irDAC: REVIEW | Tone Audio | Sound Organisation

Tone Audio magazine reviews the irDAC from Arcam.

The Arcam irDAC is a compact desktop DAC that allows users to attach their computer or other digital audio devices to their audio system. It upgrades the sound quality through its excellent on-board digital-to-analog converter chip and uprated power supplies. Its has one USB, two digital coax and two optical inputs, and a solid aluminum case. Its RCA outputs are compatible with almost any HiFi stereo system. Find a retailer to experience the excellent sounding irDAC from Arcam.

Arcam IRDac
Arcam IRDac

Excerpts from the review:

There’s something about visual and operational simplicity that resonates with me, which is why I’m drawn to Arcam’s irDAC ($700), an understated unit about the size of a John Grisham paperback novel.

How non-fatiguing is the irDAC’s sound? A nearly eight-hour eulogy-writing marathon that should have left me alternating between music and silence instead triggers a relaxed flood of creativity. And I find myself digging deeper into my digital jazz collection.

With the irDAC, the lossless streaming service TIDAL sounds just as terrific from my MacBook music server as it does from my iPhone, via the iPod port. The irDAC and the $20-per-month TIDAL service is a fantastic combination for those craving good sound and a large music library on a limited budget. The ability to access the digital signal from an iDevice is a major bonus. A friend comes over with a few tracks on his iPhone, and we’re listening within moments.

Oftentimes, products in the sub-$1,000 category come with “yes, but” at the end of the review. This is not the case with the Arcam irDAC; it performs all the critical functions with ease and provides every input type necessary for complete digital integration. It’s so good that our publisher has decided to purchase the irDAC as TONE’s reference in the sub-$1,000 category—and we happily give it our first Exceptional Value Award of 2015.

Read review.