CES 2017: New Questyle CMA 400i All-In-One Headphone Amp DAC

Questyle is well know for their range of fairly high-dollar, high-end, headphone centric products sporting current-mode electronics topologies. So as not to confuse, this type of electronics use current-mode signals internally as opposed to voltage-mode signals. This type of topology is very fast and allows feedback signals within the circuits to control with very little delay, which significantly reduces transient intermodulation distortion. The output of the amplifier, however, is a voltage; this is not a current source amp.

To their great credit, this new amp represents a trickle down offering of their high-end products at a more affordable price. The heart of the DAC section is the AKM4490 DAC, and the unit is capable of DSD 64, 128, and 256, and PCM to 352.8/384 rates. The rear panel includes USB, optical, and two coax digital inputs; there are no analog inputs. Front panel headphone outputs are 4-pin XLR, standard 1/4" unbalanced, and 2.5mm balanced connections. The rear panel also sports a pair of balanced and unbalanced volume-controlled analog outputs, and a coax S/PDIF digital output. This is a fully-balanced design with discrete channels for Left+, Left-, Right+, and Right- signals; the bottom of the unit has four gain switches to set channels in low or standard gains. The low gain setting is specifically designed for compatibility with high sensitivity IEMs.

Price is expected to be in the $700-$800 range and should be available in April.