Jds labs atom

Jds labs atom DEFAULT

JDS Labs

In this article we review the JDS Labs ATOM DAC, which is selling for $99 USD. It is built to pair with the enormously popular JDS Labs Atom Amp.

 

Disclaimer: JDS Labs sent us the Atom DAC for this review free of charge, I only covered the import taxes and fees. All thoughts and experiences with the product are naturally my own.

Many of you already have an acquaintance with JDS Labs because of the widely popular DACs & AMPs that they design. They are one of my favorite Audio companies of all time. I have used many of their products in the past, even the old ones such as the JDS’s production of NwAvGuy’s O2 amplifier and Altoid can JDS CMoys. Those were the times! I can honestly say that I have never used anything “mediocre” from JDS. They always deliver in my experience. Today we will talk about their new Atom DAC and how it pairs with the Atom AMP.

But first, let’s talk a little bit about the company! Who are they, really?

Well, everything started with an audiophile’s pursuit of excellence. The story begins with John Seaber, the JDS in JDS Labs. John, who was not happy with the bass response of Sennheiser HD-280 Pro , designs a bass boost circuit and shares it with the audio enthusiasts. In no time, John’s keen hands gets overflown full of requests from other audio enthusiasts. Though JDS Labs was never planned to be a company, Co-Founder Nick joined in 2011 and the evolution that will make JDS Labs what it is today, begins.

They are now this hugely popular killer company, who is trusted by the fans because of their honest and transparent attitude towards everything they do.

We have reviewed and awarded a lot of JDS Labs gear here on Headfonia over the years, check out their reviews here: Headfonia JDS Labs reviews

Now that you’re acquainted, let’s get to good stuff.

JDS Labs Atom DAC

Specifications & Technical Data (more here.)

Frequency Response 10Hz-20kHz: +/- 0.15dB

SINAD: 110 dB

THD+N 20Hz-20kHz: < 0.0008%

Noise (A-Weighted): -109 dBu

Dynamic Range (A-Weighted): 117 dB

Packaging & Build Quality

Packaging is quite straightforward, the stack comes in a static bag inside a cardboard box. The ATOM AMP features a similar unboxing experience. Gold-plated plugs feel solid, well made. The Atom DAC works with a 15VAC Power Adapter, it comes bundled with the DAC, in a cute little box. After unboxing and holding the device in my hands, I immediately noticed how lightweight it is, just like the amp. It weighs only 226 grams. The case is plastic, but don’t let this discourage you. It looks very, blacky chic. Seeing plastic build after so many CNC’d JDS products reminds me that I am paying for the sheer, absolute performance. It’s true, we’ll find out more in the sound section. Anyway, both the Atom DAC & AMP feature the similar white-ring design. They look beautiful together, especially at night. I like the dimness of the LEDs, they do not hurt my eyes in my pitch black room.

As you know, both the DAC and the AMP come bundled with power adapters. This means that you have to have space for 2 huge adapters which by the way, blocks 4 of my adjacent outlets, when plugged in.

JDS also placed 4 anti-slip rubber feet under both of the units. They work well and they have a low profile so you don’t see them easily.

To recap, the build quality is fair, especially for the price. These will last a really long time, don’t worry. Plus, JDS has one of the best warranty track records I have seen in this industry, so you’re in good hands.

Design & Features

JDS is popular among audiophiles for their killer price to performance ratio gear. The OL DAC & OBJECTIVE2 stack was a huge hit sub 200, rivaling gear that is double the price. ATOM is here to get that crown back. The DAC has excellent measurements, it is a technical marvel for the price. MEMS oscillators, external power design, Asahi Kasei’s premium-grade 4490EQ DAC chip with Velvet Sound architecture featuring a really low noise and distortion, XMOS AC2 controller with upgradeable firmware support… The Atom is full of good stuff.

Did I mention the automatic standby feature? Atom DAC does not feature an on board power switch, instead, it enters standby after 15 minutes of inactivity, powering down its light ring and D/A circuitry, and wakes up when you need it, within milliseconds. For the old fashioned, you can get an external power switch if you like but I felt absolutely no need for that.

The part on sound starts on the next page. Click HERE or just use the jumps below.

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Yagiz

Long time Tech Enthusiast, an ambitious petrol-head, Yagiz likes his gadgets and always finds new ways into the tinkerer's world. He tries to improve anything and everything he gets his hands onto. Loves an occasional shine on the rocks.

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Sours: https://www.headfonia.com/jds-labs-atom-dac-review/

ATOM, STACKED

Atom DAC+ is built to pair with the enormously popular JDS Labs Atom Amp, now with even higher performance, both USB and TOSLINK inputs, and our latest upgradeable XMOS based firmware with UAC2 support and UAC1 fallback*. Atom DAC+'s subtle light ring glows when in use, automatically powers down during inactivity, and wakes up instantly and silently. A dedicated transformer ensures mains isolation. Stack Atom DAC+ with your Atom Amp and enjoy!

Gallery

Features

MEMS OSCILLATOR

Atom DAC+ is clocked by 45/49MHz MEMS oscillators with ±25ppm frequency stability, delivering minimal jitter.

UPGRADEABLE FIRMWARE

Atom DAC+'s XMOS based firmware configures and manages all functionality, with DFU support for future updates.

UAC2 AND UAC1

Atom DAC+ supports up to 32/384kHz PCM over a custom XMOS XU208 based UAC2 engine. While we claim no measurable superiority of high sampling rates, UAC2 and ASIO support satisfy your pursuit of bitperfect listening. UAC1 mode is activated when using a UAC1 Fallback Cable.

EXTERNALLY POWERED

Atom DAC+ is powered by a perfected supply network, with an external AC transformer and 10 regulators that ensure consistent rail voltage and super low ripple.

AUTOMATIC STANDBY

Atom DAC+ automatically enters standby after 15 minutes of inactivity, powering down its light ring and D/A circuitry, and audio wakes up silently and instantly.

DIFFERENTIAL SUMMING I/V OUTPUT

Differential output of an ES9018K2M DAC is paired with our unique, DC coupled, precision tuned I/V converter with three stages per channel, or six NJM opamps in total.

Specifications

DAC Performance

  • Frequency Response, 20Hz-20kHz+/- 0.12dB
  • SINAD @ 1kHz, 20-22.4kHz112 dB
  • THD+N, 20Hz-20kHz< 0.0004%
  • SNR, 20Hz-20kHz> 117 dB
  • IMD CCIF, 19/20 kHz -6 dBFS-111 dB
  • Noise, A-Weighted-109 dBu
  • Dynamic Range, AES17, A-Weighted> 120 dB
  • Linearity Error -90 dBFS-0.01 dB
  • Crosstalk, 1kHz, 100k Input-104 dB
  • USB Jitter Components @ 12kHz-131 dB
  • Maximum DAC Line-Output, 100K2 VRMS
  • PCB Stackup4 Layers

Dimensions

  • Case Dimensions5.0 x 5.3 x 1.4 in
  • Weight8 oz

Data Support

  • Audio Formats (USB)16/44.1kHz thru 32/384kHz PCM, DSD64-DSD128 1.
  • Audio Formats (TOSLINK)16/44.1k thru 24/192k PCM
  • USB InterfaceUAC2 with UAC1 Fallback*
  • USB Driver OS SupportWindows 7/8/10, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS

Connectivity

  • Digital InputsUSB and TOSLINK
  • Line OutputRCA

Packaged Items

  • Atom DAC+
  • 15VAC Power Adapter
  • 3ft USB Type A to Type B Cable w/Ferrite
  • Rocker Power Switch

Downloads

  • Atom DAC+ Instructions (EN)
  • Atom DAC+ Instructions (DE)
  • Atom DAC+ | Firmware v1.8.9 - Default

    Atom DAC+ firmware v1.8.9, dated 07/21/2021, is recommended for use with most operating systems.

    This version supports UAC2 with auto fallback to UAC1 when connected to a UAC1 Fallback Cable and supports connection to Android and iOS devices without a USB hub.

    For more information and Installation guidance, please see Custom Firmware Builds.

  • Atom DAC+ | Firmware v1.8A - For Nintendo Switch

    Atom DAC firmware v1.8.A, dated 08/12/2021, is required for use with Nintendo Switch.

    This version supports UAC2 with all modern operating systems (macOS, Win XP/7/8/10, iOS, Android, and Linux), with auto fallback to UAC1 when used with a UAC1 Fallback Cable.

    For more information and Installation guidance, please see Custom Firmware Builds.

  • Atom DAC+ | Firmware v1.8.4 - For PS4/PS5

    Atom DAC firmware v1.8.4, dated 05/12/2021, is recommended for use with PS4/PS5 and all modern operating systems (MacOS, Win XP/7/8/10, iOS, Android, and Linux). Operating system volume will remain locked to 100%, as required for PS4/PS5.

    This version supports UAC2 with auto fallback to UAC1 when connected to a UAC1 Fallback Cable and supports connection to Android and iOS devices without a USB hub.

    For more information and Installation guidance, please see Custom Firmware Builds.

  • Atom DAC(+) XMOS Drivers v4.13.0

    No drivers are required for Mac OS, Linux, or Windows 10.

    You may optionally install the XMOS drivers in Windows 10 to enable ASIO support.

    XMOS drivers are required for UAC2 in Windows 7/8. Alternatively, you may use UAC1 fallback.

Related Products

Sours: https://jdslabs.com/product/atom-dac-plus/
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YOUR NEW FAVORITE AMP + PREAMP

Conceived as the next-generation replacement to Objective2, Atom builds on more than a decade of amplifier design evolution at JDS Labs. Atom Amp+ tops the award winning Atom Amp with hand matched potentiometers and even higher performance, and comes fully loaded with a smooth 1/4" headphone jack, gold-plated preamp RCA outputs, and both 3.5mm and RCA inputs. Ample power. No noise. Front-mounted controls. Atom Amp+, our standard for performance and value in a headphone amp.

We have arrived at the golden age of headphone amplification folks. What JDS Labs Atom delivers for just $99 is astonishing. Performance is without fault. Plenty of power is available for even high impedance headphones like Sennheiser HD-650. We are talking clean, clean, power.

Audio Science Review The Atom, November 2018

The Atom line is focused on sheer performance and performance only. JDS aimed for a no-BS amplifier that is easy to operate, hella powerful, and compact. Under hundred dollars, it was crazy at the end of 2018, it is still crazy in 2021. 

HFN Recommended | JDS Labs Atom+ AMP, September 2021

Gallery

Features

PREAMP OUTPUTS

Unplug your headphones and Atom Amp+'s knob adjusts volume of its RCA preamp outputs, so that you can control volume of your powered speakers.

ULTRA HIGH POWER

While most headphone listening demands only milliwatts, Atom Amp+ uses the same output buffers as our flagship Element Line, pushing 1W of clean audio per channel. We avoid the marketing race to overkill power in order to keep Atom's power supply reasonably sized.

DUAL INPUTS

Atom Amp+ consolidates the need for a separate amp and preamp. Connect up to two sources and select between 3.5mm and RCA input with the push of a button.

SMART LOGIC

Designed for desktop listening, Atom Amp+'s relay muting eliminates pops and thumps during startup.

DUAL GAIN

Low gain of 1.0x with hand matched potentiometers are well suited to driving efficient IEMs. High gain easily powers demanding full size sets when paired with the matching 2VRMS Atom DAC+.

TOP PERFORMANCE

Atom Amp+ is our most advanced analog amplifier to date, achieving top performance from its 4-layer, star grounded layout.

Specifications

Performance

  • Frequency Response, 20Hz-20kHz+/- 0.01dB
  • SINAD @ 2VRMS, 1kHz119 dB
  • SINAD @ 50mV, 1kHz90 dB
  • SNR (20-20kHz)> 122 dB
  • IMD SMPTE-95 dB
  • Noise (20-20kHz)1.99 μV
  • Crosstalk @ 10kHz 150 Ω-92 dB
  • Input Impedance10k Ω
  • Output Impedance< 0.7 Ω
  • Channel Balance< 0.6 dB
  • Max Continuous Power @ 600Ω136mW (9.05VRMS)
  • Max Continuous Power @ 150Ω545 mW (9.04VRMS)
  • Max Continuous Power @ 32Ω1 Watt (5.66 VRMS)

Dimensions

  • Case Dimensions5.0 x 5.5 x 1.4 in
  • Weight9.3 oz

Connectivity

  • Headphone Output6.35mm (1/4")
  • Analog InputsRCA and 3.5mm
  • Preamp-OutputRCA

Configuration

  • Dual Gain1.0x and 4.5x
  • Volume Potentiometer Taper15A, Hand Matched Gangs

Packaged Items

  • Atom Amp+
  • 16VAC Power Adapter

Related Products

Sours: https://jdslabs.com/product/atom-amp/

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  • EL Amp II+EL Amp II+ $249
  • OL SwitcherOL Switcher $45
  • Subjective3Subjective3 $99
  • Stack RCA CablesStack RCA Cables $14.99
  • Rocker Power Switch for Barrel JacksRocker Power Switch for Barrel Jacks $2.99
  • 16VAC Power Adapter16VAC Power Adapter $19.99
  • 15VAC Power Adapter15VAC Power Adapter $18.99
  • JDS Labs 3.5mm Interconnect CableJDS Labs 3.5mm Interconnect Cable $2.99
  • Ultra Short 3.5mm Interconnect CableUltra Short 3.5mm Interconnect Cable $4.99
  • 6ft RCA to RCA Cable6ft RCA to RCA Cable $7.99
  • Premium Headset Adapter for PS5Premium Headset Adapter for PS5 $14.99
  • RCA to 3.5mm Female Adapter, 6inRCA to 3.5mm Female Adapter, 6in $3.99
  • Adapter - Basic Stereo 3.5mm to 6.35mm (1/4in)Adapter - Basic Stereo 3.5mm to 6.35mm (1/4in) $0.99
  • Adapter - Stereo 6.35mm to 3.5mm (1/8in)Adapter - Stereo 6.35mm to 3.5mm (1/8in) $1.99
  • USB Type B CableUSB Type B Cable $4.99
  • USB Cable - Type C to Mini-B OTGUSB Cable - Type C to Mini-B OTG $4.99
  • Mini-USB Cable, 8cmMini-USB Cable, 8cm $2.99
  • SLIP-ON 3.5MM BARREL ADAPTERSLIP-ON 3.5MM BARREL ADAPTER $3.95
  • Larger Rubber Feet for JDS Labs Element - 4 PackLarger Rubber Feet for JDS Labs Element - 4 Pack $1.99
  • Adhesive Bumpers - 4 PackAdhesive Bumpers - 4 Pack $1.50
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  • 5MM LED - BLUE5MM LED - BLUE $0.25
  • DIY JACK KIT FOR CMOYBB V2.03DIY JACK KIT FOR CMOYBB V2.03 $7.45
  • 3MM LED - RED3MM LED - RED $0.25
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  • Machined Objective2-ODAC Rear Plate - USB, 3.5mm JacksMachined Objective2-ODAC Rear Plate - USB, 3.5mm Jacks $8
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Sours: https://jdslabs.com/shop/

Labs atom jds

JDS Atom Amp+ Review (Headphone Amplifier)

This is a review and detailed measurements of the JDS Labs Atom Amp+ headphone amplifier. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $99. It was announced today.

The Amp+ follows the same recent industrial design in JDS amps and dacs:

JDS Labs Atom Amp+ Review Headphone Amplifier.jpg


It is light but functional. Dual gains are provided and single 1/4 headphone jack. The input selector chooses between 3.5 mm and RCA connectors in the back:

JDS Labs Atom Amp+ Review back panel Headphone Amplifier.jpg


As you see power is provided through an external AC transformer.

JDS Labs Atom Amp+ Measurements
As usual we start with our "unity gain" setting which means the same input voltage is produced at the output. In the case of unbalanced amplifiers, I use 2 volts which is the nominal maximum output of desktop DACs:
JDS Labs Atom Amp+ Measurements Headphone Amplifier.png


I would expect stellar performance from JDS and that is exactly what we see. Distortion is incredibly low at -130 dB (15 dB better than threshold of hearing). A 60 Hz tone is also visible but it is ordinarily buried in the broadband noise level as you see in a bit. For now, SINAD which characterizes noise+distortion is near top of the class:

Best desktop headphone amp review 2021.png


Signal to noise ratio at unit gain and 50 mv are excellent:

JDS Labs Atom Amp+ SNR Measurements Headphone Amplifier.png


As you see the noise floor is at -121 dB which is higher than the mains noise I indicated above. Still, this is extremely good performance with 20+ bits of dynamic range at 2 volt out, and 15 bits with just 50 mv out (adjusted by turning down the volume):

best headphone amp.png


Frequency response is one of the widest and flattest I have measured:

JDS Labs Atom Amp+ frequency response Measurements Headphone Amplifier.png


Power into 300 ohm is healthy 248 milliwatts (my threshold is 100 mw):

JDS Labs Atom Amp+ Power into 300 ohm Measurements Headphone Amplifier.png


In either gain, there is no clipping so if you hear some, it is your headphone!

Switching to 32 ohm load, there is clipping now in high gain:

JDS Labs Atom Amp+ Power into 32 ohm Measurements Headphone Amplifier.png


Distortion rises a bit with lower impedance which you can see better when I sweep from 600 down to 12 ohm:

JDS Labs Atom Amp+ THD vs frequency vs power Measurements Headphone Amplifier.png


Channel balance is specified at 0.6 dB. My testing shows even better results:

JDS Labs Atom Amp+ Channel Balance Measurements Headphone Amplifier.png


JDS Atom Amp+ Listening Tests
The Amp+ had no trouble driving my Sennheiser HD650 to hearing loss territory with incredible dynamics, bass and lack of distortion. Switching to much lower impedance Ether CX showed a bit of limit at the highest outputs with a touch of distortion. By then though, I could only tolerate the sound for a few seconds so for any "normal" listening, there is excellent fidelity there.

Conclusions
JDS Labs targets 99% of the state of the art in headphone performance and delivers. It is a breath of fresh air to check my measurements against their specs and see them very closely match with no weasel words used to get better numbers. Company has impeccable reputation for excellent customer service which when combined with such a low cost, means a winner in my book.

It is my pleasure to put JDS Labs Atom Amp+ on my recommendation list.


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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/

 

Sours: https://audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/jds-atom-amp-review-headphone-amplifier.24680/
Best $100 Amp? JDS ATOM - REVIEW

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