HELM BOLT MQA/THX DAC/Amp Dongle Released

Posted on 8th December, 2020

HELM BOLT MQA/THX DAC/Amp Dongle Released

HELM Audio has announced an MQA decoding DAC dongle that also boasts THX Certification.  

HELM's BOLT DAC/amp USB-C headphone adapter aims to bring hi-res audio quality to your portable devices without adding any extra bulk. Furthermore, the HELM BOLT carries the coveted THX Certification for device performance as well as scooping a CES Innovation Honoree Award at its launch during CES 2020 in Las Vegas.  

The BOLT DAC/amp comes in a palm-sized form factor measuring 112mm long and decodes MQA and other high res audio files including PCM and DSD DoP. MQA is live on streaming platforms including TIDAL, where the BOLT adapter enables you to enjoy lossless end-to-end MQA rendering.

Additionally, the HELM dongle has passed the rigorous THX Certification process that ensures a flat frequency response, low distortion, low noise and a stable, high output suitable for a wide range of headphones.  

We are told that the BOLT adapter uses the same digital audio converter technology “as used on some of the finest audiophile gear”, although we can't find out which one. What we do know is that The BOLT DAC/amp adapter is said to output at 88.2 kHz or 96 kHz resolutions. For non-MQA content, the BOLT promises the highest resolution available for mobile and gaming applications as well as being able to power the most demanding headphones thanks to an auto-output level adjustment that can match almost any headphones' impedance (1.1 Vrms at < 150 ohms/ 2 Vrms at > 150 ohms).

Eric Johnson, CEO of HELM Audio, told StereoNET:

Our partnership with two audio industry innovators in MQA and THX means our users can count on an ultra-premium audio experience. We have combined MQA's award-winning technology with THX performance quality in a carefully curated, compact, durable and affordable product design, democratising audiophile quality through affordability.   

Mike Jbara, CEO of MQA, adds:

HELM Audio's MQA-enabled BOLT DAC is an exciting and elegant solution for music on the move. Our mission at MQA is to enable everyone to enjoy original sound quality wherever they listen. HELM Audio shares that vision and stands behind it with the BOLT DAC.  

The HELM BOLT is plug-and-play compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, macOS and Linux, whilst also providing bit-perfect playback using USB Player Pro, HF Onkyo Player, Audirvana Plus, and more. It is available now directly from HELM Audio's website for USD 99.99.

    Jay Garrett's avatar

    Jay Garrett

    StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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    Posted in:Headphones
    Tags: helm audio  mqa  thx