AXPONA 2015 Ayre Acoustics Codex Headphone amp/DAC
Now that the digital magicians over at Ayre have finished up with the Pono Playerwhich I reviewed quite positivelythey've set their sites on beefing up the design for audiophile sensibilities. The Codex ($1795) is a DAC/headphone amp that uses the basic design of the PonoESS9018K2M DAC chip and discrete analog output circuitbut beefs it up with a much better analog power supply and superior components in many places.
The Codex sports USB and optical inputs; RCA and XLR analog outputs; and 1/4" and two 3.5mm headphone jack outputs. The two 3.5mm jacks can be configured for tandem listening (two listeners) or for balanced listening with custom cables.
I spent a little time listening to this little device and came away with the same impression I did with the PonoI don't know if it's due to the "zero negative feedback" design or the killer digital filters Charlie Hanson dreams up, but with file resolutions of PCM up to 32/384 and DSD128 the Codex is just plain musical. Can't wait to get one up here for a long hard listen.
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