Optical-Bluetooth-USB DAC: The AudioQuest Beetle is a multi-purpose
DAC for today's many different digital audio sources. Capable of delivering
naturally dynamic, uncompressed music via its high-performance optical (toslink)
or asynchronous microUSB inputs, the Beetle also adds exceptional convenience
and surprisingly beautiful sound through its asynchronous Bluetooth technology.
Microchip MX Series Microcontroller: The Beetle is the first AudioQuest product to be built on the extremely
efficient, ultra-low-noise Microchip MX Series Microcontroller platform.
ESS 9010 DAC (w/ Minimum-Phase Filtering): At the heart of
the AudioQuest Beetle is an ESS 9010 DAC that uses a sophisticated
minimum-phase digital filter to provide more naturally detailed and dynamic
music. The Beetle can accept audio and music files ranging from MP3s (128/256/320kbps) and CD-standard (16-bit/44.1kHz) to native Hi-Res
(24-bit/96kHz), regardless of music file format. The Beetle will accept almost
any digital audio you want to play from your TV, computer, or Bluetooth source
device and make it sound dramatically better; whether your listening pleasure is
iTunes or streaming music services such as Pandora, Spotify, Amazon, or Tidal.
- USB Audio Sample Rates: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz; 16-bit to
- Bluetooth Audio Sample Rates: up to 48kHz @ 384kbps
- Optical Digital Sample Rates: 32kHz to 96kHz; 16-bit to 24-bit
Compatible Sampling Frequencies: The AudioQuest Beetle will
play music or audio data at 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, or 96kHz. However, for the
best sonic results your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer should
be configured so that it sends music and audio data to the Beetle that matches
the "native rate" of the music. For example, since all CDs and music files
purchased from iTunes are typically at a 44.1kHz sample rate, for many people
44.1kHz will be the best sample rate since this is the "native rate" of most
digital music. Choosing a higher sample rate will convert your native music and
audio data using mathematical approximations that can potentially decrease the
sound quality. Conversely, if you have purchased high-resolution music files
(96kHz), such as those available from HDtracks.com, configuring your computer
for 44.1kHz (or any other lower sample rate) will cause the computer to
down-sample your music to a lower resolution. When possible, always configure
the computer to output the native sample rate of the music you are listening to.
Note: If you have purchased a file that has a higher sample
rate than 96kHz you need to configure your smartphone/tablet or
computer/laptop to send the Beetle audio data at a resolution no greater
than 96kHz, and for the best performance the sample rate you choose should
be exactly half the sample rate of the file you're playing. For example; if
you purchased a 24-bit/176.4kHz file, 88.2kHz should be selected, whereas if
you purchased a 24/192kHz file, 96kHz should be selected. Directly divisible
sample rates prevent the computer from doing sonically degrading, complex
math in its conversions and allows Beetle to sound its best.
64-Bit, Bit-Perfect Digital Volume Control (USB & Bluetooth only): The
Beetle is equipped with a bit-perfect, 64-bit precision digital volume control,
enabling high-precision adjustment of output volume while in either the USB or
Bluetooth mode. This ensure playback and adjustability with no sacrifice to the
authenticity of the original music file. The optical digital output incorporates
a Unity Gain volume control.
- To ensure bit-prefect playback and volume adjustability (for USB &
Bluetooth), set the
volume control of the playback application (such as iTunes or Tidal) to 100%.
Then adjust the volume from your Windows PC, Apple computer, or mobile
device (good starting point is 50%).
- The optical digital input's volume will be controlled from your
connected receiver, integrated amplifier, or powered speakers.
Asynchronous microUSB & Bluetooth: Asynchronous Bluetooth 4.0:
The asynchronous transfer protocol, as applied to digital audio, allows the
clock in an outboard digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to override the clock in
a host computer, thereby significantly reducing the digital-audio distortion
known as jitter. While asynchronous transfer has become a popular (and often
preferred) technology in USB DACs, the same strategy can be applied to Bluetooth
transmission. By sending audio data asynchronously over Bluetooth, the Beetle
can greatly reduce the susceptibility to jitter.
Streamlength Asynchronous microUSB: The Beetle features a
microUSB-B 2.0 port for connecting your Windows PC, Mac computer, Apple iOS
device or Android OS device. Rather than sharing crucial
audio "data clocking" functions with your USB connected computer,
laptop, or mobile device, the Beetle uses a very sophisticated Streamlength
Asynchronous USB audio data transfer protocol which takes command over the
timing of the audio data transfer, dramatically reducing digital timing errors.
As a result, you get low jitter, low resource load, minimal packet errors,
world-class audio playback, and reliable connectivity between the USB DAC and
computer, laptop, or mobile device. The Beetle supports 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96kHz sampling frequencies
with 16-24 bit rates.
- Windows & Mac Compatibility: Compatible with Windows PC
(7, 8.1, or 10), as well as Mac computers (OS X 10.6.8 or newer). No
additional drivers are required for Windows or Mac.
- Apple iOS Compatibility: Compatible with Apple iOS 9.2+
devices that have a Lightning or 30-pin connector. You will need an
Apple Lightning to USB camera adapter or Apple 30-pin to USB camera
adapter, plus a microUSB-to-USB cable (all sold separately - see Accessories
tab) to make the connection.
- Android OS Compatibility: Compatible with most Android
devices running Jelly Bean 4.1 or newer, provided that the device
manufacturer has adhered to the USB specification and implementation, and
supports audio over USB - otherwise known as USB Hose Mode. To verify that
your Android device complies with isochronous USB audio, download and run
USB Host Check app. For a reliable media player that has its own
built-in USB driver, ensuring reliable connection between your Android
device and the Beetle, download the
USB Audio Player Pro onto your Android OS device. Connection requires
DragonTail USB Adapter (sold separately - see Accessories tab) and the
microUSB-to-USB cable that came with your Android device.
Asynchronous Bluetooth: The Beetle is equipped with built-in
Bluetooth 4.0 with support for wireless music streaming (A2DP) from your
Bluetooth enabled source device (like your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or
computer - including Apple iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS X). Thanks to
the implementation of the asynchronous protocol, the
Beetle is in total control of the incoming wireless datastream. Asynchronous
data transfer preventively ensures the lowest possible level of jitter over
Bluetooth, so you get the best possible wireless audio experience. The Beetle
supports Bluetooth audio up to 48kHz @ 38kbps.
Note: The Beetle can pair with up to 8 Bluetooth source
devices, but only one can be connected at a time. You must disconnect USB or
Optical input sources before trying to pair or connect a Bluetooth source
Optical Digital Input: The AudioQuest Beetle is outfitted with optical
(toslink) digital input capable of supporting up to 24-bit/96kHz stereo PCM
(16-24 bit/32-96kHz; 2ch). The Beetle incorporates ESS's patented Time Domain
Jitter Eliminator to significantly reduce jitter over optical, raising both
time-domain accuracy and signal-to-noise ratio for exceptional sound
reproduction. The optical digital input does not support Dolby Digital or DTS;
make sure to set your digital audio source device's optical output to PCM or
Note: Most of today's TVs offer a toslink optical digital
output connector for simple connection to the Beetle. However, many of
today's laptops and portable digital audio players use a 3.5mm optical
connector. In this case you would need one of AudioQuest's
optical-to-mini cables or a
toslink-mini adapter (both sold separately - see Accessories tab).
3.5mm Analog Output: The AudioQuest Beetle features a 3.5mm analog
output (1.35Vrms) to connect your home audio system, soundbar, powered speakers, or set of
headphones. You will need either a
stereo minijack cable,
cable, or headphones with a 3.5mm cable (all sold separately - see Accessories tab) to connect
LED Indicator: A smart LED on the front of the AudioQuest
Beetle indicates input and resolution of the incoming signal.
- During USB Playback: 44.1kHz (green), 48kHz (blue), 88.2kHz
(amber), and 96kHz (magenta) - 16 to 24 bit
- During Optical Playback: 32kHz to 96kHz; 16 to 24-bit (red)
- During Bluetooth Playback: up to 48kHz @ 384kbps (blue)
Input Standby: Any input, while active will have exclusive control
over the Beetle. If after 60 seconds, an input is not seen as active, it will
time out; at which point access to any input will be available and granted on a
first-come, first-served basis.
Power Requirements: The Beetle's microUSB port is designed to accept
power from the included external AC power supply, or both power and data from
your computer or mobile device. The included analog-linear power supply should be
used whenever the Beetle is not connected to a computer's USB port or your
Optional JitterBug (USB Data & Power Noise Filter): While the Beetle's
included outboard analog-to-linear power supply offers pure, clean power for
those preferring to stream music over Optical and/or Bluetooth, USB users will
have to rely on the power provided by the host computer or mobile device which
leave the USB connection vulnerable to sound-degrading noise currents and
parasitic resonances. AudioQuest's
JitterBug (sold separately - see accessories Tab) is designed to remove
these unwanted noise currents and parasitic resonances from both the power &
data communication streams over USB, resulting in improved dynamic range,
warmth, and resolution of your music.
Firmware/Software Upgrades: The Beetle is firmware/software
upgradeable through a complimentary Windows PC or Mac OS X desktop application.
As new developments arise in music player applications, streaming protocols, or
other associated software; Beetle users will be able to incorporate those
updates to their existing devices.