Audiolab M-DAC mini

(6 customer reviews)

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Since the launch of the original M-DAC in 2011, Audiolab’s range of standalone DACs has earned widespread acclaim and a host of awards from respected audio journals around the world. Last year’s arrival of the range-topping M-DAC+ and an all-in-one DAC/amp called the M-ONE extended the family by building upon the same award-winning technology.

Now another contender has entered the ring, the fourth model in the M-DAC range: The Audiolab M-DAC mini. As the name suggests, the M-DAC Mini is the smallest hi-res DAC/headphone amp in the range.

Audiolab M-DAC mini – Flexible friend
The M-DAC Mini’s design deliberately blurs the lines between home hi-fi DACs and pocket-size portable units. It is ideally sized to sit discretely on a desk or table, with accessible, easy-to-use controls and a traditional analogue volume knob.

There is also sufficient internal space to enable in the inclusion of discreet audiophile-grade components in key circuits, eschewing the space-saving compromise often inherent in portable DAC designs. Yet its diminutive form factor makes the M-DAC Mini easy to carry and place wherever it is needed, untethered to the mains supply thanks to its rechargeable battery.

Audiolab M-DAC mini – The Finest DAC Circuitry
Like the M-DAC+, the M-DAC Mini is equipped to process PCM audio data up to 32-bit/384kHz via USB, ensuring it is primed to take full advantage of hi-res digital sound both now and in the future. The USB input also supports DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 – a significant inclusion, as DSD has an important role to play in the developing hi-res audio scene.

Sonic performance is paramount throughout the M-DAC Mini’s circuit design. For example, while most portable DACs control volume in the digital domain, which results in lost ‘bits’ and therefore reduced signal quality, the M-DAC Mini uses a high-quality analogue potentiometer like those more commonly found in full-size hi-fi separates.

Audiolab M-DAC mini – Small yet mighty
The M-DAC Mini, Like the M-DAC and M-DAC+ combines advanced digital-to-analogue conversion with a high-performance Class A JFET output stage and dedicated headphone amp section, to deliver superb sound whether hooked up to an amp and speakers, or feeding active speakers, or driving a pair of headphones.

The inclusion of battery power for the first time in an M-DAC component is not simply about portability. It also benefits performance, supplying clean and stable DC power – free from the distortion introduced by common switch-mode power supplies, yet without the need for a bulky, costly audiophile-grade mains PSU. A mains charger is included in the package; when connected to the mains, iOS and Android devices can be charged directly from the M-DAC Mini.

Specifications of Audiolab M-DAC mini

  • General description    Digital-to-Analogue Converter
  • DAC    ESS Sabre32 Reference ES9018K2M
  • Sampling Rate    Optical,Coaxial: 192kHz;
  • USB: 384kHz
  • DSD64, DSD128, DSD256
  • Digital Input    Coaxial, Optical, USB micro-B for PC/Android,
  • USB-A for iOS, Bluetooth
  • Digital Output    Coaxial, Optical
  • Output Voltage    5Vrms ±0.1
  • Frequency Response    20Hz – 20KHz (± 0.2dB)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio    115dB (A Weighted)
  • Battery    Li-ion Type DC 3.7V 5000mAh
  • Playback Time    Up to 7 hours
  • Dimensions (mm)    34mm x 136mm x 178mm
  • Warranty: 6 months manufacturers warranty

Review & Awards:

“Audiolab’s most compact M-DAC yet is beautifully formed – ultra-flexible desktop model”

The M-DAC mini is small but living up to the big reputation of the Audiolab’s M-DAC range, receiving 5 stars and a HI-Fi Choice recommendation.

To see the full review “ClICK HERE

Audiolab M-DAC Mini Review by AV Forums



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6 reviews for Audiolab M-DAC mini

  1. Nishant

    Bought this after demo at hifimart room in Colaba. Am very impressed with the sound and versatility of this dac. Bluetooth from iPhone sound much better and sound from speakers when played through the dac makes me feel like I am listening to music after many years. Now I am planning to also buy some headphones to use with this dac. Overall an astonishingly good upgrade.

  2. Jignesh

    I simply love the sweet melodious sound of this DAC. It has changed my listening habits and I am revisiting my music collection again. Sounds good with both old music and new recordings. Excellent buy if you are considering a DAC.

  3. P Ranjan

    Pairing this with Auduze Sine and music is now much more natural and engaging. Staggering DAC with headphone amp. I also love how easy it is to use with iPhone 7. Portable with good battery life. Overall an excellent product.

  4. Ravi Sinha

    Purchased this after the price drop. Very versatile and works extremely well with my iPhone 8. I feel that this a substantial improvement than the HiFi man day that I was using previously. Music is more pleasant and easy to listen to with the digital glare.

  5. Rupak Ranjan Roy

    The DAC is okay as far as sound quality is concerned. Having a battery on-board is useful. Multiple inputs including a bluetooth are very handy (was one of the main reasons for me to buy it). However, the Power Adapter does not fit snugly at the back and the jack often needs to be manipulated to prevent disconnection and continue charging. This can be annoying when the battery has already run out. This is not expected in a DAC costing Rs. 30000/-. Also, the mini CD that came with it was supposed to contain the Software to play 192 kHz files in Windows, but my laptop could not find any files in it. I had to contact the Audiolab customer support in UK to sort it out. They were very helpful though and sorted it out promptly. These are not major hitches, but it would have been nicer if they did not happen.

  6. N. Subrahmanian

    This product offers a high performance level which is wonderful. I am very happy as I made the right purchase. It is the best buy!

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