Alpha Design Labs A1 Headphone Amplifier DAC NEW

Tokyo-based ADL by Furutech bagged an armful of awards for the excellent X1 portable USB DAC/headphone amplifier, including ‘HiFi News Outstanding Product’. Now a new sister product, the A1, brings all of the benefits of the X1 to the Android user, and with DSD capability.

Some digital enthusiasts need small, portable DACs and headphone amps because they’re always on the move. Others need flexibility with their digital kit, notably the ability to insert a headphone amp into virtually any system and achieve impressive sonic performance. The new ADL A1 DAC/headphone amplifier is designed with both cases in mind.

The A1 is a high-resolution portable DAC and headphone amplifier that can be used with Android devices. It is also DSD-capable when used with either Mac or PC. The high-resolution sound that can be achieved through the A1 makes it perfect for portable audio enthusiasts who use the highest quality headphones to delve deeply into a recording. It is also ideal for those who want to run DSD128 on a laptop or desktop computer.

While the ADL A1 is certainly small enough to be portable and convenient, it is also loaded with innovative features: 

⦁ Three digital inputs
⦁ USB for connection to PC / Mac for music playback and charging.
⦁ Android OTG (on the go).
⦁ 3.5mm optical.
⦁ 3.5mm line level analogue input.
⦁ Supports DSD64, DSD128 and PCM at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz sampling frequencies.
⦁ Combined 3.5mm output analogue line out and optical digital output up to 24-bit / 192kHz.

The portable audio enthusiast will also appreciate the A1’s long battery life: around 7.5 hours after a full charge.

The ADL A1 is a truly versatile portable DAC and headphone amplifier. It is flexible enough to be used in a variety of applications, is small enough to fit just about anywhere and the sound quality is extraordinary: smooth yet detailed and focused.
\Key Features

⦁ Fits in the palm of your hand.
⦁ Enjoy music anywhere, at your desk or on the go.
⦁ Doesn’t draw power from connected Android device battery.
⦁ Low jitter.
⦁ Digital inputs for Android, PC / Mac, Toslink optical (optical out supports Android digital signal).
⦁ DD converter (via the 3.5mm Toslink optical output).
⦁ High-performance 24-bit / 192kHz DAC supports ASIO and asynchronous mode.
⦁ Supports DSD64 and DSD128.
⦁ Front panel sampling rate indication LEDs.


⦁ USB Mini-B socket for USB output from a PC/Mac for music and to charge the battery.
⦁ USB A socket for Android music devices via OTG cable.
⦁ 3.5mm optical digital input.
⦁ 3.5mm line level analogue input.
⦁ 3.5mm headphone output (12~300 ohm range).
⦁ 3.5mm combination output: analogue line level / optical digital output.

Technical Specifications 

• Digital to analogue conversion: High-performance Cirrus Logic CS4392K 24-bit / 192kHz DAC (accepts PCM and DSD audio)
• Supports ASIO and asynchronous mode
• VIA VT1736 32-bit/192kHz USB input accepts DSD64, DSD128 & PCM 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192kHz
• Digital output: 3.5mm mini Toslink optical output up to 24-bit / 192kHz
• Headphone amplifier: Texas Instruments TPA6130A2
• Max headphone output levels (at 1%THD 1kHz): 70mW (12 ohm), 80mW (16 ohm), 65mW (32 ohm), 38mW (56 ohm), 9mW (300 ohm)
• Charge time: 7 hours approx. (DC 5V, 0.5A USB bus power)
5-5.5 hours approx. (AC/DC 5V, 1.0-2.0A mains adaptor)
• Music playback time: Up to 7.5 hours when fully charged
• Size: 68mm (W) x 118mm (D) x 16.5mm (H)
• Weight: 150g approx.
• Compatible Android devices:
- SONY: Xperia Z, Xperia Z1, Z1 Compact (Xperia Z1f), Xperia A (Xperia ZR), Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia V
- SAMSUNG: Galaxy Note3, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3,
- InFocus: IN810,HTC (Android 4.2): J Butterfly, J One Butterfly, New One
- HTC One (M7), HTC (Android 4.3): HTC One (M8), HTC One X

Pricing and Availability

⦁ Available now.
⦁ Priced at £435 (incl VAT).