Digital Audio Converter, or DAC, fills in the gap between very high-end (read: very expensive) digital audio player and not having any. It probably won’t be the best sounding if you are going to be picky, but it will greatly enhances the audio puts out by your smartphone.
But the thing is, who wants to lug around yet another gadget just to have a good sound? This is where Zorloo Ztella USB-DAC Cable comes in. Billed as the smallest USB-DAC with high-end audio capability available on the market, Ztella features SABRE DAC from ESS Technology and MQA rendering in an incredibly small package.
In fact, it is so small that you’d forget that it is there. It will be just part of your audiophile wired headphones. Yes. You heard that right. Wired headphones because, obviously, audiophiles will never bow down to the wireless revolution. Here’s what the Ztella will do:
“Ztella brings sound quality to a new level by bypassing the phone’s internal conversion using a digital USB connection. Ztella supports sampling frequencies up to 384kHz with a 32-bit depth and DSD 1-bit encoding up to 5.6Mhz, which eliminates unnecessary sample-rate and bit-depth conversion. By using Ztella, the quality of your sound playback no longer depends on the phone or computer – Ztella handles all of the audio-specific tasks and ensures the best performance from any handset. Ztella, when used with an MQA-enabled app, also makes any phone capable of decoding Master Quality files, something that was previously limited to higher spec smartphones.”
As far as portability goes, Zorloo Ztella USB-DAC Cable measures a mere 11 centimeters (4.33 inches) and weighs in at an almost non-existence 5g (0.176 oz.). It comes housed in a sleek, metallic gray aluminum chassis, needs not battery to get going and it is totally plug-and-play with a variety of platforms, including Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS.
Hong Kong-based Zorloo will be launching Ztella on crowdfunding in October 2019. Zorloo Ztella USB-DAC Cable is expected to retail for $89 for the MQA version and $65 for the standard version. However, early backers will be able to secure a unit at a discounted sticker.
All images courtesy of Zorloo.