volume Steps 53 steps (54 different volume levels) 
Dimensions (W x H x D): 30 x 10 x 53.5mm (1.2 x 0.4 x 2.1’’) 
Weight 100g (3.5oz) 



  • Max headphone output at 1%THD @ 1KHz: 34mW(12 ohm), 60mW(16 ohm), 82mW(32 ohm), 86mW(56 ohm), 36mW(300 ohm), 19mW(600 ohm)
  • Channel separation 60~64dB (1KHz) 33ohms -50dB/<=±3dB
  • Frequency characteristics 20Hz~20kHz (±0.5dB)
  • Total Harmonic Distortion 0.033% (33ohms) , <0 .02="" 0.0085="" li="" mw="" ohms="">
  • S/N Ratio 95.5dB/32ohms , 98.1dB/56ohms , 101.6dB/300ohms, 102.1dB/600ohms 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

LH Labs Geek

Small portable USB DAC/headphone amp

  • Two outputs on all types (2 x 3.5 mm jack): line and headphones, both are variable in digital domain (64bit precision)
  • Volume control: two buttons and software (Operation System main volume slider sends volume data to Geek which implements the volume change in its internal volume control)
  • Line-out output impedance: 47 Ohm (on all types)
  • Headphone output impedance: 0.47 Ohm (on all types)
  • Max output voltage (line-out and headphone): 2.65 Vrms (Geek), 3,4 Vrms (Super Geek), 4 Vrms (Super-Duper Geek)
  • Max output power (headphone, 16 Ohm): 450 mW (Geek), 720 mW (Super Geek), 1000 mW (Super-Duper Geek)
  • Native decoded  music format in PCM: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176,4, 192, 352.8, 384 kHz / 16, 24, 32 bits.
  • Native decoded digital format in DSD: 2.822, 3.072, 5.644, 6.144 mHz / 1 bit
  • "Class A" analogue output stage, THD+N better than 0.005 %, SNR is 103dB (none-weighted), 109dB (A-weighted)
  • Sample rate indicator LEDs, machined aluminum enclosure in three different colors, with 6" USB cable, driver for PC (plug and play on MAC and Linux)
Website: LH Labs
Price: US$ 299

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

AURALiC Gemini 2000 headphone amp

DAC with a 2 Watt class A headphone amp build into a Klutz design headphone stand.

Output: 6.3mm jack / 4-pin XLR.

3.5 mm analog

Integrated SDXC card reader
File format: PCM 24/384, DSD128

Website: AURALiC
Price: US$1995