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Moon by Simaudio 680D streaming DAC

Moon by Simaudio 680D streaming DAC

Over the years I have had many opportunities to enjoy some quality equipment from Moon, made by Simaudio of Boucherville Quebec, Canada. Now in its fortieth year, Moon has become one of the world’s premier audio brands. I have always been impressed by their products fit and finish and the ten-year warranty. There is a clear sense of pride in their work, and it shows in all of their products.

There is a good range of Moon digital products for an audio fan to consider, covering all the bases from traditional disc spinners and headphone amps with built-in DACs, through add-on streaming devices and network streaming DACs in preamps and integrated amps right up to cost-no-object flagship designs. The new 680D streaming DAC is second in line to the throne currently occupied by the 780D v2 flagship. And, from experience, the wide range fits all well, because this isn’t my first Moon rodeo. I have been using the Moon 430HAD Headphone Amp/DAC for many years and it is a reference piece for me; we reviewers can be a fickle lot (continual exposure to all the new toys can do that), so anything that resists the urge to swap boxes bespeaks of high quality and high-performance products. The 680D streaming DAC exudes that same quality, albeit to an even higher degree as befits a DAC of its class.

The 680D is a streaming DAC and therefore removes the need for a computer in your network audio chain. Plug your ethernet cable into the unit and you get access to Qobuz Sublime+, Tidal Masters, Deezer HiFi and Spotify Connect. Or you can stream from your own NAS or Apple Airplay 2 via Moon’s excellent MiND2 streaming hardware. All of which can be controlled using Moon’s MiND2 App or through Roon if you so subscribe. I used both during the review period and found each to be easy and intuitive to use with the 680D. One specific benefit of using the MiND2 App is if you are connecting the 680D to another piece of Moon gear like the 740P Preamplifier, the Simlink cable (included) allows you to control system volume (amongst other features) both from within the MiND2 app and from within Roon. A nice feature for system building, especially in a multi-room context.

Physically, the 680D occupies a full shelf in your rack, but although exceptionally well-built, doesn’t have the imposing ‘I’ve got a Man Badge’ over-the-top build of some more showy digital products. With three finish choices (Silver, Silver/Black or Black) you can select your preferred look. All three are handsome options. My review sample was their classic Silver and Black. It looked great on my rack. The large red LED’s provided playback information such as file bit rates and track time. You have three light brightness levels to choose from. The DAC will process to PCM 32/384 and DSD to DSD256. The unit is fully MQA certified and Roon Ready. At its core, there beats a heart of pure digital royalty: the ESS Sabre 9028pro DAC chip. This is one of the most highly respected converter systems available at this time

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Tags: 680D MOON BY SIMAUDIO STREAMING DAC

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