(2019) Stereo Digital Source Components

Price: AU$18,800

Website: www.aquahifi.com

Peter said: For me, for the time being, and especially when you factor in the xHD’s value for often bleeding-edge performance, I’d call it a “bargain and the best I ever had.”

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: Modularity adds value to this DAC.

Price: $1199

Website: www.bluesound.com

Gordon said: In short, while new features like support of AirPlay 2, Siri voice control, and two-way Bluetooth add to the Vault 2i’s appeal, what’s most impressive about the product is its unique functionality, and the overall excellence of the BluOS software platform.

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: The BluOS software is really the thing here.

Price: AU$7500

Website: www.chordelectronics.co.uk

Edgar said: While it may require a minor readjustment to accept yet another device into the signal chain, there’s no denying the performance payoff more than justifies it.

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: Add this to your Chord stack for even more performance.

Price: $5999

Website: www.cocktailaudio.com

Aron said: If you’re in the market for an all-in-one music player with exemplary build quality and an industry-leading résumé of features, Cocktail Audio’s X45Pro deserves to be on your shortlist.

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: A little cool sounding but hard to fault otherwise.

Price: $849

Website: www.project-audio.com

Gordon said: Pro-Ject’s Stream Box S2 Ultra is a nifty little product with lots of applications. Pair it with a compact USB DAC like Pro-Ject’s Pre Box S2 and you have a very nice, small-footprint digital source for streamed and locally stored music.

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: A few software issues hamper an otherwise excellent product.

Price: $4750

Website: www.ta-hifi.de

Erich said: T+A’s technical prowess has made interfacing with today’s digital music-playback options a uniquely coherent experience.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Along with their DAC 8 DSD, this makes a top-shelf digital source.

Price: $8400

Website: www.weiss.ch

Uday said: The great thing about the DAC501 is that, while it sounded warmer than my current system, and warmer than I’d typically seek out, not only did I quickly acclimate to its sound, I found that I enjoyed it beyond my expectations.

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Successful update of the popular DAC202.

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