2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

Audioengine D1

Be warned: Audioengine’s just-announced D1 ($169) is for serious audiophiles only—guys who would consider putting jet fuel in a Ferrari for just a hint of extra speed. But we know you’re out there, so here it is: D1 is a digital-to-analog converter box for your Mac that promises to “improve the sound of ALL your music” by routing it through a USB port to your best pair of speakers or headphones, processing it with a high-performance, low-jitter AK4396 DAC.

The device effectively enables you to bypass the sound card that Apple chose for any given Mac, providing you with both audio-out ports and an optical input for modern digital devices; you listen to audio by hooking up headphones or powered speakers you self-supply. Audioengine’s DAC promises to perform up to 24-bit/192KHz audio with low distortion, and though the average user may not hear the differences, users with HD-bitrate audio, well trained ears, and the right headphones/speakers might really appreciate it.

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