Cambridge Audio launches matchbox-size DacMagic XS for £99.95

30 Oct 2013

Cambridge Audio Dacmagic XS

Cambridge DacMagic XS
Cambridge Audio has launched a new entry-level digital-to-analogue converter called the DacMagic XS. It's an USB-only design and costs £99.95. The DacMagic XS is tiny, about the size of a small box of matches, and built with an aluminium case.  
It can be switched between USB 1.0 and USB 2.0 operation - the latter allowing an upper resolution limit of 24Bit/192kHz. A small LED indicator changes colour according to the sampling frequency of the incoming signal.
The DAC's output is limited to a 3.5mm jack. This can be used to drive a wide range of headphones due to a relatively beefy amplifier section - Cambridge claims it's ten times more powerful than a typical laptop headphone amplifier.
Turn the analogue volume control to maximum and the DacMagic XS is happy to drive the input stages of any partnering amplifier too. 
The DacMagic XS is available in shops from November.

Cambridge Audio has launched a new entry-level digital-to-analogue converter and headphone amp called the DacMagic XS. It's an USB-only design and costs £99.95. The DacMagic XS is tiny, about the size of a small box of matches, and built with an aluminium case.

It can be switched between USB 1.0 and USB 2.0 operation - the latter allowing an upper resolution limit of 24-bit/192kHz. A small LED indicator changes colour according to the sampling frequency of the incoming signal. The DAC's output is limited to a 3.5mm jack.

MORE: Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS review

This can be used to drive a wide range of headphones due to a relatively beefy amplifier section – Cambridge claims it's ten times more powerful than a typical laptop headphone amplifier.

Turn the analogue volume control to maximum and the DacMagic XS is happy to drive the input stages of any partnering amplifier too. The DacMagic XS is available in shops from November, and we'll be publishing our exclusive review here on whathifi.com later today.

Cambridge Audio Dacmagic XS

By Ketan Bharadia

 

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Comments

I think there are certain 'hand shaking' protocols involved in getting a digital signal out of an iPod. The Cambridge wouldn't do this. There's also the issue of how to get power to the DAC as well. It usually gets its power through the USB input.

I don't think it's a practical thing to do. Even if you could get a digital music stream out of the Samsung I think there would be issues with the supply of power. I doubt whether the Galaxy would have the reserves to run something like the DacMagic XS for any decent length of time.

Hmmm seems very interesting

I wonder if its possible to hook it up to an IPOD classic using the standard 30-pin to USB cable.

If so, I'll be getting one.

can it take an output from something like a galaxy s3 mobile phone?

You beat me to it, that was the point I was going to make. My M2Tech equivalent was £190 so would look expensive, but it outperforms my rDac that cost more. So the real question is how the DacMagic XS performs - roll on the review

But, it's a lot cheaper than the likes of HRT's microStreamer and Audioquest's Dragonfly.

£99 seems really expensive when compared to its competition, especially the FiiO's range.