THX Onyx

THX Onyx: A $200 DAC to Improve all Your Devices

THX’s newest invitation is called the THX Onyx, a USB DAC designed to upgrade the sound output of almost any device.

The THX Onyx launched earlier this week, offering both THX AAA (Achromatic Audio Amplifier) and ESS Pro DAC chips inside, as well as MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) support. The company claims the Onyx is the first portable DAC/Amp to feature THX AAA-78, which is the highest-powered mobile THX AAA configuration. With THX AAA-78, THX Onyx has the same power as a desktop THX AAA DAC/Amp, but in a smaller package.

The company added, “THX AAA nulls conventional distortion mechanisms to reduce harmonic, intermodulation, and crossover distortion by up to 40dB, resulting in a realistic and fatigue-free listening experience. This technology also enables maximum output power for greater dynamic range and sound pressure level (SPL).”

The device connects through the USB output port of any device, and is used to improve the audio quality when listening over wired headphones, headsets, earbuds, or from desktop speakers. It features smart magnetic cable management to keep headphone wires tangle-free, and is accented by a quality all-metal CNC-machined body, with a 3D THX logo.

“THX was founded on the principle that quality matters. We’ve remained dedicated for more than 35 years to innovation that ensures whatever an artist creates can be enjoyed by the audience in the manner intended,” said Jason Fiber, chief operating officer, THX Ltd. “Consumers looking for the best audio experience over wired headphones may have found the quality is compromised, so we’re stepping up with a flexible, high-quality, and affordable solution with the launch of our first consumer product, THX Onyx.”

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It features an ESS ES9281PRO DAC for flagship studio sound quality, and the THX Onyx boasts cross-platform compatibility for convenient, plug-and-play feeding of any headphones to play satisfyingly loud. The company claims “up to five times more powerful than other portable USB DAC/Amps,” in the announcement.

The Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) renderer on-board reproduces the sound of master recordings. MQA technology captures and authenticates the original performance from the master recording, then ‘folds’ it into a small file fit to stream. MQA rendering in the THX Onyx adapter can ‘unfold’ MQA music from streaming services like TIDAL, where millions of “Masters” tracks are available worldwide.
“THX Onyx is the perfect introduction to high performance audio for mainstream music fans who want the best listening experience on the move,” said Mike Jbara, chief executive officer, MQA. “Consumers know that the THX brand represents premium entertainment, and we are proud that MQA has been integrated into the first-ever THX consumer product.”

THX Onyx meets the same high standard as other THX Certified products, and its design incorporates the technology from a rich portfolio of THX AAA patents. The THX Onyx is available today at and in North America, Europe, and APAC for $199.

You can compare the specs with the bestsellers on Amazon, the FiiO Q1 Mark II, and the Sound BlasterX G6.

photo credit: thx

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