Audiolab M-DAC nano Wireless DAC with Headphone Amplifier
Audiolab M-DAC nano review
"What Hi-Fi? Awards 2019 winner. We haven't come across a better portable DAC Tested at £149 / $199"
By What Hi-Fi?
The M-DAC nano is a multi-function portable headphone amplifier and DAC combination. Designed to enhance your portable music playback experience, the M-DAC nano transforms your digital music signal to a level of high-fidelity, wirelessly and on-the-go. Universally suited to in-ear or over-ear headphones of various impedance levels, the M-DAC nano, the M-DAC uses sophisticated digital filtering with upscaling to give an impressive sonic boost to whatever you’re listening to.
Similar in size to a small matchbox, the M-DAC Nano is a simple way to transform headphone sound quality when you’re on the go. It connects wirelessly to Android phones, iPhones, tablets and more via Bluetooth, untethering the listener’s headphones from the playback device. And that’s not the only thing that’s wireless. The M-DAC Nano’s built-in battery supports Qi wireless charging – simply pop it on the supplied charging pad to wirelessly charge it for up to eight hours of playing time.
Hi-res 32-bit/384kHz-capable DAC technology lies at its heart, with upsampling of data received over Bluetooth to enhance sound quality. The integrated Bluetooth v4.2 receiver supports the aptX and AAC codecs, in addition to Bluetooth’s standard SBC format. All this advanced digital processing is coupled to Class H analogue amplification, with auto-sensing to adapt the output to suit the load.
A choice of ‘standard’ and ‘enhanced’ audio modes is available – the former offers extended battery life while the latter optimises sound quality. A press of the ‘function’ button (labelled ‘f’) engages enhanced mode. Volume is adjusted using a side-mounted, 64-step rotary control; this also has a ‘press’ function, which can be used to pause content and skip forward or back, and the built-in MEMS microphone enables hands-free calls when paired with a smartphone and may also be used to engage Siri or Google Assistant on iOS or Android devices respectively.
Other features include auto-pause when headphones are disconnected and auto-power-off to conserve battery charge after 10 minutes of inactivity.
Measuring 44x44x14mm and weighing just 28g, the Audiolab M-DAC Nano is easy to slip into a pocket, while the playback device it’s paired with may be stashed up to 10m away. It also comes with a protective faux leather pouch with a clip to attach to a shirt, belt or bag, whilst keeping the controls accessible.
Input Bluetooth V4.2
Sampling Rate Upsamples to 32-bit / 384kHz
Output 1 x 3.5mm Headphone Socket
30mW per channel @ 32 Ohms
7.5mW per channel @ 300 Ohms
Output Impedance 8 Ohms - 300 Ohms
Audio Codec aptX, aptX LL, AAC, SBC
Supported Input Devices iOS, Android, PC, MAC
Connection Type Plug and Play
Power Requirements Rechargeable (Inductive Charging)
Included Accessories Charging Pad, Leather Pouch, USB Cable
Dimensions (H x W x D) 44 x 44 x 14mm
Colour Choice Silver
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