Unlike the other DACs here, the Wadia has a powerful headphone output amp, meaning you can cut your receiver out of the picture if you do your serious listening through 'phones. We were blown away by the realistic soundstage it brought to lossless Stone Roses tracks, and even music streamed from online service Rdio sounded more natural through both headphones and speakers. If you've got good equipment, the Wadia will let your digital music shine. [$1,300; musicdirect.com]
The 2014 Adventure Issue
From Iceland's Highway 1 to Utah's Canyonlands, an epic itinerary for modern explorers.
Plus: Building a Bigger Action Hero
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
Duke Lacrosse and the Fog of Scandal
How Thailand's Most Notorious Prison Became a Fight Club
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