"The DAC2 DX had some of the lowest distortion of any DAC we have ever tested"
"Listening to my music collection via USB was a pleasure with this DAC. It had a very musical sound, reminding me of a Class A triode tube amplifier. When you check out the bench tests, you will see why."
"IMD was less than 0.001%, so I have to say, “Excellent”. See any peaks at 14 kHz, 21 kHz, etc? Neither can I. Now we know why the DAC2 has a bit of Class A triode in it. When peaks are present, they are only at the second harmonic, which is the triode signature."
"The DAC2 is one of the few D/A converters that can handle intersample overs without DSP overloads or analog clipping. DSP overloads occur in most DACs and these cause bursts of non-harmonic distortion. Some DACs avoid the DSP overloads but still exhibit analog clipping of intersample peaks. In contrast, the DAC2 cleanly reproduces intersample peaks. This seems to be a big issue from an audibility standpoint when listening to CD-format and MP3-format sources."
"I have used Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man as a test track more than any other. That is because it has everything: tremendous dynamics (it’s an early Telarc disc and there is no compression), very loud percussion, blaring brass, and whatever else you want to throw in there – it’s just a great recording."
"The sheen of the gong and bright overtones of the brass were stunning through the Benchmark DAC2 DX. This may be an old DAC in HiFi time, but it is certainly up to date in sound."
"The Benchmark DAC2 DX represents a product that was initially released several years ago. They perfected it over that time by small changes and addition of features. The result is a DAC that has virtually inaudible distortion, and a full set of codecs, all at a price of less than $2,000. This compares to some other DACs that are new and unproven in reliability. It makes sense to put aside that, “Got to have the latest and greatest,” attitude that most of us have, and consider a DAC that has had several years to work out all the bugs and really deliver a superior sound."
"For my money, the Benchmark DAC2 DX represents one of the best values in high end audio today."
- John E. Johnson, Jr., Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
"I ended up visiting this room more than any other room at the show. I couldn’t help myself; I had to keep coming back for more!"
- Drew Gagliano, TheAudioBeatnik.com
"It’s ... been a while since I have been this excited about an audio product."
"Audeze LCD-2C, Quad Era-1, Brainwavz Alara, Sennheiser HD650 ..."
"It’s the first time when I have heard the headphones mentioned above to their full potential. In the first minute my jaw dropped ..."
"From my perspective this is the best headphone amplifier I have ever heard. It’s no competition really."
"It’s not cheap, I can give you that. Is it worth it? That is up to each and every one of you, but if you really want the best amplifier out there, an end game amplifier…this is it."
- Dan-Alexandru Gheorghe, HeadMania.org
"The HPA4 combined with the Benchmark AHB2 power amplifier ranks as the quietest rig I've heard (or not heard). Even with the gain up to full with no signal, there is no hiss, hum, or buzz, even when I placed my ears within a in inch of the drivers on 89 dB sensitive loudspeakers."
"As a headphone amplifier, the HPA4 was first rate. Whether it was my most power-hungry headphones, which currently are the new Abyss Diana Phi, or my most sensitive IERs, such as the Empire Ears Phantoms, there was no added noise or lack of adequate gain."
"The Benchmark HPA4 exhibits virtually no noise, whether employed as a stereo preamp or headphone amplifier, and his highly transparent, with no audible colorations."
"If you are looking for a preamplifier/headphone amplifier that you can live with happily for a long time, you should consider the Benchmark HPA4 at the top of your must-audition list."
- Steven Stone, HomeTheaterReview.com