The new SPDIF DAC features the ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DAC using SPDIF optical input instead of USB. It can be used with all devices that outputs a digital optical signal like the Chromecast Audio, CD players, TV’s, computers, sound cards (including Hifime DAC’s with optical output). The DAC has such a small size due to the compact size of the chips used and because it uses an external power supply (not included). The power can be taken from any USB port, USB phone charger or USB battery pack. You can power both the DAC and the Chromecase Audio device from the Chromecast’s USB power supply (with a USB split cable).
The sound from the SPDIF 9018 is very detailed with a great soundstage. The output stage chip, also from Sabre, can drive line level loads (preamps, amplifiers) and most headphones. The chipset has great specs and offer a great sound at this low price. The noise is very low and can be used with also the most sensitive headphones.
The sound can be further improved by using a high quality, low noise power supply like a battery pack/USB charger. There is already an ultra low noise regulator with power filtering capacitors conditioning the USB power, so it will perform well with any normal USB charger.
It accepts any optical signal up to 192kHz and 16, 24, 32bit. Note that you need a good quality optical cable for higher sample rates.
Input: Digital SPDIF optical signal, accepts all sample rates up to 192kHz, 16, 24 and 32 bit
Output: Analog audio through 3.5mm connector
Sabre ES9018k2m DAC chip and SABRE9601 headphone and line out driver
Requires power from microUSB (not included). Note: It doesn’t work as a USB DAC! The microUSB connector is only for power.
Works and sound great with most headphone (including low impedance IEM and high impedance headphones) and all line level devices (preamps, amplifiers)