The Light Harmonic GEEK DAC/Headphone amp for $99!

The first prototype GEEK.

Light Harmonic who brought you the $20,000 Da Vinci DAC (see review) and the $1,000 LightSpeed USB cable (see review) have just launched a Kickstarter campaign for their newest DAC—the portable GEEK. The first 100 backers can get the GEEK for $99, while the projected retail price will be $299. Capable of handling up to 24/192, DXD, and DSD playback, the GEEK sports two outputs, a headphone amp, and "3D audio technology that moves the sound from between your ears to all around you."

Two working GEEK prototypes along with some of the different enclosure designs.

Check out the Light Harmonic GEEK Kickstarter campaign right here.

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COMMENTS
billleebens's picture

Just sayin'. That enclosure is just a clunky simple box used to protect the insides!

Rimbaud's picture

What headphones are those?

Larry Ho's picture

We use Sennheiser HD800, HD650, HD600, HD550 and same game headphones, Scull candy and other cool stuffs for test.

Also, it is Dr. Dre in this picture... smiley

Larry 

Speakerphile's picture

Kind of of strange to use headphones so universally detested within the audiophile community in their pomotional video.    

 

They also incorrectly quote the price of said headphones in the video.  Just saying.

lithium's picture

Hi Larry,

I just backed the project on kickstarter and I am sure it will be awesome. I was hoping to have some more info about the product.

1. Will it have a line out or just variable headphone outputs?

2. Any info about internal components? (is it r2r or delta sigma and any other detailts that you can provide)

3. The test headphones that you mentioned (except the beats which I am not a fan of) all have large connectors which will require adaptors to go in the mini sockets thus increasing the size even more. Considering these large connectors will you be providing a USB cable attachment for stress relief?

Stephen Scharf's picture

That case width won't work for me. Covering up not one, but two USB ports is simply not acceptable. 

awaron's picture

Hi

1) Is the GEEK for headphone use only??? Also I agree with Stephen Scarf covering up 2 USB ports is not acceptable.

2) I was going to support the GEEK but I'm in Canada is your offer good here? I wanted a new DAC and this sounds too good to be true. I like small and simple.

3) I don't listen thru my headphones much so need a DAC that I can hookup to my stereo system.

Answer these questions to my satisfaction and you will have another backer.

Thanks

lithium's picture

I have no affliation with the company and I believe most of your answers can be found on the kickstarter page.

billleebens's picture

Speakerphile: You've missed the point. The whole idea behind GEEK is to take high-end audio performance into a new, non-audiophile market. That market recognizes Beats: ergo, there they are. Besides which, responsible product-engineering means trying out all manner of applications, even those which we, ourselves wouldn't favor--so, Beats, again.

The Beats Executives sold for $400 when released, and at the time we bought them, at full retail. As has been the case with many Beats models, the price has been reduced; in this case, to $300.

Thanks for giving us the benefit of the doubt. Just sayin'.

lithium: Thanks for backing the campaign! We're sure YOU'LL be awesome, too!
1. The plan is for GEEK to have both line and 'phone outputs. 2. Circuit is delta-sigma; details of the chip utilized can be found in the FAQs. 3. There is a plan to offer a USB cable extender with our stretch goals. Stay tuned.

Stephen: as previously noted, "that case" is a ready-built enclosure, utilized for the sake of convenience in testing prototypes. The production design will feature a sleeker cast-aluminum enclosure. Again, a USB extender will likely be offered.

awaron: 1. Both parts were answered above. 2. Offer is good in Canada. In fact, it's GREAT in Canada, eh? 3. Stay tuned as Light Harmonic announces other affordable DACs in 2014; and as mentioned above, the plan is for GEEK to have a line-out. Thanks for your enthusiasm and (maybe!) support.

Thanks to all for your interest and support. We reached our goal on Kickstarter  in 10 1/2 hours-- and will likely DOUBLE the goal by the end of our first day!

Bill Leebens
For Light Harmonic
 

rdsu's picture

Can you be more specific about affordable DACs? You are talking about what prices?

Speakerphile's picture

Touche, on the marketing angle.  That makes sense.  It really looks like a sweet DAC, and given it's roots should be a solid performer.  I too would like to see more high-end audio products on Kickstarter.  It's a pretty low-cost way to raise capital and provides some pretty valuable feedback before the product even hits the market.  FWIW, the press release for the launch of the Executive lists $299 as the retail.  

 

-Thanks,

labjr's picture

This is great! I'd like to see more high end audio kickstarter projects!

billleebens's picture

rdsu: Can't provide details yet, sorry, but thanks for your interest! Keep you r eyes open!

Speakerphile: $299?? We were ROBBED!! ;->  Thanks for your support! We really appreciate it.

 

labjr: We would, too! Maybe if we can do a Veronica Mars with this, it'll wake up some old fogeys! Thanks for your interest and enthusiasm!

jaywillin's picture

i saw john darko mention the project first thing this morning, and when i went to kickstarter , $99 was gone,$119 was gone, and the project was funded, so that was fast, i did pull the trigger at $139, looking forward to more news, and delivery !

billleebens's picture

jaywillin and everyone else who has backed the campaign--thanks so much for the support!

As jaywillin said, the lowest levels went fast; still at $139, right now. We're only about 64 hours into the campaign, and are at about $96,000!

 

Thanks, everyone!

tmitchmd's picture

Asynchronous USB? Native DSD support?

tmitchmd's picture

Asynchronous USB? Native DSD support?

Larry Ho's picture

Yes. It's asynchrounous USB 2.0, fully compatible with USB Class Audio 2.0 standard.

Yes. It support Native DSD/DSD2 (DSD64/DSD128) decoding via DoP (DSD over PCM) standard 1.1

 

tmitchmd's picture

and yes, I too have now signed on...:)

robie's picture

Ok, guys, this sounds awesome. But I need to know if – whatever you did as digital processing to "get the sound out of the head" (presumably by adding HRTF information to the signal): can it be switched OFF easily??? I really hope so, cause I simply do not want any processing added to the audio signal... Thanks!

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