DacMagic XS

Portable USB DAC

The DacMagic XS USB Digital to analogue converter (DAC)/ headphone amp is an instant upgrade to any computer’s sound output. It connects quickly and easily to any USB port and allows you to hear your favourite music and movies with every drop of detail, exactly as the artist intended.

ENHANCE YOUR MUSIC

Whilst your computer might be great for spreadsheets and emails, it’s not at all that good at processing sound. That’s why our engineers designed our award winning DacMagic XS to instantly upgrade the sound output from your laptop. Just plug it into the USB connection of your computer or Mac for incredible, detailed high resolution audio.

POWER AND VOLUME

DacMagic XS delivers up to 10 times more power than most laptop soundcards. The headphone output from most laptops only outputs about 15-20mW, meaning weak bass and a lack of depth. The DacMagic XS however can output a massive 105mW for proper depth and volume that will drive the very best headphone set ups hard, with detailed sound and amazing bass. The volume available is easily adjusted on the simple fingertip controls and an LED shows the sample rate, so you always know you’re getting the right level of clarity and detail from your tracks.

HIGHLY PORTABLE

We know you won’t want to be without it, so we machined the DacMagic XS’s lightweight but hardwearing chassis from aluminium, for a total weight of just 100g.

The DacMagic XS is available in 5 stunning nishes, Titanium, Red, Gold, Blue and all Black. Take your pick.

PURE PROCESSING

When running in USB Class 2 mode, the DacMagic XS can also use our dedicated Windows USB Class 2 USB driver (driver not required for Apple computers). This allows you to bypass the computer operating system’s poor audio path, preventing unwanted interference and re-sampling and guaranteeing professional quality audio output. You don’t need to put up with bad sound from a laptop, ever again.

Key Features
Tech Specs
Reviews
Connections

Micro USB input, 3.5mm analogue output

Digital to analogue converter

ESS9023 24-bit DAC

Sample rates supported

USB 1.0 mode: 16/24-bit, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz USB 2.0 mode: 16/24-bit, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz

Output voltage

2V RMS

Max. power consumption

150mW

Min. headphone impedance

12 Ohms

Frequency response

+/-0.2dB 20Hz – 20kHz

THD (unweighted)

<0.004%

Signal to Noise Ratio

103 dBr (unweighted)

Crosstalk @ 1kHz

66dB

Output impedance

0.5 Ohms

Volume steps

53 steps (54 different volume levels)

Dimensions (WxHxD)

30 x 10 x 53.5mm (1.2 x 0.4 x 2.1’’)

Weight

100g (3.5oz)

Magnetic Mag

United States,

"A highly recommended piece of technology for anyone that is listening to a lot of music on their computer. For its output, size and price it truly is one of the best buys in the after market DAC marketplace."

Device Squad

United Kingdom,

'If you really want to hear your headphones, in-ears or external speakers as they were meant to be heard, get yourself one of these pocket-sized DAC converters from renowned sound specialists Cambridge Audio.'

STEREO

Germany,

“Man sollte es stets zur Hand haben, wenn es gilt, Kopfhörer an Laptops zu betreiben.“

Philly.com

United States,

“If price is no object and your music source has a USB jack, the better-finessed Dac Magic XS ( $189 at amazon.com) is an audiophile's dream come true.”

The Absolute Sound

United States,

"The DacMagic XS delivers a lot of functionality and sonic goodness for under $200. For audiophiles looking for a road warrior that will also be at home hooked up to any computer, portable, or desktop, and will successfully drive most headphones, the Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS DAC is a very affordable option."

Trusted Reviews

United Kingdom,

"Boy does it deliver on the sonic front. It creates a huge, detailed soundstage that's full of warmth."

HOMETHEATERREVIEW.COM BEST OF 2014 AWARD

United Kingdom,

"It's a great choice for someone who wants to enjoy higher-quality music on the go."

Philly.com

United States,

"Headphone amps built into computers are disgraceful, too - hissing audibly, always. DacMagic XS from Cambridge Audio is a terrific work-around, a tiny, 5-ounce DAC (digital to analog converter) box that plugs into a computer's USB jack and puts out high-quality, ultra-low-distortion sound. Just add headphones and serve."

Phile-Web

Japan,

"I'm using my DacMagicXS every day with my Macbook Air and headphones. It's a very nice sound, and I'm  enjoying my music more now. I hope many Japanese Audiophiles get to know Cambridge Audio's sound."

Life Hacker

United Kingdom,

"This matchbox-sized gadget is a boon for audiophiles who prefer to lose themselves in music during long haul flights."

The Batchelor Guy

United States,

"If you thought the pricey cans you treated yourself to sounded good before, just wait until you jack them into the XS and hear what digital music is supposed to sound like."

Electronista

United Kingdom,

"For the quality it brings to music it will be worth it."

WHAT HI-FI?

United Kingdom,

"The Cambridge delivers plenty of insight and has an appealingly delicate way with vocals – there’s natural warmth here and a nice full-bodied balance.“

Hi-Fi Choice

United Kingdom,

"Given how masterfully it handles hi-res sources in particular and its sterling work with lower-quality material, it isn't hard to say that this is probably the best entry-level DAC around."

Terra

Portugal,

"This little device is able to get a little closer to the experience of listening to music in a recording studio."

Computer Shopper

United Kingdom,

"The DacMagic XS is a great way of easily upgrading laptop audio. It's built-in headphone amp with handy volume controls make it ideal if you need top-notch sound on the move."

T3

United Kingdom,

"The Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS adds depth and detail to your digital files that you didn't know existed.“

Hi-Fi News

United Kingdom,

"The DacMagic XS has an upfront, engaging and punchy sound, but this never descends into hardness or sounds unpleasant. It is a dramatic improvement over the internal sound systems of an Apple Macbook Pro for example"

What Hi-Fi?

United Kingdom,

Best DAC under £100
"The best USB DAC if you're on a super tight budget, the DacMagic XS is truly portable, requiring no external battery, and connections are simple with just a USB input and 3.5mm output."

Sound & Vision

United Kingdom,

"If you’re looking for a USB DAC that will improve computer audio—but not break the bank—Cambridge Audio’s DacMagic XS is a leading contender."

Audio

Germany,

„Der Cambridge DacMagic XS bietet für den abgerufenen Preis von 150 Euro enorm viel Klang, unkomplizierte Bedienung sowie flexible Anwendungsmöglichkeiten. Im Handumdrehen an den Laptop angeschlossen, katapultiert er diesen zu einer formidablen Wiedergabequelle. Etwaige HiRes Inhalte werden somit problemlos und hochwertig wiedergegeben.”

Witch Doctor

New Zealand,

"Kramer searches for flaws but finds little to fault in Cambridge Audio’s new DAC that also happens to be a headphone amp, and for a small cost will resurrect the ‘hi’ in fi coming out of your PC or Mac.“

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Customer reviews

Rating snapshot

5
4
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Average customer ratings

Overall
5.0
Quality
5.0
Durability
5.0
Ease of use
5.0
Compatibility
4.8
Ease of setup
4.8
Appearance
5.0

Excellent DAC for professional use with ASIO

DEVO

This is an excellent DAC for headphone monitoring with ASIO compliant software. Here's a YouTube video showing how to set up the DAC drivers for ASIO use.

https://youtu.be/QxPe2NVrrfI

Read more

This is an excellent DAC for headphone monitoring with ASIO compliant software. Here's a YouTube video showing how to set up the DAC drivers for ASIO use.

https://youtu.be/QxPe2NVrrfI

Show less
Quality
Durability
Ease of use
Compatibility
Ease of setup
Appearance

Excellent for the price

Tim

Vast improvement on the sound from my PC (compared to normal headphone output) when fed into my AKG K702 headphones. I was worried the lowish sensitivity of these phones would result in low volume. But most music plays at a good level at 35-40 of the 50+ 'clicks' available on the volume control. Installation reasonably straightforward, and product beautifully packaged (like all Cambridge audio stuff)

Read more

Vast improvement on the sound from my PC (compared to normal headphone output) when fed into my AKG K702 headphones. I was worried the lowish sensitivity of these phones would result in low volume. But most music plays at a good level at 35-40 of the 50+ 'clicks' available on the volume control. Installation reasonably straightforward, and product beautifully packaged (like all Cambridge audio stuff)

Show less
Quality
Durability
Ease of use
Compatibility
Ease of setup
Appearance

Go get it!

NoNickNameJustFrank

Great little machine!
Clears up how bad most notebooks audio outs are, really.
My old JBL's can still shine if they get a proper input.
Awesome with headphones - give it a go it will not distort as you'd expect from a mobile device output.
Don't get me on hifi slipslop -> this is a huge impro to probably any notebook arround.
@CambridgeAudio: Great Job!

Read more

Great little machine!
Clears up how bad most notebooks audio outs are, really.
My old JBL's can still shine if they get a proper input.
Awesome with headphones - give it a go it will not distort as you'd expect from a mobile device output.
Don't get me on hifi slipslop -> this is a huge impro to probably any notebook arround.
@CambridgeAudio: Great Job!

Show less
Quality
Durability
Ease of use
Compatibility
Ease of setup
Appearance