Audio DAC brings studio-quality sound to home entertainment

Fremont, CA — ESS Technology has announced the ES9008 Sabre Reference audio DAC chip, which it claims is the industry's highest performance studio-quality audio DAC. Offering a dynamic range of 134 dB and a THD of -118 dB over sampling rates from 44.1 to 192 kHz, the DAC is claimed to bring true studio quality audio to consumer digital home entertainment products including Blu-Ray/HD-DVD players, Universal DVD/DVD-Audio/SACD players and Home Theater receivers.

The latest member of the company's Vista family of high-definition audio/visual products, the Sabre Reference features a patented multi-bit Hyperstream modulator with dynamic matching using a 48-bit accumulator and 28-bit data path, which the company says allows true reproduction of audio as it is mastered at the recording studio. In addition, a time-domain jitter eliminator is claimed to deliver audio clarity free from clock jitter.

The DAC's Hyperstream architecture supports mono, stereo, 4- and 8-channel output in current or voltage modes, and features click-free soft mute and volume control, de-emphasis, zero detect and programmable roll-off filter characteristics. Other features include an all-digital S/PDIF receiver and support for multi-channel digital audio in PCM or DSD formats. Power consumption is 100 mW in 8-channel mode.

Robert Wong, vice-president of marketing and worldwide sales for ESS Technology, commented, “Delivering the world's highest dynamic range is only one of the objectives. With our patented groundbreaking technologies, we are also providing studio-quality jitter free performance with unprecedented richness and clarity. We want to get a “wow” from every serious music enthusiast.”

Pricing and availability: The Sabre Reference is sampling now in 64-pin LQFPs and priced at $29 in quantities of 1,000.

ESS Technology , (510) 492-1088,

Product literature:
White Paper: Technical Details of the Sabre Audio DAC (PDF)
Sabre Reference DAC Product Brief (PDF)
Informative forum thread on (with designer of Sabre DAC chip participating)

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