Sound & Vision • Hot Product

Leema is a British company whose ex-BBC founders launched the company with a studio monitor. Leema now finds itself with a catalog of electronics that gets a little more affordable every year. At Bristol, Leema showed the most inexpensive piece yet -- the Essentials USB DAC. This compact converter has analog and S/PDIF digital outputs on RCA connectors and, as the front plate declares, it is asynchronous. Nothing too earth moving there. What distinguishes it is that rather than sourcing a USB input chip, Leema built the circuit from scratch. This board is also in the Elements DAC that the company has just put into production, but that multi-input component is over twice the $695 asking price here. Other features include a pair of Crystal 192kHz DACs in what the company calls its "Infinity duo arrangement," or dual differential as it’s known elsewhere.

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