A portable digital-to-analog audio converter (DAC).
When developing smartphones and computers, manufacturers have a lot to do and some aspects, such as audio quality components like DACs, often take a back seat or are overlooked altogether.
These devices take digital files and present them to analog audio output equipment allowing our ears to pick up sound waves.
The Onyx is a dedicated DAC adapter that offers more power than converters built into smartphones and laptops. With a dynamic range of 118 decibels, it’s so powerful it’s accompanied by a safety warning.
It supports many types of audio codecs, from CD audio standards to premium audio files like Master Quality Audio (MQA) which is basically the studio recording version.
Intended firmly for those streaming music from portable devices, the Onyx fits easily into most pockets and has a built-in magnet that allows both ends of the adapter to snap together, reducing its spatial footprint about the size of a flash drive.
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The configuration does not require any additional software. Simply connect your favorite audio player via USB-C or the included USB-A extension to headphones using the 3.5mm jack port. This flexibility between devices sets it apart from similar devices which only provide USB-A connections.
The price is a bit steep for anyone other than those who have swallowed the red pill and come down the audiophile rabbit hole.
Best for …
Those looking to enjoy their musical enjoyment beyond the basic service you get from multifunctional devices like smartphones.
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Avoid if …
You do not subscribe to MQA providers, such as Tidal, which allow you to take full advantage of this device.
THX Onyx, £ 199.99 (razer.com)