Centrance DACport HD
Centrance DACport HD
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Product Description
The CEntrance DACport HD takes everything you loved about the original DACport Classic and Massdrop-exclusive DACport Slim, and ramps up the power for running high-end headphones from a compact device. It pairs the highly regarded AKM4490 DAC with a Class-A headphone amp that brings 775 mW of output power—all without the use of an internal battery Read More
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All of our reviews are from verified customers.
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34
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95%
would recommend to a friend
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domcobb1
54
Aug 21, 2018
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How the hell is there not more fanfare around this little thing??? It's absolutely tiny, fits in your pocket and will even connect to and work with your mobile device if you have the cable/dongle (I'm using a USB-C to USB-A which then fits the included cable). And this thing gets LOUD. I can push the 250 ohm DT 770 to screeching levels (I've read someone say they paired this with the HE 400i's so even magnetic planars will work with this.) Sound quality is great, and while no music natively supports 32 bit/ 384kHz playback it's nice to have and I'm curious to try it out with games. No idle hum or any noticeable artifacting.
Just a few minor annoyances that are in no way a dealbreaker for me:
- Low/High gain switch is a bit difficult to actually switch (it's recessed somewhat into the body of the device) - Read it got warm during operation, it does indeed get quite warm - Windows use required installation of an application/driver (none on other platforms)
Overall this thing is super versatile. I was looking at a smaller solution to amping just because I tend to move around a lot and this thing hit all the checkmarks and passed with flying colors. Can be used as an all in one desktop solution or an on the go solution. I really can't understand how this was done at this price point or so well.
Aug 21, 2018
Kam182
23
Jul 31, 2018
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Easy to set up, and sounds phenomenal with my HD6XX's and Fostex Ebony TR-X00's. It can power more power-hungry headphones, if you need it.
Form factor is tiny - They weren't kidding when they said it was as big as a lighter. The volume control is nice, though it can get a little sensitive with high gain turned on (be really careful with this setting!). It also runs warm. I can't speak to running this thing with my phone, but on a desktop setup, I was blown away. I can't wait to try it out while on the go one of these days.
EDIT:
Forgot to mention that if you're using this with Windows, you'll need to download a driver from CEntrance's site. Mac works right out of the box: Just plug it in with the included micro USB cable. and you're good to go.
I did eventually figure out a way to use this thing with my iPhone after having contacted CEntrance (they respond quickly, if you have any questions). Turns out you will need some extra things to get this to work with an iPhone 8 Plus:
I have to use the Apple Camera Connection kit. It has a Lightning input and USB-A input. I connect a battery pack to the Lightning input, and connect the USB-A input to the DACPort HD using a micro usb to USB-A cable. Then I connect the CCK to the phone. CEntrance told me that the iPhone must be plugged into a power source for the DACPort HD to work with it. It's messy, but it works if you're looking to use the DACPort HD on the go with a newer iPhone. Also, you might have to plug the DACPort HD in a few times to get the phone to recognize it.
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Jul 31, 2018
RayF
21196
Oct 26, 2019
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I'd love to see a photo of that mess ;- )
Oct 26, 2019
MrHelpful
72
Jun 1, 2020
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Yikes, you need all the mess just to get it work on iPhone? Hmmm the Dragonfly looks better if that's the case.
Jun 1, 2020
belowyellowbells
25
Jun 23, 2020
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Desktop quality in the size of a lighter
The included connectivity cable, of which only one is included, is USB micro B to USB A. Sometimes it's difficult to search for this information, so there you have it. That said, a considerate company would include their very short, very convenient USB micro B to USB C cable with the unit to really win my heart, as I now have to purchase this cable from them, separately, for 20 additional dollars, and wait for it to arrive. Maybe we're all expected to already own such a cable? I must be out of touch. THE SOUND: is top-notch. Flexible, delivers as much clarity as I could have hoped and cleanly powers every low impedance headphone I own. I'm using this on the go, so it will mostly be feeding IEMs, and thus far it delivers. BUILD: input should just be USB C, micro anything is a sin. Gain switch is deeply recessed, I have found success with tweezers. Volume knob adjustment is smooth, if a bit too easy to turn, which on hi-gain can be problematic with easy to drive IEMs. There is a noticeable draw on my phones battery usage, but far less than should cause concern. THE RESULT: I'm stoked on the sound and the size, just wish the design was a *bit* more forward thinking. Overall would recommend to anyone looking for portability on a budget, or starting out and wanting to keep things fleet and stealth.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Jun 23, 2020
diyaudio
40
Aug 4, 2018
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I got this DAC/amp a couple of days back.
I have the ODAC and O2 headphone amp, and this one is as good. In other words, it's absolutely clean and drives my 250-Ohm DT880 effortlessly. It gets warm as others have reported, and its volume control works very well. I need the high gain setting for the DT880, but all normal earphones which work with mobile phones will work happily with the low-gain setting, I'm sure. I specifically bought this to drive my large cans. I am driving it from my Linux laptop, and it works without any problem. As any Linux users probably know, no driver installation etc needed.
The physical build quality and the volume control feel is very good. I think it'll last a long time mechanically.
I am not sure this device is suitable as an outboard DAC for a mobile device, unless you just want to listen to a song or two. This DAC drains current fast, therefore your cellphone will drain fast. I think it's a great addition to a laptop rig.
I am an engineer and music lover, not an audiophile, so I may not hear differences between two pieces of equipment above a certain quality level. I feel that this device will probably match a Benchmark DAC1 or DAC2 headphone output, in case you want a guess.
Aug 4, 2018
tedhersh
51
Dec 6, 2019
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Amazing!
This product makes me question everything I thought I knew about audio products. I've paired it with multiple headphones (HD650, HD600, K7XX, X2/HR) and it has driven all of them flawlessly! I already had the DACport Slim and have been so impressed that the DACport HD was a no brainier. I have Schiit Magni 3, Valhalla 2, O2, Modi 2 Uber and Khadas Tone Board, but there is something about this little pocket wizard that keeps me coming back for more. I remember back in the late 70's when Bob Carver came out with his 200 watt per channel, 9 inch square magnetic field power amps. The DACport HD gives me the same feeling...a sort of "How did they do that?" A USB powered, 3 inch long, 2 oz amp/dac that drives 300 ohm headphones with ease... Brilliant!
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Would recommend to a friend.
Dec 6, 2019
Gandalf61
0
Feb 22, 2020
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I have one of those Carver M400 Amps in my basement. I have a Carver Tuner as well.
Feb 22, 2020
Koloss85
9
Dec 14, 2019
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So I've had the Dacport HD for a few days now and I'm very impressed. I'm coming from a Schiit Fulla 2 and this is far more clear and powerful. It runs from my pixel 3axl no problem with an otg cable and sounds great (keep your charger around because battery drain is real tho); and is way better than the onboard sound on my surface pro which sounds tinny and anemic by comparison. For headphones I'm mainly using a pair of chi-fi Blon 03 iems (30 OHM) on low gain; and Sennheiser HD58X (150ohm) on high gain. With music like tidal hifi there's something about this combo that does something to the sound that I can't quite articulate but like very much. Clear, powerful, instrument separation, articulate low end not muddy and no harsh shrill highs like the Fulla can have at times. I listen to hip hop, electronic, and metal. I'm loving it so far. To give an idea for how powerful it is, I have to pretty much max out the fulla 2 volume to really feel the sound on the HD58X, but on the Dacport HD, I can't go much farther than 50% volume without almost going deaf. -BUT no distortions at the higher volumes, still clear! My only gripe is despite being compatible on paper, the Dacport HD isn't recognized by PS4 pro (which is capable of usb 3.0 data and audio and backward compatible). The Schiit Fulla 2 is plug n play and I know there are other dacs that work with the PS4 plug n play too. I had messaged Mike from Centrance and he initially thought it would work (they hadn't tested Ps4) but now says its incompatible on the PS4's end. IDK but if anyone has a work around let me know because the Dacport is way better than the fulla 2 (to my ears) for music so I'd like to try it for gaming. (Iwas given a heads up it might not work in the discussion section and I realize this isn't "for gaming" but us gamers are often neglected when it comes to the world of awesome audio and hopefully more dac amps will be made with more compatibility and ease of use in mind). For PS4 tho for now, I'm stuck with the Fulla 2. If someone figures a work around get at me tho because I can only imagine it being awesome. All in all tho I definitely recommend the Dacport HD and feel it outperforms other dac amps in the price range. I'm happy with the purchase. Get one!
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Would recommend to a friend.
(Edited)
Dec 14, 2019
angstroms
97
Dec 26, 2019
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Great little DAC/AMP for HE-400 on a MacBook Pro and Dan Clark AEON X
Great Portable solution for MacBook Pro to get the best out of your headphone while on the go..... I tried number of headphone though it, Dan Clark AEON X, Drop HE-400 ( these are just great deal now on Drop), Drop HD-6xx, Beyerdynamic DT-880 600 ohm and AKG-712 headphones. It one of the few very small amps that can drive Dan Clark AEON X with linear volume increase to max, this is one hungry little headset, but it bring solid dynamics and solid detail. Example songs
  • Neil Young "Cinnamon Girl" & "The Needle and the Damage Done"
  • Pink Floyd "Money" & "Wish You Were Here"
  • Munford & Son's "I Will Wait" & "Little Lion Man"
  • The Neighborhood "I Love You."
  • Moby "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad "
The Amp opens up the DT-880 Pro 600 Ohm which need solid headphone amp to open then up. Also sounds great with HE-400 and HD-6xx. Would recommend this for some looking for simple to use solution on your Mac Book Pro for more power hunger Ortho and Dynamic Headsets.
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Would recommend to a friend.
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Dec 26, 2019
ixtlan
18
May 9, 2020
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Wish they would have shipped the DAC, but customer support did provide refund.
So, I order this DAC and today I get a delivery. Guess what's in the package? Speaker cables. They shipped me the wrong item. I have contacted support. Customer support was kind and credited me with a refund and provided a lable to ship the cables back. Wish I would have gotten the DAC, though. I keep getting harassed by a couple of individuals for posting a 3 out of 5 star review when I didn't even receive the product I ordered. So, I'm changing my rating so all cyber-bullies understand where their efforts lead. I encourage anyone else being harassed online by Rowdy2026 or MrHelpful to do the same. It will help them learn that people are entitled to score their own review the way they see fit.
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May 9, 2020
Rowdy2026
99
Jun 4, 2020
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ixtlan
18
Jun 4, 2020
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Nope. Never picked on. Never picked on other people either. It was more than a shipping error. They didn't even have the product they were selling. So, why do you harass people on line? Lonely?
Jun 4, 2020
Gumbert
19
May 21, 2020
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Ridiculous
Just got a roll of speaker cable. Almost two months of waiting. And now I will need to wait more for buying another DAC.... Very very disappointed by such an unprofessional approach...
May 21, 2020
ixtlan
18
Jun 4, 2020
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What's with the guys trying to criticize and harass others for the reviews they give? It's the REVIEW section. People are supposed to give their own reviews. It's not the section for people to criticize other's reviews. People being disappointed at being shipped the wrong product and finding out they can't even get what they ordered isn't surprising. It's to be expected.
Jun 4, 2020
CEntrance
1125
Michael Goodman
Jun 5, 2020
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Guys, Michael Goodman here. Just got notice that this terrible mistake happened. I've worked with Massdrop for several weeks trying to prevent this from happening, and alas, it still did happen. I'm so very sorry about that. There clearly was a mix up at the Drop warehouse in New Jersey, because of COVID or whatever, I don't know. What's upsetting is that I emailed them 5 times asking to check this, because I suspected that there was an error (they didn't acknowledge the receipt their usual way). And now this. Very sorry. I have written to several levels of management at Drop. They need to get this fixed. It's not CEntrance fault, but that does nothing to lessen your inconvenience...
Jun 5, 2020
toniidesu
136
Mar 24, 2020
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Wow! Small but mighty
This is probably the easiest audio recommendation I've ever made: if you're curious enough about this thing to be reading reviews, just buy it. It's a shining reminder that significant audio improvements don't need to be fiddly, inconvenient, or expensive. I've tried all sorts of portable amps and DAC/amp hybrids. The CEntrance absoutely smokes the Dragonfly Red and similar flash drive-style units. Don't even get me started on the Schiit Fulla 2, which I found much worse than my headphone jack for everything but raw volume. Obviously it's not a strictly apples to apples comparison, but this also sounds better than the venerable O2 amp by a significant margin. This thing is really in a league of its own. In my experience, Class A amps just sound better, so that's most likely the secret sauce here. I'm not prepared to claim I can hear a difference between DAC chips that can't be explained by simple volume difference, but I can generally hear the difference between Class A and Class AB amps. (Not claiming I could go 10/10 in a blind listening test, though!) Of course, the CEntrance doesn't deliver the skull-splitting power of a desktop amp with a dedicated power supply—I have the cult classic Gustard H10 on my desk at work, and obviously that has more gain. But I only buy efficient headphones that don't strictly need an amp, so power beyond what the CEntrance provides is wasted on me. For me, this is damn near perfect, and certainly close enough to perfect to get a five-star review. Are there things I don't like? Yes, but only two. One, the branding on the unit is overkill and ugly. I keep it with the blank side up so I don't have to be reminded of what it is and who makes it 1000 times a day. Two, I have to remember to unplug my headphones before I plug in or unplug the CEntrance, because otherwise there's a significant pop in the headphones, which feels kind of rough even if it's not actually damaging the drivers. If you have any experience with Class A amps, the heat the CEntrance generates is perfectly normal. It's not going to burn your hands or burn down your home. To end on one final positive note: I really appreciate the removable cable. My work and personal computers only have USB-C, so I bought a USB-C to micro-USB cable to save myself from hunting for an adapter whenever I want to use the amp. In short, this is an awesome and affordable upgrade to any mobile listening setup and I highly recommend it.
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Would recommend to a friend.
Mar 24, 2020
tonso
6
Jun 16, 2020
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To my ears the mids sound muddy and laid-back on my HD6XXs though this amp. Do you think it's possible to improve that by switching to a similarly priced desktop amp?
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Jun 16, 2020
toniidesu
136
Jun 16, 2020
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I think the HD6XX is a generally laid-back headphone regardless of amp, but since I don't have the 6XX/650 anymore or any high-impedance headphones, I can't test this pairing myself. Have you tried the high gain mode on the CEntrance? If portability and USB power aren't important factors to you, you will absolutely get more power and fewer compromises out of a desktop wall-powered amp, but I'm skeptical that amps at this price point will be THAT much of an improvement, and I'm reluctant to recommend anything I haven't tried myself. That said, if you really want to awaken the 6XX's full potential, I'd recommend going with something tube-driven. Drop sells all kinds of Chi-Fi tube amps, but I've only tried the DarkVoice, which I reviewed here. The good news is that you have probably the most popular hi-fi open-back headphones in the world, and certainly the most widely owned in this community, so you should have no trouble asking around for amp recommendations. :)
Jun 16, 2020
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Underpowering headphones isn't about volume level. They can get very loud, but they won't sound their best. There's just not enough power to let the drivers function as designed. DACs and amps do change the sound of headphones, and it's not an issue of neutrality, but presentation as a whole. Underpowering headphones can make their desirable traits turn into the opposite. As an example, the HD 6XX sound stuffy and dead on the DACport HD on low gain, simply due to being high impedance and requiring more power. Amps deliver different levels of power according to impedance. The HD 6XX are plenty sensitive to make decent sound with little power, but that won't yield their best performance. The drivers have an impedance of 300 ohm, but that number is frequency-dependent and can increase much higher as music plays. However, once the DACport HD is set to high gain, the HD 6XX are totally transformed to the point that they sound like different headphones, because electrically, they're functioning according to their design. The bass gets tighter, the mid-bass no longer bleeds into the mids, *and the highs get sharper and smoother with much less "grain". The separation and layering increases, and also the width and depth of the stereo image. It's the same DAC/amp, but the power delivery increased, so the drivers are behaving in a different, optimal way. You said you know you're underpowering the HD 6XX, that it gets loud enough, and that you don't think the sound signature will be altered by the DAC and amp. If you don't have hearing damage, you will instantly hear the enormous change with the DACport HD on high gain. You will even be able to enjoy them at a *higher volume comfortably, because clean power yields less distortion. It's not an opinion of mine, but just plain science. 😎👍 *typo edits