"The DAC2 measured specifications are a significant improvement over the already very impressive DAC1, due to the very high resolution ESS SABRE DAC, better components and improved circuit topology."
"However, the impressively improved measurements don't really prepare for the emotional impact of music played through the DAC2. Improvements in objective aspects of performances are there: I can hear keyboard, voice, drum, string and jazz saxophone articulation, timbre and instrument sound much more clearly. The intention of the artists through the mechanics of their playing is much more clearly audible."
"But the communication of emotion is even more greatly improved. Jazz swings better. Classical storms, soars and sings better ..."
- Jeff Chan, jeffchan.com
DAC1 HDR - "Top 20 Most Notable Digital Products from the Past 20 Years"
Enjoy the Music.com takes a look back at the 20 most significant digital audio products from the past 20 years.
"It is widely known within the high-end audio industry that Enjoy the Music.com gives out very few awards. With the nearly constant barrage with 'best of' and 'top picks' featuring hundreds of products elsewhere, there is little doubt Enjoy the Music.com is perhaps the most conservative of magazines when it comes to giving out special accolades. With our annual Blue Note awards possibly being the most sought-after within the audiophile industry, as only a very small handful of products get special recognition each year, we want to highlight our 20th anniversary by using our 20/20 vision as it were and look back to some of the best gear."
"As Editor and Creative Director for Enjoy the Music.com, it is my honor to look back at the many thousands of reviews and choose the top 20 per category. This month my choices are for the very best digital gear over the past 20 years."
"I rely on the DAC1 for monitoring in audio restoration and mastering. I am lost without it. I have used it, along with the ADC1, 8 hours a day, five days a week since 2005."
"I used the DAC1 and Samplitude in the “OLD-TIME SMOKY MOUNTAIN MUSIC” CD which was nominated in 2013 for a Grammy in historic recording."
John T. Fleenor, Archives Of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University
DAC1 HDR - "This little box delivers a mind-blowing audio experience"
"Listening to Irish folk singer Cara Dillon sing “The Lass of Glenshee,” from Live at the Grand Opera House on the DAC1, we were amazed at how much easier we could discern the lyrics through the singer’s lovely brogue. The acoustic guitar, fiddle, drums, and flute, meanwhile, were distinctly rendered so that you could place each note of each instrument in the broad sound stage."
"The DAC1 HDR is a phenomenal piece of gear ..."
- Michael Brown, Maximum PC
DAC1 HDR - "You will have to spend a very, very great deal of money to find a better DAC"
"When Benchmark Media’s DAC1 digital to analog converter was introduced a few years ago, it not only garnered rave reviews, but those reviewers who performed rigorous laboratory tests only wound up confirming Benchmark’s claims that it was a virtually distortionless device...every now and then, word gets out about really exceptional professional products...and soon audiophiles start buying them."
"... you will have to spend a very, very great deal of money to find a better DAC and linestage than are in this unassuming but nearly perfect unit."
- Peter Seydor, TAS
DAC1 HDR - "A rich feature set and top-quality sound"
"The DAC1 HDR carries on Benchmark’s tradition of approaching cost-no-object performance for a very reasonable price."
"For audiophiles who can live with only one analog input... the DAC1 HDR delivers a rich feature set and top-quality sound for much less than you’d spend on three separate components."
- Doug Schneider, SoundStage! Access