The weight of Schiit’s $99/piece “Schiit Stack” comprised of headphone amp/pre Mani and digital converter Modi is undeniable in the market space it occupies. Often referred to as the great starting point for many entry-level audiophiles, the Modi hits a price that is digestible for most, and without taking great risk from an investment standpoint. But where do Schiitheads go from there? The next low-risk option is now sailing into view. The $200 Schiit Modius DAC is hot off the production line this week and adds a few interesting step up options, but still at a very entry-level price tag.
Sharing the same footprint as Schiit’s mid-tier headphone amplifiers Asgard 3, Jotunheim, and Lyr 3, the new $200 darling of the bunch is clearly stepping into the company’s Multibit Bifrost DAC territory from a feature standpoint. The significant note here is the Bifrost currently runs a more audiophile-modest $699, a fair divide between the new “less than two bills” Schiit Modius. Of course, you give up the multi-bit chipset for AKM AK4493 silicone, but the addition of balanced outputs and Schiit’s exclusive Unison USB interface might bring traffic to a stop with its highly value-based proposition.
In an unusual twist of fate, the Schiit Modius even includes the digital balanced standard AES as an input, something that the Bifrost does not. Schiit designer Jason Stoddard has been known to throw caution to the wind with regards to his products possibly overlapping in the market. He recently conducted a pre amp “Thunderdome” with 4 new units, allowing demand to dictate which amps stay and which ones were discontinued.
It may appear to those looking in that the exercise has inspired Schiit to repeat the exercise in different forms, to one degree or another. In any case, the step up for fans of the “stack” is now a much smaller one. In a world of expensive audiophile products, the Schiit Modius is still a unicorn product – especially for those who are fans of the brand or don’t want to change up their desktop aesthetic.
The new Schiit Modius is up for sale on the company’s direct site as of this posting.
More info: Schiit Audio Modius
You can check out thoughts on the $99 Schiit Modi 3 here in our formal review. You can also check out more of our blind A/B shoot outs with Schiit Audio as part of our Schiit Shootout series – Magni 3+ vs Heresy, Double Blind Tubes, 5 Turntable Cartridges Compared, Modi 3 vs. Modi Multibit, and Audio Technica VM95 Cartridge EN, ML & SH Compared.