The Insider with Robert Harley -- Fixing iPod Bottleneck

Digital-to-analog converters
MSB Technology iLink
The Insider with Robert Harley -- Fixing iPod Bottleneck

Removing the Sword in the Stone: MSB Technology's iLink iPod Station

The "sword in the stone"âan apparently insurmountable problemâof the iPod for audiophiles is the inability to access the digital bitstream so that we can convert the digital signal to analog with our own high-end DACs rather than rely on the iPod's integral converters. This "bottleneck" to sound quality limits the iPod to portable applications for audiophiles.

MSB Technology has created a solutionâand added cool new features, to boot with its iLink iPod docking station. The docking station receives the digital bitstream from a modified iPod (MSB does the mod, or sells you a modified unit) via wireless transmission, reclocks the data, and outputs a digital signal on an XLR, coax, or TosLink cable for connection to your high-end digital processor. MSB claims this system sounds better than any CD transport because the data are being read from a hard drive, not an optical disc.

The $1995 MSB iLink turns your iPod into a wireless music server with no sonic compromises. Watch for a full review in an upcoming issue of The Absolute Sound (and a sneak preview in next week's blog, after I receive a review sample).

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