Audirect has announced Beam 3 Plus Bluetooth – USB DAC/AMP. The Beam 3 Plus is equipped with a high-tech Qualcomm CSR8675 Bluetooth chip providing seamless Bluetooth connectivity with LDAC, AptX HD, AptX, SBC, and AAC high-resolution Bluetooth codecs. The Beam 3 Plus supports PCM 32-Bit/768kHz and DSD up to DSD512 native decoding over USB connections. Beam 3 Plus houses two headphone output ports, a 4.4mm balanced and another 3.5mm single-ended providing the user option to go balanced or single-ended. The balanced port outputs up to 230mW of power while the single-ended port provides up to 141mW of power, more than enough to power IEMs and headphones with ease. Audirect Beam 3 Plus will sell for 189.99$.
Audirect Beam 3 Plus features a high-performance ES9281AC audio signal decoding chip by ESS Sabre Technologies. USB and Bluetooth mode can be switched manually. The DAC chip is paired with Dual OP-AMP for a powerful output stage.
Audirect Beam 3 Plus has a three-level gain mode that can be adjusted using the gain switch on the side of the device. It helps the users to pair the Beam 3 Plus with sensitive as well as demanding headphones.
Along with high-resolution PCM and DSD decoding, the latest Audirect Beam 3 Plus is capable of MQA decoding.
Qualcomm CSR8675 Bluetooth chip.
Dual OP-AMP Chips.
ES9281AC DAC Chip.
MQA Decoding Support.
Dual Headphone Output Ports: 3.5mm+4.4mm.
Easy to switch between USB and Bluetooth DAC/AMP mode.
Three-level gain mode.
USB Input Type: USB Type-C.
Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-40kHz.
Output Parameters(4.4mm): ≥110mW(16Ω), ≥230mW(32Ω), ≥27.78mW(600Ω).
Output Parameters(3.5mm): ≥141mW(16Ω), ≥122mW(32Ω), ≥7mW(600Ω).
Dimensions: 75mm x 39mm x 12mm.
Audirect Beam 3 Plus seems an interesting DAC/AMP for sure, but its rather high price of 189$ makes me wonder how it will find its way in the crowded portable DAC market. If your need is 4.4mm balanced output and Bluetooth on a portable DAC then the Beam 3 is for you. But if you want the best portability you can find the same DAC chip in the tiny Atom 2 for 79$. Or you can grab the E1DA PowerDAC V2.1 also for 79$ if the sound quality is the most important fact for you.