THX Onyx is a $200 DAC that can transform your audio experience
THX has launched its first mobile DAC shaped like a tiny USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio adapter. Called the THX Onyx, you can plug it into your smartphone, laptop, desktop, or any audio player with a USB-C port. There is also a USB Type-A converter if your laptop doesn’t have the former and a Lightning version for iPhones. The Onyx can help you upgrade to master-quality audio with the company’s THX AAA technology to deliver the highest-fidelity mobile listening experience while listening to music, playing games, or watching movies.
The amplifier contains THX’s AAA-78 chip, which is the highest-powered mobile THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier configuration, but in a compact, portable form factor. It is as powerful as a desktop DAC or amplifier setup. The chip has the capability to reduce three types of distortion by up to 40dB and maximize output power for a more dynamic range and sound pressure level (SPL). Using the ESS ES9281PRO DAC, the Onyx also offers studio-like sound quality and MQA or master-quality audio.
It is interesting to see how the company has managed to cram all that tech in such a tiny form factor. Speaking of which, the USB-C plug on the DAC is magnetic, so you can snap it onto the main body when it is not in use. There are also three LEDs on the main body that indicate the audio quality with options for standard, high resolution, Direct Stream Digital (DSD), and Master Quality Authenticated (MQA). The company also notes that apart from Mac, Android, iPhone, and iPad, the adapter will only be compatible with a PC that is running on Windows 10.
The THX Onyx is priced at $199.99 (€209.99/£199.99) and is currently available from its own website and exclusively through Razer, a long-time partner for THX. This essentially means that the new DAC should work great with Razer’s line of gaming headphones.