HiFiBerry announces the DAC2 HD
Did you wonder if the DAC+ Pro can be improved? While we think, you won’t find better value for your money in the <$50 price range, there is still room for better audio quality. It took us a lot of time for engineering, listening and measuring – but now we can finally announce our newest product: the DAC2 HD.
This isn’t just an upgrade of our existing DAC+ Pro design, but a completely new development. Compared to the DAC+ Pro it offers a higher dynamic range, lower noise floor and lower distortions. This is the DAC for people that just want the best.
It also comes with a header for an add-on digital signal processor (DSP). This gives you the opportunity to add signal processing capabilities to it as you might have seen in the Beocreate 4-channel-amplifier and the DAC+ DSP.
While it is a new design, you still get what HiFiBerry is known for: great audio quality, wide software support, huge community of HiFiBerry users.
The DAC2 HD is now available in our web shop .
You might have a lot of questions about the DAC2 HD. Here are is a short Q&A:
Q: When can I buy it?
A: As we’re still dealing with the Covid-19 virus that also impacts our supply chain, it’s hard to fix a specific release date at the moment. We expect it to be available in June 2020.
Q: Where can I buy it?
A: You can buy it directly from us, but also the following dealers:
Q: Does it perform much better than the DAC+ Pro?
A: Yes, it does. Both distortions and dynamic range are clearly improved compared to the DAC+ Pro.
Q: But will I really hear a difference?
A: That’s a question we can’t answer. It not only depends on your equipment, but also your personal skills. Feel free to try it and use our money-back-guarantee if you think it doesn’t make a difference for you.
Q: Will it replace the DAC+ Pro?
A: No, the DAC+ Pro is still a very good DAC and you will still be able to buy it in the future.
Q: Will there be an XLR version of the board?
A: No, not like the DAC+ Pro XLR. There’s a simple reason for it: There simply isn’t enough space for the complex circuitry and huge XLR connectors on the board. We might think about other ways to do this in the future, but you should not expect something like this soon.
Q: Should I buy an expensive linear power supply for best audio performance?
A: Here we disagree with many people. We don’t think so. First: Most “linear” power supplies aren’t really linear, but still switching power supplies (just using a lower switching frequency). Second: The DAC2 HD uses a very complex and ultra-low-noise power supply where is really needs it – close to the circuit. We made lots of tests and measurements. We are very satisfied with the result – even when using a “normal” SMPS. Don’t go for the cheapest thing that you can find, but a good-quality part.
Q: But I don’t agree with you and I want to use a separate power supply with the DAC+ HD.
A: It’s possible to do this, but you need to to a small modification of the board (remove one resistor). Note that we don’t recommend this and it will void the warranty.
Q: Will ist work with HiFiBerryOS?
A: Yes, HiFiBerryOS includes the required drivers and configurations since the April 2020 release.
Q: Will it work with distribution XXX?
A: The driver is already included in the Linux kernel since beginning of 2020. Every distribution that uses an up-to-date Linux kernel should support it out-of-the-box. Some distributions might need an update. Please ask the developers of the distribution you’re using.
Q: We’re the developers of distribution XXX and I need to test this with our distributions.
A: Please contact us by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: What is this DSP module for?
A: The DSP module is based on the DSP we’re using on the DAC+ DSP and the Beocreate 4-channel amplifier. As with these boards it is fully programmable. Using HiFiBerryOS you can easily implement filters and equalizers with it. If you like, you can implement much more complex sound processing routines (incl. FIR filtering) using Analog’s SigmaStudio.
Q: When will the DSP module be available?
A: We can’t commit a specific date, but we expect it to be available in Q3/2020.
Q: There seem to be an analoge header on the board. Can I add the AAmp60 there?
A: Yes, the DAC2 HD is compatible with the AAmp60.
Q: It is compatible with the USB2I2S adapter?
A: Unfortunately it isn’t. There are some technical reasons for this. It will require major changes on the USB2I2S to be compatible with the DAC2 HD.
May 5, 2020