Summary: Good enough performance, until it abruptly stopped working after about a month. Tried multiple fixes, different ports, etc. Basically it would cut out after about 60-75 seconds of playing, and then would need to be unplugged and re-inserted, only to work for another few seconds. In reviewing some online forums, seems to be a chronic problem with this model. Spend your money on a more reliable DAC.
Pros: Good sound quality
Cons: Prone to malfunction, unusable once it has done so.
Summary: For a modest investment you can transform digital music into a sound of individual instruments with presence and punch. The sound moves beyond my desktop computer with a realism of its own. For some music I became aware of individual instruments for the first time. Run of the mill recordings suddenly came through with extra life.
Pros: This tiny box turns computer speakers into larger reproducers of sound. Those little desktop speakers sound much bigger. It's a relatively small investment if you care about the realism of music or voice.
Cons: I have not found any downside to this product.
Summary: When I played my music through the ARCAM rPAC for the first time I was blown away. The sound was clear and powerful. It had so much more life than I was used to. I was listening to a live show and it really felt like I was there. I have had no problems. As long as it's plugged in properly and the sound is playing it works like a charm.
Pros: Great sound. Nice size. Not to big and bulky.
Summary: Full review here:
The sound of the Arcam rPAC as a whole is quite mellow. It doesn’t stand out overly, but nor is it just like flat soda and lifeless. The DAC and amp together gives a soft and not as pronounced but more mixed in low frequency bass hits.
Summary: I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Using it (temporarily) as an amp for my K702s and Hifiman RE-262s and as a DAC for my HT and stereo system, I am very impressed. The amp section, a huge upgrade from the headphone amp in my Pioneer Elite VSX-52, has given the AKG's famed anemic bass a well needed boost (I don't EQ) and has improved my Blu-Ray audio experience as well.
Pros: Drives AKG K702s fairly well, small, portable (USB bus powered), great SQ, well priced
Cons: Amp section not able to drive HD650s very well, but what did I expect-it's tiny and bus powered, so pretty damn good, considering
Summary: I spent a few hours with this unit today, and tried it with about 8 pairs of headphones. My setup was Macbook Pro -> Audirvana Plus v2 player -> rPAC
The unit is very simple - no display or indicators, just plug and play. Feels nice in the hand too, small but solid.
I was really pleased with the combination of the Audeze and the rPAC, which was articulate and perfectly balanced and natural.
Pros: Very clean and pleasant sound. Small size with nice build quality.
Cons: Underpowered for some headphones. Crashes occasionally.
Summary: I just wrote this for my blog so I thought I would post it here too.
A&R Cambridge Ltd. (or Arcam to the rest of us) are well established in the field of hifi audio, but it could be said that the rPAC represents a departure from their usual products. It's true that they've made DACs before, but not combined with headphone amplifiers, not USB powered portables and not this reasonably priced.
Pros: Smooth but pretty neutral, great detail/soundstage, Amazing build, neat
Summary: Being a Brit you might think I would be biased in favor of the Arcam rPAC but I am sad to say this DAC has let me down big time. The overwhelming choice of headphone DACs out there puts the Arcam in a difficult position. Arcam has a good reputation in mainstream HiFi and is obviously trying to carve a niche into the headphone world also, but this attempt falls way short of the competition IMHO.
I compared this with a FIIO E17, NuForce uDAC2 and Audioquest Dragonfly.
Pros: Build quality, aesthetic. Warm sound
Cons: Lacks detail. Very flat sounding compared with others in this price bracket