(30 customer reviews)

New Low Price on A Boxfull of Digital Audio Ingenuity, Essence HDACC is 3 Products in One; Digital Preamp / DAC / Headphone Amp and more….Sold Out and Discontinued

"Combine the HDACC with a high-quality integrated amplifier and a pair of decent loudspeakers (and subwoofer) and you have most of what you will need to assemble a high-performance 2.1-channel audio system that can handle anything you can throw at it."

Combine the HDACC with a high-quality integrated amplifier and a pair of decent loudspeakers (and subwoofer) and you have most of what you will need to assemble a high-performance 2.1-channel audio system that can handle anything you can throw at it.”

  • 24/192K Upsampling DAC
  • HDMI v1.3 USB, Optical, Coaxial Inputs
  • 2 Analog Line Inputs with A to D Conversion
  • OLED Display of Sample Rates
  • Remote Control
  • XLR Balanced and RCA Unbalanced Outputs
  • Headphone Amp with selectable impedance matching
  • Supports Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio HD

Note: We offer Free Shipping for orders shipped within the continental USA.  We ship to Europe and Asia by USPS however orders for delivery outside the USA must be submitted on this online order form. 

Sold Out and Discontinued, please see HDACC II-4K replacement model 



The HDACC by Essence™ is the digital nerve center for modern audio systems, actually three products in one; a Digital Pre-amp with its own hdmi logo blackvolume control, a 24/192K DAC for use with your legacy analog preamp or receiver, & the best headphone amp on the market. It supports HDMI, USB 2, Optical, & Coaxial inputs + 2 Analog inputs with A To D Conversion for digitizing & up-sampling older analog content to 24/192K Hi Res, including Remote Control, and a crisp OLED Display that shows you the native sample rate of the input source and the 5 selectable up-sample rates from 44.1K to 192K to choose from for the output.Essence HDACC hi res HDMI copy

The HDACC up-samples all low res music sources (mp3, wav files, vinyl, tape too!) plus compressed digital sources like CDs, DVDs, CableTV, Internet Radio, Sat Radio, Media Servers, and everything on your portable smartphones, tablets, and media players to Hi Res 24/192K lossless quality. All your music can play louder, cleaner and much richer, raising the sonic pleasure notably.

Selectable Headphone Impedance Matching between 16 and 600 ohms lets you optimize the HDACC’s fantastic sounding Headphone Amp to your specific brand and model headphone. None of the competitors can do that.

HDACC hdmi and usb (2)HDMI v1.3 Input enables you to hear the original unprocessed, uncompressed LPCM 24 bit/192K 2 Channel soundtracks on Blu-ray. Listen to over 1000 concerts by the world’s greatest artists, new classics from audiophile labels, and catalog classics of the most famous albums in history, all bit-for-bit identical to the original master recordings. 

USB 2 input lets you bypass your computer’s sound card for the much higher resolution sound from the HDACC with stored or streamed music files, DVDs, and all your favorite TV shows. The HDACC makes everything sound much cleaner and easier to hear.

Coaxial iconThe Coaxial & Optical inputs and outputs are for CD, DVD, a Sonos® Connect or any whole-home wireless audio system.HDACC rearLegacy system owners take note; you can bring the digital world into your analog system with the HDACC.. 




So what exactly do all the various resolutions mean sonically?  The lowest resolutions cant be played very loud, their dynamic range is compressed out to save space. This simple chart by Pono Music reveals everything you need to know. The dark orange is Blu-ray, you can play them as loud and clean as the original master recording, with full dynamic range. The HDACC can improve the sound of all the low res sources, adding fullness and detail, but nothing beats the Blu-ray as the gold standard of digital audio sources.

Many Hi Res downloads of classic albums exist now too, store them on your computer for playback anytime. Upsample your CDs or even your vinyl albums to 24/192K to give them new life. The goal of high fidelity is to play back a one to one copy of the original master recording with no loss.  

Note: No USB audio driver required for Mac Computers; USB Audio Driver support for Win 7 / 8 computers only; for Win 10 computer support we offer the model HDACC II-4K. We encourage Win 10 adopters to use the HDMI output of their PC, the data rate increases from 500 Mbps (USB) to 10.2 Gbps (HDMI) for hi res sources. The faster the better when it comes to hi def video and hi res audio. 

Essence DAC Comparison Chart 980x530 31214

 owners manual icon


Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 5.5 × 8.5 × 1.75 in


Fs = 44.1 to 96 kHz, 20 to 20 kHz BW, 1 kHz test tone, 0 dBFS = +24 dBu (unless noted):
SNR – A-Weighted, (0 dBFS = +20 to +29 dBu): 109 dB
SNR – Unweighted, (0 dBFS = +20 to +29 dBu): 107 dB
THD+N, 1 kHz at 0 dBFS: -85 dB, 0.005095%
THD+N, 1 kHz at –1 dBFS: -87 dB, 0.004849%
THD+N, 1 kHz at –3 dBFS: -89 dB, 0.004521%
THD+N, 20 to 20 kHz test tone at –3 dBFS: -89 dB, 0.004521%
Frequency Response at Fs=48 kHz: ±0.1 dB (20 to 20kHz)
±0.2 dB at 20 Hz
-0.2 dB at 20 kHz
Frequency Response at Fs=96 kHz: ±0.1 dB (20 to 20kHz)
-0.25 dB at 20 Hz
-0.2 dB at 20 kHz
Crosstalk -113 dB at 20 kHz
-118 dB at 1 kHz
-119 dB at 20 Hz
Interchannel Differential Phase (Stereo Pair): ±0.1 degrees at 1 kHz – any sample rate
Interchannel Differential Phase (Between DAC1 Units Fs<110): ±0.1 degrees at 1 kHz – Fs < 110 kHz
Interchannel Differential Phase (Between DAC1 Units Fs>110): ±0.1 degrees at 1 kHz – Fs > 110 kHz
Delay (Digital Input to Analog Output): 3.909 ms at 44.1 kHz
3.592 ms at 48 kHz
1.956 ms at 88.2 kHz
1.798 ms at 96 kHz
0.980 ms at 176.4 kHz
0.900 ms at 192 kHz
Mute on Receive Error: Yes
Mute on Lock Error: Yes
Mute on Idle Channel: No

Input Ports:

1×USB (Type B),
1×L/R (Analog Stereo 2RCA),
1×3.5mm mini analog L/R Phone Jack (L/R)

Output Ports:

1×Line L/R (Analog Stereo 2RCA),
1×XLR (Balanced Analog Stereo),
1×6.3mm Phone Jack (Headphone)
Digital Audio I/O Support: LPCM 2CH
Stereo Audio I/O Level: 2 Vrms ±0.2
XLR Blanced I/O Level: 4 Vrms ±0.2
Headphone Impedance: 16 Ω ~ 600 Ω
ESD Protection Human body model: ±8 kV (air-gap discharge)
±6 kV(contact discharge)

Power Supply: 100v-280v rated,5 V/3 A DC (US/EU standards, CE/FCC/UL certified)
Dimensions: 223mm (8.9″)W x 138mm (5.5″)D x 50mm (2″)H
Weight: 680 g, 1.8 lbs
Chassis Material: Aluminum
Power Consumption: 15 W

Remote Control Data For Learning

30 reviews for HDACC For Hi Res Audio–SOLD OUT

  1. Mark Miller, Consumer Oklahoma City, July 2018 (verified owner)

    Hey Bob!!!

    Thanks for the speedy reply with the USB driver and the USB input is rockin’. I’ve listened and watched only 2 Blu-ray live concerts (ELO’s Zoom and Queen’s Rock Montreal) from my OPPO 103 Universal player’s HDMI video only and audio only outputs, hooked up to the HDACC and outputting by Toslink into a $120 DAC out to a center speaker, subwoofer and 3 pairs of L/R fairly inexpensive speakers (maybe $1500 total).

    After reading your “Getting Started Tips” for my OPPO and this review from John Gatski about DTS Master HD and Dolby True HD – I have been blown away by your product. This IS the best money for used equipment I’ve ever spent. The soundstage, the openess, the airiness, the somewhat surround-like/live effect (even though I only have a 2.1 – L/R setup with 3 pairs of not so fancy speakers) with the HDACC’s HDMI de-embedder is incredible.

    I can’t wait to go through my vast library of not only my live music Blu-rays, but my collection of Blu-ray movies. I am over the moon. Again Bob, thank you for your help and many kudos for your badassness in workmanship of a sonic masterpiece of ingenuity in the form and presence of the HDACC. Mark Miller, Consumer Oklahoma City, July 2018

  2. Pierre Martinez, Consumer July 2018 (verified owner)

    Hello Bob,
    My experience with your service and the product (HDACC) has been first rate. I appreciate that.
    Pierre Martinez, Consumer, July 2018

  3. Paul Gossert, Homosassa Florida May 2018 (verified owner)

    I have to say the HDACC is one hell of a digital toolbox! I bought it primarily to extract Blu-ray hi res audio into analog. This DAC sounds great! And the video that it passes to my Sony monitor is perfect. Blows away the audio from my Oppo 83SE, and the Oppo is no slouch. The upsampling on lower resolution sources such as CDs is terrific. Excellent, one of a kind product. I can’t praise this DAC enough. Bob, thanks for staying w me on the phone for an hour talking audio. You’re an expert and great to talk to. I can’t give a high enough recommendation for your product and your help and service. Thank you so much. Paul Gossert, Homosassa Florida May 2018

  4. Jeff Swanson, Happy HDACC owner, March 2018 (verified owner)

    Well Bob, it’s been about 2 years since I’ve purchased the HDACC. I have put it through every concievable connection. I have played around with other DAC’s. I’ve totally embraced Streaming via the Tidal/Roon thing. I wanted to experience the MQA phenonenon so I bought a Dragonfly Red. It’s decent but I keep going back to the HDACC time after time. Any and every input I upsample to 192k. I can’t imagine better sound unless we’re getting into the Crazy Money Area. Jeff Swanson, March 2018

  5. Gerry Nason, August 2017 (verified owner)


    I had to write you immediately upon hearing the difference your device makes in my stereo system. I didn’t even get it to the full system in my living room. I opened it and said “What the Hell, let’s hear how it sounds on my system in my home office. Inserting it between my Paradigm Shift A2 powered speakers and my PC was an easy set up. Your instructions were perfect.

    The sound just jumps right out of the speakers, with all of the color and clarity that I had hoped for. The sound stage was fantastic, with actual separation between instruments. I can’t wait to hear it on my main system. I can see that this is going to result in me ordering a second unit, so I can have one in each space. Your product has converted me into an Essence Customer Evangelist. You’ll see my name pop up in a lot of reviews, because something this good should be shared with the world.

    I want to thank you for taking the time to walk me thru the process from cradle to grave. Your personal attention is what sold me on buying the product. You took the time to engage with me and that made all of the difference in the world. Especially when so many products make bold claims that their product rarely lives up to. I can honestly say that your claims were spot on. If anything your claims were timid compared to what I am hearing today. Thank you for making the rest of my natural life more rich and enjoyable, as music is my passion. I couldn’t be happier.

    Thanks, so much! Gerry Nason

  6. Asoka Yapa, Japan, July 2017 (verified owner)

    I have to say that every time I have asked you for assistance you have been amazingly obliging with both your time and technical advice. This is surely way beyond the call of duty! To me it speaks to the integrity of your company. You have made this listener very happy and I will be delighted to recommend Essence to anyone. You sure stand behind your products. Asoka Yapa, Japan July 2017

  7. Sean Smith, Audiophile Consumer, April 13, 2017 (verified owner)


    Received the essence hdacc today. Got it hooked and setup. It does exactly what I was needing. Works great and easy to use! Sounds great too, though I have about two minutes so far listening.

    Thanks, and I also appreciate the informative discussion we had.

  8. Steve Fast, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2017 (verified owner)

    Hey Bob
    Yes sir, you can quote me. I am very impressed with both the Mitchell & Johnson GL2 electrostatic headphone and the HDACC’s performance. I store my digital files on a NAS that I stream through my OPPO BDP 103 to the HDACC. Being able to monitor my audio files with the OLED display is a bonus. Passing 2 channel audio using the HDMI out on my OPPO through the HDACC to my 2 channel setup sounds outstanding! This alone was worth the purchase price. The upscaling is also wonderful it gives my low-res files and LPs a welcome punch that they were lacking. Steve Fast, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2017

  9. Espen Chritensen, Audiophile Consumer Norway Feb 2017 (verified owner)

    Hi, Bob.

    I’ve been playing with the HDACC for a few days and I absolutely love it. My music collection have never sounded as crisp.
    I connect a blu-ray player with hdmi to it and send the audio with rca cables to a tube amp and picture to a tv via hdmi out. This way it works perfectly. Espen Christensen, Audiophile Consumer, Norway Feb 2017

  10. Michael Johnson, Australian consumer, 11/16 (verified owner)

    Hi Bob,

    Got the HDACC a week or more ago but haven’t had time to hook it up until now. So far I’ve hooked it up to the coax dig out of my old Micromega CD player (with modified transport) and am using it as a DAC to feed to my own design/built 2A3 single ended triode amplifier into Audionote J loudspeakers. It sounds absolutely fantastic! I got it to extract the HD audio from HDMI which i’ll get to but i’m loving listening to it as a super quality DAC for now. Awesome job! Michael Johnson, Australian consumer, 11/16

  11. Eddy Lam, Hong Kong July 2016

    I simply love the HDACC so much. This is the first time I feel the power of my ProAc D18 speaker since I brought it back in 2012. The HDACC gives the CD music so much clarity and power. I enjoy so much the very details of different sounds in the song. I must say that the HDACC is a “must have” device for all audiophile beginners. That would save us a lot of money from buying various audio components in order to experiment the right choice of equipment and the mix of them. Eddy Lam, Hong Kong July 2016

  12. Dave Oakley, Audiophile Consumer UK, July 2016

    This site already has plenty of reviews and recommendations on the HDACC so I won’t go into any detail on that other than to say it really is as good as people say. I was particularly impressed with the sound quality of the Blu Ray soundtracks. The main point I wanted to make was about the after sales service and how helpful Bob is. My system quite old but still works and sounds great but being old it has its limitations, the old amp only having 3 inputs for example. As my knowledge of these things is also a bit “old school” I needed quite a lot of help in setting up and configuring the HDACC. Bob was extremely helpful, patient, clear and concise with the assistance he gave and I cannot thank him enough. If anyone is considering buying an Essence product but has concerns over their own ability to get the best out of their purchase, I would urge to go ahead as help will always be at hand.

    Dave Oakley, Audiophile Consumer UK, July 2016

  13. Anonymous Audiophile Consumer, March 2016

    HDACC = Great! The HDACC arrived yesterday and and the setup was easy for my minimal setup. Two inputs: Cambridge Azur 840C passing through 44.1/16 over coax and Sonos player delivering 44.1/16 over Toslink. It sounds better to me than the upsampling Cambridge DAC section I had been using. The headphone amp is also noticeably better than that in my old Sonic Frontiers pre-amp. Very Happy! Anonymous Audiophile Consumer, March 2016

  14. Denny Pue, Simply Music, Singapore

    Thanks Bob! I received the HDACC, it sounds awesome, very quiet and 3D, great resolution too & no fatigue! Thanks! Denny Pue, Simply Music, Singapore

  15. Jeff Swanson, audiophile consumer

    Hey Bob,
    Came home today with a new set of HDMI cables. Put them in. Kept thinking of “pilot error” Hmmm. Went over set up options on my Oppo player, once again and again. Finally found setting for “dynamic range control” Set it to “off” . It was set to “auto”
    Popped in a redbook cd. Magical! Then did some Pandora radio. OMG! Then, finally popped in Yes, Live in Montreaux Blu-ray, chose DTS-HD in audio options. Voila!! The HDACC reads 48k- on the left side. In Heaven. I cant thank you enough for your expertise and patience. I am sooooo happy with this product!!!
    Sonically Orgasming,
    Jeff Swanson

  16. Andre Lang, Audiophile Consumer in Germany (verified owner)

    Bob ,
    HDACC is a fantastic product. Thanks for the perfect shipping organisation. 🙂 I’m not using anymore an audiolab 8200 preamplifier !! due to your features and the sound quality. Andre Lang, Audiophile Consumer in Germany

  17. Guy Rouleau, Audiophile Consumer, Quebec, Canada

    WOW! Well Bob, I’m pretty much all hooked up! I received the Essence unit last Friday, a week ago, and have been putting it through its’ paces— let me tell you, my friend: you have a g-r-e-a-t product!! It’s enhanced my sound and I can use it a variety of ways , plugged in as it is. I’ve connected XLR’s to my STAX 4370 unit and what a difference this makes. I have my iBASSO DX-90 connected to the coax input – holy caramba!! – and my Hifiman Hm-901 to the analogs. THANKS FOR REKINDLING MY PASSION FOR AUDIO – YOUR HDACC IS JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED! Guy Rouleau, Audiophile Consumer, Quebec, Canada

  18. Jamal Kirk, Boston, Winner of HDACC Summer Sweeps 2015

    Several weeks in and I’m re-discovering lots of my existing collection of music, and looking forward to even more by adding some blu-ray audio discs played back via HDMI. The Essence HDACC has been a swiss army knife of digital audio goodness for sure. I’m looking forward to getting to use it with a pair of slightly older Acoustic Energy AE1 MKII speakers . I suspect that 2 great things that sound great alone will be exponentially better together. 2 thumbs, arms and hands UP, Way way up! Jamal Kirk, Boston, Winner of HDACC Summer Sweeps 2015

  19. Hendra Wijaya

    I am very satisfied with HDACC and it’s still connected to my Yamaha CX-A5000 and my hi-end computer with 5.1 system 🙂 Salute for you…Hendra Wijaya, inboxgue@gmail.com

  20. Steve & Julie

    As I write, I am playing an AIX recording “The Latin Jazz Trio” I picked up about a year ago. I wanted to hear what the Bluray audio high resolution sound was all about. I am really impressed as in wow I almost can’t believe the dynamics and tone I’m getting right now….I did not hear anything as good at the AXPONA show at any price point…You’ve got a winner. Congratulations on choosing to license the Bluray protocol. If I wasn’t hearing it myself, I wouldn’t believe what I’m hearing….I hooked up a turntable and phono preamp to the line input. If there was going to be any loss of detail, here is where I expected to find it. I put on a record and cued it up. I couldn’t tell the difference between an excellent solid state preamp and the digitized version out of the HDACC. Truly a versatile product. Steve & Julie

  21. Gerald Pratt, noted audiophile and HDACC owner, 2014

    I come from the old-school of audio and have spent years configuring the best high-end audio system I could come up with. The speakers are Apogee Divas, the Amp is a Mark Levinson and the Pre-amp is a vacuum tube device of my own design. I had no interest of changing to a AV system with all of the AV formats that evolved as the technology was advancing.

    When I learned from Bob on a LinkedIn site about Blu-ray’s ability to play not only high-end video, but high-end uncompressed audio, I wanted to jump on the bandwagon. This would be as good, or better than the best analog open-reel tape recorder playing a master tape. Turns out it is the best audio source available to audiophiles.

    The first Blu-ray player I acquired has audio output connectors that provided a great audio 24/96 signal from its internal DAC. But I liked the idea of deriving the highest quality signal from a dedicated high-end DAC and the HD audio center seemed to have it all including a remote control with volume control capability which I did not have with my analog electronics. It turned better than my expectations and I have been playing Blu-ray music ever since.

    I recommend you read Bob’s articles which describes how this all works and how most audiophiles are not aware of the audio quality as most thing Blu-ray is for Video performance only. The HD Audio Center can provide a single-ended output or Balanced XLR outputs as well and requires no other Pre-amp to work into a high-end power amplifier. However, it can also be connected to an analog pre-amp as well. I tried both ways and preferred using my tube Pre-amp for two reasons. First the sound seemed a little warmer and musical to me thru my Pre-amp and I liked the idea of using the volume control on the analog Pre-amp as a limiter for the extreme dynamic range of the Blu-ray format.

    You need to be a little careful when you have the full dynamic range of a 24/96, uncompressed recording. But when played back at normal listening levels, say around 80 dB, the dynamic range will blow you away. This is a great product and I recommend it highly. Gerald Pratt, noted audiophile and HDACC owner, 2014

  22. Robin McConnell, So. Africa, 2014

    Hi Bob,
    just a note to thank you for the info regarding the use of an HDMI de-embedder, I have now connected my Oppo 93 this way and, as you suggested, the overall sound quality and dynamic range is the best I have ever heard on my system. Chris Botti, for example, is really outstanding. I use a Bryston DAC, Audio Research LS27 pre, 4 Bel Canto 1000 mono-blocks and Dali Megalines with JL Audio subs so the differences are really felt and heard. Thanks again, Robin McConnell, So. Africa, 2014

  23. Amol Akalkotka, HDACC owner, June 2014

    “After a lot of extensive listening yesterday with high quality lossless CD rips, I feel that the HDACC is a step up in terms of audio quality over the Matrix DAC….the Essence has wider imaging and overall a smoother sound. Having an HDMI input is a total win for me. I think you’ve definitely hit the nail on the head with this product. The headphone amplifier is superb.That particular OpAmp is designed for high impedance headphones like the ones I use and I was astonished to discover the new life the headphone amp in the HDDAC put into them. Thank you for making this wonderful product” Amol Akalkotka, HDACC owner, June 2014

  24. D Nash, Audiophile consumer, May 2014

    Are you considering buying a dac this year with usb 2, a headphone output, and preamp features? Before you buy think about this- are you going to watch movies on the system at least half the time? If you have a blu-ray player and you answered ‘yes’ there is only one choice: the Essence HDACC. On a budget? Do a search on netflix, or even better your local library, and see how much blu-ray content, both music and film is out there- it will surprise you. D Nash, Audiophile consumer, May 2014

  25. Hans Ruf, Audiophile consumer, Feb 2014

    “This is a great piece of equipment by the way. It has every feature that I could think of having in a preamp and I wish you great success with it!” Hans Ruf, Audiophile consumer, Feb 2014

  26. J. Kelly Moran, audiophile consumer, Vancouver, Canada

    Success!! Received the HDACC last night, and got it set up and sorted….. and WHOA….. like a brand new …everything!
    Pretty amazing to hear the difference… a movie on the cable box let me hear the gravel being picked up by the tires on the screen… CD’s at 44.1 or WAV files at 48 were entirely new experiences… ripped movies, regular DVD’s…. And then to top it off, the sample CD you were kind enough to include. That first track put shivers up my spine. Bob, thank you so much this thing is unbelievable. I can’t wait to keep trying new content, and to find a few blue ray audio discs (which are hard to find so far, but I’m on it) and put those through the paces. J. Kelly Moran, audiophile consumer, Vancouver, Canada

  27. Robert Fokken, Amsterdam Dec 2014

    I’m very pleased with my new HDACC. It’s quality is really ear-blowing!! Robert Fokken, Amsterdam Dec 2014

  28. Derek S. 10/15/14

    Hey Bob, how have you been? My audio journey has slowed down tremendously as my rig is at a place I truly enjoy, and a big part of that is your HDACC. I’ve now compared it to the wyred 4 sound dac2, the oppo 105, and the chord Hugo Dac. Yours still comes out on top for me. Derek S. 10/15/14

  29. Bill McCormick, Audiophile consumer, SC

    I’m wanting to move from an vintage analog preamp to a DAC pre. The HDMI option not to mention analog input makes this super flexible. The Blu-Ray aspect is unique and something I know I’m going to love. Nice design! Bill McCormick, Audiophile consumer, SC

  30. Jack Neber, NY Audiophile, Jan 31, 2014

    Hi Bob,

    I am very happy to see that someone is finally making affordable audiophile- quality equipment with HDMI input – Bravo!. Up until now, no one has taken this ubiquitous interface seriously other than for the transmission of i2S signals for whatever reason. I have been using an HDMI de-embedder to send BR quality music to my NAD M2 for some time now, but before that was sending those sigmas to my DAC.

    Meridian has been making a very expensive HDMI input unit for some time now, but the output is proprietary and therefore will not work with non-Meridian equipment. I commend your vision for recognizing the need for this product in the marketplace Jack Neber, NY Audiophile, Jan 31, 2014

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