ARUA1 DAC and headphone amp
An amp that comes to life when you play high-resolution music
Requires OS X 10.6.8 or higher Codecs DSD, FLAC and DXD
If you’re a devotee of high definition digital music, you’ll already know that iTunes and your Mac’s onboard digital to analogue conversion just won’t cut it. You need an external DAC.
A few DAC/headphone amp combos have been released in recent months, including models from Onkyo and TEAC, and while the ARUA1 looks similar to competing DACs it differs in key areas. Rather than being designed to work with iOS devices and sporting a rechargeable battery, the ARUA1 is designed for your Mac. It connects and is powered over USB, and has been designed specifically for high impedance headphones.
From the gold RCA connectors on the back to the sturdy volume knob on the front, it’s an impressively solid unit. We tested it with hi-res music and B&W P7 headphones, and the result was hugely impressive. Music is simply more engaging, more detailed and more immersive when you can hear it in such fine detail.
The ARUA1 comes with a licence for JRiver Media Center, one of a handful of apps which supports hi-res audio on the Mac and which has an interface that makes iTunes look like a work of art – but it does the job. At £399, the ARUA1 is more expensive than some other DAC/headphone amps, but it’s built better and supports higher-resolution output. Kenny Hemphill
If you already have a good pair of headphones for your Mac, the ARUA1 should be next on your list.
The ARUA1 won’t take up much
room on your desk, but it will completely change the way you
listen to music on your Mac.
Very solidly built
Includes JRiver Media Center
No rechargeable battery