Arcam airDAC

The Arcam airDAC in a little more detail

Arcam airDAC

Yesterday I visited a customer to do a little installation work. My customer had a Naim Audio system in his listening room and a smaller Naim Qute system in his kitchen. His music was stored on a NASDrive and was accessed by the Naim systems. In his lounge he had a rather fine Bang and Olufson television that drove a series of surround sound speakers that were free standing and dotted around the room. He’s asked me to find a relatively inexpensive way to enable him to listen to music through this B&W system.

I was familiar with the Arcam airDAC but had not set it up directly and so didn’t have as good an understanding of the product as I might. This often happens because on the one hand we sell a wide range of equipment and on the other I spend most of my time dealing with the emails, the web and online customer enquiries.

I unboxed the airDAC and realised that it was small enough for me to conceal behind the screen. I actually used a couple of plastic ties to bolt it to the massively over-engineered TV support.

Here you can see the connections on the back of the Arcam airDAC

I plugged in an ethernet cable and then ran an audio cable out of the DAC into the AV5 input on the TV. I then powered up the Arcam.

Once powered up the Arcam connects to the network and is assigned an IP address. Once this is done a small light blinks green, indicating that you are good to go.

I then downloaded the FREE Songbook app onto the customers i-PAD. As soon as I had done this the app saw the device. I selected it, selected the customers music server and within a second was streaming AC-DC’s Powerage! It really was as simple as that.

A little less simple was finding out how to select AV5 on the Bang & Olufsen TV. In fact that took three times as long as setting up the airDAC because there was no manual to explain to me that you can’t select an input until you assign it!

In any event the customer was delighted. For £399 he had a solution that worked well, was simple and easy to control using a free app. As I was driving back to the shop it occurred to me that this is a fantastically cheap and easy way to get into Streaming!

The airDAC can stream MP3 files, Flac files and HD Audio files as well. It also has apple Airplay.


This cat is too legendary to own an airDAC.

More product information.

The Arcam airDAC is the latest addition to the rSeries and allows you to network any audio system to an Apple Airplay® enabled music source. The airDAC is the only audiophile quality Airplay enabled device in the market and also features a secondary digital audio input. It has a SPDIF output that can be connected to a reference quality DAC like the Arcam FMJ D33.

The Arcam rSeries products are all about getting the best sound from any digital device. These products can be used with any audio system and are a brilliant way to bringing 21st century tech into your home.

The airDAC benefits from Arcam’s more than twenty years of digital audio expertise and use the finest quality parts in a layout that is optimised for low noise and distortion. A dejittering design that Arcam have used in many of the reference class FMJ products is applied to all inputs. The four-layer PCB allows our designers to maximise the quality of the ground plane in order to further reduce interference between components. The use of multiple low noise separately regulated power supplies ensures that we get the cleanest signal to the audiophile quality output stage.

The airDAC’s WiFi is compatible with 802.11 b/g/n but it also hosts a wired Ethernet (RJ45) connector for the most reliable results from your network. It comes in an elegant cast aluminium enclosure that reduces microphony effects and has a non-slip rubber base.


Once a very hit and miss affair, UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) is now reliable and easy for non-experts to install and use, so we have added it to our range of streaming options.

Also, the cost of data storage has fallen massively in recent years and the reliability of these mass-storage devices has improved greatly allowing music lovers to access and navigate their often large music collections with surprising speed and convenience.

Our latest iPhone/iPad app – Songbook – is a UPnP music player that can be downloaded FREE from the Apple App Store and used with your airDAC. Android users can use a number of UPnP music players such as PlugPlayer and Bubble.

UPnP offers the possibility of playing lossless files up to 24bit / 96kHz in resolution (currently AirPlay is restricted to playing Apple Lossless files up to 16bit / 48kHz). These can be streamed via UPnP to the airDAC from your computer, NAS drive or Music Server.

In addition you can use AirPlay with iDevices running iOS7, to send music to your Hi-Fi system from Internet radio services like vTuner and TuneIn Radio, as well as music streaming services like Spotify and Qobuz.

The airDAC is one of the simplest ways to enjoy your favourite music from your UPnP device, iPhone®/iPad® or computer running iTunes® and brings Arcam quality sound to a whole new generation of music lovers.

Enjoy the music you love effortlessly and wirelessly.
Key Features of the airDAC

Add Airplay & UPnP to any system
SPDIF and optical digital inputs
24 bit / 192 kHz resolution
Class leading line-level output
SPDIF output
High-end audio circuitry
Stylish cast aluminium case