While Resonessence Labs doesn’t frequent the personal audio show circuit as often as some, they did have a new product prototype to show off at this year’s Ear Gear Expo at AXPONA.
Based off the company’s original micro-DAC Herus ($350) pictured above, the new “Mini” was designed to include IEMs after some reports of hiss in the background of the Herus with sensitive headphones.
In order to deliver a silky black background for all headphones and IEMs, the Mini includes a battery power supply and more internal isolation (and real estate) to help keep things quiet. The new DAC remains thin and pocketable and will also handle up to 2X DSD and DXD decoding. The Herus Mini will retail for around $600 when it starts shipping in May. The USB thumb drive DAC & headphone sector has seen many fresh entries since the initial success of AudioQuest’s Dragonfly and others. It will be interesting to see how the new price point and size play out in the field. It is also comforting to see a manufacturer addressing feedback like this, especially to the niche market of IEMs. Its often seems that the tiny ear speaker gets overlooked far to often in the development process. From my experience the background hiss referenced here is actually quite common among headphone amplifiers (with or without DACs) specifically intended for headphone usage.