For DA1 Whizzer chose the ESS9270 DAC chip. In total the ESS9270 is a high-performance DAC, ADC module and SABRE integrated amplifier in a very small package, with a maximum theoretical signal-to-noise ratio of +116 dB. Let’s review the Whizzer DA1 portable DAC-AMP.
The body of the DA1 is made from a single aluminium ingot, which has been machined nearly a hundred times on a five-axis precision machine. It looks and feels premium in your hands.
Whizzer has added a number of selected capacitor circuits around the chip to improve the sound problems caused by the direct outgoing signal from the chip amplifier module.
As for output power, the maximum drive level of 2Vrms is guaranteed while controlling the maximum output power of 70mW@32 0hm.
The DA1 is equipped with an independent outpower system. The precise arrangement of the output power at 30 points allows for more precise matching of different impedances to the front-end. This reduces linear and non-linear distortion caused by overloads.
Whizzer DA1 has hardware volume keys which support 30 levels of power adjustments. It also has a led which shows the bitrate of the track that is currently played between those volume keys. Additionally, the DA1 has in-line microphone support for phone calls.
What’s in the box
Model: Whizzer DA1
Size: 51 x 16.5 x 9.2mm
Input: USB TYPE—C
DAC Model: ESS9270
Output Level: 70mW@32 0hm
Sample: 32bit/384kHz, DSD128 (DoP)
I would like to thank Whizzer for providing me with the review sample of the DA1 USB DAC-AMP (no affiliate link).
Whizzer DA1 offers a slightly warmer than neutral tonality. The bass is pretty strong and tight, the midrange has a good level of clarity and is musical, while the treble range is successful in terms of treble extension and control.
The sub-bass of the Whizzer DA1 shows an average depth and extension but wins in terms of control and resolution which sounds pretty impressive. The sub-bass quantity and intensity will satisfy most users. The mid-bass of the Whizzer DA1 is slightly more accented compared to the sub-bass area and shows a good level of impact and tightness. It helps to give the overall presentation more musicality and fullness without to overwhelm or to affect the midrange clarity and general level of airiness. The bass of the Whizzer DA1 can be described in general as pretty linear and controlled which offers also a good level of resolution.
The mids on the Whizzer DA1 have a slightly warmer than neutral tonality and show a pretty musical presentation. The level of clarity and airiness is pretty good due to the well-pronounced tuning that is also not affected by the lower frequency region. Vocals and instruments do sound quite neutral and are rendered with a good amount of resolution thanks to the well-implanted ESS9070 DAC chip. Instruments and vocals do sound pretty clear and musical without being too coloured or lifeless. The lower midrange is slightly less pronounced and detailed compared to the upper midrange which shows also higher extension. Both male and female vocals do sound fairly natural and transparent while female vocals are more highlighted and pleasant to listen to.
The treble on the Whizzer DA1 has a pretty neutral tuning that shows a tad of warmth which is not overdone. The overall treble extension is quite good for a USB DAC in this price range, while the lower treble range is slightly more pronounced compared to the upper treble region.
Volume and track skipping keys do matter. In my situation for example. I don’t use my phone much when I’m outside, it has just one purpose, serving me as a music player. And having those volumes and skip keys outside the phone is so functional for a non-disturbed and full of music travels. And the included in-line microphone support for phone calls makes the DA1 the perfect companion for world citizens like me. The Fiio KA1 has non of these if we need to compare the two same price and form USB DACs. Oh, and the DA1 has almost twice the power.