Emotiva Cranks Up Headphone Quality with XDA-2 Amp

The USB DAC/digital preamp/headphone amp boasts sample rates up to 24-bit/192kHz.


Headphones will be a hot holiday gift this year. At some point, however, you may want to pair that set with Emotiva’s XDA-2.

Now, this doesn’t go with cheapie headphones that you may find stuffed into your stocking. This is for serious sound lovers, combining an audiophile-quality DAC, a digital preamp and a high-current headphone amplifier into one component. So even if you don’t have a headphone lover on your list, any audio geek would surely love to have this in the AV rack.

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That’s because the XDA-2 also works as part of a larger home theater setup. It has plenty of inputs, including two coax, two Toslink, one USB and one AES/EBU. It also boasts support for 24-bit/192kHz sample rates on all digital inputs. Just connect the XDA-2 to an Emotiva power amplifier. Of course, it can also serve as a headphone amp with a 0.1-ohm output impedance. “The XDA-2′s analog resistor ladder volume control in precise granular 0.25dB steps and delivers flawless channel tracking down to -100dB attenuation,” says Emotiva about this latest release.

“The XDA-2 will enhance the sound quality of any high performance audio system,” said Dan Laufman, president of Emotiva. “No matter the digital source—or sources—the XDA-2 is ready, with its multiple inputs, its Differential Reference topology, an asynchronous sample rate converter to remove jitter, and the convenience of a front-panel alphanumeric display and a full-function machined aluminum remote control. There’s no better value in DACs today.”

Emotiva is selling the XDA-2 now, with a $399 MSRP and a 30-day in-home trial. At last peek, however, the website was offering a $50 discount, with the promise to ship the product by January 4, 2013.


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