(37 customer reviews)

Essence HDACC II-4K HDMI DAC / Preamp / Headphone Amp For 4K Sources and TVs

Original price was: $ 699.00.Current price is: $ 649.00.

Essence pioneered the HDMI DAC category in 2013 and still makes the world’s best HDMI DACs.  We use genuine Silicon Image® HDMI chips for ultimate reliability and performance.  The Essence HDACC II-4K is the most advanced audiophile-class PCM Hi Res Audio DAC / Preamp / Headphone Amp on the market today.  THD + N is .00001% at -141 dB SNR, the best specs in audio history.

Now you can upgrade your vintage, legacy, or current 2 Channel audio system with the latest digital media sources like Apple TV4K and a 4K UHD Blu-ray player to match up to the quality of your new 4K TV. The HDACC II-4K is the perfect digital hub with all the digital inputs you’ll need including USB, Optical, and Coaxial inputs.  Add an amplifier and you’ll reach the highest performance level ever for Live Concerts on Blu-ray  Enjoy some of my favorite tracks featuring hi res audio and high-definition video.  Read the user testimonials in the Review tab below to see what our customers think.  (hint: there are 37 of them, they’ll tell you why you need this device.)

  • 4 HDMI v2.0b inputs; 1 HDMI v2.0b out; HDCP v2.2 Compliant
  • Genuine Silicon Image® HDMI Chips for Ultra Reliability
  • Up to 32 Bit / 384K Sample Rate Conversion with User Selectable Upsampling
  • 2-Channel RCA, XLR Balanced Analog and Headphone Outputs
  • Supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision Pass Through
  • USB 2.0 Input, Optical /  Coaxial Inputs / Outputs
  • Analog Input with A to D Conversion
  • Remote Control
  • USB supports DSD over PCM (DoP) Conversion up to 24/192K 
  • Digital Audio Breakout for SACD; HDMI Pass-Through for Native DSD up to 256 on SACD via SPDIF Outputs 
  • Native LPCM 24/192K playback
  • OLED Display with Sample Rate Detector / Selected Inputs, and more
  • Headphone Amp with user selectable Impedance Matching
  • THD + N = – 0.00001% at -141 dB SNR                                                                                                                 

Note: Free shipping in the USA (Lower 48); Orders for outside the USA will be shipped via US Postal Service Priority International and must be placed on this online order form

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“Best DAC, Preamp, HDMI switcher, balanced output, remote. Can’t be touched at it’s price of $649.”   Ron Bufford, Audiophile Consumer, July 2023

Upgrade Vintage Receivers, Legacy Receivers, and current analog preamps to the latest and best digital media of all time with the Essence HDACC II-4K DAC Preamp with remote control.  Add 4 HDMI digital inputs for the most popular sources like an Apple TV4K, 4K Blu-ray Player, SACD, 4K video games, one HDMI output goes directly to your 4K TV.  RCA or XLR analog stereo output feeds your vintage, classic, or modern audio system that lacks digital inputs or has older versions of HDMI that don’t support 4K.

If you’re adopting the 4K video standard but own an AVR or Pre-pro built before 2016 that still works great but only supports 2K (1080p) sources, you’re going to need the HDACC II-4K.  With HDMI v2.0b you’ll be able to see and hear sources like the Apple TV4K AV Streamer, 4K Blu-ray, SACD, and more.  HDMI 4K sources don’t work when they’re plugged into downstream components or TVs with the older HDMI v1.3/4 standard. Upgrading to 4K requires changing out or working around your existing controller so you gain access to HDMI v2.0b throughput for the best AV content ever.

The HDACC II-4K is an advanced digital control center designed to enable 4 HDMI 4K sources to be controlled, Essence HDACC II 4K UHD rearswitched, and output via analog stereo to a variety of analog audio components.  With video support up to 6G at 4K x 2K and audio sample rate support up to 384K at 32 bits, this device has an unbeatable feature set not found on any other DAC on the market today.  

In addition to the HDMI inputs, the HDACC II-4K also includes USB 2.0 input, plus Coaxial and Optical Digital inputs and outputs, as well as an A to D converter for your analog sources.

So what exactly do all the various resolutions mean sonically?  The lowest resolutions can’t be played very loud, their dynamic range is compressed to save space. The storage space of vinyl, CD, & cassette tapes is limited  For example a CD can only store 700 Mb of data while a standard Blu-ray can store 50 Gb of data. The original master recording is at least 5 Gb, that’s why SACD and Blu-ray sound so good, there’s no compression. To hear this level of performance requires an HDMI connection because its encrypted and requires a security protocol that prevents piracy to be de-crypted; we can listen and watch but we cant copy the best content ever. It’s protected against copyright infringement.


This simple chart is all about dynamic range. The dark orange in the tall bar is Blu-ray LPCM 24/96K, with the full 120 dB dynamic range of the original master recording. That’s as good as it gets, a one to one copy of the original is the very definition of the term “high fidelity”, true to the original.  The HDACC II-4K can improve the sound of all the low res sources with its “Upsampling” feature, it can take a CD up from 16 bit / 44.1K sample rate to 24 bit / 96K hi res audio, adding smoothness, richness with better detail.  

The Blu-ray Live Concert format is hugely entertaining, seeing your favorite artists at their craft creates an emotional intimacy that can never be conveyed at a live concert.  In that sense, Blu-ray concerts are a new art form and how the artists make a decent living these days. Here’s some good examples of what I’m talking about.

Note: No USB audio driver required for Mac Computers; Win 10 PCs are now equipped with their own USB Audio Driver.  

You can do all this with an HDACC II-4K:


  • HDMI v2.0b with HDCP v2.2 for native uncompressed 4K video
  • THD + N = 0.00001% at -141 dB S/N ratio
  • USB Audio 2.0
  • Optical and Coaxial input / output
  • Analog Input with A to D Conversion
  • Conversion to analog out via RCA, XLR Or Headphone Amp
  • HDMI support For SACD Native DSD256 Pass-Through from SPDIF Outputs To a Downstream DSD DAC (DoP not required)
  • Up To DSD256 Downloads via DoP (DSD over PCM) over USB, Optical, and Coaxial inputs.
  • Includes 4 HDMI v2.0 inputs with one HDMI v2.0 output for switching multiple HDMI v2.0 source devices.
  • Supports Coaxial, Optical, USB and 4 HDMI v2.0 Digital inputs
  • Supports digital audio signal input and conversion into analog stereo
  • Supports HDMI Audio output can either output the incoming embedded HDMI (Bypass Mode) or insert the selected audio signal (Ext Audio Mode)
  • HDMI video always bypassed to HDMI output to feed 4K TV
  • Supports HDMI video resolutions with HDR / Dolby Vision up to 4Kx2K (3840×2160@24/25/30/50/60 and 4096×2160@24/25/30/50/60Hz)
  • Supports Coaxial and Optical input sampling rate up to 384 KHz at 32-bit
  • Coaxial and Optical input support DoP (DSD over PCM)
  • Supports headphone output volume control
  • Supports Sampling Rate Conversion, all inputs can be SRC to 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 and 384 KHz via DSP engine
  • Supports L/R RCA, XLR and 6.3mm headphone outputs
  • Control by remote control or on-panel master knob
  • HDMI Stereo audio de-embedding of uncompressed Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master HD Soundtracks on Blu-ray, SACD, or DVD-A
  • Headphone output volume control over main control dial or remote control
  • Direct power and mute button on unit
  • High viewing angle OLED display
  • Headphone output fades in after system is muted
  • Win 10 PCs include USB Audio Driver; No driver required for Mac computers
  • Analog Output Impedance; Line Out 600 Ohms, XLR Out 300 Ohms
  • Warranty is 1 Year from Date of Purchase
Inputs 4x HDMI v2.0b [4x Uncompressed AV and Data]
1x Toslink [1x OPTICAL 2 Channel LPCM]
1x RCA [1x COAX 2 Channel LPCM]
1x USB Type B [1x USB (2.0) Audio]
1x 3.5mm Stereo mini-jack [1x Stereo(L/R)]
Outputs 1x HDMI [1x Uncompressed AV and Data]
1x Toslink [1x OPTICAL 2 Channel LPCM]
1x RCA [1x COAX 2 Channel LPCM]
2x RCA [1x Stereo (L/R)]
1x 6.35mm Stereo Jack [1x Headphone]
2x XLR [1x Stereo (Balanced)]
PSU: 5V/3A
Dimensions 8.8″ (223mm) W x 5.7″ (145mm) D x 1.9″ (48mm) H
Net Weight 2 lbs (886g)

Link to HDACC II-4K Owners Manual

Note: USB sources no longer require an external USB audio driver for Windows 10 PCs, Microsoft added native USB support for 24 bit Hi Res audio soundtracks as a standard feature of Windows 10.  Mac computers do not require USB Audio Drivers.

The latest firmware version is v3.11, implemented in March 2022. If your HDACC II-4K works fine at v2.29, it’s not necessary to upgrade at this time. Chipset code management is the main goal of the new firmware version.  Send an email to [email protected], I’ll send you the file and instructions for loading on your Win 10 computer.

Additional information

Weight 4 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 8 × 3 in

37 reviews for Essence HDACC II-4K HDMI DAC / Preamp / Headphone Amp For 4K Sources and TVs

  1. Sandar Toth, Audiophile Consumer, May 2024

    Hello Bob,

    I finally received my HDACC II here in Hungary and today I installed it into my system.
    For first look/hear everything is working (USB and HDMI input tested, until now).
    Finally I can hear SACD DSD sound from my UHD Blu-ray player in full high resolution! 🙂 Sandar Toth, Audiophile Consumer, May 2024

  2. Larry Hunter, Audiophile Consumer, April 2024

    “The main driver for buying the HDACC II-4K was to stream Qobuz from my laptop but it quickly became the control center for my vintage system: Quad ESL 57’s, Hartley 24” subwoofer, Bryston preamp and amps.”
    Larry Hunter, Audiophile Consumer, April 2024

  3. Darrin Crawford, Canadian Audiophile, Jan 2024

    I have to give a HUGE shout out to Bob Rapoport from Essence for Hi Res Audio who sold me his infamous and beautiful HDACC II-4K HDMI DAC. Yes your latest Sony Blu Ray player with this DAC will totally fulfill your needs. It truly brings the life out of my studio setup. I have this Joe Jackson Body and Soul as a Canadian pressing on vinyl but also a unique audiophile version of this on translucent vinyl.
    To be honest?? (Yes I did compare) This SACD/DSD knocks them both out of the park. I love my vinyl to death but I am so excited to explore the SACD/Blu Ray Audio world.

    Thank you to Bob and others in the SACD/ Blu Ray community who have shown me the way. I’m so excited….my wallet is not…lol!!

  4. Ron L., Audiophile consumer, Dec ’23

    I’m mostly a classical music guy but I have music in many formats (see above) , which is why I chose the HDACC II. Sound quality was uniformly superb but the biggest surprise was the Blu-ray disc of Let It Bleed by the Stones. It was superior–even to the SACD version. Ron L., Audiophile Consumer Dec ’23

  5. Greg P. – EAVA, MCP, A+ Instruction & Research Technology

    I wanted to reach out and thank you for your assistance with ordering and setting up the DAC. I have it setup and it is doing everything I wanted to do perfectly. To give you a brief background on our use-case: we have six classrooms using a Crestron switcher that has no analog audio outputs (only HDMI) and there for no simple way to get audio to the power amps. Our original setup involved an Atlona decoder and a home brew unbalanced to balanced converter, both of which have given us problems. The HDACC II-4K allows us to convert the Crestron’s HDMI output directly to XLR audio, and from there the signal is sent to a Crown power amp located 50 feet away.

    I am impressed with the build quality of the HDACC II-4K and the audio quality is top notch. The only settings I changed were to set the audio level to “fixed”, as per your recommendation, and the power mode to “always on”. Greg P. – EAVA, MCP, A+ Instruction & Research Technology

  6. Ron Bufford, Audiophile Consumer, July 2023

    Best DAC, Preamp, HDMI switcher, balanced output, remote. Can’t be touched at it’s price of $649.

    Ron Bufford, Audiophile Consumer, July 2023

  7. Brian C, Audiophile Consumer, July 2023

    Audiophiles and HDMI just don’t seem to play well together especially with 2 channel audio systems. I recently purchased the Apple TV4K AV Streamer for Hi-Res Audio and Video but then encountered 2 problems. The Apple TV4K doesn’t have an optical output so I couldn’t integrate it with my older McIntosh HomeTheatre Control Center which only supports HDMI version 1.3.

    My 2nd Rotel 2 channel system with a new Reference Preamplifier doesn’t have an HDMI input. I’ve used a Binary Audio Extractor but still wasn’t satisfied with the performance from 2 different streaming devices using Amazon Music HD. It was also important to me to be able to view the music lyrics when streaming. The HDAAC II 4K solved both problems. I purchased a unit for both systems. The customer support was top notch! Bob Rapoport was very quick to respond to my questions and provided expert advice. He suggested bypassing the McIntosh Control Center and using the HDAAC II 4K as a Preamplifier. I AM BLOWN AWAY BT THE SOUND QUALITY! I appreciate all of the Technical Support. How Sweet the Sound!

    Brian C. Audiophile July 2023

  8. Robert Wong, Audiophile Consumer, Dec 2022

    “Everything works great on the HDACC II-4K. The Volume is as good as I could want, even when listening to Blu Ray Discs of some older movies where the volume was not loud enough. Turning the headphone impedance up to 300 or 600 Ohms takes care of that.

    Being able to plug the HDMI sources directly into the HDACC II-4K, rather than through an extractor, and then through a DAC is a big plus. The Remote is very convenient, too. Sound quality using HDMI is outstanding, with music sounding better than ever. Stronger, fuller, deeper, and richer!”
    Robert Wong, Audiophile Consumer, Dec 2022

  9. Allen Carpenter, Audiophile Consumer, August 2022

    “It started out as needing a solution for converting Apple TV HDMI to an Analog signal for my NAD T778. By the end, I got so much more. I spoke to Bob about my concerns and he assured me that this was easily done…….along with all my other HDMI connections. Easily programmable with the Harmony Remote. Oh, and one more thing. With the DAC portion of the Essence, I’m hearing sounds I’ve never heard before. Now I have to listen to all the music ever recorded (that’s a lot) all over. Simply put, a richer, warmer and crispier sound. All in all, I give the HDACC II-4K an A+ for meeting and exceeding all my goals. Thanks (and Bob’s tech support is top notch)” Allen Carpenter, Audiophile Consumer, August 2022

  10. John Gatski, EAN Feb 2022

    “When EAN reviewed the HDACC II-4K HDMI v2.0b DAC Preamp a few years ago, we loved everything about its ability to decode hi-res PCM audio from its 4 HDMI inputs as well as USB in, and Optical/Coax inputs and outputs. It features upsampling, headphone amp, analog input, remote control, native 4K UHD video pass-through to your 4K TV. It’s a bargain at $649!

    We wondered aloud to Essence whether the factory could activate the DSD-over-HDMI decoding feature and eventually, low and behold, the native DSD decode process was finally turned on in a firmware update. So now audiophiles with SACD/DSD player capability, via the HDMI, can connect their player to the HDACC II-4K. The HDACC II-4K is one of the few DACs that has HDMI connectivity, and adding the SACD/DSD support compatibility is just icing on the cake.” John Gatski, EAN Feb 2022. Product of the Year Award 2021, Best Update.

  11. Garret Kriston, Musician / Writer Jan 2022

    I’m happy to report that I got extremely lucky with the Essence HDACC II-4K. Having upgraded to a universal 4K player with SACD capabilities, the next step was integrating my stereo system into a home theater setup for more immersive and detailed sound, and finally getting to hear the Super Audio layers on my hybrid SACDs. Not being too enthused about the prices of DACs or the prospect of replacing my receiver, I thankfully stumbled onto exactly what I was looking for, and dealing directly with Bob Rapoport made it easier every step of the way. The HDACC II-4K was delivered within 48 hours, and Bob provided a lot of helpful information that supplemented what was in the manual, which made for a straightforward setup process. I did have a few troubleshooting inquiries that he answered promptly via e-mail, even looking into specs regarding my specific player to make sure that I was getting the most out of the HDACC II-4K’s capabilities.

    Having now listened through both speakers and headphones, use of the HDACC II-4K has revealed layers left to explore within my library of music and movies, and the clarity and depth of sound already have me geared up for dedicated listening to albums that I thought I was overly familiar with. Going from having mainly heard ancient CD or worn out vinyl editions of classics like The White Album, There’s A Riot Goin’ On, and White Light/White Heat to high-resolution PCM and DSD at a quadrupled sample rate really ups the mileage that I continue to get from them. Just hearing and seeing that the HDACC II-4K is accurately processing the 192kHz audio track on Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps concert Blu-ray is a testament to the potential of home audio, and feels awfully close to the ideal way to experience this timeless music.

    I’m more than satisfied with the HDACC II-4K as a solid long-term investment for getting the most out of the ongoing abundance of high-resolution media, allowing one to appreciate both the finer details of recorded music and the crucial role that audio plays in the film viewing experience. (I haven’t quite dove into testing out movies yet, but getting a taste of the audio on the 4K UHD disc of Beverly Hills Cop through my headphones was quality-wise far beyond anything that I’d ever heard through them before. 🙂 Garret Kriston, Musician / Writer Jan 2022

  12. Dennis Cottrell, Audiophile Consumer, Aug 2021

    I wanted to be able to play the Hi-res music on SACD but had difficulty finding a way as most solutions were many thousands of dollars. I found the Essence HDACC II-4k which seemed to be exactly what I needed.

    The HDACC II-4K is built well and all controls work as they should. The display is clear and the remote works flawlessly.

    Listening to the first SACD, Mofi release of Dire Straits “Communique”, the sound was completely clear through Magnepan .7’s. I could hear parts of the music that I had never noticed before coming through loud and clear. In comparing the SACD with the Mofi vinyl release of the same album, the SACD was a bit more clear and the vinyl was a bit warmer. Both sounded great.

    Playing a regular CD through the HDACC II-4K using a 96kHz sample rate setting, the sound was better to me than using the default 44.1kHz rate of a standard CD.

    Overall, the HDACC II-4k is a bargain if you want Hi-res music, just get this and a cheap Universal player to use as a transport and you’re there.

    Dennis Cottrell

  13. Steve Parsons, Audiophile consumer, Dec 2020

    Thanks Bob. I love the HDACC II-4K DAC! Super convenient.

    Steve Parsons, Audiophile consumer, Dec 2020

  14. Garrett Shelton, Audiophile Consumer, Sept 18, 2020

    “In combination with the Lyngdorf Amp and Paradigm speakers, the whole thing just sings with the HDACC II-4K, It’s like my speakers don’t even exist”. Garrett Shelton, Audiophile Consumer, Sept 18, 2020

  15. Andrew Dewar, PhD, Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts at New College & School of Music, University of Alabama, August 2020

    “The Essence HDACC II-4K packs a lot of power in a small package, and punches *well above* its weight sonically – I’m very satisfied with its clear and transparent sound. Using a high-end ESS D/A chip, and with loads of useful connectivity options unique to this unit, this is exactly the DAC I needed for my main A/V listening system – great work, Essence!” Andrew Dewar, PhD, Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts at New College & School of Music, University of Alabama, August 2020

  16. Brandon Kim, Computer Audiophile, Feb 2020

    “From a practical standpoint, having no perceivable noise and low latency makes this the best “soundcard” I’ve ever plugged into a machine and I regret throwing money at ASUS and Creative Labs in the past. The headphone amp and available connections gives me a sense that I’ll continue using this piece of hardware for many years to come, so even though I ended up spending more than I initially wanted to on a DAC for my computer, I think the extra investment was worthwhile. The small footprint is also very nice. I was having a hard time finding anything that would fit on my computer desk that had all the inputs and outputs I was looking for that wasn’t a full blown A/V receiver.” Brandon Kim, Computer Audiophile, Feb 2020

  17. Jake Ross, Audiophile Consumer, Jan 2020

    “I just want to say that the HDACC II-4K works brilliantly and I’m very pleased with the sound it produces. Thank you for offering this amazing product! Jake Ross, Audiophile Consumer, Jan 2020

  18. Shayne Tueller, Audiophile Consumer, Jan 2020

    “I started out playing a 96kHz 24-bit FLAC music file from my laptop via the USB port to the HDACC II-4K. Unbelievable sound and dynamic range.” Shayne Tueller, Audiophile Consumer, Jan 2020

  19. Michael Skogsford, Audiophile Consumer, Dec 2019

    Oh eureka! When I first connected the HDACC II-4K I could not believe my ears. Did I just get a whole new system? No, this one component made the largest impact on my sound system than any one thing I have ever tried. I do not think I could have spent 10 grand on a cartridge and had more impact on the sound from my Thorens. Wow! My buddy, who is a real stickler with his audio and primarily only listens through high-end headphones, could not believe how good this all sounds now. If he is impressed it has to be good.

    I can honestly say this is the closest I have ever been to feeling as if I might be able to stop improving. I am so enthused I have reached out to audio buddies in other states telling them they need to hear this to believe it. It really is that good.

    I just want to thank you for what you have created. Wow, what a difference! This DAC is worth every penny. Michael Skogsford, Audiophile Consumer, Dec 2019

  20. Alan Hall, Audiophile Consumer, Nov 2019

    Hi Bob – just wanted to let you know, the sound quality of the Essence DAC is superb. I only use headphones, so that is all I can comment on. Even coming from a lowly cable-box. I watch many PBS Great Performances shows – especially classical music / Broadway (42nd Street, King & I musicals) and GP at the Met operas. Magical. Alan Hall, Audiophile Consumer, Nov 2019

  21. Sotiri Divaris, Audiophile Consumer, South Africa, May 2019

    I fired up the Essence last night and connected it to my system using it as a preamp. What a wonderful DAC and excellent preamp.

    The bass is amazing and noticeable on the Apogee Scintillas. The mids and upper ranges I think are exquisite and detailed.
    It is certainly an upgrade for me, the unit is easy to use. I will certainly be purchasing more of your products. Sotiri Divaris, Audiophile Consumer, South Africa, May 2019

  22. Amir M. Audio Science Review, April 2019

    “The unique functionality and usability of the Essence HDACC II-4K pushes me to put it on my recommended list” Amir M. Audio Science Review, April 2019

  23. Tim Eastman, Audiophile Consumer, March 2019

    Had a chance to kick back yesterday afternoon and really appreciate the new setup. Phenomenal, really. Just so clean and my speakers are very happy. Amazing is the silence between notes. Tim Eastman, Audiophile Consumer, March 2019

  24. Alan Gooey, Audiophile Consumer Australia, Feb 2019

    I bought the Essence HDACC ll-4K on a whim as I was in need of some retail therapy! What swung me towards it was the ability to decode Blu-ray audio via HDMI. The unit is well put together. I’ll say as a DAC it’s good, very very good! No doubt there are “better” ones out there but then you’re talking silly money, and I don’t think I’d be too popular selling the family to buy one of these “esoterica” models. IMHO the Essence punches way above it’s weight making it a fabulous value for money, even with the lousy exchange rate between the US and Aussie Dollar. But for me, what really made it an “end game” DAC was the HDMI inputs. I was playing my audio Blu-rays via a Yamaha multi channel receiver. Sounded OK. But when I put the HDACC II-4K into the chain (thus taking the Yamaha out of the loop), the sound went from “meh” to “YEAH”! I’m one happy camper! Alan Gooey, Audiophile Consumer Australia, Feb 2019

  25. Terje Kkjaerpe, Audiophile Consumer Norway, Feb 2019

    I just wanted to tell you that I am very satisfied with the HDACC II-4K. The sound quality is top notch. It has all the inputs and outputs that I need. For a home theater setup with two active speakers, it is really perfect. Previously, to have HDMI input / output to the projector and pre-outputs to the speakers, I had to go for a big Home Theater receiver with a 5 channel amp I didn’t need. The HDACC II-4K is also so much easier to set up. According to your suggestion, I changed the SRC to 96 KHz.
    Thank you very much for an intelligently designed DAC/preamplifier. Terje Kkjaerpe, Audiophile Consumer Norway, Feb 2019

  26. Pat Vehling, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2019

    I’m using the main HDMI1 output on the Sony BD player with the HDACC II-4K handling video as well, and voila – everything from 44.1 to 192kHz. So far no issues and it sounds great! Look forward to listening to it more and with different headphone options as well. Thanks for the tech support – not too many companies would send personal messages! Pat Vehling, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2019

  27. CW Lai, Audiophile Consumer, Singapore Feb 2019

    I have a huge collection of HDMI sources (7 devices): 1080P and 4K but only 4 HDMI input on my 4KTV. To make things more complicated I have a high fidelity 1080P device OPPO BD player that is part of my old school stereo audiophile system (Mark Levinson), So I can’t choose any cheap HDMI switch and definitely no interest in Downgrading my sound system to high end big receiver.

    I am thrilled to find this device as its exactly what I need, the HDACC II-4K works seamlessly in my setup without degrading the high fidelity video or audio source. Honestly I was skeptical at first when I place the order as I never heard of Essence before, but lesson from OPPO (push off my 4K BD purchase thinking they will there forever) lead me to take the plunge before it is gone

    No degradation of fidelity for both 4k and 1080P HDMI source: check
    Optical output to my cheap Bose 2.1 home theater for the 4 source connect: check
    Small foot print with display: check
    Remote control: check

    Really appreciate Bob in making this device available for sale. CW Lai, Audiophile Consumer, Singapore Feb 2019

  28. Steve Elfvin, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2019

    Hi Bob, I’ve been very happy with the HDACC II-4K. It handles all HDMI video sources and integrates nicely with my 2-channel system. It doesn’t outperform my Cary Audio dac but that’s ok. The versatility is awesome.

    I was actually surprised by the FIBBR HDMI v2.0 Fiber Optic cables. They work perfectly and the picture quality is definitely much better than my previous cables. Thanks! Steve Elfvin, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2019

  29. Gabriel Nistor, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2019

    Hi Bob,

    I received the HDACC II-4K and took about 10 minutes to integrate in my audio system. The HDMI inputs are certainly the best (can also serve as a 4×1 matrix) but I like the fact that can handle a variety of optical inputs, i.e. optical (for my Sonos system), and even analog input. With ordinary music sources is hard to tell the difference, however the DAC shines when the input is high resolution audio such as FLAC, DSF and DSD files or Blu-ray disc, or even MP3 at 320kbps. I’m using a QSC amp for outdoors, a Yamaha amp for indoors and especially on a pair of Audio-Technica M50 headphone monitors the stereo separation is perfect, noise is absent and the dynamic range is fantastic.

    This makes the music interesting, clear and colorful with the myriad of subtle harmonics and amplitude variations that are absent on ordinary electronics. Along with the sound, the HD video works fine, there are no delays in A/V but I don’t own (yet) a 4K TV to comment on the 4K video quality. Overall I’m very happy with the DAC, my family re-discovered the beauty of classic jazz and my house and yard is full of good quality sound. Thank you for the great product! Gabriel Nistor, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2019

  30. Peter Schumacher, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2019

    HI Bob, Thanks again for a terrific product. Still enjoying it immensely. Peter Schumacher, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2019

  31. Sunil Sharma, Vancouver Consumer, July 2018

    The Essence HDACC II-4K is a Giant Killer! Oct 14 update.

    I’ve been using the latest generation II-4k for several months and it’s absolutely fantastic! I have an expensive Audiophile system that reveals even small changes so its really obvious how great this Kit is. The DAC is using the excellent ESS Pro chip and it sounds best set to bypass with no up-sampling. Super Audio and DVD audio will knock your socks off. An absolute bargain in the Audiophile circle where its pretty much unknown. I am planing on buying a second one for my second system. Because of the high dynamic range and ultra low distortion of this DAC you might not realize just how loud your system really is… So beware of potential hearing damage! LoL. My friend measured on his phone app that we were playing songs which peaked at 122.9 db! This DAC has super slam!

    @384 rate more air and acoustic cues of the original recording space. If below good recording the highs are a bit harsh; to compromise dropped to 96k sample rate. Timing on the kick drum is stunning! Difficult not to toe tap as the inner details of low frequency music is reminiscent of when Chris Kelly , my sister’s ex,( local well regarded jazz musician ) would jam with his crew in this very same 16×11 living room. Much deeper bass extension….haven’t bothered turning on the subwoofer.

    Michael & Austin TVA 1 amp with KT 120s, and completely new hand match components in a new Williamson circuit.
    Kozmo passive Preamp with point to point wiring @100k.
    JBL 4430 converted into a JBL 4333, JBL Diaphragm on tweeter, and Radian mid-range diaphragm, custom hand matched JBL 4333 crossover with premium Solen caps & Coils.
    Kuzma stabi / stogi, Denon dl103r with soundsmith Ruby cantilever, Zu Audio aluminum body, Jasmine Preamp, Bob’s musical device Red SUT. ( Will try analog A/D through the Essence DAC at some point). Sunil Sharma, Vancouver Consumer, July 2018

  32. Pat Cook, Consumer July 2018

    “An absolute miracle of audio in a small box. If you have an Apple TV 4k, this is a must have”.

    Pat Cook, Consumer, July 2018

  33. John Gatski, EAN June 2018

    “For $599, the Essence HDACC II-4K receives a major uptick in audio quality over the original HDACC plus HDMI v2.0 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.” John Gatski, EAN Review June 2018

  34. Don Meriwether, Audiophile consumer, Atlanta, GA May 2018

    Used so far as a DAC & Line Stage (in Balanced mode connection to my active Focal Alpha 80 Monitors), I am “gobsmacked” at the sound, particularly the much deeper (lower frequencies) & better-defined Bass – it was like I had added a subwoofer, or changed to tower speakers. Focal rates these monitors to -3 dB at 35 Hz (not too shabby for a two-way with a single ported 8-inch woofer!) Top to bottom frequencies, this is an amazing & gorgeous sounding unit. This also means that I had no problems at all with DAC/USB Driver compatibility with my Win 10 (upgraded from Win 8) laptop. I also love being able to easily switch between my Blu-Ray player & my cablebox/DVR using HDMI inputs. These sound WAY BETTER than using the Optical Toslink connections which I would otherwise have to use. The sonic difference between Optical (from the HDTV’s Digital Sound Output, which I used with the original 2K HDACC), & an HDMI connection which is only available from direct intermediate connection to the cablebox, then output to the HDTV from the HDACC’s HDMI Output is huge! Don Meriwether, Audiophile consumer, Atlanta, GA May 2018

  35. Mike Timm, Audiophile Consumer, April 2018

    Hi Bob
    Thanks for your reply and yes it works fantastic! I have the Audioquest Jitterbug connected to the usb to lightning adapter all plugged into the usb port on the hdacc II-4K, using VOX on my iPhone X, i get full high res audio, not as good as blue ray but hey, better than tidal! Thanks for your quick response. Mike Timm, owner of HDACC II-4K, April 2018

  36. Robert Yull, Oct 2017

    Hi there Bob, so my unit showed up today thank you. Ok so I am running HDMI from Amazon Fire TV to the HDACC then HDMI to TV. Then to get the sound I running cables from HDACC to my pre amp. I also ran a optical cable TV to HDACC. The sound is really good but I have just started to play around a bit. I set it at 385K and it sounds brilliant. Thanks again. Robert Yull, Oct 2017

  37. William Rogers, October 2017

    HDACC II-4K installed, setup took 5 secs, still putting it through it’s sonic paces but am super happy with it. William Rogers, October 2017

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