Do these look (almost) the same because Emotiva and Denon use the same/similar TI DAC chip? If it’s all what the chip can deliver, Emotiva did a fine implementation job at the time. But if these PCMxx chips can do better, shame on Denon for not besting Emotiva’s years-old implementation!
In this case, SINAD shows it has a lower noise floor of 110db or even 120db but the real world multitone shows it distorts at 90db itself for the more audible 2k-3k range so i guess this one can be dunked on thoroughlyThis is a review and detailed measurements of the Emotiva Big Ego+ USB stereo portable DAC and headphone amplifier. It was kindly sent to me by a member costs US $79.10 from company website.
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For a portable product it is quite large but that also makes it a better fit for desktop use. Compared to typical dongle, you have a few more features:
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It can act like a digital bridge taking USB input and converting it to Toslink optical. You can then select between it and analog line out. USB input though is the very old fashioned mini USB which tells me this design is fairly old. You also have a choice of a few reconstruction filters which is never found on this class of device.
Emotiva Big Ego+ DAC Measurements
Let's start with line out:
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Disappointed to see less than 2 volt output and high distortion which dictates SINAD to be in our "red"(poor) category:
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Fortunately noise is a step better:
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High distortion pollutes IMD measurements as expected:
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Above -20 dB you are already in cheap dongle category. Multitone distortion lands in similar spot:
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Jitter is not bad compared to dongles:
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Linearity is good enough for class:
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Filter performance is poor seeing how it doesn't attenuate out of band spectrum:
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This and high distortion translate into very poor THD+N vs frequency:
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Emotiva Big Ego+ Digital Out Measurements
Running our dashboard we immediately see that the Toslink output is "bit exact:"
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So you can use it as a transparent bridge from USB to Toslink.
Emotiva Big Ego+ Headphone Out Measurements
I was surprised to see so little output level:
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This is partially due to low output voltage but also high output impedance. This means it can create frequency response errors in headphones that have variable impedance (all but planar magnetics). So really not a good or even a fair attempt at producing output for headphone use.
I like the case and transparent bridging to Toslink. Other than that, performance is simply not competitive. It is as if the company doesn't know how much the world has moved on in DAC and headphone output performance. For same or some more money you can get a much smaller dongle with far better performance such as Hidizs S9.
I can't recommend the Emotiva Big Ego+. It just doesn't have good performance and lack of output drive means you can easily hear that on many headphones. Only saving grace is the Toslink output.
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.
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If by "SINAD" you mean the FFT noise floor, that is NOT the actual noise floor of the device. FFT lowers that floor (artificially) by 30 to 40 dB depending on FFT settings. It is called "FFT Gain."In this case, SINAD shows it has a lower noise floor of 110db or even 120db but the real world multitone shows it distorts at 90db itself for the more audible 2k-3k range so i guess this one can be dunked on thoroughly
cool i will use FFT gain going forth. thanks for the correction. on a separate note, i recently got a couple of nest audio for 100 bucks and was trying to listen to them at 75db 1m for a couple hours and the tweeter distortion is way more annoying than the woofer distortion at 85db 1m. turning down the treble and upping the bass response made this very much pleasant for far field listening. not bad at all for portability and room filling sound.If by "SINAD" you mean the FFT noise floor, that is NOT the actual noise floor of the device. FFT lowers that floor (artificially) by 30 to 40 dB depending on FFT settings. It is called "FFT Gain."
Texas Bought Burr Brown a while back. They kept the name for a while for a biit of prestige. Not sure how many years ago, but it’s been many years.ironically they have similar dacs
the Burr Brown is now a Texas??? shouldnt be the case as the complexity from one is miles from the other...
You are right its mini. I was designing a product back in 2009 and I was using a Molex mini USB connector and by 2011 when I was ready for production my distributors stopped supporting it for new designs and I was forced to switch to a micro USB connector instead. It sure is more durable than a micro USBits not micro
although that circuit board looks like micro
amir's test example is clearly MINI usb
my first example of micro usb was 2007/8
so literally mini usb should be coming onto 20yrs old