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Denon has announced the launch of its first audiophile portable headphone amplifier in the shape of the DA-10, a device that incorporates proprietary technology and supports high-resolution audio files up to 192kHz.

The DA-10 headphone amplifier marks new territory for Denon and, with it, the manufacturer is aiming to improve the analogue audio output of portable music players, smartphones and tablets, letting them be used with higher impedance headphones.

A reference class 32-bit/192kHz Burr-Brown PCM-1795 DAC, more commonly found in premium audiophile disc players and digital amplifiers, is one of the features that can be found inside the DA-10. This DAC is able to decode linear PCM files from 32kHz up to 192kHz as well as bit samples up to 24-bit. It can also support one bit DSD files.

MORE: High-resolution audio - everything you need to know

Separate circuit boards for the main audio and power supply blocks are used to help eliminate inter-stage interference, while the dual master clocks (22.6 and 24.6 MHz) are said to optimise performance with specific sampling frequencies: 44.1; 88.2; 176.4 MHz and 32, 48, 96, 192 KHz. 

Master clocks are used when digitising a continuous analogue audio signal. For a signal to be digitised, it needs to be sampled at regular, repeating intervals and a clock is used to identify when each sample should be replayed.

More after the break

Denon's proprietary Advanced AL32 Processing can also be found on board the DA-10, taking 16-bit digital audio and upsampling it to 32-bit. It also features dynamic digital filtering, which the company claims optimises the digital filter algorithm according to the specific sampling frequency of the track being played.

MORE: Read all our Denon reviews and news

The DA-10 comes complete with a range of inputs, including standard USB and micro-USB. The micro-USB input works in asynchronous mode to support 24-bit/192kHz files, as well as DSD 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz. Meanwhile, outputs include a dual position gain switch for use with low and high impedance headphones, along with a variable/fixed output switch for connection to other components - such as a stereo amplifier. 

In terms of its exterior design, the DA-10 is housed in an aluminium casing and it's supplied with a carry pouch that can hold the DA-10 and a smartphone. The phone can still be operated through the pouch's see-through window. Elsewhere, a 3200mAh rechargeable battery is said to provide up to seven hours of run time with an iDevice or up to 24 hours when connected to another portable player via 3.5mm input. 

The Denon DA-10 portable USB-DAC and headphone amplifier will be available from November for £279.

MORE: Awards 2014 - Best DACs


songox's picture

Does anyone know anything

Does anyone know anything about those headphones in the picture above?

LogainTB's picture

Denon AH-MM400.

Denon AH-MM400.

songox's picture

Cheers for that LogainTB!

Cheers for that LogainTB!Good

Geddy Lee's picture

Burr-Brown PCM-1795 DAC chip

You can buy these chips for £3 or £4 so why the big fuss - oh, I see hype and trying to qualify that ridiculous price tag by people thinking it a is a premium product. "Reference class" and "premium audiophile" indeed!

Graham Luke's picture

Scam time...?

I can't help feeling that this whole 'hires' thing is yet another opportunity for the music industry to sell us music we already own in yet another format.

It would seem that many so-called 'tech' sites are more than happy to aid them in this; I mean advertising revenue wouldn't have anything to do with it, would it?