Radsone AirDAC AD 200 is a mighty, small package Wi-Fi and USB DAC with integrated high performance headphone amplifier using proprietary RADSONE’s Distinctive Clear Technology (DCT). DCT is a special DSP algorithm, that deals with elimination of typical digititis - digital listening fatigue.
There are many proprietary solutions on the market promising something special and of difference, still the reality strikes as a quite boring state of affairs with a sobering fact.
Most of you might don’t know about RADSONE iOS and Google application for the mobile platform, but company really made their stand out with this unique software player that incorporates their RS Engine, RADSONE proprietary digital noise elimination processing.
Founded by Jay Yoo, CEO, an audio R &D engineer with more then 20 years of experience in his portfolio. Core R&D RADSONE engineers of have 10 years of various engineering experience in semiconductor IC industry and their practical applications with the consumer products.
RADSONE is a corporate company, mainly funded from stock listed companies in Korea. They’ve managed to raised impressive $1M USD up to date.
Down the patch they developed DCT algorithm, DCT embedded BT/Wi-Fi audio modules and produced audio consumer products since 2011. They are targeting market are general digital multimedia products with about 3B shipments scale per year.
DCT IP software is being provided to music streaming companies, and BT/Wi-Fi audio manufacturers including Korean giant - LG electronics.
RADSONE is looking to go beyond conventional quality enhancement solutions, that provide only a marginal impact with some unwanted side effects. DCT in its core was designed to be used as default quality enhancement solution without any side effects. Brands official listening tests and numerous user reviews confirmed their positive orientation which gave them additional boost with the development of the new products.
Radsone Inc. aimed from the start for the quality sound. RADSONE, which stands for Radical Sound goal is to provide quality sound solutions to the end customers. As a full stack audio company, RADSONE have envisioned and materialized both software and hardware integrated product, including smartphone apps, software libraries, hardware modules based on their proprietary and patent registered algorithm ‘Distinctive Clear Technology’ (aka DCT).
RADSONE surely has a critical mind about digital sound quality and they journey started more than 10 years ago. Through a lot of experiences in the lowest level audio coding for audio chips, they learned along the way about what is happening in the whole digital audio signal processing chain, even per one instruction cycle, which is nano second scale. All the dirty digital noise causes can be found there (mainly by limited bit resolution, truncations, and insufficient bit allocations) which leads to ‘digital fatigue’ for listeners. Consequently RADSONE invented ‘Distinctive Clear Technology’, a unique audio signal processing algorithm. Compared to conventional sound (d)effects which change sound characteristics artificially, DCT algorithm only focuses on eliminating digital noise. Its meant to be used as a default solution for all digital audio products.
After algorithm development RADSONE created iPhone music player apps that incorporated DCT. Up to the present pointed they managed to secure over 1.2M downloads from around the globe. On top of this they’ve successfully applied DCT solution to several music streaming companies. DCT is also verified in popular chipsets including DSP’s and ARM cores. DCT by default targets all digital multimedia products, about 3B shipments scale per year.
Masterpiece restoration? Its a process of reviving the core of the original paintings and any artificial modification is strictly prohibited. The proper restoration process is a necessary for connoisseurs since disfigured parts of art works disturbs the proper appreciation. Similar approach is adopted with RADSONE DCT.
What is RADSONE and its DCT?
RADSONE is very proud on their innovative audio approach and products based on the Distinctive Clear Technology ™. They see their DCT as the world’s first and definite solution for chronic digital sound problems.
RADSONE DCT analyze and then eliminate artifacts in digital music. In result, it restores and returns the music coherence. From the technical point it can be called an advanced adaptive dithering, but even more so dealing with detailed mechanisms that are elaborately designed to reproduce music as it was intended to sound.
Unlikely widely applied artificial effects such as EQ and surround processing, RADSONE DCT only eliminates digital artifacts, thus maintaining sound characteristics of the primal, such as phase, frequency response, sound localization. Music should alway be the first focus and Radsone DCT explores the reproduction in its essential core and with the clear goal of appreciating the music for what it is.
There are so many small disfigured parts in digital music which disturbs a true enjoyment of the music. The inherited problem extends across all with digital music being compressed or not.
Audio enthusiasts including Steve Jobs have been longing for high quality sound solution for the masses. Intriguingly at present many if not most of the people watch ultra high definition movies and videos, but still listen to music with just mediocre quality sound! There is apparently something serious in digital sound system. So where is the problem? Solution seems not as simple as many want to projected. The digital hubris is caused by highly complicated digital signal processing across all the bitrates and sampling frequencies. This comes as mandatory and of inherent DNA.
RADSONE DCT special signal processing algorithm moves beyond of kind equalizers or digital correction plugins. DCT fundamentally improves sound quality by preservation of the original sound characteristics. DCT evokes the correct set of attributes providing the exact sound image, uplifting the details structure and igniting the life back into the digital chain.
AirDAC AD 200 comes with a dedicated two free IOS apps, that are letting full control of the functions and full playback.
airDAC play App is a remote player for Radosone's airDAC (Audio DAC) device with Wi-Fi setup functionality for easy connection with airDAC and offers Hi-Resolution audio playback up to 24bit resolution/192KHz sampling frequency. It supports multiple audio formats including WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG as well as full playlist edit and setup.
airDAC control app is a remote control application for Radosone's airDAC hardware device setting with detail sound control including volume, audio input selection, output routing control and many others. airDAC control app also lets you deal with Wi-Fi setup functionality for easy connection with airDAC gives it ability to perform future firmware updates.
You cannot go half way in present times with sound performance. All the features can be too quickly overshadowed by the mediocre sonic performance. It has to be best of both worlds.
I’ve given RADSONE AirDAC AD 200 quite a prolonged run and went through my stack of playlists in ensuring the right amount of musical test “stress”.
At present we’re more then well served with all the digital files, streaming, downloads and various formats. Magnitude of the music being on our hands is mind-blowing and there is no factual reality in absence of DAC for any modern music lover and audiophile.
Now to the sonic reality. Call and quote me as a believer and adopter of the ladder based DAC’s. They do bring the closest illusion of reality and level of realism usually not presented by the delta - sigma based DACs. They are not cheap to boot but along with all mentioned positive attribute these DACs manages to introduce impressive low level of digititis/listening fatigue.
Trickling the same attributes into a more affordable pricing and with minimized fatigue seems like a nutcase. But wait… RADSONEs DCT technology offers a mighty and surprisingly potent joker in their sleeve.
Level of so called audible stress is shrank down to a level, that instantly ignited my sensors. Does AirDAC AD 200 have any right to resolve with such minuscule fatigue? Logically and based on the price surely not. In practice it shine. Evidently, DCT was not implemented by so many brands if there was not something so objective and of actual benefit.
Flow will be always the key factor with any DAC performance and there is something in the way AirDAC manages to de-masks the music. from not only heavily thick “curtain” layers but also acknowledging a hefty amount of attributes, that are crucial for believable sound performance.
There is nothing like pure injection of Monk’s dream - Thelonious Monk Quartet. This is a true dream team of musicians playing almost telephaticly under the Monk’s baton. There is some unseen musical force materializing when digital side of affairs is of proper potency and AirDAC encapsulated impressively prolonged listening intervals without being distracted.
Classical music comes as whole-brain activity and have this hidden ability to elevate above mundane mind sets and routines. The share impact is too often oversimplified especially when their is an absence of more complex orchestral compositions laid as a building blocks for viable judging. On contrary, even sole piano recital or performance can portray music with purity and feistiness. Vlado Perlemuter Bach, Debussy and Chopin: Piano Music comes as handy example. Laying down the structural rendition of piano harmonic overtone can instantly diminish even the DAC giants. AirDAC stepped up and conveyed this repertoire with engulfing lightness, closely reflecting the primal attributes of realism. It was a repeated surprise with the AD 200 ability to invoke proper sonic reconstruction.
With most DACs regardless of the price point, I’m too quickly pushed into the state of short life span attention and focus. Listening enthusiasm is more then often quickly washed away with little to hanker about afterwards. RADSONE AirDAC entrapped my listening to a prolonged periods, that are usually more closely connected with the DAC’s of completely different pricing and status.
Level of stress free listening with AirDAC was something I really didn’t expect at all. In a sum up, AirDAC managed to provide something unique and worthy of attention. It was like best case scenario unveiling the “secret” potential. We’re used to multitude of brand’s own high praises, yet when it comes down to practical experience almost as a rule there is a completely different experience. RADSONE AirDAC AD 200 succeeded in opening up the door to the music reproduction in very different way. Not casual and of slight difference, but with a mightier potency and impact. They put their money where its worthy and of objective realization.
Its not exactly easy to rise your head above the competition in the market of 21st century digital hub solutions. RADONSONE started from so called ground zero and created a mighty packed device, that will suit and serve audio and music lovers at large.
RADSONE AirDAC AD 200 is feature packed and offers hands on connectivity as well as well versed performance in a compact sized chassis.
We already passed the bar of mandatory wireless connectivity quite some time ago and RADSONE team well aware of the market demands, did they homework in depth, invested in R & D to offer seamless hardware/software integration via dedicated iOS application, that can control AirDAC wide array of features.
AirDAC acts as an instant medium for the contemporary digital enthusiast and perform invitingly involving.
There are two types of device at the end of the day. One that you like and love to return to and the one that you’ll want to pack it back in the box and forget about everything as soon as possible.
RADSONE revised everything in the final package to invoke the interest and keep the attention. AirDAC AD 200 is a slick, simple to operate and well sounding device showing a lot of where we’re heading with digital audio and how its supposed to present, pack and “voice” the modern DAC.
Text: Matej Isak
Price : $700