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New Emotiva DACs and Class D Amplifiers Preview

By Michael Kneznekoff
Emotiva Booth at 2015 AXPONA

Emotiva Booth at 2015 AXPONA


  • Product Name: Ego Dac's
  • Manufacturer: Emotiva
  • Review Date: May 04, 2015 08:50
  • MSRP: $119 and up
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!

Ego Series DACs

  • PCM up to 384khz 24 bit
  • Trip, Little and Big are USB bus powered
  • Maniac is a desktop DAC
  • All except Trip have selectable digital filters
  • All except Trip have a cross-feed, blend mode
  • All feature a high-quality headphone amplifiers
  • Ego Trip and Little Ego have only headphone output
  • Big Ego has headphone out, line out and Toslink out
  • Big Ego has a slightly better noise floor than the Little Ego
  • Ego Maniac will have balanced output and other “neat features”
  • Made it USA!

SP-1 Analog Phono Preamp

  • Three analog inputs
  • High quality phono input with moving coil and moving magnet support
  • Totally passive signal path
  • Made in USA


Emotiva was at  the 2015 AXPONA show displaying their latest in headphone/portable audio products and hinting of new Class D amplifiers to replace their UPA series.

Ego Series DACS

There was a small table in the Emotiva room with both the Big Ego and Little Ego DACs on display attached to laptops and headphones.  The front of the two devices looks the same but the Big Ego is slightly larger. The Big Ego also has a switch to select from the three available outputs while the Little Ego does not need one as it has only a single headphone output. The enclosures felt like aluminum with LED indicators that display the frequency rate and the filter in use.  It was very difficult to judge sound quality as the room was quite loud with several demonstrations occurring at the same time.  The Ego Trip and the Ego Maniac were not on display but were mentioned by Emotiva employees.

Preliminary pricing and availability are:

  • Ego Trip - $119 within 60 days
  • Little Ego - $169 within 30 days
  • Big Ego - $219 within 30 days
  • Ego Maniac - $unknown Over 60 days

Emotiva Little EGO DAC2

LIttle Ego


 Emotiva Ego DAC

Big Ego

SP-1 Analog Phono Preamp

The SP-1 was sitting in a corner on top of the matching DC-1 DAC.  It was designed to be used with the DC-1 to give it three additional analog inputs plus a high quality phono input.  The SP-1 can be used in conjunction with any other DAC or preamp as a 4 input analog switchbox with a passive signal path. Relays are employed for all switching. Word is that it shares the phono stage design used the top of the line XSP-1. It includes its own remote control, but when combined with the DC-1, they share the DC-1 remote control.  The SP-1 will be available in May. The pricing is $299.00


 Emotiva SP-1 front Emotiva SP-1 Back

SP-1 On Top Of DC-1

Class D Amplifiers

While I was in the Emotiva room, I just happened to ask one of the Emotiva representatives if there was anything new coming up, that was not on display.  He told me that they are developing some high-quality class D amplifiers with a brand new ICE module that is able to deliver full rated power into 4 ohm loads unlike previous generation designs.  These amplifiers will come in stereo and mono configurations and will replace the UPA line.  He also hinted that there will be versions designed to fit the  form-factor of the SP-1 and DC-1.  Timeframes were not officially quoted, but indicated by the end of the year. All new models will be made in the USA!

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.