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dCS introduces Bartók, a network streaming DAC and headphone amplifier

Replacing the five-star Debussy as the most affordable model in dCS’s DAC range, the Bartók (presumably a tribute to the late Hungarian composer) shares the same DAC architecture (the Rossini Ring DAC) as the Rossini model (£17,090) we not long ago awarded a five-star review to, as well as the same UPnP music streamer and the company’s latest-gen digital processing platform.

In addition to featuring asynchronous USB, AES and coaxial inputs, the Bartók can stream from a NAS drive, from music services such as Tidal and Spotify, and from Apple devices over Airplay - all over an Ethernet connection. 

 Supported file formats for streaming include PCM up to 24-bit/384kHz and DSD128, plus DSD in DoP format. The network interface can perform full MQA decoding and rendering, and in addition to user-selectable upsampling are several filters.

The DAC feeds balanced and unbalanced line outputs that can drive power amplifiers directly, negating the need for a separate preamp. And dCS has designed the Class A headphone amplifier, which dCS to work with both high and low impedance headphones.

The Bartók is also available without the headphone amplifier for £9999, and both versions will be available in late October.

MORE: 8 of the best DACs

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her eight years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.