ESS Technology is pleased to extend an invitation to meet at CES 2019

January 8th – 11th, Venetian Hotel, Floor 30, Suite 201 and 203

Milpitas, California – ESS Technology invites you to come and hear the convergence of audiophile sound and USB connectivity.  At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show ESS will be debuting a suit of new products for USB-C connectivity as well as a low-power audiophile solution with hardware MQA rendering.   The hardware rendering makes easy work of MQA implementation.     These products bring exciting options to audiophile, mobile, professional, and consumer applications.   The meetings and demonstrations are by appointment only and are in our suites at the Venetian (suite 30-201 and suite 30-203). Our executives will be attending and look forward to discussing our new products.  Please let us know your specific interest so we can arrange the appropriate team to ensure it is a productive meeting.  Take the opportunity to listen to our award-winning SABRE DACs and learn about our roadmaps for key audio components. ESS SABRE DACs are used in a wide range of applications, bringing out the best sound quality and experience for each device.

We look forward to seeing you at CES!

Please arrange meetings through your local representative or contact: www.esstech.com

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About ESS Technology
For more than three decades, ESS Technology has been on the cutting edge of audio technology. A privately-held fabless semiconductor company, ESS Technology designs and markets high-performance analog and HiFi audio devices for mobile, consumer, automotive, and professional audiophile systems. The company was founded in 1984 and Today ESS Technology is best known for its SABRE series of high-performance audio products. For more information, visit http://www.esstech.com.

CES 2018 Invitation

ESS Technology is pleased to extend an invitation to meet at CES 2018

January 9th – 12th, Venetian Hotel, Floor 30, Suite 201 and 203

Milpitas, California – The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show offers us the opportunity to demonstrate our newest products for Audiophile, Mobile, Professional, and Consumer applications.   The meetings are by appointment only and are in our Suites at the Venetian (Suite 30-201 and Suite 30-203). Our executives will be attending and are available for meetings.  Please let us know your specific interest so we can arrange the appropriate team to ensure it is a productive meeting.  Please take the opportunity to listen to our award-winning SABRE DACs and learn about our roadmaps for key audio components. ESS SABRE DACs are used in a wide range of applications, bringing out the best sound quality and experience for each device.

We look forward to seeing you at CES!

Please arrange meetings through your local representative or contact: www.esstech.com

About ESS Technology
For more than three decades, ESS Technology has been on the cutting edge of audio technology. A privately-held fabless semiconductor company, ESS Technology designs and markets high-performance analog and HiFi audio devices for mobile, consumer, automotive, and professional audiophile systems. The company was founded in 1984 and Today ESS Technology is best known for its SABRE series of high-performance audio products. For more information, visit http://www.esstech.com.

LG V30 and V30+ Smartphones Feature Audiophile Performance from ESS Technology

LG V30 and V30+ Smartphones Feature the ES9218P Integrated HiFi SoC with 32-bit stereo channels, QUAD DAC, HyperStream® II and 2Vrms Headphone outputs

Milpitas, California – ESS Technology, the industry leader in HiFi audio and analog design, announced today that its newest headphone System-on-Chip (SoC), The ES9218P, powers the latest V30 and V30+ smartphones by LG.

The new V30 and V30+ build on the Hi-Fi audio system with QUAD DAC™ that was first introduced by its predecessor.  The new phones feature a 32-bit Advanced Hi-Fi audio system powered by ESS Technology’s ES9218P.  The ES9218P has improved performance and allows new customization features to match the sound-quality expectations of the most discerning listeners.  Users can now customize the digital filters within the QUAD DAC technology to their specific tastes, and the sound can be further refined with additional user controls.

ESS and LG worked together so that the user can control channels independently as well as tailor the output filters to match personal preferences, these types of features were previously only available on very high-end home audio systems costing thousands of dollars.  ESS also worked to improve the specifications and tolerances of the part, achieving a distortion rate below 0.0002 percent and the best possible performance for each individual user.

“LG is continuing to raise the bar on audio performance.  They are focused on bringing the audiophile experience from the living room to the smartphone. The V30 and V30+ are a great choice for people who truly appreciate great sound,” said Shawn Scarlett, Marketing Director for ESS Technology.  He continued, “The QUAD DAC technology combined with the powerful processor and built in audiophile streaming service make these phones a great replacement to stand-alone audio players, and they don’t require bulky adaptors.”

At the heart of the ES9218P is the legendary SABRE® DAC, that provides amazing sound quality with a stable image and immersive sound-stage.  The ultra-low noise QUAD DAC Technology allows users to hear every nuanced detail while the 2V output amplifier can support even the most demanding headphones, providing ample power for clear, solid base with crisp highs.  Wherever you are, you can enjoy a supreme listening experience directly from your new LG smartphone.

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About ESS Technology
For more than three decades, ESS Technology has been on the cutting edge of audio technology. A privately-held fabless semiconductor company, ESS Technology designs and markets high-performance analog and HiFi audio devices for mobile, consumer, automotive, and professional audiophile systems. The company was founded in 1984 and Today ESS Technology is best known for its SABRE series of high-performance audio products. For more information, visit http://www.esstech.com.

Impacto Essential – Digital-Analog Converter in Headphone Cable

Sound enthusiasts chose high-end headphones like the T 1 or T 5 p models from beyerdynamic expecting to get the highest quality experiences, not always provided by the sound source. In order to enable the best possible playback quality from portable devices such as notebooks or smartphones, beyerdynamic has developed the Impacto essential hi-res Digital to analog converter (DAC), which connects directly to USB interfaces.

The new mobile USB DAC was designed to be inserted in the audio transmission chain, between the player and headphone or computer. The Impacto essential elegant casing is barely larger than a cable remote control, while the digital-analog converter with built-in headphone amplifier also provides buttons for volume, play/pause and skipping tracks, allowing full control of music playback form the source device.

The technology inside the Impacto essential includes an ESS Technology’s SABRE9018Q2C System-On-a Chip Sabre32 Mobile Reference DAC that is able to decrypt high-resolution audio signals up to a resolution of 32 bits and 384kHz, while this device class typically achieves maximum values of 24 bit/192 kHz. The new beyerdynamic compact USB DAC even supports DSD signals (Direct Stream Digital) of up to 5.6 megahertz, allowing users to enjoy DSD files in a simple setup.

Technically, the Impact essential is able to provide an output signal of     50 mW with 32 Ω headphones or 7 mW with more demanding 600 Ω models, with 121 dB signal to noise ratio (A-weighted),    0.002 % THD and a crucial     97 dB channel separation. Thanks to its integrated and practically noise-free amplifier, the small and extremely light DAC is ideal for use with low- and high-impedance headphones. Still, according to beyerdynamic, three icons from its current portfolio are suitable playing partners, including the present T 1 (2nd generation) reference headphone, its portable variant the T 5 p (2nd generation) and the new Amiron home Tesla high-end open headphones. All three models have jack plugs on the earcups on both sides – a requirement for connecting the Impacto essential directly.

The new Impacto essential was also design to work with all types of USB host or “USB On-The-Go” interfaces existing in computers and portable players. Three connection cables are included: the version with the larger plug (USB-A) is primarily intended for notebooks and PCs; the Micro-USB connector normally available on classic Android devices; and the increasingly used USB type C connector, already present in modern smartphones, tablets and new laptops. According to the German brand, a separate solution for Apple’s Lightning connector is under way.

Once connected, the digital-analog 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 analog format and amplifies it – with a precision that takes full advantage of the acoustic potential of the beyerdynamic headphones. The Impacto essential DAC also features a LED indicator to signal if the player is indeed sending high-resolution audio information.

The Impacto essential had its world première at the end of April 2017, at the Tokyo Headphone Festival, and was also demonstrated at the High End show in Munich, in May 2017. It will be now available for 329 euros in authorised specialist stores or directly on beyerdynamic’s website.
www.beyerdynamic.com

Original Article

The Korean LG G6 Sounds Sensational

LG did something peculiar with its new G6 flagship smartphone, releasing it with wireless charging as a headline feature in the United States and an upgraded, quad-DAC audio system as a highlight in its native South Korea. There’s no option to have both on your phone, and no opportunity (short of importing the device yourself) to pick the other market’s variant. Today we posted our comprehensive review of the American G6, but I want to talk about the Korean alternative. I want to tell you exactly how much better it is.

The universal problem faced by manufacturers of Android phones is how to differentiate their product from all the others running the same base software. Some would argue that it’s a futile task, and that only an integrated hardware-plus-software approach like Apple’s can really be successful in the long run. That’s probably true, but an Android phone with a single killer feature can still make waves in the market. That’s what I think the quad-DAC LG G6 is.

I’ve been able to test the American G6 extensively and recently took delivery of its Korean sibling. The first phone had me scratching my head for reasons to keep my SIM inside it instead of returning to my Google Pixel and its superlative camera. It’s a very nice phone, but its software is worryingly bad and its camera and battery are just okay. The second G6, however, was so damn impressive that it made me hate the Pixel’s mediocre sound output. I hadn’t noticed how pedestrian the Pixel was in that respect until the radically superior Korean G6 showed up. That’s my definition of a killer feature.

Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

Introduced with the LG V20 last year, LG’s quad-DAC setup employs four digital-to-analog converters to do the job of one, using some clever engineering to combine their calculations and thus purify the output from the headphone jack. Combined with an excellent amplifier, this system delivers an improvement in sound that is instantly and easily recognizable (though it does nothing for wireless audio, mind you).

You don’t have to be an audiophile to appreciate how much better everything sounds on this LG G6, as evidenced by my colleague Sam Byford — an unapologetic AirPods user — also being wowed by it. At the same time, if you want a smartphone that you can call the one for audiophiles to get, the quad-DAC LG G6 is definitely the one. It’s vastly better than the V20; its crude and bulky design has more seams than a Dr. Frankenstein creation.

But if it’s so good, why, you might ask, does LG make it a toggle rather than an automatic feature? The answer is that it drains the battery in a hurry. Yes, every good thing comes at a price, and let’s not forget that for LG there’s a monetary cost as well. For music fans like me, this is a huge deal and a reason to keep the Pixel on the shelf for a little while longer — but for a lot of others, the wireless charging stuff might in fact be preferable. The problem for LG, though? Those people can get wireless charging from many other places. What they can’t get is sound like this.

Original Article

Wyred 4 Sound Updates Their DAC Line With v2

Chipset manufacturer ESS Technology has recently released a new crop of audiophile-oriented Sabre DAC silicone and several DAC designers are taking note. Wired 4 Sound isn’t just taking notes however, as of today, the company is releasing a series of DACs that utilizes each chip in the new SABRE PRO line.

From the ESS company site: “The ESS SABRE PRO series of Digital-to-Analog Converters (DAC) is targeted at premium audiophile and recording studio equipment. The SABRE PRO series sets a new benchmark in high-end audio by offering the industry’s highest dynamic range (DNR) with impressively low levels of total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) in a 32-bit, 8-channel DAC. All PRO SABRE DACs feature ESS’s patented 32-bit HyperStream DAC technology which delivers outstanding sound quality and industry leading performance.”

While offering a better Sabre chip in a better product is nothing new, it is interesting to see a company use the chipset as the main variable for model choice so far in the forefront. It makes sense. Following through with less hoopla and “just listen to it” and more spec-driven upgrades to hold accountable to price is a refreshing take. For those who pay close attention, several manufacturers have historically put lesser cost chip models in higher priced products, but this realm of digital continues to evolve at a faster pace then the rest of high fidelity audio, so few extra years on a DAC saves the comparison from too much scrutiny in any case.

In the case of the v2’s from Wyred 4 Sound, the new DAC-1v2 starts at $1,299 with the ESS Sabre 9026PRO, then jumps up to $2,299 for the 9028PRO in the form of the DAC-2v2. The 9038PRO chip is available as an SE edition to the DAC-2v2 and starts at $3,799. A femto clock is also available as an option for $125 for either the 1v2 or 2v2, and is included with the flagship 2v2SE. The specs are worth a look at (included below), as the SE aims for the top with several “specialty parts” that differentiate it from the opening model. The new line replaces the old series DAC-1 LE, DAC-2 DSD and DAC-2 DSDse models from the company and is available to purchase through Wyred 4 Sound’s dealer network or direct from the W4S site.

More info: https://wyred4sound.com/

 

DAC-1v2 Features
  • ESS Sabre 9026PRO 32 bit DAC chip
  • W4S proprietary discrete output stages for optimum sonics
  • ESS Time Domain Jitter Eliminator®
  • Automatic oversampling for precise output filtering
  • Asynchronous USB input supports up to 32-bit 384kHz PCM and DSD up to DSD256
  • USB 2.0 compliancy & ASIO 2.2 (Drivers support for Mac and Linux systems)
  • USB galvanic isolation
  • Fully balanced design with balanced and unbalanced outputs
  • Oversized toroidal transformer for solid and noise-free power
  • VFD display for input, sample rate and configuration viewing
  • 2x Coax inputs
  • 2x Toslink inputs
  • Proprietary drivers for Windows (no drivers needed for Mac or Linux)
  • Factory selectable mains 115/230VAC
  • Covered by a 5 YEAR WARRANTY
DAC-2v2 Features
  • ESS Sabre 9028PRO 32 bit DAC chip
  • W4S proprietary discrete output stages for optimum sonics
  • ESS Time Domain Jitter Eliminator®
  • Automatic oversampling for precise output filtering
  • Asynchronous USB input and balanced I²S​ input support up to 32-bit 384kHz PCM and up to DSD256
  • Improved audio quality through USB input
  • USB 2.0 compliancy & ASIO 2.2 (Drivers support for Mac and Linux systems)
  • Galvanic isolation
  • Fully balanced design with balanced and unbalanced outputs
  • Upgradable Digital, Output, and USB boards (designed for future improvements)
  • Oversized toroidal transformer for solid and noise-free power
  • 88,000uF of filtering with W4S low ESR “super-cap” (same as used in the STP-SE)
  • VFD display for input, sample rate, volume control, and configuration viewing
  • Remote control
  • Defeatable 32 bit volume control
  • HT Bypass inputs (selectable via DC trigger)
  • 2x Coax inputs
  • 2x Toslink inputs
  • 1x AES/EBU input
  • 1x Balanced I2S input via HDMI cable (note: not standard HDMI cable format)
  • Proprietary drivers for Windows (no drivers needed for Mac or Linux)
  • Factory selectable mains 115/230VAC
  • Compact size (8.5″W x 4.125″H x 13.5″D)
  • 14 lbs.
  • Covered by a 5 YEAR WARRANTY

DAC-2v2 SE (adds the following to the DAC-2v2):

  • ESS Sabre 9038PRO 32 bit DAC chip
  • Custom Vishay Z-Foil resistors (0.1% tolerance and a +/-0.5ppm/°C)
  • Femto Grade Clock (82 fSec phase jitter)
  • Ultra-low noise discrete regulators (100+ times quieter and faster than the stock regulator)
  • Ultra-fast recovery Schottkey diodes
  • Premium grade inductors
  • Upgraded fuse
  • Green OLED display for input, sample rate, volume control, and configuration viewing

Marantz HD-AMP1 Review

Pros

  • Premium-grade construction
  • Elegant retro design
  • Open, transparent sound with insightful treble
  • Warm, well-integrated bass

Cons

  • No network streaming or Bluetooth

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £649.00
  • 70W per channel (4ohms)/35W (8ohms)
  • HDAM-SA2 amplifier modules
  • ESS SABRE DAC, supports up to 384kHz/32-bit and DSD 11.2MHz
  • Marantz Musical Digital Filtering and Dual Crystal Clock
  • 2 x optical, coaxial, USB DAC and USB inputs

What is the Marantz HD-AMP1?

This compact integrated amplifier marks the rebirth of Marantz’s Music Link range, which first emerged back in 1990 with the goal of delivering audiophile sound quality from small, elegant components.

It’s one of three products under the Music Link umbrella, alongside the HD-DAC1 headphone amplifier and £379 HD-CD1 CD player – the latter we’ll be testing with the HD-AMP1 and featuring in a separate review.

Original Article

ESS Technology Brings Advanced Audiophile Features to Mobile Devices for the First Time

The ES9218 Highly-Integrated HiFi SoC combines QUAD DAC, 32-bit stereo channels, Analog Volume Control, 2Vrms outputs and HyperStream® II Technology 

Milpitas, California – ESS Technology, the industry leader in HiFi audio and analog design, today announced its newest and highest performance mobile HiFi subsystem for smartphones and mobile applications.  Focused on bringing the audiophile experience from the living room to the smartphone, the ES9218 SABRE HIFI® System-On-Chip (SOC) integrates QUAD DAC™ 32-bit stereo, high-power headphone amplifiers, ultra-low noise DAC references and output switches to save both space and cost.

The ES9218 introduces advanced features previously found only in Audiophile equipment for a supreme listening experience directly from your mobile device.

HyperStream® II – ESS’s patented 32-bit HyperStream II architecture was introduced in the company’s new SABRE® PRO DAC series, including the ES9038PRO at CES 2016 and delivers previously unheard of sound stage and clarity.

Analog Volume Control (AVC) – Analog Volume Control delivers 130dB SNR at low listening levels by reducing noise as the audio signal decreases.

QUAD DAC Technology – Internally connected parallel quad DACs deliver superb 124dB DNR and -112dB THD+N.

2Vrms Headphone Amplifiers – True 2vrms outputs are capable of driving professional high impedance headphones and deliver professional line-level outputs.

These unprecedented performance levels for a mobile device make the highly integrated ES9218 SABRE HiFi SoC the perfect choice for true audiophile experiences that were previously only available with large, expensive home theater components. “The ES9218 pushes the envelope on performance for an integrated HiFi SoC,” said Robert Wong – Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for ESS. “More important than any numbers that appear on our data sheet is the amazing sound produced by our newest HyperStream II SABRE DAC.  This is the same technology that is being designed into the most demanding high-end audiophile equipment in the world.”

The ES9218 supports the industry’s most popular high resolution and lossless audio formats including FLAC, ALAC, AIFF and WAV.  The ES9218 completely supports compressed legacy formats so the consumer is assured that they will have the best listening experience possible.

Technical Specifications

The ES9218 SABRE HiFi SoC is a 32-bit, 2-channel, parallel quad audio digital to analog converter integrated with headphone amplifiers, analog volume control and output switches designed for audiophile-grade applications in easy to use 40-pin CSP and QFN packages, delivering up to 130dB SNR, 124dB DNR and –112dB THD+N using the ESS patented 32-bit HyperStream II architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator. The ES9218’s integrated DAC supports up to 32-bit 384 kHz PCM and DSD512 data in master or slave timing modes. A fully programmable FIR filter with eight presets provides a customizable sound signature and the ES9218’s integrated headphone amp supports up to 2Vrms output with analog volume control to reduce output noise at real-life listening levels. The integrated output switch allows non-HiFi sources, such as speech to bypass the ES9218 to minimize power consumption.

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About ESS Technology
For more than three decades ESS Technology has been on the cutting edge of audio technology. A privately held fabless semiconductor company, ESS Technology designs and markets high-performance analog and HiFi audio devices for mobile, consumer, automotive, and professional audiophile systems. The company was founded in 1984 and today ESS Technology is best known for its SABRE series of high-performance audio products. For more information, visit http://www.esstech.com.

Best Smartphone 2016

It used to be that you needed to spend a premium price to get the best smartphone, however, the name of the game has changed. Rather than spend $1,000+ on the latest iPhone or Android device, you now have tons of options. This can also make the process of picking your next smartphone a little difficult, especially when you realize that you’ll likely be stuck with whatever device you choose for the next year or two.

Go anywhere with AudioQuest’s DragonFly Black

digital-audio-reviewDigital Audio Review is the leading source for guitar product information and reviews for guitarists. We love gear! That’s why we review everything! We review guitars, accessories, recording gear, studio equipment and guitar lessons.

Guitarists, studio musicians, sound engineers, and techs trust our reviews and buyer’s guides to show them what type of gear they need to create music, build their studios and rigs, and make professional decisions.

Browse through our extensive list of reviews to see what type of gear your rig, studio, or closet is missing.

ESS and Ayre Acoustics Deliver Audio Ecstasy

ESS and Ayre Acoustics Deliver Audio Ecstasy

Milpitas, California – ESS Technology, the industry leader in HiFi audio and analog design, today announced that its flagship SABRE ES9038PRO Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) will be featured in the Ayre Acoustics QX-5 Twenty digital hub being introduced at the Munich High End show for consumer audiophiles. This new cutting edge digital hub leverages the unmatched performance and sound quality of the ES9038PRO to extend Ayre’s decades-long record of groundbreaking innovation in audio systems design.

“ESS always improves on previous products and the ESS SABRE ES9038PRO breaks all the old benchmarks – both qualitatively and quantitatively. It has unmatched technical specifications and more importantly the sound is spectacular,” said Dan Christman, Chief Marketing Officer of ESS Technology. “It was natural for us to collaborate with Ayre, a company revered by both audiophiles and musicians for superb audio quality. The Ayre QX-5 Twenty extends the audiophile excellence that ESS and Ayre have built together over the past decade.”

“When Ayre introduces a new platform, we source the best components and ESS is always at the top of the list. The design of our QX-5 Twenty digital hub was meticulously crafted to deliver an astonishing level of detail and purity,” said Charles Hansen, CEO and Founder of Ayre Acoustics. “The collaboration with ESS allows Ayre to deliver all of the music’s emotional power regardless of the file format.”

About the SABRE ES9038PRO DAC

The flagship ES9038PRO SABRE DAC sets a new benchmark for audio excellence with the industry’s highest dynamic range (DNR), in a 32-bit, 8-channel DAC. The ES9038PRO was designed for premium audio equipment and for serious audiophiles it provides the most immersive listening experience — bringing music to life. It features ESS’ patented 32-bit HyperStream technology with-122dB total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N). The HyperStream architecture is responsible for both the outstanding sound quality of the ES9038 and the extremely low THD+N.

About ESS Technology

For more than three decades ESS Technology has been on the cutting edge of audio technology. A privately held fabless semiconductor company, ESS Technology designs and markets high-performance analog and HiFi audio devices for mobile, consumer, automotive, and professional audiophile systems. The company was founded in 1984 and today ESS Technology is best known for its SABRE series of high-performance audio products. For more information visit http://www.esstech.com.

ABOUT: Ayre Acoustics

Ayre Acoustics, Inc. has been steadily developing a full array of new audio and video technologies since

1993. Pioneering the use of zero-feedback real-time amplification, built on a foundation of the highest performance power supplies, and maximizing the circuit’s performance capabilities through the use of fully-balanced, differential circuits from input to output, Ayre’s designs have continually won countless awards for decades. All Ayre products are designed and built by hand in Boulder, Colorado, using only components from the highest quality supply partners in North America, Japan, and Europe.