DACs

Arcam rPac Headphone DAC/Amp and rBlink Bluetooth DAC

ARTICLE INDEX

Design and Setup of the Arcam rPac headphone DAC/Amp and rBlink Bluetooth DAC

The R series units use the same case which is nicely finished in a satin dark grey and exude a sense of subtlety, solidness and functionality. The rPac is weighty enough to resist being moved by a twisted USB cable or a headphone cable if accidentally yanked.

It's a true desktop product. Designed to stay put and not shuffle around. Qualities which also allow the rBlink to be easily used with a bigger system. The rBlink has enough mass to resist being moved around by thick audio cables. Something which can't be said for lighter mobile/headphone amps and dacs.

The rPac has a lone 1/8" headphone output mounted in the front. Up top are a status LED and volume controls. The volume controls are a bit odd; the computer volume control is still active with two methods of adjusting volume. A bit confusing and redundant. The volume control on the rPac is controlling the actual output of the headphone amplifier. The volume control on the computer is digitally attenuating the audio. It's an odd choice and one I don't fully understand.

The rBlink has an antennae, Bluetooth pairing button and power connector at one end.

At the opposite end are RCA outputs and a SPDIF output. There's a status LED as well. I dislike the fact that the power connection is at the opposite side of the unit from the RCA outputs. It would look much cleaner if all the wires where on the same side.

Other than that, the unit looks as good as the rPac and is easy to incorporate into an existing audio setup.