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Arcam irDAC: setting a new standard

Arcam irDAC digital-to-analogue converter


Arcam's rDAC set the standard for mid-price, stand-alone digital-to-analogue converters. Its successor has to be very special and Arcam's new irDAC is just that.

Input options have increased substantially; the number of optical and coaxial inputs has doubled, as has the type of USB inputs, allowing a direct connection from an iPod, iPhone and iPad as well as from a PC or Mac. (The irDAC also charges a connected Apple device.) Phono outputs have now been joined by a digital output, too.

Arcam has not just increased the number of connectivity options; the company has also enhanced the performance over the rDAC - not an easy thing to do but no wonder given that the irDAC inherits components and design considerations from Arcam's FMJ D33 DAC (which costs five times the £400 asking price of the irDAC). Build quality is up to Arcam's usual high standards, the irDAC's chassis being constructed of solid aluminium.

Digital cables, a phono lead and a USB cable are supplied, as is a power supply unit. However, performance can be improved further still by substituting the cables with ones by, say, Chord or QED. And the irDAC can be powered by Arcam's A19 amplifier.

The irDAC is also supplied with an infra-red remote control that can be used to switch inputs and control playback of, say, an iPod, iPhone or iPad.

With stunning sound quality, comprehensive connectivity and a remote control, the Arcam irDAC is an essential purchase for anyone wanting to listen to digital music through their hi-fi. To hear the difference for yourself, visit Hi-Fi Stereo.

Date of article:16/10/2013

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