Wednesday, February 1st 2012

Enermax Unveils DreamBass AP001 USB Audio Device

With the ever-shrinking laptops of today, space constrains mean that each component on the logic board has lesser board space, as is the case with audio. The cylindrical capacitors and FETs on PC motherboards are reduced to weaker surface-mount ones to conserve board space, on laptop logic boards. Audio quality takes a beating. Hence there's a sizable market for USB audio devices that provide better audio for laptops. Enermax' entry into it is the DreamBass AP001, a 2-channel USB audio device. It is designed to look like a vacuum tube that gives it a classy analog amp look.

In reality, it is completely digital. At the heart of it is a VIA VT1620A USB 2.0 2-channel HD audio CODEC, which provides stereo output with 24-bit resolution and 96 kHz sample-rate. It has a signal-noise ratio of 80~90 dBA, which is not much of a departure from most laptops' HDA CODECs, if it isn't for the MOSFET-based amplifier circuit packed into the DreamBass AP001, that's capable of 80Hz/+6dB Bass. The device features a 3.5 mm stereo jack and mic input. Enermax also has a variant called the AP001E, which includes earphones that have 10 mm drivers, 95 dBA SNR, and 32 ohm impedance. The DreamBass AP001 is priced at 3,280 JPY (US $43); the AP001E goes for 3,980 ($52.2). It could be a good investment if you think your laptop's audio sounds like a greeting card.

Source: Hermitage Akihabara
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21 Comments on Enermax Unveils DreamBass AP001 USB Audio Device

#1
Mussels
Moderprator
a bit expensive, anyone got experience with these? via audio's been pretty basic whenever i've used it.
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#2
ZoneDymo
This most likely would do nothing for anyone.
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#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: ZoneDymo
This most likely would do nothing for nobody.
How would it do everything for everybody :confused:
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#5
Frederik S
Staff
Interesting, but the wannabe radio tube looks is just stupid for portable use. Imagine the amount of space wasted due to the fancy shape alone.

It is semi-good idea, most laptops do not have anything resembling quality audio output. Not even the ones that are Beats branded.

Cheers,
Fred
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#6
micropage7
yep
but the tube makes it looks very serious. i wonder how good it could be
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#7
xBruce88x
Doesn't do anything to improve the sound of the laptop's internal speakers. I've never had trouble with bass when it comes to hooking up speakers or headphones to the laptop's built in audio. It's the internal speakers that need improvement.
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#8
BumbleBee
I kinda like the vacuum tube look
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#9
loleafidas
I should buy Creative X-fi USB stick w/ that bucks... ~,.~
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#10
jsfitz54
Anybody have any thoughts on how this would be for Music Recording?
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#11
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: jsfitz54
Anybody have any thoughts on how this would be for Music Recording?
Terrible. Its line-in is good only for Skyping.
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#12
Steevo
What percent of users will break it off due to their headphone cords?



No thanks, I will travel with my Blue if I really want big sound.
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#13
Completely Bonkers
Silly product. It does not have superior sound quality than most USB sound sticks, and is going to cramp your keyboard style, and for anyone in the know about values/vacuum tubes, will make you look silly and ridiculous to boot!

I would love to have the email addresses of the type of people that buy this kind of nonsense... I could make a fortune off them!
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#14
eidairaman1
by: Completely Bonkers
Silly product. It does not have superior sound quality than most USB sound sticks, and is going to cramp your keyboard style, and for anyone in the know about values/vacuum tubes, will make you look silly and ridiculous to boot!

I would love to have the email addresses of the type of people that buy this kind of nonsense... I could make a fortune off them!
main drawback is that Mini USB B Connector between the tube and the USB A connector. they should of just made it a USB A connector
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#15
NinkobEi
Eh there are lots of similar things. Anyone who's really serious about their laptop audio would probably buy a trusted/reputable brand that has a history with audiophiles.
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#16
Wile E
Power User
If I had to go budget, I would save until I hit $80, and buy a Fiio E10.
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#17
Thefumigator
Serious musicians will use an E-mu card, whenever its USB or express card
But audiophiles that like to hear music without compromising in sound quality could use this if paired with the right earphones/headphones. This card is 24bit 96khz, that's a lot of khz
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#18
Dippyskoodlez
by: loleafidas
I should buy Creative X-fi USB stick w/ that bucks... ~,.~
I have the x-fi USB, thing is pretty nice with my sennheiser 518's. :toast:
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#19
Prima.Vera
by: Completely Bonkers
Silly product. It does not have superior sound quality than most USB sound sticks, and is going to cramp your keyboard style, and for anyone in the know about values/vacuum tubes, will make you look silly and ridiculous to boot!

I would love to have the email addresses of the type of people that buy this kind of nonsense... I could make a fortune off them!
Where all this negative aura coming from? You must be a really lonely person...:shadedshu
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#20
ghozyla
VIA Audio Chipset is always interesting for me. Even from onboard Mobo. Provide clearer music. audio lovers know that, near flat response for audio listening. It's not for you if you "digitalized sound" lover, but it's for you analogue sound lover. I wanna get one n i'll tweak it. Maybe with separate better power suply n another better parts if possible :). I don't like the package but it's ok since I only wanna hear the sound, not watching the "tube" package. :)
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#21
m1dg3t
80db - 90db SNR!! I'd keep my money for that kind of "performance", at least it look's cool :rolleyes: Another useless trinket for the masses to spend their money on :o
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