Pro-Ject USB Box DACs

USB Box

This high-quality Digital Audio Converter (DAC) delivers upgraded sound to any USB compatible computer. The USB DAC is ideal when used to bypass the low-grade internal sound card in your computer, adding a higher fidelity to your digital music library. Included with this DAC is a unique music player software package incorporating Direct Streaming Technology which outputs an exact bit-copy of the original source by resampling the Kernel Mixer of your PC. The software is compatible with Windows®, MacOS® and Linux® operating systems. Power is supplied to the USB Box via the USB port.

SPECIFICATIONS
Line-Level Output 1 pr RCA / Phono Jacks
Output Voltage 0.775V
D/A Converter 16-Bit Delta Sigma
Sampling Rate 44.1kHz
USB-Input Digital Serial Data Protocol USB 1.1
Operating Systems Windows®, MacOS® and Linux®
Dimensions (W x H x D) 4 x 1.5 x 5.6in., 103 x 38 x 141mm
Weight 1.2lbs., 540g
Finish Silver or Black

User Reviews (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5  
Saulius   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 15, 2017]

Vocal sound is unbelievable real, very engaging to listen music. Like tube sound .Better then much more costly audio converters

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JV   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 01, 2011]

Very analog style sound. Amazing value. Highly recommend upgrade to anyone who wants play music from computer.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
AudioSquirrel   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 22, 2009]

I had a Pro-Ject USB Box and was quite pleased with it for about three weeks. It installed simply and I had no issues streaming music to it from a WinXP SP3 machine. The sound, albeit through a good pair of amplified computer speakers and not an audiophile system, was good and clean -- light years better than the output from the Creative Audigy sound card in the computer.

However, only about three weeks after starting to use the box, it crapped out on me. An internal component fried, leaving all of the music from the device sounding horrid with digital distortion. It sounded like music being performed by a robot through a vocoder. Awful. Tech support from the company was non-existent, and their USA distributor (SUMIKO) wasn't much help either. I returned the defective unit and got an HRT Musicstreamer instead, which is essentially the same thing only made in the USA. The Musicstreamer has a slightly higher voltage output from the RCA jacks and, to my ears, sounds just as good if not better with the merit that it retails for about $60 less than this Pro-Ject box from the Czech Republic. I'd give it a higher rating if it hadn't crapped out so quickly and if the company were better with support.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
ianmack1   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 14, 2009]

This is my first Pro-Ject purchase, and I'm thrilled. The value of this component is outstanding, as is the sound quality at this price level. My Pro-Ject USB Box and laptop have now replaced my generic CD player as my primary listening source considering. They sound slightly better than the CD player, despite the use of a 30' pair of interconnects.

Setup of the USB Box is as simple as advertised, plug it into Vista and it is automatically recognized. After trying a fair number of configurations, I discovered that using Foobar2000 (included) or another Kernel-streaming player is not necessary with Vista - just open 'Sound' in the control panel, and under 'PropertiesAdvanced' select 16-bit 44.1khz instead of 48khz and 'Allow applications exclusive control'. This gives identical (and best) sound quality! Dead simple.

This was recommended to me by my trusted audio dealer, and once again I'm impressed! (Planet of Sound - Ottawa, ON)

System:
Dell XPS laptop
Pro-Ject USB Box
AMX interconnects
Rega Brio 2000 amplifier
Mordaunt-Short Carnival 2 speakers

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Phil86OSU   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 09, 2008]
Strength:

Very simple. 1 USB input, L and R RCA output
Small footprint
Solid construction
Fantastic improvement in sound quality (clarity and dynamics)
Generates no noticeable heat
Comes with driver and Foobar 2000 very straightforward instructions

Weakness:

No Balanced XLR output like others in this price range.

I decided to pick up the Sumiko Pro-Ject USB DAC because of expert reviews currently online, and Pro-Ject's steller phono stages and turntables. I was able to test the Pro-Ject USB Box pretty extensively on the Integra DTM 5.3 integrated amp connected to a pair of B&W 685's. What I did was connect the stereo output from my laptop’s sound card as well as the DAC’s RCA output into another input of the Integra. I did a lengthy AB test and the results were pretty significant.

One word that sums up the DAC is dynamics. When I listened to FLAC audio files on my laptop I was amazed at the punchy bass drum. The cymbals were much more realistic sounding. Also, the instrument separation was significantly improved. In general, the high and low frequencies benefited the most, but the snare drum also really jumped out of the mix with the DAC. From the laptop sound card, it sounded very flat and compressed.

I then wanted to test it with a pair of powered Behringer Truth 2301-A studio monitors. I have personally used these for over 5 years for casual listening and I used to mix with them. I just plugged them straight into this puppy. The improvement is phenomenal compared to using the laptop's audio output. Gone was much of the excess noise generated by the computer and in its place was a new, very dynamic sound. The bass separates clearly from the kick drum and the cymbals became crystal clear. It literally sounds like a whole new setup. For the price, I can't think of a better upgrade for a simple system like that.

The result of adding the Pro-Ject USB box would surely be significant enough that anyone with a set of ears could instantly notice a difference. This would surely appeal to the average college student.

Unfortunately, I did not have any other DAC’s to compare it with. I do like the simplicity and small footprint of the ProJect. It simply has a USB input (no power cord necessary) and an L,R RCA out. I let it run all day and did not even get warm. For an MSRP of $159 this is definitively an affordable piece of audio equipment for a college student or someone working in an office, listening to music on their computer.

Also see:
Tech Radar Expert Review: http://www.techradar.com/reviews/audio-visual/hi-fi-and-audio/accessories/pro-ject-usb-box-dac-483623/review?src=rss&attr=all

Customer Service

NA

Similar Products Used: Pro-Ject Phonostage
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-5 of 5  

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