Spectra’s barely outputs any background hiss at all. We’re getting into hi-end DAP player territory here. It hisses less than an iPhone 6. iPhone 6, you say? What about muh AK70? or muh AK100? Or my Sony NW-WM1Z?
It hisses less than each one.
And, at full volume, it pushes a few measurable envelopes. It’s a bright-sounding thing, with good stereo detail to both extremes. NOS DAC fiends likely will find too much detail and too little low pass filter-induced accent to get into.
Under load and top volume levels, IMD levels jump by 3500%, but should remaininaudible. Most other metrics budge only a little, or budge within bounds totally inaudible at normal listening levels.
If you listen to a medium to high-end DAP on a daily basis, you’ll be ready for Spectra. It sounds good. It looks like a pen.
Note: I measured a 7dB difference in output across the board between the iMac and MacBook Pro. Because this problem is endemic to my iMac, posted results are for the 2015 MacBook Pro.
NL - no load
SM2 - Earsonics SM2
ES7 - Audio Technica ES7
DT880 - Beyerdynamic DT880/600
24-bit measured at +6dB (roughly the same volume level as an AK380 at max volume)
I’ll be writing about Spectra next week at Headfonia. For now, let’s say that I’m more than impressed.