Channel Islands Audio VDA-2 DAC

Digital-to-analog converters are making a big comeback due to some of the newer technologies, and this tiny two-box unit took our iPods to “another level of transparency and dynamics.” This unit becomes even more affordable by using a wall-wart transformer instead of the outboard power supply, but for $775 total you can have a sound that might have been “the death of analog” if the VDA-2 had been introduced 20 years ago.