Amps + DACs
Backorder, Reserve today! Ships in 2-4 Days
- Covered by our 2-year transferable warranty
Simplified Audio, Reimagined
We’ve reimagined our flagship amp+DAC to create a listening experience you will notice and appreciate. Element III runs on our second generation XMOS hardware and firmware, blissfully integrated with a custom encoder. You’ll hear perfect channel balance down to the black noise floor. Automatic gain helps you focus on listening rather than button pressing, and an auto vanishing display presents the essentials while you toggle between USB and Optical inputs and headphone or preamp outputs. We’ve also added DSD support and real-time selection of DAC filters and more. Element III is precision machined in the USA with the same, famously awesome knob.
We regularly hear from customers fretting over when to use gain. Element III eliminates this confusion by automatically toggling gain for you at exactly the right volume level. As you turn the knob beyond 0 dB, high gain activates and volume is compensated for a near seamless transition to higher listening levels.
Perfect Channel Balance
Element III delivers audibly perfect channel balance all the way down to -127.5 dBFS. You'll immediately hear and appreciate soundstage accuracy.
OLED Display & Options
An OLED display momentarily presents status information while you interact, then powers down to minimize distractions. The Options menu further allows you to adjust OLED and backlighting LED behaviors, DAC filters, and more.
Element III's rail-to-rail gain stage provides extra headroom and no distortion penalty when listening at high gain versus low gain. With +/-15VDC rails and continuous max power of 1.3W, Element III drives all headphones on the market to extraordinary levels, from balanced armatures to planar magnetics.
Element III provides preamp RCA outputs so that you can control volume of your powered speakers. Volume of preamp output is managed separately from the headphone output for quick toggling.
Input and Output Selection
Press the tactile volume control to listen to USB or Optical Input, or press the Mode button to toggle between headphones and powered speakers. No need to disconnect cables!
Relay Muting & Safety
Designed for desktop listening, Element III's full relay muting eliminates pops and thumps during startup through both its headphone and preamp outputs. And for extra safety, Element III's dual, independent processors continuously monitor internal communications and verify volume of the ESS DAC.
Element III is clocked by MEMS oscillators for excellent frequency stability, delivering pristine jitter in both USB and Optical modes.
USB Audio Class 2 - PCM & DSD
Element III supports up to 32/384kHz PCM and DSD128 through our second generation XMOS XU208 engine. While we claim no measurable superiority of high sampling rates, UAC2 with an ASIO endpoint will satisfy your pursuit of high fidelity listening.
Element III's amplifier and DAC are 100% powered by its external AC transformer, with 13 regulators ensuring consistent rail voltage, super low ripple, and mains isolation.
- Frequency Response 20-20kHz +/- 0.11 dB
- SINAD, 1kHz Low Gain 112.5 dB
- SINAD, 1kHz High Gain 112 dB
- THD+N Sweep 20-20kHz < 0.0004%
- IMD CCIF 19/20 kHz -6 dBFS -101 dB
- IMD SMPTE @ -20dBFS -95 dB
- Signal to Noise Ratio 117.7 dB
- Noise Level -112 dBV
- Dynamic Range (A-Weighted) 120 dB
- Linearity Error -90 dBFS -0.01 dB
- Crosstalk @ 0 dBFS, 100k RCA -130 dB
- Jitter Components – USB @ 12kHz, DPLL 5 -131 dB
- Jitter Components – S/PDIF @ 12kHz DPLL 5 -130 dB
- Channel Balance, -∞ to 0 dBFS +/- 0.01 dB
- Output Impedance < 0.7 Ω
- Max Continuous Power @ 600 Ω 146 mW (9.37 VRMS)
- Max Continuous Power @ 150 Ω 584 mW (9.36 VRMS)
- Max Continuous Power @ 32 Ω 1.3 W (6.43 VRMS)
- Enclosure Dimensions 5.8 x 5.8 x 1.6 in
- Weight 19 oz
- Digital Inputs USB Type B and TOSLINK
- Headphone Output 6.35mm (1/4")
- Preamp Outputs RCA
- Gain Auto Toggling 1.0x and 4.73x (+13.5dB)
- Volume Attenuation Custom Encoder, 255 steps
- 1. UAC2 or UAC1 can be selected in the Options menu
- 2. Appropriate cables are required for Android, iOS, and PS5. Must use UAC1 in Win XP/7/8.
- 3. Some TOSLINK sources are unable to reliably transmit at 192kHz.
- Element III, Amplifier+DAC
- 16VAC Power Adapter
- 3ft USB Type A to Type B Cable w/Ferrite
XMOS Driver v5.30.0 for Win 10/11
XMOS driver v5.30.0 supports Windows 10/11, and is optional. No drivers are required for macOS, Linux, or Windows 10/11.
This driver enables ASIO support, provides the ability to view and adjust Buffer Settings (latency), supports 16/24/32-bitrates, and adds full DSD64-128 support to Atom DAC+, EL DAC II+, and Element III.
All XMOS based JDS Labs DACs are supported, including:
- Element II
- Element III
- EL DAC II(+)
- Atom DAC(+)
This driver is developed and maintained by Thesycon, and licensed to JDS Labs. Please find the full change log at TUSBAudio_history.txt.
Optional - XMOS Firmware Update Utility (DFU) for Win 10/11
This optional application for Windows 10/11 allows you to install firmware updates to XMOS based JDS Labs DACS, including:
- Element III
- Element II
- EL DAC II(+)
- Atom DAC(+)
To use, unzip the folder and follow instructions in the article How to Install an XMOS Firmware Update.
Element III - Firmware v2.2.0
WINDOWS 10/11 INSTALLATION
Please use the latest XMOS Driver and XMOS Firmware Update Utility (DFU).
MAC OR LINUX INSTALLATION
Please refer to: https://github.com/jdslabs/xmos_dfu
Please refer to included README.txt for further information. Detailed installation guidance for all operating systems can also be found in the article, How to Install an XMOS Firmware Update
v2.2.0 (Released Mar 25, 2022)
* Added "Knob Button" to the options menu, configurable as:
- Toggle Input [Default]
- Toggle Output [Requires 14-Mar-2022 bootloader]
- Mute (USB only)
- Mute (SPDIF only)
* Allow output mode changes while in the options menu.
* Added "USB Audio Class" to menu, with options UAC2 or UAC1.
* Improved UAC1 descriptors to support Nintendo Switch
* Changed DAC synchronization rate from 100ms to 5ms to improve recovery time in case of ESD or similar disruptions.
[Please see Readme for complete changelog history]