In action, the DacMagic fulfilled its promise by delivering an effortless, open sound, free of unwanted digital edginess. With the help of upsampling, the stereo soundstage was rendered wide and deep, giving more insight into the recording space, whether a stadium, concert hall or modern studio.

Voices of singers sit more naturally in space, and instruments are well separated from each other, allowing you to hear more from the music. There is more body and richness behind the sound - in stark contrast to the thin, hollow sound of much PC audio. Treble was smooth and sweet over an authoritative and profound bass foundation.

Importantly, this outstanding quality of reproduction was as true of the USB input as the more respected S/PDIF coax and optical inputs.

OUR VERDICT

Cambridge Audio has introduced an affordable high-end-quality DAC for use with computers and home entertainment devices alike. The DacMagic seems to revel in bringing out the best in digital stereo sound, whether MP3 or lossless music on a computer, or digital sound from TV and DVD. As remarkable as the performance is the DacMagic’s price. Less than £200 buys you an superb investment for studio quality audio reproduction