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Schiit introduce Modi 3 DAC, still $99

  • Who makes the best value DACs in the world today? No stronger case could be made than for California’s Schiit Audio whose range of decoders mixes multibit with delta-sigma designs across a broad spectrum of price points. Their flagship Analog 2 Yggdrasil (US$2399) reminds us that high value can also be among multi-thousand dollar audio components.

    At the opposite end of their DAC range sits the Modi, which today officially steps out as a third generation budget decoder to put a bullet in the Modi 2 and Modi 2 Uber.

    For the Modi 3, Schiit has upped the delta-sigma decoder silicon to the 24bit/192kHz-capable AKM AK4490 which in turn hands off to a DC-coupled output stage.

    The biggest change relate to connectivity. The Modi 3 adds TOSLINK and coaxial to the previous version’s USB-only design to say hello to TVs, Chromecast Audios and games consoles – as per the Modi 2 Uber – but drops the price to US$99.

    And that new S/PDIF socketry calls for an external power source. Go with USB from a computer or use the supplied wall-wart and microUSB cable that additionally enables the Modi 3 talk to smartphones and tablets without iOS or Android complaining about too much power draw.

    Mike Moffat Schiit’s co-founder and chief digital designer drives the progress point home via the Modi 3’s press release:

    “The original Modi in 2012 was a USB-only DAC that worked only up to 24/96 and provided only 1.5V RMS output due to its simple USB power supply. Now, Modi 3 gives you three switchable digital inputs, a better D/A converter, 24/192 capability, a dual rail power supply and full 2.0V RMS output—and we included a wall-wart and a USB cable, for the same price as the original Modi.”

    Schiit doesn’t sit on its hands. Moffat and Jason Stoddard develop and redevelop products so that they not only earn a reputation for high value but also maintain that reputation. When it comes to bang for buck, Schiit’s competition largely lives in their rear-view mirror.

    Further information: Schiit Audio

    Photos: Lee Shelly

    John H. Darko

    Written by John H. Darko

    John is the editor of Darko.Audio, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is an occasional contributor to 6moons but has previously written pieces for TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile. John used to live in Sydney. Now he lives in Berlin.

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