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SilverStone Ensemble EB01-E USB DAC Review

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SilverStone EB01-E Detailed Features

An external audio DAC is a product that will primarily appeal to someone with a significant digital music collection and a desire to get the best possible audio performance from their collection. A serious gamer might also take a second look at a standalone audio DAC as a way to improve the audio in his game, although he will most likely opt for an external box with a microphone input.

The Silverstone EB01-E is a sleek metallic enclosure with no discernible features visible from the front, except for the two previously mentioned blue LEDs.

SilverStone_EB01-E_Top

SilverStone EB01-E Top View

The EB01-E does not have an external power supply; it requires a USB connection to a PC or USB power supply for its primary power.

The rear of the unit provides access to all of the digital audio inputs and one pair of analog outputs. The choice of active input is made by pressing the small button labelled “SW” on the rear right of the unit. A set of three blue status LEDs are used to indicate which audio input is currently active. In a typical user setup, access to this switch and observation of the LEDs can only be performed by looking behind the unit, or rotating the entire box 180° with the connecting cables in tow. It is possible, however, to simply press the “SW” button while listening for the appropriate audio input to be output.

SilverStone_EB01-E_Back_lit

SilverStone EB01-E Back View

This is a digital input only box with no input provided for an analog audio source. In most cases, the listener will connect the audio output of the EB01-E directly to a stereo amplifier, or through the matching EB03 headphone amplifier.


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2 comments

  1. Johnniedoo

    Very good and interesting points with lots of examples and details for this device.
    It seems that the ‘audiophiles’ are looking for the 2 channel or stereo for the perfect sound at 24/192,000
    yet, I am happy with the surround sound 5.1 or 7.1 which is usually at 24/48,000 or 24/96,000
    I get absolutely no significant differences though between the 16/41.1k and 24/48k. I liked the reference to the test or study done as well. I cant seem to notice much difference,but shop for the high numbers, still, for some reasons
    My motherboard digiital/analogue output is supposed to support 24/192k output through the standard hdmi, spdif /toslink cables. I have a number of headphones from my older AKG240s which were the benchmark studio tools at one time and sennheiser 180 wireless as well as some good bud type with tiny little speakers. I hear the smaller in the ear ones best, most detail-less ambient noise intrusion, i guess.
    Good review, though. thanks
    John

  2. Aidan Moore

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Some people record live audio at a very high sample rate and bit depth because they are multi-tracking many different live instruments in a digital audio workstation like Cubase or Pro Tools. Having a high sample rate reduces latency, which affects the musicians performance.

    But for most folks 16 or 24 bits at 41.1 or 48kHz will sound great if the DAC is well designed.

    Aidan

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