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Arcam rPac

USB digital-to-analog converter/headphone amplifier

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Our take on the Arcam rPac

by Dave Bar
Arcam

Turn 1s and 0s into sweet sounding music

Why buy a separate DAC? These devices are all about getting true high-fidelity sound from digital sources like computers, streaming music players, smartphones, and more. While these kinds of sources usually have their own digital-to-analog converters built in, you can expect a separate DAC to give you much better accuracy and finer detail.

Give your computer's sound a serious boost

From stored music downloads to Internet radio, movie streaming, and video games, our computers are a fantastic source of entertainment. Unfortunately, most Macs and PCs simply aren't optimized for high-performance audio, which means if you're connecting one directly to your stereo or headphones, you're probably settling for sound quality that's just so-so.

The Arcam rPAC provides a pocket-sized solution to hum-drum computer sound. This tiny, outboard digital-to-analog converter plugs into one of your PC's USB ports, bypassing the computer's built-in audio circuitry and replacing it with true hi-fi-grade hardware. By processing music files outside your computer's noisy electrical environment, you'll instantly hear far more detail in the music you love coming through on your headphones, powered speakers, or sound system. And it's not just about music. The rPAC can boost the sound of all your computer-based audio sources, including game and movie soundtracks.

Read more


High-res audio

Enjoy high-res audio, too

Along with all the sonic benefits the rPAC provides for your compressed and CD-quality music files, it also decodes high-resolution data streams with up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution, so you can enjoy better-than-CD audio quality. If you download high-res music files from HDtracks and other audiophile sources, this DAC will ensure that you hear them in all their glory.

Highlights:

  • TI PCM5102 digital-to-analog converter for high-fidelity stereo sound
  • built-in high-quality headphone amplifier with volume control
  • compact design for portability
  • powered by USB connection — no need for external power supply
  • 1 USB (Type B) input for connection to a computer
  • 1 pair of RCA audio outputs
  • minijack (3.5mm) headphone output
  • supported sample rates: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, and 96kHz
  • input bit depth: 16-bits, 24-bits
  • built-in USB driver — no downloads required
  • frequency response: 10 to 20kHz (±0.1 dB)
  • THD: 0.002%
  • line-out signal to noise ratio: 106 dB (24-bit)
  • headphone signal-to-noise ratio: 98 dB
  • headphone output power: 138mW
  • line-level output: 2.15Vrms
  • 2-3/4"W x 1-1/16"H x 5-1/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • USB DAC/Headphone Amp
  • 43" USB type-A to USB type-B cable
  • 43" Stereo RCA audio cable
  • Cloth pouch
  • Connections/Quick Start Guide
  • "Thank You" letter

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Arcam rPAC is an external audiophile-grade USB DAC/Headphone Amp with state-of-the-art digital-to-analog conversion technology. The rPAC offers supreme audio quality for the most demanding music lover. Housed in a high-quality cast aluminum case, the rPAC offers an ideal upgrade for music stored or streamed on your computer. Offering a USB (type-B) digital input with a stereo audio RCA output and 3.5mm headphone output, the rPAC lets you listen to audio from your computer on your home stereo system or a set of headphones.

16/24-Bit DAC: The Arcam rPAC employs a Texas Instrument PCM5102 16/24-bit digital-to-analog converter with a frequency response of 10Hz-20kHz (+/-0.1dB), a total-harmonic-distortion of 0.002%, and a Signal-to-Noise Ratio of 106dB.

Supported Sample Rates: Supported sample rates include 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz.

USB Input (Asynchronous): The Arcam rPAC features a USB (type-B) port and includes a 43" USB (type-B) to USB (type-A) cable to connect to your computer: The rPAC utilizes a Asynchronous USB clocking technology for optimum audio signal transfer from your computer to your home audio system or headphones.

Note: The Arcam rPAC is compatible with Windows XP, 7, or Mac OSX.

Headphone Amp w/ 3.5mm Headphone Output: In addition to housing an 16/24-bit DAC, the Arcam rPAC features a built-in headphone amplifier with a 3.5mm headphone jack to connect a set of headphones, as well as an up/down volume control. The built-in headphone amp has an output power of 138mW and signal-to-noise ratio of 98dB.

Analog Audio Outputs: The Arcam rPAC is fitted with a stereo RCA output to connect your to your stereo amplifier or HiFi receiver.

Power Requirements: The Arcam rPAC is powered by your computer's USB port; no AC wall outlet needed.

 
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Arcam rPac Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

A Whole New World

Written By Scott Probeck, Philadelphia, PA on Sunday, August 24, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
When I played my music through the ARCAM rPAC for the first time I was blown away. The sound was clear and powerful. It had so much more life than I was used to. I was listening to a live show and it really felt like I was there. I have had no problems. As long as it's plugged in properly and the sound is playing it works like a charm.
Pros:
Great sound. Nice size. Not to big and bulky.
Cons:
none.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
1 out of 5

Great...until it wasn't

Written By Rob T, Minneapolis on Monday, January 13, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Good enough performance, until it abruptly stopped working after about a month. Tried multiple fixes, different ports, etc. Basically it would cut out after about 60-75 seconds of playing, and then would need to be unplugged and re-inserted, only to work for another few seconds. In reviewing some online forums, seems to be a chronic problem with this model. Spend your money on a more reliable DAC.
Pros:
Good sound quality
Cons:
Prone to malfunction, unusable once it has done so.
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5 out of 5

Instruments Become Real

Written By 44Footer, Fort Collins, CO on Monday, April 29, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
For a modest investment you can transform digital music into a sound of individual instruments with presence and punch. The sound moves beyond my desktop computer with a realism of its own. For some music I became aware of individual instruments for the first time. Run of the mill recordings suddenly came through with extra life.
Pros:
This tiny box turns computer speakers into larger reproducers of sound. Those little desktop speakers sound much bigger. It's a relatively small investment if you care about the realism of music or voice.
Cons:
I have not found any downside to this product.
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Arcam rPac, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_776RPAC/Arcam-rPac.html ).

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