The British hi-fi specialist was looking for £50,000 of funding through Kickstarter to develop its SoundKey micro DAC for smartphones and tablets. And it has raised the money in a matter of hours.

Last month, Cyrus announced it would be turning to Kickstarter to help fund the production of its new SoundKey micro DAC. The project went live on 1st July and has already surpassed the £50,000 goal. Cyrus says it managed to raise the full amount within the first few hours of going live. 

At the time of writing, the project has raised nearly £65,000. Cyrus has outlined a number of new funding goals on the Kickstarter page, with each goal 'unlocking' a new colour finish. The current finish is black, with blue being unlocked at £70,000. The SoundKey will be made available in a champagne finish if it reaches £100,000.

The Kickstarter campaign (here) will stay live until the end of the month, with backers able to secure a SoundKey DAC for 30% less than the retail price.

Designed to be a DAC for smartphones, Cyrus claims the SoundKey will score over rival products because it has ultra-low power consumption, so won’t drain your smartphone’s battery as quickly as some other devices. The SoundKey will draw only 50mA current from the phone, around half that of rival products.

Audioquest arguably pioneered the micro DAC and launched its own phone and tablet-compatible DAC earlier this year, the DragonFly Black (£89).

More after the break

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Cyrus managing director, Simon Freethy, explained the reasons for choosing Kickstarter: “There’s a whole new generation of music lovers who just don’t know how good the music on their phones can sound, as it’s let down by the low-quality DACs and amplifiers employed in the phone. The Cyrus engineers, using their 30 years’ experience building products that provide a better music experience, have come up with a world-beating solution in the diminutive SoundKey.” 

You can register your interest on the SoundKey microsite and pre-order one on Kickstarter by pleding £69. The project will run until 30th July, with shipping expected to be in November.

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richie60's picture

Can't see an option to register interest

How do you register your interest then?  It's just a site with a video on it.

Al ears's picture


Good question. It's off to a good start isn't it?

Cyrus Audio Ltd's picture

Register your interest for a Cyrus Soundkey

To register just click here 

and you'll be in with a chance to win the first Cyrus SoundKey that rolls off the production line.


Cyrus Audio Ltd's picture

Register without entering competition

Here's a link to just register your interest and be first to hear when the kickstarter campaign is launched for a chance to get a great deal on your Cyrus SoundKey



Andrej Župan's picture

What's the point ?

Seriously can't see the point. Even the cheapest DAC chips ( read "tiny" ,cause they actually all are cheap till employed by hi-fi specialist Wink are so good that when driven from battery powered devices like smartphones (power supply is still most important part of audio chain, up there with the speakers)  through excellent 32 ohm headphones like PSB M4U 2 the sound is better than through many multi thousand $ audio equipment esp. when not set up properly in given room. DACs  nowdays are so good it is become irrelevant due to other components lagging behind esp. speakers (still by far the weakest link).   

Cyrus Audio Ltd's picture

One of the points


There is definitely a point Smile A good example is that soundKey filters out the noise from the phone's internal switching power supply, because mobile phone supplies are optimised for size and efficiency, not quality. Whilst it works, there is a massive scope for improvement, hence devices like the Cyrus soundKey.



Andrej Župan's picture

Sound tuning device then

Since noise is never an issue with low voltage batteries(many battery powered hi end audio devices use li-ion batteries to feed their hi end dacs to high audio press praise ) I'm calling this one a bluff since noise is a problem only with high voltage power supplies hook up to ac/dc outlets and is not an issue with low voltage battery driven dacs. What you offer is purely another sound filter to alter sound signature towards "Cyrus" sound. Sounds like a scam.

drummerman's picture


I may be interested. Not sure what differentiates this from dragonfly etc but if its good it will be used with my Galaxy S7E. Existing Cyrus user.

jjbomber's picture

Bunch of crooks

What a bunch of crooks. I registered and received an email the day before it went live to say I'd get an email at 9am the following day to back the campaign. Nothing happened, no email, no apology, nothing. Steer clear of these crooks.

MusoStu's picture


One of the most iconic and successful British audio manufacturers are crooks because you didn't receive an invite to back the Kickstarter! Did it ever occur to you to not just go to the Kickstarter page and back it there, like everyone else did to get the early bird offer! It wasn't by invite, the email was just an alert and it could have, may have just ended up in your Spam. But no, you feel entitled and wronged and therefore you can't be wrong, so they must be. 

SlurmSlurper's picture

or alternatively...

I'd come across low powered DACs for mobiles before from HiFiMe, which are cheaper, but also uglier, than the Cyrus one. They also make use of a Sabre 9018 DAC, which many audiophiles will know of. They've just released an updated version, so I hope that What Hi-Fi? get some of their DACs to test as they are seriously tempting for audiophiles that are on a limited budget.

Nadryv's picture

Not sure it makes sense

Since you have to carry one more device in your pocket, why don't you just get a proper audio player instead?
It costs quite a lot anyway but it's entirely made for that purpose. It doesn't affect your phone battery, nor its memory space, it has dedicated buttons (how I miss them!), it works by itself (no cables hanging around)...
Or just get an audiophile (so they say) smartphone such as Marshall or Ulefone Vienna, Vivo x5max, Lenovo Vibe x3, HTC one M8...

worldofsteve's picture

Kickstarter? really?

this doesn't strike me as quite in the spirit of Kickstarter, do Cyrus really need upfront funds? And to offer their "customers" an untried, untested product? Hmmm...

db_58's picture

I'm a big fan of Cyrus but

I'm a big fan of Cyrus but this strikes me as mainly a marketing exercise. Actually I think it could be a great opportunity to gain input from potential buyers in the final stages of product development. I've made some suggestions aimed at making the cable connection more practical when using it as a truly portable device in your pocket. Unfortunately Cyrus didn't seem to be the least bit interested.

I'd welcome a thorough and objective review of similar devices by What HiFI when it is released. Not just sound quality but also usability. It has a potential to offer something extra, but I want to know that it does before buying one.