Perfect for my needs
First: I am using this device in my home audio system, the DAC is used with the music server, and the ADC is used to record vinyl into the music server.
Sound: The sound is great, I did two comparisons. 1) I played a downloaded DSD through the DAC and compared that to the SACD I had running in an Oppo BDP-105. A-B comparisons were practically identical, both had a large sound stage (wider than my speakers) with full bass depth even at low volumes and smooth highs even at high volumes. 2) I recorded an SACD through the ADC into my music server and then played that through the DAC – once again comparing it to the original SACD. Practically identical.
Features: Something that wasn’t stated anywhere, the device will automatically select its input source based on signal. This was very cool. I could turn on my Sonos and the Hilo would switch to the Optical input (which is where it was connected), then pause that and hit play on the Music Server and the Hilo would switch over to the USB input – all while I was sitting on the couch!
Operation: Very easy to operate, just like the manual describes. The touch screen is easy to work with and you can use a touch pen if your fingers are too large. Probably the neatest feature is the rotary knob. That knob will become the variable control for just about any item you select; line level input for setting recording levels, line output, monitor output, headphone output, just about anything that could use an analog variable control can be controlled with that one single knob – very well designed.
Price: As a DAC alone it performs as well as devices costing more (this is per reviews of experts), but add in the ADC and it becomes a real bargain. I almost went the route of Benchmark separates (DAC2 HGC and ADC1), which would have cost considerably more, and am very happy with the choice I made.