SilverStone Ensemble EB01-E USB DAC Review
By Aidan Moore
Manufacturer: SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd.
Product Name: Ensemble Series EB01-E
Model Number: SST-EB01S-E (Silver)
Price As Tested: $189.99 (Amazon)
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by SilverStone.
The Silverstone EB01–E DAC is the companion product in both form and function to the SilverStone EB-03 headphone amplifier. Together, these two components make up the current SilverStone Ensemble Series audiophile grade audio components.
An external audio DAC is a computer peripheral that is aimed at an audiophile market with function of improving the PC audio quality. All modern PCs have an audio IC integral to the PC motherboard, so an external audio DAC is considered to be an upgrade to a PC system. However, there is an ongoing debate on just how good standard MP3 audio actually sounds when played at standard sampling rates, and higher quality audio formats such as FLAC exist to provide a higher quality sampling options. These formats require a high speed DAC and low noise audio for the best playback.
The EB01-E goes one step further than a high speed audio DAC by offering additional digital inputs for standalone digital to analog conversion from an optical or coaxial digital audio source.
In this article, Benchmark Reviews looks at the EB01-E USB DAC to determine if it is worth upgrading a basic PC audio DAC, and evaluates the EB01-E performance as a stand alone audio DAC.
Features & Specifications
The SilverStone EB01-E has the following features:
(From SilverStone Web site)
- High quality DAC with improved performance
- Classic SilverStone Ensemble exterior design
- Easy one touch button for USB, optical or coaxial input
- Support highest format of up to 24-bit/192kHz
- Utilizes premium XMOS XS1 TQ128 USB decoder for accurate sound reproduction
- Includes TI PCM1798 D/A converter for producing high quality analog signal
- Includes TI NE5532 OP amp for optimal analog output
(from SilverStone Web site)
|Model No.||SST-EB01-EB (black)
|Color||Black or silver|
|Material||Aluminum & steel chassis|
|Input||Asynchronous USB, optical, coaxial|
|Sampling resolution||16~24 Bit|
|SAMPLING RATE(FS)||32~ 192 kHz|
|USB Decoder||XMOS XS1 TQ128|
|D/A Converter||TI PCM1798|
|OP Amp||TI NE5532|
|Operating system support||Windows XP, 7, 8, MAC OS|