Empirical Audio

News and Reviews

Latest News

Overdrive shootout:

"the ODSE is a black hole - you can't turn it on and start listening and not get sucked in. It's like getting hugged by the right girl, you don't feel the arms or the body or the breath on your neck (although they are all there and rather enjoyable), you just close your eyes and sink into the utter magic of the moment."

The top contenders in the shootout were:

  1. PSAudio Direct Stream
  2. Jeff Rowland Aeris
  3. Lampizator Big 6
  4. Meitner MA-1
  5. Empirical Audio Overdrive SE

He chose the Overdrive SE and purchased one.

Empirical room at RMAF gets best of show in 2010 and 2011

The Iris room featuring Empirical Audio, Salk and GIK Acoustics won The Absolute Sound’s Best Of Show in the Best Sound (cost no object) category in 2010.

The Empirical exhibit in 2011 included GIK acoustics room treatments and YG Acoustics speakers:

“Best overall sound was a dead heat between Synergistic Research’s room 8030 with the YG Kipod II Signature speakers and Empirical Audio’s Iris room with the YG Kipod II Signature speakers.”

Steven Stone, TAS

Meet us at RMAF

RMAF Banner

Empirical Audio will be at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, in the Iris room (near the Brewpub on the lobby floor.) This year we have three exciting new products to exhibit:

  1. Pace-Car USB with async 192 powered by new Monolith Li battery supply
  2. Overdrive Signature with 9 Hynes internal regulators powered by dual Monolith LI battery supplies
  3. Off-Ramp 4 prototype with new async 192 USB module and Hynes internal regulator

The Absolute Sound Golden Ear award

Empirical Audio has received the TAS Golden Ear award for the Overdrive DAC and Offramp 3. You can learn more about what they thought in the online review from February

Award Tas Golden Ear 2010

Empirical Audio Overdrive back from the lab

The Empirical Audio Overdrive DAC has been to the lab for testing and we have updated the specifications with data and graphs.

Empirical Audio and Snow Leopard

All Empirical Audio products have been tested and are fully compatible with Mac OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard.) The Tascam US-144 has been tested to with Snow Leopard in 32bit mode.

Meet us at RMAF

RMAF Banner

Empirical Audio will be at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, in the Iris room (near the Brewpub on the lobby floor.) We hope to see you there.

New White-Paper published on Positive-Feedback

Jitter in Digital Audio Data Streams” covers a lot of questions Steve Nugent has been asked lately. It explains the causes of jitter and also discusses the audible effects jitter.

Empirical Audio offers RAID back-up system for music files

The Tune Bank provides 1 TeraByte of data storage in removable disk drives to protect your music. It is a RAID 1 system, including 3 drives. Two drives are resident and the third is swapped-in periodically. The Tune Bank works in the background making a copy of the entire disk for you, whether your computer is powered-on or not. With Tune Bank you never have to worry about disk crashes or viruses anymore.

The Overdrive is here:

Empirical Audio is shipping the Overdrive Signature USB DAC. The Overdrive is a true giant-killer. It includes a world-class preamp function and does not require an expensive power cord, nor any cord for that matter. This design is minimalist in the digital as well as the analog signal paths. It has a selectable digital filter, so you can push it high in frequency to effectively eliminate it. It is simply the best DAC we have ever heard.

New Products under development:

USB DAC “Formula One” has been put on the back burner in favor of a less expensive USB DAC, the “Overdrive”, formerly known as the “Daytona”. The Printed circuit board for the Overdrive is currently in fabrication and we are procuring the parts that we don’t have yet for it. We were planning to debut the Overdrive at RMAF, but our room partner opted out, so we are not planning to attend this year. This will give us more time and money to get the Overdrive into production. Look for more details on the Overdrive on our audiocircle.com forum.

“Driverless” Firmware now available for Off-Ramp / Spoiler

We have finally licensed our own version of the “driverless” firmware made famous by Benchmark Media Systems. This requires no driver on either PC or MAC and is Vista compatible. It supports 24/44.1 through 24/96 transparently. All new Off-Ramps and Spoilers will have the new firmware installed. It does not support AC3, so if you want to use it with movies, then we can still provide the M-Audio driver and firmware. Upgrades to existing Off-Ramp I2s, Off-Ramp Turbo 2, Freeway2 and Freeway I2S can be made for $125 including shipping. Older Off-Ramps and Freeways based on the Transit board are not compatible. Please schedule the upgrade by email. We will try to knock-out 1-2 per week between mods and in our “spare-time”, which is non-existent ;>)

For those that do not upgrade, please try out this new method for playback.

Latest Reviews

February 2018: Overdrive SX Ethernet DAC/Pre

April 2014: Overdrive SE, Final Drive, Short-Block Audiostream review

August 2013: Audio/Video Revolution review of Synchro-Mesh

May 2012: John Darko reviews the Synchro-Mesh for 6moons

December 2011: Stereophile review of the Off-Ramp 4

March 2011: Dagogo review the Overdrive, Pace-Car and Monolith battery power supply

February 2010: The Absolute Sound Review the Off-Ramp 3 and Overdrive USB Dac

May 2009: Positive-Feedback review on Off-Ramp 3

Show Reports

Newport 2014 Show Reports

2013 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest

2013 THE Show Newport Beach

October 2012 Rockmy Mountain Audio Fest

June 2012 THE Show Newport Beach:

October 2010: RMAF Reports:

October 2009: RMAF Reports:

Call Empirical Audio today to discuss your needs.
(541) 595-1001 - 10:00am to 6:00pm Pacific Time