Manufacturer: Ayre Acoustics
The Ayre CODEX headphone amplifier / DAC has arrived and is playing lovely music here.
The CODEX can be thought of three different products depending on how/where you use it:
The CODEX has an optical input and a USB input with both XLR and RCA outputs. You just connect it into your existing system and its another source component. At £1699, it represents a new entry level DAC for Ayre.
You connect it directly to your amplifier and use the CODEX’s built in volume control. If you only use USB and optical input, this will build a terrific high performance digital based stereo, with (but of course) a world class headphone amplifier output!
The CODEX has front panel headphone jacks with 1 x 6.3mm and 2 x 3.5mm, and you can also use the rear panel XLR connections. You can use the two 3.5mm outputs for a balanced headphone which gives you a much lower noise floor.
Equally at home as a stand alone DAC, headphone amp, or digital preamp, the Codex can unlock the potential of any system. A fully-balanced signal path throughout the analog circuitry provides an inherently clean and quiet backdrop for your music. The zero-feedback design maintains all of the pace and rhythm of your favorite artist, rendering your digital music as effortlessly as if it were live
Output LevelHeadphone or Preamp Mode : 7.0 volts balanced, 3.5 volts single-ended DAC Mode : 4.0 volts balanced, 2.0 volts single-ended
InputUSB : PCM 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, 192 kHz, 352.8 kHz, 384 kHz (up to 24 bits), DSD64, DSD128 Optical input (Toslink)
Dimensions 2.25"W x 9"D x 5.25"H (5.5 cm x 23 cm x 13.7 cm)
Weight 3 pounds (1.4 kg)
Having used the Codex now for a while now I must say I am impressed with the quality of this Headphone Amp/ DAC. The DAC section is superb, able to compete at a very high level, meaning leaving e.g. the well auditioned Chord Hugo in the dust. The headamp section is good for the price. While there are others playing on the same level the balanced mode with two 3,5 mm plug cables sets the Codex apart from competition. Very pleased with the Ayre.
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