Although the Coffee was not sonically superior to my current high-performance leader in under $200 DACs, the $169 Audioengine D1, it equaled the D1’s performance with certain playback software. The Coffee proved over the course of the review to be more stable than the Audioengine D1, which occasionally needed to be reconnected after a computer awoke from sleep.
The Coffee is compact, looks stylish, and successfully commanded all the software packages I tried with it. For anyone looking for a high-quality entry-level computer audio DAC with built-in controls, the Coffee would be a savvy choice.
Consider this DAC if:
• You want a simple way to improve your computer’s sonics
• Sound quality is your primary criteria for purchase
• You want a DAC that can control output volume levels via the computer’s volume settings
Look further if:
• You need a USB DAC that also has a digital output
• You require a DAC capable of 192/24
• You want a DAC with its own internal analog volume control
Ratings (relative to comparably-priced DACs):
• Design & Features: 8.5
• Tonal Balance: 9
• Timbral Purity: 8
• Detail & Resolution: 7.5
• Imaging/Soundstaging: 8
• Dynamics: 7
• Value: 8
The Coffee has the right feature set and high level of audio performance, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a portable 96/24 USB stand-alone DAC.
Calyx Coffee USB DAC
Power source: USB
THD+N ratio: 0.006% @ 1 kHz, 0 dBFS
SNR: -100 dB @ 1kHz
Channel separation: -107 dB @ 1 kHz
Output level: 1.8Vrms (line out), 1.3Vrms (headphone out)
Sample rate: 24-bits and 8 kHz, 16 kHz, 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, and 96 kHz
Dimensions (H x W x D): 1” x 4.5" X 2.3"
Weight: 10 oz.
On Song Audio Distribution