(February 7, 2024) HIFIMAN has introduced two new members to its high-performance desktop headphone DAC/amplifier lineup. The all-new EF500 ($459) and step-down EF499 ($299) are crafted to bring audiophile-grade performance to sleek, slender designs that provide powerful output while requiring minimal space on a desk or tabletop.
Both models feature industrial designs that are easy on the eyes while doubling as headphone stands, giving audio fans a compact, multifunctional solution. Included are fully balanced input/output connections, a Coaxial/NET+USB function switch, an independent power supply, and a thermal-optimized tower case.
According to the President and CEO of HIFIMAN, Dr. Fang Bian, the company is dipping its DAC/Amp toes into moderately priced waters because of solid sales in its upper-tier designs. “The success of our reference desktop DAC/amplifiers is proof that music lovers are hungry to invest in gear that has a demonstrably positive effect on the listening experience,” explains Dr. Bian. “With our new models, we are able to extend the benefits of these products to moderately priced models that put the sonic attributes of our sonic signature within reach of more headphone fans than ever before.”
The more expensive EF500 features HIFIMAN’s Hymalaya LE ladder DAC, which taps an array of highly accurate resistors that use a “ladder” conversion method. This approach converts the digital signal with maximum accuracy and overall musicality. Signal-to-noise ratio, total harmonic distortion, and energy consumption are at their musical and efficient best.
Adding to the EF500's audio prowess is the company’s in-house Hymalaya LE R2R DAC. HIFIMAN says the DAC stomps on distortion using a new algorithm and 0.01% precision resistors, hitting a THD (total harmonic distortion) rate of 0.0025% (-8dB). That, claims the company, makes for output superior to the more commonplace PCM1704k module.
The EF499 also utilizes the Hymalaya LE, delivering similar benefits to the EF500 but with the familiar Philips R2R DAC architecture crafting warm full-range audio paired with HIFIMAN's signature sonic tuning.
The EF500 and EF499 will be available in February from authorized HIFIMAN dealers and the company’s online store, http://store.hifiman.com/.
For additional information about these products and more, visit https://hifiman.com.