M2Tech Young review

A fine DAC, but challenged hard by cheaper rivals Tested at £1200

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A fine DAC that delivers a clear and insightful sound. It’s mightily impressive in many ways, but is challenged hard by cheaper rivals


  • +

    Impressive clarity, punch and transparency

  • +

    nice build

  • +

    good range of inputs


  • -

    The quality of Audiolab’s £600 M-DAC

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This M2Tech DAC’s headline-grabbing 32bit/384kHz capability is, at the same time, deeply impressive and rather pointless.

It’s hard enough finding standard (up to 24bit/192kHz) high resolution files we want to listen to, let alone ones at that resolution. We suspect it’ll be a long time before such files become widely available, if they ever do. Still, it’s future proofing all the same.

And, anyway, this DAC performs very well with more common files such as
16-bit/44.1 kHz WAVs or 24-Bit/96kHz high-res material.

Fed with a mix of material from our Apple MacBook and Naim’s NDX streamer the results are uniformly pleasing.

There’s an impressive degree of insight into recordings as varied as Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You, the Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Dynamics are strong, and the leading and trailing edges of notes defined with precision.

A full range of inputs
We’re particularly taken with the punch and power on show. With a touch more rhythmic fluidity and a little less electronic edge at the very top-end this DAC could dominate this class, sonically.

This DAC is well specified. There’s a full range of inputs including rarities such as
AES/EBU and BNC alongside the standard complement of coaxial, optical and USB.

The highest resolution (32Bit/384kHz) is accepted only through USB, with the electrical inputs taking 24bit/192kHz and optical 24Bit/96kHz files.

This is a fine performer for the money. We like its look and that massive display. We also approve of the future proofing – though its fine performance with commonly available file formats is of more importance to us.

Our main reservation is that Audiolab’s M-DAC delivers an equally convincing, though differently balanced performance at around half the money; and it has headphone and digital preamp capabilities too.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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