Micca Origin+

I recently bought the Micca Origin+ to keep on my desk and free my Fiio X3 for portable use again. This is a USB powered DAC with pre-out and headphone  out — both 1/4 and 1/8 jacks!  (The volume knob controls the output from the pre-out which is perfect for my powered monitors.)  On the front are 2 switches, one to select gain and one to switch between pre-out and headphone out.  Being able to leave both headphones connected and monitors on has turned out to be quite nice.

On the back there is also an optical input should you wish to hook up another device such as a Playstation or Xbox, a switch to select optical or usb mode, and a dc power jack that is only needed when using an optical input without usb to power the device.  (One day I’m going to run an optical cable from my home theater amp and use this at the couch for late night concerts and gaming.)

The build quality is excellent, the switches have a great feel, and the volume knob is solid.   The sound is very neutral — I almost miss the warm tint from the Fiio x3 with the flat Mackie HR824 monitors.

Downsides?  The driver installation is a pain because of the unsigned drivers.  (Great instructions are included)  Because of this, it isn’t something I’d ever throw in my bag to take with me to work or with one of my laptops.  (Granted I have a Fiio x3 for portable use.)  If you use desktop speakers with a separate power amp with volume control, you may prefer line-out over the pre-out.

This is definitely one of my best audio purchases and highly recommend.