Beyerdynamic Impacto Essential - USB DAC & Amp Announced

Looking to make an essential impact

by hodg100 Apr 12, 2017 at 5:26 PM

  • Beyerdynamic has announced the Impacto Essential, a slimline mobile USB DAC and headphone amplifier which inserts into the audio transmission chain between the player and headphone.
    Its casing is barely larger than a cable remote control and features buttons for volume, play/pause and skipping tracks so the music playback can conveniently be controlled. The built-in Sabre32 Mobile Reference DAC decrypts high-resolution audio signals up to a resolution of 32-bits and 384kHz when this device class typically achieves maximum values of 24-bit/192kHz.

    The compact USB DAC even supports DSD signals (Direct Stream Digital) of up to 5.6 MHz, a format that is normally the preserve of stationary transducers. For users, this could mean that there is no need for bulky hi-fi devices or extra high-resolution players anymore.

    Thanks to its integrated and practically noise-free amplifier, says Beyerdynamic, the Impacto Essential is ideal for use with low- and high-impedance headphones. For playback, computers and players with USB ports can be used. For this purpose, three connection cables are included in the box: the version with the larger plug (USB-A) is primarily intended for notebooks and PCs. The USB type C variant is more and more used with smartphones and tablets. The customary Micro-USB standard is available for classic Android devices. Apple users will have to be patient as a separate solution for the Lightning connector is under way.

    The Impacto Essential works on all devices that have a USB host function. This is generally the case with notebooks but most of the latest Android smartphones and tablets are also appropriately equipped – in their case, the function is called "USB On-The-Go (OTG)". Once connected, the digital-analogue converter handles the player’s full audio signal processing. This means that the sound quality no longer depends on the components of the playback device. Instead, the DAC converts the high-resolution music data back to analogue format and amplifies it.

    Furthermore, the DAC uses a hi-res LED as a control function. When it lights up, the player is sending high-resolution audio information to the digital-analogue converter. As a playback program, users can select a hi-res player app of their choice.

    The Impacto Essential will have its world première from the 29th to the 30th of April 2017 at the Tokyo Headphone Festival. It can then be tested at High End in Munich from the 18th to the 21st of May 2017.

    The USB DAC will be available from June for €329.

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