SONCOZ LA-QXD1

High Fidelity Fully Balanced DAC (Little Swan)

I really like to have balanced outputs in a DAC given the fact that they connect to a PC and hence, it is very easy to wind up with ground loops.

Usually balanced output comes at a cost of higher price as it is considered a premium feature. Not the case here. You get XLR output and importantly, with superbly low noise and distortion for a really budget price. The nice case completes the picture.

Given all of this, I am happy to recommend the Soncoz LA-QXD1 DAC.”

– Amir Majidimehr (Amirm), Audio Science Review

– Read the full review here.

 test by the Audio Science Review measurement forum

Industrial Look & Design

Golden Ratio Dimensions


High Price To Performance Ratio, Several Colors

Exterior Design

All metal minimalist design, CNC machined from a solid block of aluminum.

Front & Back View

Interfaces & Functions

Gold-plated Balanced Analog XLR Output:

Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise(THD+N): <-117 dB@1kHz

Dynamic range : >122 dB

Signal To Noise Ratio(SNR): >122 dB

Frequency response : 20~20kHz(±0.15 dB)

Channel Crosstalk : >141 dB

Output impedance:200 Ω

Output voltage : 4.0 Vrms @ 0dBFS

Noise Level(Noise floor modulation): 3.5 μVrms

 Gold-plated Single-ended Analog RCA (Red/Black) Output:

Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise(THD+N): <-116 dB@1kHz

Dynamic range : >121 dB

Signal To Noise Ratio (SNR) : >120 dB

Frequency response : 20~20kHz(±0.15 dB)

Channel Crosstalk : >139 dB

Output impedance:100 Ω

Output voltage : 2.0 Vrms @ 0dBFS

Noise Level(Noise floor modulation): 4.3 μVrms

Digital Input—— Gold-Plated USB-B

Gold-plated USB-B Input

USB input adopts a high-performance XU208 XMOS transceiver chip.

Ultra-low jitter crystal oscillator provides a reference clock to all outputs.

USB Supports 32-bit 768kHz PCM/DSD512(Native)

Compatible with Windows/iOS/Android/Linux/Volumio

Thesycon Custom USB Drivers

Digital input——Coaxial & Toslink

Gold-plated RCA For the Coaxial Input

Supports up to 24-bit/192kHz digital audio input

An Ultra-low jitter crystal oscillator transmits the master clock signal to the DAC.

Custom Audio Grade High-Speed Fiber Optic connectors for the Toslink input

Supports up to 192kHz 24bit digital audio input.

An Ultra-low jitter crystal oscillator transmits the master clock signal to the DAC.

Digital output —— Digital coaxial

Gold-plated RCA Digital Coaxial Output:

Supports up to 24-bit/192kHz digital audio input.

Supports USB to Coaxial S/PDIF output.

Ultra-low jitter crystal oscillator for pure digital signal output.

Power supply and power consumption

Universal USB TYPE-C port for power input:

Power Input:DC 5V⎓1 A (or more Amperes).

Users can use any brand charger or adapter.

Different power sources have almost no effect on the performance of the device.

Total power consumption is less than 4W.

Use & Operation

Front Panel

The front panel is simple and user-friendly. Straight forward and easy operation of the different functions.

The upper right corner is the function indication area and includes four back-lit function buttons.

The four back-lit function buttons indicate and provide quick access to the following functions: input sound source selection, volume level adjustment, filter mode selection, and mute function.

Input source selection

3 Types of source input available,Press the settings button to easily switch between them:

   The Default Power-ON State:

PWR & USB lights are on.

USB port input,Filter mode is APOD.

USB to digital coaxial is on, Volume (-64dB)

Quickly press the leftmost setting button once to switch between the three input sources (USB/COAX/TOS).

Filter Modes

7 Filter modes are available for PCM:

Press and hold for 2 seconds, the mute button on the right to switch the filter mode. Each press changes the filter mode only once, press and hold the mute button again for 2 seconds to switch to the next filter mode, and so on.

For the current filter mode, please refer to 《LA-QXD1 DAC filter mode setting truth table》

Filter modes cycling switch order (APOD-BRIC-FAM- FAL-HYER-SLM-SLL-APOD)

Apodizing fast roll-off filter — APOD

Brick wall filter — BRIC

Minimum phase fast roll-off filter — FAM

Linear phase fast roll-off filter — FAL

Hybrid fast roll-off filter — HYER

Minimum phase slow roll-off filter — SLM

Linear phase slow roll-off filter — SLL

Volume and Mute

The volume can be adjusted in one of two ways, by a pressing and holding the volume button to change the volume in big steps quickly, or by a quick press for fine-grained volume adjustments:

The default volume is -60dB, the volume adjustment step is 2dB/Step, and the maximum volume is 0dB.

Press and hold the volume “+”/”-” buttons to adjust the volume quickly. When changing the volume, the light above the corresponding button will start repeatedly blinking. When the volume reaches the minimum or maximum level, the indicator light will stop flashing.

Quickly press the mute button to turn on the mute function, the light above the PWR button will start glowing in a breathing effect to indicate that the device is mute. To turn the mute off, quickly press the mute button again.

Miscellaneous

 The LA-QXD1 is a multifunctional DAC, in addition to the features and settings mentioned earlier, there are some precautions:

  1. Analog balanced XLR and single-ended RCA outputs can be connected at the same time,The The two interfaces can be simultaneously connected to their corresponding power amplifier devices (amplifier/power amplifier).
  2. LA-QXD1 is a high-performance DAC that can also be used as an excellent Pre-amp.
  3. The DAC’s internal modulator, filters, and volume control cannot be bypassed. These functions are determined by the DAC chip.
  4. LA-QXD1 can be easily used in pure DAC mode,to do so, simply raise the volume to the maximum.
  5. The Volume adjustment and mute functions are only valid for the analog outputs. They are not valid for digital output.
  6. During DSD playback, the DSD audio signal is sent directly to the DSD decoding chip without any prior conversion.
  7. Custom USB driver,supports up PCM768KHz/DSD512(Native),Drivers are not required for the device’s functionality. If you use the operating system’s native USB Audio 2.0 Drivers (UAC2), Some formats and high sample rates may not be available for playback.
  8. Do not use the USB ports of the PC to supply power to the DAC. The USB port of the PC has an average current of around 500mA, which is not enough to support the normal functions of the LA-QXD1.

Thermal design

The power consumption of the LA-QXD1 device is very low. The low energy consumption combined with the CNC machined aluminum body results in a high heat dissipation efficiency.

Keeping in mind that if used in conjunction with other devices, the overall heat dissipation may not necessarily be the best. Multiple ventilation holes were implemented on the underside of the LA-QXD1, to provide excellent cooling and ensures thermal stability. This thermal design guarantees the highest performance levels under a variety of harsh environmental conditions.

Ultra-Low Noise HiFi Power Supply System

The LA-QXD1 power supply system utilizes a unique multi-level voltage regulator design to ensure a clean & pure power supply that guarantees the performance of the entire device.

Power input uses USB Type-C 5V@1A,Practical and convenient

The Analog op-amp power supply utilizes multi-level voltage regulation.

The power for the DAC’s digital section is supplied by an ultra-low noise LDO.

The DAC’s analog power supply uses ES9311Q ultra-low noise LDO and multi-level voltage regulator.

High-Performance Chips

LA-QXD1 utilizes individually selected chips that each offer excellent performance to ensure the outstanding performance of the entire device.

Minimal Interaction, Warm Color Indicators

The intuitive interaction of the LA-QXD1 is applied to simple and straightforward buttons and LEDs. By default, it is a plug-and-play device without any complicated settings.

The indicator lights follow the color pattern of the indicator lights of the SONCOZ brand series of products. The warm, non-glaring, glowing orange light perfectly blends into the ambiance and relaxing atmosphere of enjoying music at night.

The mute breathing effect, along with the fade-in/fade-out effect (The gradual return of the volume to its previous level after pressing unmute), greatly enhance the user experience of the LA-QXD1.

Measured Parameters

XLR Balanced Output Distortion+Noise (THD+N)

Single-Ended Distortion+Noise (THD+N)

 Dynamic Range

 SNR (Signal To Noise Ratio)

 Noise (Noise Floor Modulation)

Frequency Response

Intermodulation Distortion (IMD)

Exquisite Design

The minimalist industrial design of LAQXD1 is impressive.

CNC machining of all-aluminum body shows its metal charm and ​surface anodizing gives an extremely fine feel.

Digital and Analog Interfaces

LA-QXD1’s analog output interface includes the fully balanced XLR and the single-ended RCA interface.
The output amplitude is ​(XLR 4.0V/RCA 2.0V).

LA-QXD1 uses the universal Type-C (5V@1A) interface for power supply. Users can choose an ​adapter ​or a power bank to ​power it.

Operations and Settings

LA-QXD1’s front panel integrated buttons and indicator LEDs can ​clearly indicate the current working status of the unit.

Buttons supported digital inputs audio switching, volume upand down, filter mode switching and mute function. ​It is default ​USB input and volume is -60dB.​

Press PWR/MUTE button for 2 seconds to switch filter.

The indicator supports input audio source, filter mode, ​power indication and mute prompt . LA-QXD1’s ​operation logic is simple and very easy to get started.

Specifications and Test Results

Dimensions:
149.3 mm(W) 87 mm(D) 37 mm(H)
Weight: ​500 g
​Color: Deep Black / Space Gray/Sky Silver
Power input: ​DC 5 V @ 1 A
 Power consumption: ​< 4 W
Signal input: USB-B / Toslink / RCA Coaxial
Digital output: ​RCA Coaxial
 Line out: XLR / RCA
 RCA: Coaxial input  ​
Frequency response: 20Hz~20KHz XLR / RCA (±0.18 dB)
Dynamic range(DNR): A-W XLR > 122 dB; RCA > 122dB
Signal noise ratio(SNR):​:​ A-W XLR > 121  dB; RCA > 121 dB
THD+N: 1 kHz XLR / RCA < 0.00014% (-117 dB)
Crosstalk: 1 kHz XLR > 133 dB; RCA > 130 dB
Output voltage:​ XLR 4.0 V;   ​RCA 2.0 V  ​​
​Output impedance: XLR 200 Ω ; RCA 100  Ω
Noise floor modulation: 4.3 μVrms
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