In what’s reported to be a first for Digital Audio Players (DAP), Onkyo’s new DP-X1 features two digital-to-analog converters (DAC) and two amps with balanced headphone output for greater power and control. The device supports hi-res digital music playback in WAV and FLAC formats, has native DSD, too, and is one of the first to support the MQA standard. It runs an Android-based OS and features two micro-SD slots that take its storage potential right up to 432 GB.
At the heart of the DP-X1 Digital Audio Player are two ESS Technology Sabre ES9018K2M DACs and two Sabre SABRE9601K amps with balanced headphone output. The power supply has been moved well away from the DACs and amps in an effort to keep noise at bay. The CPU and analog circuitry have been separated into a second PCB for the same reason. The device boasts less than 0.006 percent distortion, 115 dB or more SNR, an impedance of 32 to 600 ohms (balanced) or 16 to 300 ohms (unbalanced) and a frequency range of 20 Hz to 80 kHz.
The player can handle playback of digital formats such as WAV, FLAC, ALAC and AIFF up to a resolution of 24-bit/384 kHz and also native DSD up to 11.2 MHz, but can also convert playback audio to DSD in real-time. It’s one of a number of audio devices showcased at CES last week that support Meridian Audio’s MQA format, a new standard launched in December last year that’s aimed at capturing and preserving the sound of the original studio recording and delivering it in a digital package small enough for streaming.