Schiit Modi+
Schiit Modi+
Schiit Modi+

Schiit Modi+: Affordable DAC with high-quality audio performance

The Schiit Modi+ is a testament to Schiit Audio’s commitment to high-quality audio engineering, featuring a custom-tweaked ESS ES9018 DAC chip by co-founder Mike Moffat. This device offers versatility with its three digital inputs: coaxial, TOSLINK, and Schiit’s exclusive Unison USB input, catering to a wide range of digital audio sources. It supports PCM playback up to 24bit/192kHz, clearly prioritizing high-resolution audio. While it does not support MQA or DSD formats, this decision aligns with Schiit’s focus on delivering straightforward, high-quality audio performance without unnecessary complexities.

In a significant update, the Schiit Modi+ has shifted from micro-USB connectors to USB-C connectors for both USB data transfers and external power supply. This change is particularly relevant when using the DAC with coaxial or TOSLINK inputs, as the USB-C port provides the necessary power. However, as Schiit co-founder Jason Stoddard emphasized in a recent Head-Fi forum post, while the transition to USB-C is noteworthy, it’s the device’s firmware that plays a pivotal role in its performance. Stoddard’s remarks underline the importance of software optimization and functionality over the physical aspects of connectivity, suggesting that the real value of such hardware upgrades lies in how they enhance the device’s overall operation and user experience.

The Schiit Modi+ boasts several enhancements over its predecessors, marking notable advancements in both functionality and design. Among these improvements is the introduction of an aluminum button equipped with LED indicators for source status, providing a clear and intuitive interface for users. Additionally, the DAC now features a new, seamless chassis crafted from American-made steel.

According to Jason Stoddard, this design update not only significantly elevates the aesthetic appeal of the Modi+ but also ranks it as the most visually appealing model in the Modi series to date. These design choices reflect Schiit’s commitment to combining high-quality materials and thoughtful engineering to enhance both the performance and the appearance of their products.

The Schiit Modi+ is distinguished by its use of premium components typically reserved for more costly audio equipment. According to the manufacturer, this DAC incorporates high-end parts such as Microchip microcontrollers, TI OPA1656 operational amplifiers (op-amps), along with precision thin-film resistors and film capacitors.

These components are indicative of the device’s commitment to audio quality and performance reliability. Additionally, the Modi+ benefits from DC coupling and an enhanced power control system. These features collectively ensure a clean, stable power supply and signal path, which are crucial for achieving the high fidelity audio reproduction Schiit aims for. This strategic selection of components underlines Schiit’s philosophy of offering exceptional value, marrying affordability with the kind of audio quality that audiophiles expect from high-end audio gear.