Emotiva XDA-1 Differential Reference DAC for the Audiophile


In Use

There is something that you need to consider here. If you have a pre/pro or a source device that already has a great DAC, you may not need the XDA-1. If you have an older model CD player with digital outs or an older model receiver or processor…or a home theater PC with all of your precious music on it in a lossless format of your choice, the XDA-1 may be the thing you are looking for. I found myself going through dozens of CDs from my collection to critically listen to old familiar music.

I listened through my Oppo 980/XDA-1 and through my Sony BD-S570 via HDMI through my UMC-1. The sound of the XDA-1 was slightly fuller, with better stereo separation and expanded instrument placement than the 980, but it was considerably better sounding than the S570, which sounded thin and anemic in comparison. I also noticed no "clicks" in between tracks on music that I sometimes hear when going through my pre/pro. In fact, the XDA-1 was deathly quiet, or perhaps I should say my F12s were quiet when the music came to a close. Even up close, I did not detect any hissing from my speakers. This may also be in part to my new monoblocks, but I don't think you should expect to hear any sound quality loss via the XDA-1. Of all my listening sessions, I felt that the Oppo to the XDA-1 and the XDA-1 directly to the amps provided the best sound quality overall. This set up would make for a super two channel system that would be easy enough to operate for your wife or teen aged kids. Like I said, you turn it on and select your input. Sit back and listen. It is that simple.