Disclaimer: Audio Engine sent the D1 for the purposes of this review. I paid import duties and nothing else. You can find out more about it here: D1 bit DAC. And, thanks to its requiring pretty lax amperage, it works well with most devices capable of spitting USB signals. Inside is all the goodness of the D3, and a hell of a lot more.
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Perfect for providing high quality audio to speakers or headphones, the D1 is a premium bit DAC and headphone amplifier for your computer, TV, and more. D1 will process digital audio at any bit depth up to 24 bits and any sample rate to kHz.
The high-performance headphone output was designed for a wide range of headphones and will satisfy even the most demanding headphone enthusiasts. D1 is the perfect digital interface between your computer and music system and will improve the sound of ALL your music.
The D1 accepts inputs from both USB and optical and has outputs for any audio system or headphones. DirecTV and Comcast also have optical outputs for high-res audio. Setup is easy and no special software, app, or driver is needed, making D1 a true plug-and-play digital audio solution.
Because of this, you shouldn't need to download or upgrade any drivers to use your D1. When you connect an optical cable, the D1 will sense that an optical input is present and give that input priority. When using the optical output from your computer, you may power D1 via the computer's USB power and therefore no external power supply is needed.
There's not really a right or wrong when it comes to volume settings. I'd recommend setting it up whichever way is more convenient, and dialing in a combination of settings to give you the smoothest ramp-up.
If you intend to use the D1's volume as your main control for example, try this: set the speakers to zero volume, and the D1 to max volume.
Then with music playing, adjust the speakers up until the volume is as loud as you would want to listen to it. Then simply adjust from the your D1 to mood. Finally, you'll just need to play music from iTunes or your favorite media player and that's it! Setup really is that easy! The D1 is essentially a very high-end external sound card. Its components and implementation of those components make it more capable than what might be built into a computer, not to mention the benefit of moving those sensitive components outside and away from the potentially noisy interior of your computer.
All of this means the signal your speakers receive will be clearer, with a lower noise-floor, and with a more pronounced dynamic range over your internal sound card. The D1 is asynchronous, which means it controls the data streams timing using it's own internal clock to minimize jitter. You will need an Apple USB 3 camera adapter. You will also need to have a power supply that can power enough to the D1 and your device.
You can still control the volume directly in iTunes or any media player , with the front panel volume control on the D1, or with the volume control on your audio system. Because of this, once it's set as your default playback device, it should work with any application on your computer playing audio, and with any file format the software supports.
Your D1 will sound great out of the box and will get better over time, however, it's best to play music for 40 to 50 hours first before doing any critical listening. This headphone amp is able to provide low-impedance, high-fidelity audio to a wide range of headphones and supports headphones with impedances 10 ohms and higher. We've had a lot of really good feedback from our customers on this, and its really easy to add to an existing Airplay setup.
You can connect your Airport Express into the D1s optical input using a mini-Toslink to Toslink cable to pass a digital signal to the D1. Please note that the USB port on the Airport express is intended only for lower powered or self powered devices like a printer and will not reliably power the D1.
The only real difference is that the optical input on the D1 can support up to KHz input if your source supports it. We'd certainly recommend trying both if you have them available to see if you can notice any difference in your setup, and with your audio files. The Optical connection on the D1 takes priority, so when the D1 receives an optical signal it will switch to this automatically.
Some devices will deactivate their optical out when no audio is playing. Others will leave it active and send an empty signal when no audio is playing, meaning depending on how the optical output on that source acts you may have to shut the source off. You can use something like an optical switcher so that you can toggle between the optical source and the USB input. On a PC, open the sound options through the control panel.
Then choose Speakers - Audioengine D1" and select Properties. You can select the output format from the dropdown in the advanced tab. These RCA outputs are variable, adjusting the volume on the D1 will adjust the output of any speakers or amp connected to this output. This makes the D1 a handy way to control the volume of both your speakers AND headphones. This headphone amp is able to provide low-impedance, high-fidelity audio to a wide range of headphones.
We've found the sweet spot for the D1 is headphones that measure between 20 and ohms. The resistance of a pair of headphones can tell you a little bit about how much power they need, though other variables do have an impact as well. We have heard from customers with headphones measuring as much as ohms who say they're happy with the output of the D1. Although D1 may work just fine when connected to most USB hubs, this is not recommended as the data rate may not be fast enough for higher-resolution music.
We therefore suggest you select a high-speed USB bus all by itself and don't use a USB port on your keyboard, for example. Due to this it's highly recommended that you connect to a higher-speed USB 2. Try removing all other USB devices temporarily, and try each USB port on your computer one at a time to see which one works best in your setup.
It's normal for USB B connections to have a little play as well as some of the metal to be showing when they are plugged in, so no need to worry. It will be fully connected once you feel and hear the click noise from the connection. Which music system is best for you?
Take The Quiz. What's in the Box. What media player software and audio file formats are compatible with the D1 when using it with a computer? Yes, the output will mute and audio will only play through your headphones. How powerful is the headphone amp in the D1? Will it drive my headphones? My D1 occasionally makes a clicking noise during playback. How can I avoid this? What do I do? View More. Listen for 30 days.
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Estimated wait for next available agent :. For Tech Support, call How do you get sound from your PC? If you're still doing it the old fashioned way, by plugging into your Audioengine D1 - Fantastic, plug-and-play sound for your computer and powered speakers Audioengine A2 speakers shown. Audioengine D1 - The perfect integration of computer, powered speakers, and headphones.
D1 24-bit DAC/ Headphone Amp
Perfect for providing high quality audio to speakers or headphones, the D1 is a premium bit DAC and headphone amplifier for your computer, TV, and more. D1 will process digital audio at any bit depth up to 24 bits and any sample rate to kHz. The high-performance headphone output was designed for a wide range of headphones and will satisfy even the most demanding headphone enthusiasts. D1 is the perfect digital interface between your computer and music system and will improve the sound of ALL your music. The D1 accepts inputs from both USB and optical and has outputs for any audio system or headphones. DirecTV and Comcast also have optical outputs for high-res audio. Setup is easy and no special software, app, or driver is needed, making D1 a true plug-and-play digital audio solution.
Audioengine D1 review