Features wise, the Essence ‘HD Audio Control Center’ (HDACC) is a tall glass of water. Let’s dive in. It’s a remote controllable digital pre-amp with balanced and unbalanced outputs. Recalling Mytek’s equally tricked out Stereo192-DSD DAC, the HDACC’s remote drives a menu system that features (among other things) bypassable digital volume attenuation, bypassable sample rate conversion that runs the full gamut from 44.1kHz to 192kHz and headphone output impedance values of 16, 32, 64, 200, 300 and 600 Ohms. The mini plastic controller also allows for one-press input selection and volume up/down.
In the context of its US$699 sticker price, the Essence HDACC impresses from the outset. Click for full review.