With the demise of the iPod, the number of high quality portable players has jumped. Case in point are these two new players from Questyle. Both play DSD and Double DSD files along with about a dozen PCM formats up to 24/192. The players also feature the company's unique "current mode" headphone amplification.
Another music server that caught my eye was the latest offering from SOtM, which will hit retailers in February for around $3k. Though the front of the box is plain, this is a full-featured machine, as evidenced by the back panel. USB inputs and outputs support up to 32/384 PCM and native DSD, and networking support for DLNA is included.
Another interesting small package from Pro-Ject is the new Bluetooth BOX S which includes aptX for streaming from your pad or smartphone. Pro-Ject says the BOX S can memorize up to eight different Bluetooth sources and works up to about 30 feet away. There are both 3.5mm stereo analog and optical digital outputs.
BTW, the plastic panel on the front is not a display, but hides the antenna.
This is one of the smallest boxes I've seen that handles both streaming and conversion, and the price is tiny to match: $249. The BurrBrown chip inside handles up to 32/384 via USB and there are also analog RCA outputs on back. Though not listed in the catalog, there is a filter switch on the display unit.
Pro-Ject also has another new streamer that didn't make it to the show called the Stream BOX S. It will include UPnP and DLNA ethernet and WiFi connectivity to your network and support app control of your streams. No pricing yet, but should show up near the middle of the year.
The DAC BOX has now been upgraded to include DSD decoding in addition to 24/192 PCM. There are USB 2.0, SPDIF and optical inputs as well as analog RCA outputs on the back and a button for two filter settings on the front. Price is $499.
This is a handsome iPod like player with 4.65 inch OLED display on the front and a pair of memory slots on the top (as shown in the photo below). The slots included are one micro SD and one regular SD with current maximum capacity of 512GB. The company says that they should be able to accept cards of up to 2TB in the future.
Though they only had a prototype board (in the photo below) as well as the poster (in the photo above) in the room, Calyx were announcing the new PaT DAC which should hit retailers in February for $99. Handles PCM up to 16/48, but no DSD. One interesting feature is the buttons on the panel can control your play, volume and skip features on the connected phone.
In the Devore Fidelity room was the Line Magnetic DAC that sports both a tube and solid state user-selectable output section via a front panel switch. Async USB, SPDIF, optical and AES/EBU connectors on the back and the LM-502CA has been updated inside to accept up to 32/356 PCM. Available now for $1,795.
This is the third year I've seen QAT at CES and they seem to making steady improvements. Part of that progress is the new RS3 server, from their lower-priced KUAN series, which retails for $1,800 and is available now. Features include a front-loading replaceable 2.5 inch HDD/SSD with capacity up to 2TB as well as both PCM and DSD support.
Rega has updated their compact DAC with a new remote control and three user selectable digital filters. A pair of Wolfson DAC chips inside handle digital files up to 24/192 via USB, SPDIF or optical digital inputs. There are also unbalanced analog, SPDIF and optical digital outputs on the back. Retail price is $1,195 and the DAC-R is available now.