Prism Sound Callia DAC Review – Beautiful voice

earphonia.com PrismSound Callia Review

Callia DAC

£1,795
Callia DAC
8

Functionality/Sound Signature

9/10

    Build Quality/Design Style

    8/10

      Value

      7/10

        Pros

        • Solid robust build, high end quality components
        • Neutral, detailed musical style signature
        • Multiple inputs supported, impedance control and simple functionality

        Cons

        • Design style a little dated
        • Tough competition at this price level
        • Lacks direct WIFI streaming/APT-X support

        We have now spent some time with the Callia DAC and Pre-Amplifier  produced by PrismSound a UK well established company.

        As PrismSound have been producing high end audio equipment for the music industry at a professional level for a number of years. We really welcome this offering to the consumer market and have high hopes based on their impressive track record and industry knowledge.

        Lets see if the impressive specifications below are done justice by this weighty feeling DAC.

        Specifications:

        • Plug, play and enjoy your music in all popular formats
        • No-compromise, full Prism Sound audio quality
        • Play in Windows**, OSX, Linux, iOS and Android ***
        • Class compliant UAC2/USB for best compatibility
        • ASIO drivers for Windows
        • Windows WDM drivers (Vista and later)
        • Play from disc transport/player device via S/P-DIF
        • Optical and co-axial S/P-DIF inputs
        • Playback sampling rates from 44.1kHz to 384kHz ****
        • DSD64/128 via DOP (S/P-DIF DSD64 only)*****
        • Automated source selection, with manual override
        • Balanced +14dBu XLR and 2V RCA phono outputs
        • Low-Z headphone output (adjustable sensitivity)
        • Front-panel digital master volume control
        • State-of-the-art clocking with hybrid 2-stage DPLL
        • Fully-floating balanced architecture for low noise

        Build Quality/Functions/Accessories:

        The Callia DAC comes delivered in a very solid hard elegant looking hard cardboard box with the PrismSound logo and wording embossed in silver on the top of the box.

        CALLIA USB DAC and pre-amplifier earphonia.com unboxing

        Inside the items are protected with precisely machined foam to ensure safe delivery. Items included are the DAC, power chord and metal branded USB key.

        CALLIA USB DAC and pre-amplifier earphonia.com unboxing

        The Callia DAC has a reassuring weight of around 2.1 Kilos and the enclosure is of a metal build and feels very solid. It’s front panel design is a little minimal looking and there is a slightly polarised response on the design. I personally prefer more modern looking aesthetics.

        It has a number of LEDs indicating current input (optical S/PDIF, RCA S/PDIF or USB) and sample rates (4.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8, 384 kHz, DSD64 or DSD128).

        Details about bit length is also shown by different colours on the 24db indicator (If a PCM source has 16 active bits (or fewer), the ’24b’ LED is unlit, whereas it is lit blue to indicate a wordlength between 16 and 24 bits, or pink to indicate a wordlength greater than 24 bits (i.e. 32bit) the latter is only possible in USB source mode.)

        The volume control has a very smooth motion  and is a circular shaped dial. It also has blue back lit illumination that really has a nice glow when in use.

        Headphone output is a standard 6.3mm stereo jack. All the headphones we used fitted tight and felt solid when inserted. Impedance can be changed using the DIP switches on the back of the unit.

        A single button is used to manually select inputs and can control led brightness

        CALLIA USB DAC and pre-amplifier earphonia.com unboxing

        Looking at the back of the Callia DAC you can see a number of welcome ports.

        • Two XLR male for balanced connections
        • Two RCA sockets for unbalanced connection
        • RCA coaxial and TOSLink for S/PDIF optical inputs
        • A set of DIP switches that have various functions – impedance settings, DSD headroom select and to toggle line volume control function
        • USB 2.0 Input
        • Mains power 3 pin inlet

        CALLIA USB DAC and pre-amplifier earphonia.com unboxing

        The base of the DAC has circular rubber feet to slightly raise the player off the surface.

        The physical dimensions specifics are shown below:

        DimensionsTable-top (including feet): 285 x 242 x 50mm
        Weight2.1kg
        Mains voltage90VAC – 250VAC, 50 – 60Hz
        Power consumption15W
        Fuse rating0.5A(T), 20mm, glass
        Operation ambient conditions0 to 35°C, 85% maximum relative humidity

        CALLIA USB DAC and pre-amplifier earphonia.com unboxing

        A standard USB connecting cable and kettle plug is supplied.

        CALLIA USB DAC and pre-amplifier earphonia.com unboxing CALLIA USB DAC and pre-amplifier earphonia.com unboxing

        Also a very stylish metal PrismSound branded USB key is supplied for patching firmware.

        This comes with firmware loader software & Windows drivers, these can also be downloaded direct from the PrismSound website.

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