Parasound has launched an upgraded version of its much-liked Zdac digital-to-analogue converter. The company has kept the fundamentals of the original electronic design but has taken the opportunity to improve connectivity and the headphone amplifier circuit.

The Zdac V.2 can now accept a digital music stream from a Lightning connector equipped iOS device, provided you have a suitable Lightning-to-USB cable. It also features 12 volt triggers to help integration into a home installation set-up.

Improvements to the headphone amplifier circuitry

Note the traditional mains transformer at the heart of the Zdac

The Zdac's headphone amplifier circuit is revised too. It has greater gain and lower distortion to aid transparency and make listening a less tiring experience. There are two headphone outputs in order to cater for both portable and home designs; one 3.5mm and the other 6.3mm.

The Zdac 's optical and coaxial inputs will support 24-bit/192kHz music signals, while the USB connection limits the sampling rate to 96kHz. Signals through all inputs are re-clocked and up-sampled to 24-bit/422kHz during processing.

This unit also has balanced XLR and single-ended analogue outputs, and so can be connected directly into a suitable power amplifier or pair of active speakers.

The Zdac is available in both black and silver finishes and has a suggested retail price of $549.