Adding a amp or digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to your audio setup can provide a massive boost in sound quality and performance. There are plenty of entry-level consumer products available on the market, but investing in a serious system will make a noticeable difference. Just the other day, the Billie Amp hit Kickstarter with a beautiful design and big promises. It’s loaded with modern and throwback connectivity to cover all of your bases. Head below for more insight.
The Billie Amp promises to bring “the warmth of analog with the precision of digital.” Thanks to a throwback tube-style design and solid internals, that is certainly possible. Unlike USB options that you’d use with a computer, this stereo accessory is meant to standout amongst the crowd as a show piece on your living room console. The glow of the warm tubes combined with metal and wooden materials make this an attractive design for any audio enthusiast.
There is a plethora of connectivity options on the backside. Two analog and one MM turnable input handle will handle your throwback gear while aptX Bluetooth plus two optical take care of the digital side of things. There is one speaker stereo speaker output capable of 125 watts, a line level subwoofer and a headphone jack, as well. The built-in DAC is a ESS Sabre that handles data rates up to 32-bit/384kHz.
I’ve been using a tube-style amplifier for a few years now and can certainly recommend it over digital competitors. There is a certain warm sound that comes from aged vacuum tubes that is difficult to reproduce. Simply put, music feels more authentic than your standard digital media file. That said, listening with high resolution sources is going to make a huge difference too. Simply tossing Pandora on a high-end system isn’t going to have the same wow-factor as a studio-grade FLAC file. The Billie Amp has interesting potential for consumers looking to improve their audio setup without sacrificing modern connectivity like Bluetooth. It’s not a purist’s solution but will likely do the job.
After just a few days, this project has received nearly $16,000 in pledges over at Kickstarter. With 27 days remaining, it needs to pass the $69,000 mark to come to fruition. The early bird price of around $590 will deliver a unit in December if all goes to plan.
Looking to upgrade your system today? There are plenty of options available that will do the trick. Audioengine’s D1 24-bit DAC will provide a boost for your computer while this highly-rated tube mini tube amp will provide that warmth I spoke of earlier.
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