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Cambridge Audio launches matchbox-sized DacMagic XS

Tom Morgan
30 Oct 2013
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It might be tiny, but Cambridge Audio's new compact DacMagic XS can deliver ten times the power of most laptop sound cards

Cambridge Audio might be expanding into Bluetooth speakers but it isn't ignoring high-end audio either. Today the company announced the DacMagic XS, a tiny digital to analogue converter and headphone amplifier that's no bigger than a matchbox. Despite its size, it still packs a punch, promising to boost the sound output of the average laptop by up to ten times.

Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS

At 30x10x54mm and weighing just 100g, the DacMagic XS is about as compact as it gets, but Cambridge Audio hasn't skimped on the details - a brushed aluminium case should protect the internal electronics from shock or damage, as well as minimise unwanted interference from other gadgets.

With asynchronous USB audio clocking, support for 24-bit, 192KHz audio files, dedicated volume controls which bypass the sound card and volume controls of your PC and support for USB Class 1 and 2, the DacMagic XS was built from the ground up to eliminate as much unwanted noise and distortion from your music. If you're running Windows, you can use Cambridge Audio's own USB Class 2 driver to bypass the operating system's audio path to eliminate even more potential sources of interference or re-sampling.

Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS

The DacMagic XS connects to a PC via a Micro USB cable, so you won't knock it out of a USB port like other compact DACs. The 3.5mm headphone amplifier delivers 150mW of power, so you shouldn't be left wanting for more volume, and can also connect your computer to a living room hi-fi.

A multi-colour activity LED on the bottom of the unit glows blue to signify 44.1kHz/48kHz audio playback, green for 88.2kHz/96kHz and red for 176.4kHz/192kHz, so you always know when you're listening at the best possible sound quality.

The DacMagic XS is available to buy now from Richer Sounds for £99.99.

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