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Audioengine D1

DAC/headphone amplifier

82 Reviews | 11 questions - 56 answers

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Overview

Our take on the Audioengine D1

A pair of good headphones can give you a real taste of high-end audio without breaking the bank. But you're unlikely to find high-end sound coming out of your headphones if you plug them straight into your laptop. That's because most computer manufacturers use low-cost, low-performance circuitry to power their headphone jacks. The headphone amp inside the D1 will quickly spoil you. It delivers richer, deeper bass and clearer highs while revealing layers of musical detail that ordinary headphone jacks obscure.


Get fantastic sound from your digital audio sources


High-res audio

How do you get sound from your PC? If you're still doing it the old fashioned way, by plugging into your computer's headphone jack, then you should definitely know about the Audioengine D1. This tiny, outboard digital-to-analog converter simply connects to one of your PC's USB ports, and bypasses your computer's built-in audio circuitry. By processing your digital music files outside the noisy environment of your computer, you'll hear far more dynamic and detailed sound that you can really savor on your headphones, powered speakers, or stereo system. The D1 also includes an optical digital input so you can enjoy similar improvements in sound with your old CD player, network music streamer, set-top box, game console, or almost any other audio device with an optical digital output.

Make your headphones sing

inputs_end

The plug-and-play D1 delivers sparkling clear sound from your computer to your headphones, stereo system, or powered speakers (Audioengine A2 speakers shown

A pair of good headphones can give you a real taste of high-end audio without breaking the bank. But you're unlikely to find high-end sound coming out of your headphones if you plug them straight into your laptop. That's because most computer manufacturers use low-cost, low-performance circuitry to power their headphone jacks. The headphone amp inside the D1 will quickly spoil you. It delivers richer, deeper bass and clearer highs while revealing layers of musical detail that ordinary headphone jacks obscure.

Easy plug-and-play operation

Adding the D1 to a system is simple — just plug it into any USB port on your computer, where it will install itself and be ready for use in a matter of seconds. From there, just plug in your 'phones, or connect the preamp outputs to your powered speakers or stereo and you're done. The handy volume knob lets you control listening levels for both headphone and preamp outputs.

Plenty of power for my Sennheiser HD598's. Definate improvement of sound quality using Bose Companion speakers.

nancyandnorm, Sandwich, IL

What's in the Box:

  • D1 Digital to analog converter
  • 24" USB cable (USB Type-A on one end and USB Type-B on the other)
  • Cloth drawstring bag
  • Setup guide
  • Audioengine product brochure

Product Highlights:

  • AKM AK4396 digital-to-analog converter for low-noise, high-fidelity stereo sound
  • built-in high-performance headphone amplifier (20 ohm to 300 ohm headphone impedance recommended)
  • powered by USB connection — no need for external power supply when connected to a USB source (using optical input requires optional AC USB power adapter or connection to a computer's USB port)
  • double regulated USB power ensures no USB bus power variations affect audio output
  • compact design for portability
  • 1 USB (Type B) input for connection to a PC
  • 1 optical digital (Toslink) audio input
  • 1 pair of high-quality RCA audio outputs
  • minijack (3.5mm) headphone output
  • supported sample rates:
    • USB: up to 96kHz
    • optical digital: up to 192kHz
  • input bit depth: up to 24-bits
  • built-in driver for USB connection
  • frequency response: 10 to 25kHz (±0.5 dB)
  • THD: less than 0.0025%
  • signal-to-noise ratio (DC to 20kHz): greater than 110 dB
  • full scale output: 2V RMS
  • 3-9/16"W x 1-1/16"H x 2-15/16"D (5-1/4"D including cable and volume knob)
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • 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.
Reviews

Audioengine D1 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(82 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

Overview: The D1 DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) is designed to connect between your computer's USB port or an optical digital output, and your audio system or headphones. It can also be used as a portable DAC (soundcard) with a laptop computer. The two signal inputs are a USB Type-B port (USB Type-A to USB Type-B cable included) and an optical digital (Toslink) jack. There are two outputs, rear panel analog stereo RCA jacks and a front panel 3.5mm headphone jack. Both outputs are controlled by the rotary volume knob on the front panel and the RCA outputs are muted when headphones are plugged into the front panel mini-jack output. The small switch on the front panel lights when the D1 is turned on.

Note: If connecting to a television set's optical output, please make sure that you are able to select PCM as the default optical out audio format from your television's Audio menu. This DAC is not compatible with multi-channel audio signals and will not work with televisions that do not output PCM.

Specifications:

  • Power Requirement: 5V/130 mA; powered by USB (USB connection required for power even when using the optical digital input to transfer audio signal)
  • USB Input: rear panel, Type-B; compatible with USB 1.1 and above; USB cable included
  • Optical Input: rear panel, Toslink
  • Digital Signal Compatibility:
    • USB: up to 24-bit/96 kHz PCM stereo
    • Optical: up to 24-bit/192 kHz PCM stereo
  • Line Output: rear panel stereo RCA; 2.0 volts RMS
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz to 25 kHz, +/-0.5 dB
  • S/N: >110 dB
  • THD+N: <0.0025%
  • Headphone Output: front panel, 3.5mm stereo mini-jack; compatible with headphone impedance from 20Ω to 300Ω

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 verify what’s in the box, 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.

Accessories
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

A DAC will help ensure that I am not bottlenecked by my computer's mediocre sound card. Great if you're already spending money on a costly audio setup. [ Julio Santos-De  Jun 11, 2017 ]
My brother recommended this item [ Eduardo  May 21, 2017 ]
So I can stop taking acid to hear the Dead through my HH Scott LK-72 and 30 yr old Polk Audio's! [ Eric Vincent  Apr 15, 2017 ]
Got this to decode TV digital out, not knowing my TV only outputs Dolby, which this unit cannot decode. Fine unit otherwise, though. [ JOSEPH  Mar 14, 2017 ]
Allowed digital processing for my older analogue receiver. [ Will  Feb 20, 2017 ]
Reputation, reviews, product specs, value (price-to-benefit) [ Wood  Feb 12, 2017 ]
Did some research and this seemed like the best value for the money. [ Christopher D.  Jan 31, 2017 ]
Christmas present [ GARY  Dec 18, 2016 ]
Looking for a simple, compact, high-quality DAC with headphone amp for my PC. [ Mark  Nov 15, 2016 ]
great experience with audio engine A2 speakers. great reviews. [ Michael  Oct 31, 2016 ]
Highly recommended for listening to hi-def audio at a computer. Really quite nice. [ Paul  Sep 10, 2016 ]
Needed an upgrade to my computers sound card, this is an excellent choice for the money in this class. [ Basshead 1990  Sep 09, 2016 ]
Reviews where good. I hope I am not disappointed. [ Joseph Duane  Aug 21, 2016 ]
Good headphone amp, makes the sound quality better IMO [ MS.  Aug 11, 2016 ]
Several Reviews. Including Audioholics and HiFi [ Mark  Apr 03, 2016 ]
Very good reviews, looking for a good headphone amp and dac. also going to use it for my speakers. [ ROBERT  Feb 27, 2016 ]
Research on internet [ William  Feb 19, 2016 ]
Looking to pull audio from a TV that only has toslink audio output option to a wired headphones for my elderly father-in-law. Tried wireless headphones, Bluetooth systems, multiple adapters and this simple box provides toslink digital input and composite rca/headphone out making simple my complicated situation. No more forgetting to charge, re-pare lost Bluetooth connections nor replace weakened adapters connections. . Now his Beats keep him connected to the game, news and favorite episodes. [ John  Jan 28, 2016 ]
best reviews at price point, don't need a laptop or wireless version [ Marvin Harlan  Dec 10, 2015 ]
With Ozzy's help, I believe this is what I need. It is a X'mas gift. [ Sonia  Dec 04, 2015 ]

11 questions already asked

Not directly. The Audioengine D1 is a line source digital to analog converter. It will also power headphones. The D1 will take digital source via optical or USB from your computer and has one RCA Output. I connected this as an input to my preamp. This line RCA output (left and right) would need a powered set of speakers if you don't use line input to preamp or receiver. [ RICK  May 03, 2017 ]
The D1 only has a left and right unbalanced RCA output to be connected either to an external amp or powered pair of speakers (L&R). To add multiple speakers would require a splitter to send the signal to a multichannel amp or additional powered speakers. That splitter, depending on type, may degrade the signal sent by the D1 resulting in loss of signal and distortion. [ Patrick  May 03, 2017 ]
This isn't an amp so you can't hook up just speakers to it (just headphones yes, Speakers without an amp no). It's a Digital to Analog converter that goes in between your Digital source and Amp to improve your sound quality. It has Left and Right RCA outputs that you connect to your Amp, that then powers your speakers. You can run however run as many speakers as you want / your amp will handle but that is a separate part of your sound system from this DAC [ J  May 03, 2017 ]
Thanks for your question. Yes it does, it comes with a 24" USB cable (USB Type-A on one end and USB Type-B on the other). Hope that helps. [ Kenny  Jul 19, 2016 ]  Staff
I've had mine working on win 7 and win 10, no problems at all. no drivers to install, it just plugs and plays. [ Lincoln  May 04, 2016 ]
My Audioengine D1 still works fine after upgrading to Windows 10. No complaints. [ MICHAEL A.  May 04, 2016 ]
I haven't had any problems at all. [ SETH  Dec 24, 2015 ]
Sorry I cannot help you as I use a different operating program [ Harry  Dec 24, 2015 ]
I only have a PC and the D1 works fine, Great product. Ray [ RAYMOND  Sep 18, 2015 ]
Jeff- As far as I know I have had no negative issues with the Audioengine D1 relative to compatibility with Yosemite. The unit does a terrific job of bringing digital audio to life for me. I must say that if I leave it plugged into the USB port for several days I may find that there are some strange sounds or silences that may or may not occur in the middle of a musical passage. If I unplug the USB and reconnect, it goes away instantly and does not happen again unless I leave it plugged in for several more days. Is this a Yosemite issue? No idea. good luck, Dennis [ Dennis  Sep 16, 2015 ]
It works on my iMac, which has Yosemite installed on it. Check system settings, under sound, and output. Also, check Audio Midi Setup. [ Adam  Sep 16, 2015 ]
Again jeremy It is easy to install using the sound app in your computer. Easy instructions provided. [ RAYMOND  Apr 15, 2015 ]
Jeremy followup. The audioengine works great. It so enhances the sound. Worth every penny, [ RAYMOND  Apr 15, 2015 ]
Yes [ DONALD  Apr 15, 2015 ]
I only have Windows 7 and it is compatible. [ RAYMOND  Apr 14, 2015 ]
It does work with windows 8. As long as you have a usb out on your computer. I found usb cables over 3 ft in length sometimes fail to get signal to the device. [ BRIAN  Apr 14, 2015 ]
Using it with windows 8.1. [ Pedro  Apr 14, 2015 ]
I'm an Apple guy so I have not used it with Windows 8 but can't imagine it wouldn't be. [ HAROLD  Apr 14, 2015 ]
Sorry I've got mine connected to my tv to older system Bose [ THOMAS  Apr 14, 2015 ]
I use a Mac but this should work just fine with a PC running Windows. You just need to make sure that you have and output set to use the proper port. I really like this unit. It is very simple and sounds great! [ ERNEST  Apr 14, 2015 ]
If it accepts RCA input, then yes. [ Peter  Nov 22, 2014 ]
I do not understand enough about the significance of PCI circuitry to answer the question. If you are referring to the high end Bryston components it seems to me that the Audioengine D1 DAC is not as high end as the Bryston and you are not doing justice to the sensitivity of the Bryston component. [ HONG  Nov 22, 2014 ]
This unit replaces any sound card you may have in your computer system. It connects to your PC using a USB port. The outputs of the DAC can be connected to your stereo either through RCA plugs or an optical connection. There is only the USB port for input because it replaces your sound processors so needs direct access to the digital content. [ DAVID  Nov 22, 2014 ]
Unfortunatelly the D1 only has USB and optical SPDIF inputs, and can't be connected directly to a PCI slot in a computer. Any USB port on your computer would provide power/data to the D1. However, if you have optical SPDIF out on your motherboard, it should produce even cleaner output for your stereo system. You would just need to feed 5V to its USB port via any USB charger. I use an extra smartphone charger I had laying around, [ Alberto  Nov 22, 2014 ]
I do not know! [ MURRAY  Nov 22, 2014 ]
Hi Susan, I'm not sure I could technically answer your question since I do use headphones with this DAC, mainly cutting sound for videos and I did find it more than adequate - I also use Sennheiser, though HD280 model - but I mainly got it too listen to my music directly from computer since I ripped my thousands of CD and even some vinyls into iTunes so they are all handy, and I paired Audioengine D1 with their speakers that are right next to my screens - they sound great, warm and with good bass, but not overpowering - and I also connected it to my main Harman Kardon amp and I have to tell you that it sounds great, I honestly sometimes forget that these are only mp3 files playing out of my computer and not the full CD audio quality files. I recommend the gizmo, it's worth it. Hope this helps. [ DEJAN  Nov 11, 2014 ]
I believe so..........! [ MARK A  Nov 11, 2014 ]
I can't speak to those particular headphones. I use mine with Grado SR80 which are 32 ohms. I primarily use the D1 as input to Audioengine A2 speakers. I am very pleased with the results and get plenty of volume. [ DANIEL  Nov 11, 2014 ]
It should provide enough power for those headphones, but may leave you with an uncomfortable lack of overhead knowing that youre maxing out the volume. According to audioengine, its good enough for headphones up to 300 ohms, but the signal to noise ratio will determine how much volume you get out of them. I would personally recommend a standalone amp such as one of the budget offerings from Schiit audio. Good luck and enjoy [ PABLO  Nov 11, 2014 ]
Yes. plugging in headphones will mute the speakers [ DANIEL  Jan 03, 2014 ]
Jeff, The answer is yes. When you use the headphone jack the rear analog outputs are muted. I am not sure about the digital outs. [ STEVEN  Jan 03, 2014 ]
Yes, Although I still check about ten times a day just to be safe. The rca outputs are disabled when headphones are plugged in. [ BRIAN  Jan 02, 2014 ]
Yes, the speakers are auto muted when you plug in headphones into the D1. [ NORMAN J  Jan 01, 2014 ]
Yes with the headphones plugged in and the audio engine D1 powered the speakers are muted. The headphones sound great as well. [ GORDON  Jan 01, 2014 ]
Yes they are. [ Peter  Jan 01, 2014 ]
yes [ cmm373  Jan 01, 2014 ]
The answer is yes [ BRIAN M  Jan 01, 2014 ]
I can't say the speakers get muted, but when I forget to unplug my headphones, I have to turn the volume way up to get any sound from the speakers. [ michael  Jan 01, 2014 ]
Jeff r. Yes, the speakers I have connected are muted when I plug in my headphones. [ LARRY  Jan 01, 2014 ]
I don't own any headphones...sorry~ [ TODD  Jan 01, 2014 ]
Yes, it does. The setup manual states that the analog output will be muted also. [ DAVID  Jan 01, 2014 ]
Joe, Not sure....it has an optical output so it should work, cannot say for sure. I'm hooked up to my home office computer. Dan [ DAN  Jan 03, 2014 ]
I have not even tried the optical input. I got it mostly for the USB part to be able to listen to music on the computer. However, below is a quote directly from the owners manual which may be useful to you: The D1 can process digital audio at any bit depth up to 24 bits, and any sample rate up to 192KHz. The D1 USB input can accept a USB audio stream from your computer or other USB source device. The D1 optical input can accept optical (PCM stereo) streams from any optical (TOSLINK) source, such as TVs, Apple TV®, DVD/BluRay players, CD players, etc. Note: optical sources must be set to PCM Stereo. [ NICK  Jan 01, 2014 ]
I don't know if it will work with a DVD player, but it surely a nice set of headphones sound GREAT. I use it as an headphone amplifier on when listening to music on laptop. [ RORY P  Dec 31, 2013 ]
Joseph, I've never connected it to a DVD Blu-ray player, but I have used it with the optical out on my TV, and it worked just fine. I'm sure it would work with your Blu-ray. I love the D1, btw...I use it daily with my computer. Matt [ MATT  Dec 31, 2013 ]
Yes, we operate the unit that way with our Sony Blue-ray DVD player BDP-S580. [ ERIC L  Dec 31, 2013 ]
Also, the unit is powered through the USB port. I used my iPhone charger with success. If your TV has a powered USB port, you can hook into that as well with the cord supplied with the D1. [ CARL M  Dec 31, 2013 ]
Yes, but it will depend on the media. If the DVD is playing in a surround mode like 5.1, you will not have sound. Can you set the preference to 2 channel stereo? [ CARL M  Dec 31, 2013 ]
Joe, I can't definitively say. I do have the product and have been quite happy with it. I have it connected to my computer via standard RJ-45 network cable. I have it further connected to a pair of Emotiva 4 desktop monitors. From looking at your Blu-Ray player pics online, it appears you have this connector available. I believe it should work. What I would advise it to email Audioengine with the question. I also believe you can order the device and try with the understanding that you can return it. If I recall Crutchfield allows a return on the product within 30 days. [ brock275  Dec 31, 2013 ]
It has an optical input so I assume it should. [ HAROLD  Dec 30, 2013 ]
Mine works perfectly with the optical out from my computer. You will still need to power it through the USB port. I use a USB cable and 120 V USB charger from my old iPhone. [ FRED N  Dec 30, 2013 ]
Hi Joe, yes it will, as long as your Blueray player,s optical output is set to PCMas this what it will see(Audioengine D-1). I have mine connected to a Technnics A-10 DVD Audio player and my computer, it works great!.The Priority function for the D-1,s inputs is optical..so if you have your computer USB pluged in it will not be useable, until the DVD player is turned Off. I hope this helps you..Ron P [ Ronald  Dec 30, 2013 ]
I agree with Richard W (above). The D1 can read stereo input only. 5.1 or 7.1 is a no-go. [ Robert  Dec 30, 2013 ]
I used optical out (with miniTosLink cable) from Apple Airport Express to the D1. Worked fine. [ Robert  Dec 30, 2013 ]
I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing it will -- this is assuming you configure your blu ray to transmit a stereo signal that is compatible with the D1's input (24/96 is the max I believe). If your blu ray is transmitting 5.1 or 7.1, my guess is that the D1 won't be able to decode it. Your best bet is to email audioengine to be sure. [ RICHARD  Dec 30, 2013 ]
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