The PALAB Audio DAC-M1 is a DAC with built-in headphone amplifier, including support for MQA.
If you haven’t heard of the PALAB Audio brand, that’s not so weird because it’s brand new. But fear not: behind the scenes of the New York-based company you will find a team from the equally American Nuforce. PALAB by the way, stands for Power Advance Lab. Well, back to the DAC-M1. The MQA compatibility mentioned in the intro makes streaming of audio data wrapped with this technology possible. You can link other digital sources to the M1 too, pimping – for example – the sound quality of an older CD player in no time. PCM is supported in a maximum quality of 384 kHz / 32 bit, while DSD64 up to and including DSD256 can also be played back without troubles. Asynchronous USB, native MQA via USB and more is available to connect a variety of sources.
As promised, the PALAB Audio DAC-M1 is not only a D/A converter but also a headphone amplifier. Three independent circuits together form the headphone amplifier. Choose from a 6.3 mm or 4.4 mm jack to plug in headphones. Thanks to a preamplifier function with integrated volume control, the DAC-M1 can also be used as a preamplifier and thus directly drive a power amplifier. The PALAB Audio DAC-M1 costs €1345.