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Emotiva begin shipping XDA-2 DAC

  • It’s been a long time between drinks for Emotiva DAC fanciers but it looks like the folks in Tennessee have at last begun shipping their XDA-2 DAC.

    I really liked the XDA-1 (still do) and this new unit packs in even more features. A headphone output has been added that promises to “power all standard headphones with a low 0.1 ohm output impedance…”. The USB has been lifted way above the XDA-1’s 16/48 ceiling: ALL six inputs on the new model handle up to 24/192. Volume attenuation is no longer digital, it’s analogue: the XDA-2 runs with a resistor ladder implementation.  This has to be one of the least expensive DACs to come to market with balanced outputs.

    Armchair audiophiles with allergies to op-amps will probably take one sniff of the specifications sheet and steer clear. Pragmatists should stay the distance; why not take advantage of the 30-day in-home trial? At US$349, it’s not exactly a wallet destroyer.

    A DAR reader informs me that Emotiva have confirmed that they are still shipping direct to Australia.

    Further information: Emotiva


    EDIT:  This has now been reviewed here.

    John Darko

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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    1. hi
      do you think it will go with beolab 8000?
      i want to connect my mac through the emotiva to the speaker.

    2. I was wondering how would the XDA-2 compare with something like the Audio GD NFB 3.32/2.32…

      The 3.32 costs the same. I know its only a stand alone DAC and does not have bal outputs, but this doesnt matter anything.

      I believe mr. Darko reviewed the 3.32 or 2.32. He is referenced on the Audio GD site 🙂

      Any impressions/comparisons welcome!
      Best regards, Luke

      • I doubt there’d be much to separate them. If in doubt, go with the Audio-gd as it’s an easy on-sell if you don’t like it.

        • Ok thanks!

          I already own an Audio GD product and Im quite happy with it.
          I was just wondering because I ll be getting the Emotiva Mini-X and the Hifiman HE-5LE to use together.
          So I was looking for an amp under 400 bucks and the NFB 3.32 seemed great.
          Just now I the XDA-2 got released, so Im taking it into consideration as well.
          I was perhaps thinking that the Emotiva products could have better synergy, but since the Audio GD products are also great and neutral, there shouldnt be any problems either.

          Thanks nonetheless.
          Best regards, Luke

    3. Hi John

      Is this Dac comparable with the Peachtree DacIt having regard to the price, (the Emotiva is about $150 cheaper). Which would you buy?


      • Sorry, couldn’t comment conclusively on how they compare sonically. There won’t be too much in it. Perhaps the Peachtree would have the edge on detail retrieval.

        • Thanks John
          Only recently picked up the Peachtree and only being a novice in computer based music was surprised at the detail I had never really heard prior to the DacIt. Previously used a Zonar Essence STX PCI-E card (and at the time thought it was the end all. Little did I know and still learning.) Using it as a bridge only now. Read your review of the DacIt and John Kenny’s piece re USB -v- CoAxial, interesting, although I don’t think my hearing is up to discerning the difference.

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