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Audiolab Q-DAC Desktop Headphone Amplifier, USB DAC & Preamplifier - Black

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Audiolab Q-DAC Desktop Headphone Amplifier, USB DAC & Preamplifier - Black

  • Developed on Audiolab's famous award winning M-DAC platform, the Q-DAC offers the sound quality that made the M-DAC the most highly regarded Digital to Analogue Converter in its field, but achieves it with simpler functionality.

  • At the heart of the Q-DAC is the extraordinary ESS Sabre DAC chip, a 32-bit processor that excels in handling the full bit depth and ultrasonic extension of high resolution audio files with incredible accuracy and precision

  • Audiolab's engineers have added a fully asynchronous interface coupled to a minimum jitter Master Clock system that ensures freedom from the undesirable side effects of jitter

  • Just like the M-DAC, the decoded analogue output comes in both Balanced and unbalanced form from the fully Class A balanced output stage giving the listener the option of maintaining fully balanced, noise and interference free connections to a suitable power amplifier such as the new matching M-PWR unit.

  • The Q-DAC gives the listener the choice of two methods of digital processing - Optimal Transient DD and Optimal Spectrum XD. Optimal Transient offers the widest bandwidth and is suitable for retrieving the absolute clarity from high definition recordings. Optimal Spectrum enhances the transparency of all inputs, and is particularly suitable for 'legacy' recordings such as CD's 16-bit/44kHz. With a variety of input choices you can connect any digital source to the Q-DAC. Two digital Optical inputs are mirrored by two digital Coax inputs as well as USB. Whichever you choose to connect you can be sure that the Q-DAC will maximise your listening pleasure and give you unbeatable performance at its price point.

Special Price $599.00

Regular Price: $900.00

Save 33 %



With some carefully selected tweaks here and the removal of a couple of features you may not use there, the Audiolab Q-DAC delivers awesome processing of digital music but places it comfortably into most hi-fi users budget. Like it's larger stable mate the M-DAC it still holds some impressive features and employs a powerful Sabre 32-bit DAC to bring streaming or digital music to life with complete authority. The Q-DAC uses most of the important features of the award-winning M-DAC but loses the remote control, front selector dial, a smaller OLED display, two less digital inputs, XLR outputs and replaces the Sabre 32-bit DAC with the next model down. If you're using an entry to mid-level hi-fi then the Q-DAC becomes a far more suitable addition to your kit after shedding those features that would be somewhat frivolous on anything other than high-end kit. Not only is the Q-DAC a superb digital processor, but its ability to act as both an headphone amplifier and a digital pre-amp gives you so much flexibility for such little outlay. The 32-bit 192kHz ESS Sabre DAC handles full bit depth and extension to high-res audio files such as FLAC or Apple Lossless, and even draws out impressive vibrancy from washed out lower bit-rate files and streaming audio. A couple of finish options is available for the Audiolab Q-DAC; black or silver ensuring this superb DAC will grace almost any hi-fi rack.

Based on the award-winning M-DAC but at two-thirds the price, the Audiolab Q-DAC is hard to beat.

High-quality electronics
Every aspect of the Q-DAC's design has been optimised for the finest sound quality. At its heart is a 32-bit DAC from ESS Technology. This high resolution DAC ensures outstanding levels of detail and note definition. Attention has also been paid to all the other components used. Quality components and circuit boards are used to ensure you hear the most detail possible.

Asynchronous USB
In addition to coaxial and optical digital inputs, the Q-DAC also features a USB interface. This asynchronous device controls your computer's audio output stage for lower levels of jitter and a purer sound. Supporting up to 24-bit/96kHz streaming, you'll be able to listen to music in 'better than CD' quality stored on your hard drive.

Digital pre-amp and built-in headphone stage
If you have active speakers or a power amp and no analogue sources, such as a record deck, then simply plug the Q-DAC straight in and adjust the input and volume to suit. Similarly, the headphone stage is higher quality than most built into integrated amps and is ideal for monitoring music, perhaps whilst sitting at your desk.

Selectable filters
As we all prefer slightly different nuances of sound quality, the Q-DAC comes with Audiolab's selectable filter system. Select from seven different filters to find your ideal sound. What's more, the filters' software is fully upgradable via the USB port.

More than just a simple DAC, the Audiolab Q-DAC can be at the heart of your entire digital system.

Technical Specifications

Additional Information

Colour Black
Warranty 3 years (local)
Availability Discontinued
Product Type Amplifier (Headphone), Amplifier (Preamplifier), DAC (Digital-Analog Converter)
Style/Type Desktop
Features Line-in, Line-out, Optical Input, Optical Output
DAC ESS Sabre 9016
Sampling / Bitrate 192kHz/32bit
Frequency Response (Hz) 20Hz - 20kHz (±0.2dB)
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) <0.002%
Input Connectivity Coaxial, Optical, USB
Output Connectivity 6.35mm Stereo, TOSLINK Optical (SPDIF), Coaxial (SPDIF), RCA (Line-Out)
Microphone None
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