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Arcam irDAC-II

Digital-to-analog converter with Bluetooth® and headphone amp

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Item # 410IRDAC2

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Overview

Our take on the Arcam irDAC-II

The Arcam irDAC-II sports a minimalist design, but there's a lot going on inside to make your digital music sound its best. Simply connect the irDAC-II in between your audio source's digital output and your receiver, amp, or powered speakers to instantly hear your music with new-found detail and clarity. Or, if you're a headphone person like I am, connect your 'phones directly to the front-panel 3.5mm minijack.

Squeeze the musical detail from your digital collection

The Arcam irDAC-II sports a minimalist design, but there's a lot going on inside to make your digital music sound its best. Simply connect the irDAC-II in between your audio source's digital output and your receiver, amp, or powered speakers to instantly hear your music with new-found detail and clarity. Or, if you're a headphone person like I am, connect your 'phones directly to the front-panel 3.5mm minijack.

You'll enjoy clean sound with potent bass. Arcam included the same high-performance headphone amp that they use in their top-shelf integrated amps. 

Enhanced performance from your computer, phone, and more

The irDAC can accept digital music files from your PC via USB — bypassing your computer's built-in sound card for a far more exciting listening experience. You'll enjoy subtle, nuanced sound previously obscured by the noisy electronic environment inside your PC. 

You also get two coaxial and two optical inputs for hooking up additional digital audio sources such as CD or DVD players, network music streamers, HDTVs, or set-top boxes. The included wireless remote makes for easy switching between all of your sources. 

Built-in Bluetooth for even more freedom

Want to quickly hear music or another sound from your phone? Not a problem. The irDAC-II also features built-in Bluetooth, so you can play pretty much any audio wirelessly. Arcam included aptX, an advanced form of Bluetooth audio coding for improved sound quality with devices that support this technology.

Under the hood

Arcam is ready for your high-res music collection. It features a built-in, high-end ESS Sabre DAC that supports audio signals up to 32-bit/384kHz resolution.

Arcam's asynchronous USB input allows the DAC to control the timing clock signal instead of your computer, reducing jitter to the lowest levels possible for smoother, more detailed sound. The irDAC also boasts eight separately regulated power supplies, digital and analog stage isolation, and direct-coupled signal paths to deliver outstanding sonic performance.

Product Highlights:

  • high-performance ESS Sabre DAC (ES9016K2M)
  • asynchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound from a computer
  • high-res audio playback, including PCM-based files up to 32-bit/384Hz and DSD128
  • eight separately regulated power supplies for dynamic, low-distortion performance
  • built-in Bluetooth® for wirelessly streaming music from compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers
    • aptX® and AAC decoding for high-quality music streaming from compatible devices
  • built-in high-performance headphone amplifier
Specs:
  • frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
  • total harmonic distortion: 0.0007%
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 117dB (24 bit)
Inputs:
  • 2 coaxial digital
  • 2 optical digital (Toslink)
    • If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in its audio menu. This DAC is not compatible with Dolby® Digital signals.
  • 1 USB Type-B for connection to a computer
Outputs:
  • 2 pairs of RCA stereo outputs (fixed and variable)
  • 1 front-panel 3.5mm mini headphone output
    • compatible with headphones with 16-600 ohms impedance
General info:
  • input selection and volume control buttons on top panel
  • remote included
  • 7-5/8"W x 1-3/4"H x 4-15/16"D
  • weight: 2.4 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Digital-to-analog converter
  • AC power adapter (attached 58" DC cord)
  • 4 AC power plugs (US/EU/AU/UK)
  • Remote cotnrol
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • Antenna
  • 43" USB-B to USB-A cable
  • 42" Stereo RCA cable
  • 42" Coaxial digital cable
  • 39" Optical digital cable
  • Connections and Quickstart Guide
  • "Thank You" Letter
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Features

irDAC-II: The ARCAM irDAC-II is an external digital-to-analog converter that offers asynchronous USB-B, optical & coaxial digital, as well as Bluetooth aptX connectivity. It features a high-resolution ESS Sabre DAC and provides fixed or variable line-level outputs to your home audio system, as well as a built-in headphone amplifier. The irDAC-II is designed to be the heart of your digital audio system and can be connected to a host of different types of digital sources and connections.

ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC w/ Jitter Reduction: The irDAC-II utilizes an ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC (ES9016K2M) for outstanding audio performance with support for high-resolution audio files up to 24-bit/384kHz. It also uses jitter reduction to produce an audio signal the way the artist or producer intended that is almost jitter free.

Low-Noise Design: The ARCAM irDAC-II digital-to-analog converter features isolated digital and analogue stages, ultra-low noise power supplies, and a direct coupled signal path to prevent unwanted noise and distortion for a pure, natural sound.

Asynchronous USB-B Input: The irDAC-II features an asynchronous USB-B input for playback of 2ch PCM and DSD music files on your Windows PC or Mac computer. It supports 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, and 384kHz sampling frequencies for 2ch PCM; as well as DSD128 (5.6MHz/1-bit). The irDaC-II's asynchronous USB-B port bypasses the poor DAC inside your computer and controls the USB streaming audio from your computer witch greatly reduces jitter and improves audio performance.

  • Windows Compatible: Works with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10 (32-bit and 64-bit versions. The installation of a separate USB driver is required for a Windows PC
  • Mac Compatible: Works with Mac OSX 10.6.3 or later. No separate driver need for Mac computers.

Optical & Coaxial Digital Inputs: The irDAC-II is equipped with two optical (toslink) and two coaxial (RCA) digital inputs with support for 2ch PCM audio files only (not compatible with Dolby Digital, DTS, or DSD). The optical digital inputs offer support for 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, and 96kHz sampling frequencies (16- or 24-bit). The coaxial digital inputs offer support for 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, and 192kHz sampling frequencies (16- or 24-bit).

Bluetooth Audio Streaming: The ARCAM irDAC-II supports wireless audio streaming and control, so you can wirelessly stream stored music, music apps, and other audio content on your Bluetooth source device to your existing home audio system. You can even control basic playback functions such as Play/Pause and Previous/Next Track from the included IR remote. In addition to support for the standard SBC Bluetooth audio codec, the irDAC-II offers support for AAC, which offers better audio performance for music wirelessly streamed from Apple iOS devices. But more importantly, it offers support for aptX and aptX-LL for CD-like quality wireless streaming with low latency.

  • aptX: aptX audio enables CD-like quality (16-bit/44kHz) wireless audio because it solve the problem of sending the full music bandwidth over Bluetooth by reducing the size of the audio files without affecting the sound quality. Your Bluetooth source device must also support aptX.
  • aptX-LL: aptX-LL (Low Latency) audio ensures the irDAC-II and your compatible aptX-LL Bluetooth source device can deliver sound in sync with visual media. It reduces delay and improves end-to-end speed of the audio transmission, resulting in a high quality, synchronized user experience. Your Bluetooth source device must also support aptX-LL.
Note: The ARCAM irDAC-II pairs and connects to only one device at a time. Make sure the included external antenna is installed. It has a wireless range of approximately 33'.

Fixed & Variable Analog Outputs: The irDAC-II is equipped with dedicated Fixed and Variable stereo analog outputs. Use the Fixed line-level outputs when connecting to an AV receiver or integrated amplifier. Use the Variable line-level outputs when connecting to a power amplifier. The Variable line-level output volume is adjusted by pressing the volume up (+) and down (-) buttons on the top-panel. Pressing both volume buttons at the same time will cause the output to mute. This volume control does not affect the fixed line-level outputs.

1/8" Headphone Jack: The headphone output stage  of the irDAC-II has been taken from ARCAM's flagship A49 integrated amplifier and is capable of driving the most demanding of headphones. The irDAC-II features a front-panel 1/8" (3.5mm) headphone jack and is capable of driving headphones from 30 to 600.

IR Remote Control: The included IR remote offers full operation of the irDAC-II and playback control of your paired Bluetooth source device or USB connected computer. The remote provides Source Selection, Volume Up/Down, Mute, Play/Pause, Stop, and Previous/Next Track.

Stylish Cast Aluminum Casework: The ARCAM irDAC-II digital-to-analog converter comes housed in a stylish, yet rugged cast aluminum case that is compact.

AC Power Adapter: The included AC power adapter (w/ attached 58" DC cord) plugs into the ARCAM irDAC-II and into an AC power outlet or surge protector (sold separately).

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