Zorloo Ztella: The Tantalizing Specs On This Tiny MQA-Enabled DAC Will Entice You

Almost two years after the launch of their well-received Zorloo Zuperdac-S, Zorloo has announced a new, MQA high-resolution audio-enabled USB DAC. It’s called Ztella, and it’s the smallest MQA DAC released thus far, not much bigger than a standard USB-C dongle.

From the press release:

Zorloo is pleased to introduce Ztella, the smallest USB-DAC with high-end audio capability available on the market. The Ztella brings together features like SABRE DACs and MQA rendering in an ultra-portable package smaller than some low-performance USB adapters that have previously been the only option.

Besides MQA, it’s stated to support 32/384 PCM, and DSD up to 5.6Mhz:

Ztella brings sound quality to a new level by bypassing the phone’s internal conversion using a digital USB connection. Ztella supports sampling frequencies up to 384kHz with a 32-bit depth and DSD 1-bit encoding up to 5.6Mhz, which eliminates unnecessary sample-rate and bit-depth conversion.  By using Ztella, the quality of your sound playback no longer depends on the phone or computer – Ztella handles all of the audio-specific tasks and ensures the best performance from any handset.

If this works properly with UAPP and TIDAL, this tiny DAC will be a game-changer for those who don’t have MQA decoding built-in on their phone.

Ztella, when used with a MQA-enabled app, also makes any phone capable of decoding Master Quality files, something that was previously limited to higher spec smartphones.

Ztella is the smallest USB-DAC that includes MQA Renderer technology, which can connect to an MQA Core signal, like the TIDAL or Xiami Music (China) mobile app for example, and complete the final unfold of an MQA file. When playing MQA files, the LED indicator glows magenta to indicate the Ztella is playing back a fully authenticated MQA file.

Besides the built-in USB-C connector, the Ztella will also come with a USB-A adapter for use with laptops.

Thanks to its use of USB Audio Class-2 high-speed, it is plug-and-play compatible on Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. Its USB-C native connector plus the bundled USB-A adapter allows you to connect to all popular mobile phones and computers.

Here’s a list of specs:

Physical Interface
USB Type-C interface to your mobile phone or computer
3.5mm audio phone jack to your headphones or speaker system
USB 2.0 High Speed and USB Audio Class 2 standard

Audio Format
HD Audio PCM sampling frequency up to 384kHz
HD Audio DSD sampling frequency up to 5.6MHz
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) Renderer
Ztella MQA version (MQA + PCM-384K + DSD-5.6M) – Dec, 2019
Ztella Standard version (PCM-384K + DSD-5.6M) – Dec, 2019

OS Support
Plug and play for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows*

Inline headphones volume +/- and play/pause button control
Automatic output level based on headphone impedance (1V for < 150 ohms, 2V for >= 150 ohms)
Mic input from headphones to your phone or computer

Audio Performance​​
Superior sound quality with ESS Sabre DAC technology
SNR @ 120dB
THD+N @ 0.0006%
< 2 ohm output impedance

ID Design
Metallic gray color aluminum chassis
11cm length and 5g weight
LED indicator (Blue for idle or SD audio <= 48kHz, Red for HD audio > 48kHz, Magenta for MQA content)

* Requires Windows 10 for the support USB Audio Class 2

The Ztella will be initially available via a Kickstarter Crowdfunding campaign in October. Suggested prices are USD $89 for the MQA version and USD $65 for a non-MQA version. There will also be an early-bird offer during the Crowdfunding campaign. To keep up to date regarding availability, visit  www.zorloo.com/ztella.

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