Browse portable DAC and headphone amplifier CEnrance DACPortable


2017-02-22 17:00:15




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Few people know, but that CEntrance was one of the first developers that submitted a truly portable DAC. Their DACPort was presented in 2009. Since then has passed many years, the model has been further developed , and then DACPortable, which today will be discussed.

Generally, the secret of the success of the company on the one hand simple, and very complicated. I mean, it's quite simple: take a good DAC, it right «cooking»: clean power, two oscillator, jitter is less than the measurable limit. Then add to this amplifier in class A, powered by a cleared power supply ±9V, giving more than 700 mW of power, and get exactly what you need. But in practice, until to realize this could only CEntrance, by the way, if you look , to draw conclusions quite easily.

In General, DACPort HD was very successful, but he was a minus — portable devices can't give so much power via USB, so it is normal to power. Partly it was intended to solve the model DACPort HD Slim, but how to be with these sweet digits 770 mW? The solution is quite obvious — to ensure the device's own battery, which will provide the needed nutrition without reducing the already feeble battery life of the smartphone. Well, «and that two times not to rise», CEntrance added a simple tone control like in the older models of their HiFi-M8. And so it happened DACPortable.



  • DAC: AK4490
  • the
  • frequency Range: 20 Hz – 40 kHz
  • the
  • the Ratio signal/noise: 110dB
  • the
  • Total harmonic distortion + noise: 0,002%
  • the
  • Division: 111 dB @ 1 kHz
  • the
  • Output impedance:
  • the
  • output power: 775 mW @ 32Ω
  • the
  • Recommended load impedance: 16Ω – 600Ω
  • the
  • Max resolution: up to 348 kHz/32 bit, DSD128
  • the
  • Battery: Li-Pol, up to 8 hours
  • the
  • Dimensions: 98 mm × 41 mm × 21 mm
  • the
  • gross Weight: 550 g

Packing and delivery

The Box this time, got a rather unusual printing, made of gray-black colors, but otherwise it's the usual box of cardboard. Inside, in addition to the different papers are the device itself, with a velvety pouch puffs for storage and a MicroUSB cable.

If you plan to use DACPortable the role of stationary device, you should have another MicroUSB cord and charger. To use the DAC with iOS devices need a standard adapter from Apple or its analogs from other companies.


Design and control

Appearance it turned out as simple and utilitarian as his «younger brother» DACPort HD. DAC made of high quality metal, painted in a radical black. Aesthetic decorations provided a logo and the model name, coarsely applied to the upper surface of the white paint. The case is made with a slight curve on one side that gives it a nice asymmetry. The main problem with DACPotrable is its size. DAC itself is, in principle, is small, but its thickness is too large for the device to be worn in pair with a second device, which will act as a source of a digital signal. However, for the true connoisseur of sound, it is unlikely to be a problem, because there were those who carried a HiFi-M8, and he was much more. And popular portable DACs from Chord — clearly smaller in size.

The Basic interface elements located at both ends of the DAPortable. On one side is a MicroUSB input for charging, a switch button, 3 led-battery indicator, and headphone output. For the on/off button press and hold for about a second, it protects against accidental activation in your pocket or bag. On the other side are a MicroUSB input for a digital signal, a connection indicator and the wheel adjust the volume. This adjustment «figure», therefore no noise and imbalance in the channels.

Along the long sides of the device is recessed into the housing switches, on the one hand, the choice of gain, on the other — «Supplement» LF and HF.

In General usage scenario of this mini-harvester is simple: charged, connected to the source of the figures, able to give it via USB (the latter can be, for example, iPhone, Android smartphones or Shanling M1/Hidizs ' AP60), enjoy the result. Time on a single battery charge made I have 7 hours and 20 minutes (in the role of load traditionally made MEEAudio Pinnacle P1, gain low).

Slightly complicated situation when using the device with your computer. As is charging and connected to PC it from different angles, you will need a second cable and charger for «feeding» battery.



To listen To the following equipment was used.

  • Apple MacBook Pro 2016 as the source
  • the
  • the role player
  • the
  • and an extra sources
  • the
  • Headphones: , , , , and others.
  • the
  • Recording high-resolution Lossless-formats (Dr. Chesky have The Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc and others)

The Device from CEntrance — this is the case when you do not have to do the entry with explanations in the style of «you know, for this price...» or there «for devices of this size...». DACPortable not need such pathetic, it's harsh for those who appreciate the sound, and that sound it most.

The Device CEntrance has earned the nickname «wire with gain», not, and , in the sense that «harvesters» companies do not add anything from himself. In General, this is no exception. Already the previous model DACPortHD could be considered almost neutral, but DACPotrable takes another small step in that direction. If you disconnect the tone control, you get the music without the slightest attempt to embellish. This is both the advantage and the disadvantage of this device. After all, who wouldn't like to hear everything, «as is», but not everyone is ready to abandon the usual «jewellery» sound. And not all records are ready to appear before the listener in an undecorated form.

The Bass of this baby is fast, sharp and a little dry, it goes quite deeply, though not extraordinary. Very good DACportable manage the transfer of textures in the bass and separation of instruments, but because of a little dry feed to those who are accustomed to the massive and slow bass may not be enough «weight». Fortunately, this is well adjusted with a switch of the bass boost, though, for my taste, the bass in this embodiment are losing their nice leanness.

The midrange is neutral, detailed and very picky. The device did not add anything from themselves, so those who like «new» emotions, this DAC will not work, it is likely to require a revision of your media libraries. Well recorded tracks sound very very good, but those where the performers and the sound technicians faked, clearly showing his empty essence. While DACPortable and avoids the other extreme — the cold of field devices with monitor-suspended flow. In General, the optimal choice for connoisseurs of quality records and «high genres», these same records providing. Imaginary scene a little less «perfect» in width, but very close to it, depth also developed close to the optimum. Tools are placed at a normal distance, their nature and amount are transmitted reliably. With good headphones, there is a very natural presence.

Treble... don't even know what to write about them, they are also embellished, with good attack, slightly accelerated (but not critical) damping and excellent intelligibility. If you want, you can add a little «airiness» switch treble, but «top» added very gently, without harshness. To sibilant this little chap is critical, he did not add, but if the track they are going to get «white light» and carefully demonstrate.

As to the comparison, then, perhaps, compare it I can only with other devices from CEntrance. DAPortable has more deep bass and a bit better treble controls. Also for me it is wider builds an imaginary scene. Compared with the Mini-M8, «portabl» slightly loses in resolution, but also a little deeper in the bass. Well, « — sounds a bit nastier and sharper, with a slightly lower resolution, but greater emotionality.



As DACPortable have a switch gain, it works quite well with any load, from sensitive IEM to full-size istinam. Of course, the most tight or most sensitive models, it still does not fit, but most normal headphones he «tough».

Due to the technical nature of sound «portabl» especially good for high-quality voice recordings with a small number of instruments, but also other genres he plays with enviable technical skills. To the quality tracks he is very picky, due to inherent «of ruthlessness to enemies of the Reich». On a 10-point scale «sensitivity to the quality of the recording» he deserves at least 8 points.

of Course, some tracks for example

Roger Waters — Three Wishes. For those who missed the spirit of the «the Pink Floyd» designed the track. Somehow paradoxically, in solo work waters sometimes sounds more gilarewski than the Gilmore. Probably will not roll in comparing the two great mu...


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