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ADL X1 USB DAC/headphone amp works with iOS and PCs


Another day, another portable USB DAC/headphone amp. Yesterday it was the arrival of the £299 Resonessence Herus, today we get the £395 Alpha Design Labs (ADL) X1.

It seems the world can't get enough of these diminutive DACs (digital-to-analogue converters). The ADL X1 supports a digital input fom Apple iOS devices up to 16-bit/48kHz, as well as 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution audio files from a PC via USB.

In addition, a 3.5mm line-level input allows use with analogue source devices and there's a 3.5mm output for connecting headphones. For digital connections, there's also an optical digital output that can handle signals up to 24-bit/192kHz.

The unit has a built-in rechargeable battery that can be recharged from a computer connected via USB, or from an external power supply. A full charge gives around 7.5 hours of playback, it is claimed.

Handily, the X1 does not draw power from a connected iOS device so will not reduce playback time from your Apple portable.

You'll can buy the ADL X1 now in all-black, black with red, blue or silver anodised aluminium finishes. It weighs 147g and measures 1.65 x 6.8 x 11.8cm (hwd).

By Andy Clough

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