Thursday, February 2, 2012

King of FireWire now offers USB




Surprise, surprise. Weiss, which has championed the usage of FireWire for its DACs for as long as any audiophile can remember, is now offering a USB option for its popular and excellent DAC 202.


To be called DAC 202U, the DAC is essentially the same as the 202 except for the async USB input - which has become more popular than the FireWire - that accepts up to 24/192.


It appears as if Weiss has given in to market demand as all laptops these days - Windows or Mac-based - have USB ports and I am not sure if any Windows-based laptops still offer FireWire connections. The newer laptops also offer USB 3 connections.


And in the Apple range, the MacBook Pro, iMac, MacMini and Mac Pro (meant as a server) have FireWire ports but the company seems to be more keen on its Thunderbolt port.


Information on the Weiss DAC202U is scant and I only managed to find out that the USB will be asynchronous, uses the XMOS chip and supports up to 24/192 on OS X without additional software. As for Windows users, they have to install Thesycon drivers (which are also used by Ayre).


The USB option for the Weiss DAC 202 was announced during the recent CES in Las Vegas but  there is no news on when it will start shipping out or the extra cost of the USB port.

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