Coming hot on the heels of Arcam’s recent drDock which brought a smile to any Apple device owner seeking an audio boost, this is another shot in the arm for audiophiles everywhere.
Having said that, you would need to be a significant audiophile to want to shell out £150 on what is effectively a USB powered DAC. Nevertheless, there is no getting around the fact that Arcam know what it takes in the audio department, having spent the last thirty years producing hi fi at the very top end of the industry.
The rPAC is, on the face of it, a very simple device; taking audio files on a Mac or PC and converting them into powerful digital audio heaven via headphones or line output. But be warned, the simple black cast aluminium box is deceiving, as underneath the sleek lines lies a complex nest of circuitry in order to make this transformation happen. Like any audio converter tool, it’s the DAC quality that lies at the heart of it all and the rPAC is driven by a TI Burr-Brown PCM5102 chipset and powered by asynchronous USB technology, which bypasses the internal audio processing and consequently eliminates all the electronic timing jitter.
Having mentioned the simplicity of the cast aluminium box, it is just that, simple. There are only two buttons on the rPAC for volume up or down, other than that, an LED light indicates red for on or green when processing audio and there are two 3.5mm phono connectors at the rear for connecting to an external AV source. The even better news is the build quality is up to the usual Arcam high standards with a solid feel to it and a damped rubber base to make it sit snugly on a table.
I suppose the beauty of the rPAC is there are no gimmicks here, it simply does what it says it does on the tin.
Arcam rPAC £150.