Let’s start with the V1 amp. The V1 is a class D amplifier that embodies all of the expected benefits of class D technology (tautness, control, definition, good extension at the frequency extremes), plus something more: namely, what I described in my Playback review as “a robust, hearty, and full-bodied quality” that class D amps often are not able to provide. It’s that quality of providing everything you expect plus that elusive “something more” that makes this amp so special.
The V2, which is slightly larger than the V1 amp, basically combines the V1’s amplifier circuit with a USB DAC that can support up to 48kHz/16-bit audio data files (sorry, no support for higher res files). On the one hand, the V2 DAC, which is voiced fairly similarly to the V1 amplifier, adds an extra performance dimension to the product, and manages to sound better than some competing higher-res DACs we’ve heard in this price class. But, a small potential drawback is that the V2 DAC tends to impart a faint trace of treble “dryness” that isn’t particularly objectionable, but that undercuts realism to a degree. In truth, the V1 amp also shows very faint traces of this same quality of dryness, though the DAC makes them more apparent than the amp, alone, does.
Why you might look further: Both Units are relatively expensive, which may prove a deal-breaker for some buyers. On the whole, the V1 is a very fine amp and perhaps the more uncompromised of the two products, while the V2 amp/DAC is quite good in its own right, but arguably less of a slam-dunk choice than the V1 is.