Essence HDACC / HDACC II-4K Reviews

Award-Winning Review for Essence HDACC II-4K by  
John Gatski from EAN, June 2018

 For $599, the Essence HDACC II-4K receives a major uptick in audio quality plus HDMI 2.0a compatibility. Its small foot print, connection prowess and the ability to handle most any headphones or drive an amplifier with the upgraded sound extends its reign as the Swiss Army Knife of D/A converters.”   


everythingaudionetwork award

“The Essence HDACC quickly became a favorite all-in-one, do-it-all, bang-for-the-buck digital converter/HP amp. Its got that rare DAC HDMI input, and I found numerous uses for the HDACC with my laptop as a standalone DAC and A/D, and as a digital distribution device. And it only costs $699 retail. This box really shines.” 

John Gatski, EAN, Feb 2015 stereos logo

Essence HDACC lo rez HDMI in

“The HDACC is one of the most versatile & fully featured DACs I’ve seen”      Brent Butterworth,, November 2013  


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Part II

“A veritable Swiss Army knife, this is where the HDACC pulls away from the competition….the Essence™ offers both singled AND balanced outputs. It’ll also serve as a remote controllable, digital pre-amplifier…..Headphone enthusiasts get to tap a quarter inch socket.  User-selectable impedance values (16, 32, 64, 200, 300 and 600 Ohms) sees even reference-level  models like the Sennheiser HD800 driven to more than adequate levels (and beyond)….. You get a LOT of D/A converter for your money with the Essence™ HDACC. At time of writing it’s one of the keenest priced entry points into the world of third party hi-res Blu-ray LPCM decoding. Well worthy of further investigation”

By John Darko,, May 8, 2014



HDACC Review by Mark Fleischmann

HDACC Review by Mark Fleischmann


“The Essence HDACC is everything a good headphone amp and DAC should be, and then some. The addition of Top_Pick_of_the_Year_logo_clHDMI may be transformative for those looking for a way to get high-res Blu-ray soundtracks into a legacy system.  But don’t ignore its other talents. The HDACC is the only headphone amp in this roundup to offer selectable impedance matching, and the only DAC with selectable sample-rate conversion and bypass. It also performs admirably with a variety of headphones.”

 By Mark Fleischmann,  Sound & Vision, June 2014    


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Part I

The take home? Irrespective of data stream choices, the Essence will likely lend an audio upgrade to most budget Blu-ray hardware solutions. The sound is more open, with better separation, more dynamic and more elastic. This alone is justification enough for the Essence DAC. If you’ve a budget disc spinner but don’t want to go all the way to an A/V receiver, holding tight to your existing amplifier, the HDACC provides the missing digital link. If your Blu-ray player is one of the increasing number to feature only an HDMI output (thanks to 2013′s analogue sunset) then again the Essence piece could intercede.

John Darko, DAR Feb 2014


tas logo 2 “…can handle anything you can throw at it and deliver beautiful sonics in the process”’

Steven Stone, January 2016


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