High-Resolution Audio Audiolab M-One
Visually, the M-ONE is almost identical to the M-DAC+; Audiolab’s flagship DAC component. It sports the same compact aluminium case, small enough to sit unobtrusively on a desk, table or shelf, with the same central OLED display and elegant dual rotary controls. But while standalone DACs need a separate power amp to drive a pair of speakers, the M-ONE packs high quality stereo power amplification, as well as a preamp facilities for analogue and digital sources, into its diminutive chassis.
M-ONE's integrated DAC section is equipped to process PCM audio data up to 32-bit/384kHz via USB. This means that M-ONE can take full advantage of high-resolution digital sound both now and in the future. The USB input also supports DSD files (the digital audio system originally developed for Super Audio CD), offering compatibility with DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 – a significant inclusion, as DSD has an important role to play in the developing hi-res audio scene.
To get the most out of its advanced sound processing, M-ONE includes a range of user-selectable filters to fine-tune sound from digital sources according to taste. Included is a selection of three PCM filters and four DSD allowing the user to tailor sonic options to cater the varying quality of audio delivered by different digital download file types and sources.
The preamp section mixes minimalist design with high-quality components, for the shortest most direct signal path to maintain sonic purity. Volume is digitally controlled in the analogue domain, and is fed directly to the Class AB power amplifier, which delivers an output of 40W per channel into 8 ohms – plenty of power to drive efficient modern speakers to room-filling volume levels without a hint of strain.
In addition to the main power amp stage, the M-ONE shares the same high-quality headphone amp featured in both the M-DAC and M-DAC+, ensuring it’s just as capable with headphones as it is when powering speakers.