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Bartók DAC with Headphone Amplifier

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The new dCS Bartók DAC brings together dCS’s past, present and future. It is first and foremost a state of the art network streaming DAC that uses technology developed for the Rossini range. With the addition of the unique headphone amplifier it brings the extraordinary dCS digital experience to both headphone and stereo listeners.

This single-box digital music player features the legendary dCS Ring DAC™ and signal processing platform, plus a custom high performance UPnP music streamer.

Bartók plays music through an array of industry-standard USB, AES or S/PDIF digital inputs. It can stream over Ethernet from a NAS drive or online music services such as TIDAL™, Qobuz™, Deezer™ or Spotify™, Internet radio and from Apple devices via Airplay™. The network interface can perform full MQA™ decoding and rendering.

The DAC section is equipped with independent balanced and unbalanced line outputs that can drive power amplifiers directly, avoiding the need for a separate preamplifier. The Headphone DAC features a custom designed headphone amplifier that works extremely well with both high and low impedance headphones in balanced or unbalanced formats.  All of the outputs can be set to one of 4 maximum levels to enhance system compatibility.

Designed for flexibility and ease of use without compromise, Bartók uses the very latest dCS Digital Processing Platform and Ring DAC™ technology, originally developed for the Rossini series. Its single FPGA offers streamlined signal processing and superior flexibility, effectively making it future-proof.

Bartók DAC has a powerful new user interface, plus a custom control app that lets listeners manage their music playback from any source in an elegantly simple way – accessing iRadio channels, digital and UPnP sources all from one control point. The Bartók app provides easy access to the DAC settings.

Featuring DXD upsampling as standard, the multi-stage oversampling design offers optional DSD upsampling plus an extensive selection of DSP filters to suit individual taste and music choice. The network streaming functionality within Bartók is proven in terms of jitter, ease of use and sonic performance. The network interface currently runs at up to 24-bit, 384kS/s and DSD128, supporting all major lossless codecs, plus DSD in DoP format and native DSD.

Bartók supports the simple yet highly effective dCS ‘auto clocking’ architecture as used in Vivaldi, which minimises jitter and improves sound quality significantly.

Designed and made in Great Britain to the highest standards, Bartók takes its design cues from the award winning Rossini range, using aerospace-grade machined aluminium with internal acoustic damping panels to reduce sound-degrading mechanical vibration and magnetic effects. Multi-stage power regulation is employed, with twin mains transformers to isolate the DAC circuitry from the headphone amplifier.

As with all dCS products, Bartók firmware can be easily updated via CD, USB or the new automated download and update facility. This lets dCS add new features and improve the performance of Bartok over its lifetime.

Listening to digital music through a Bartók system is in some ways a staggering experience. The general hallmarks of dCS playback – precision, detail, immersive and engaging sound are all there along with a natural musicality and faithfulness to the original recording.



Key Features

  • Latest generation dCS Digital Processing Platform brings state-of-the-art signal processing and flexibility.
  • dCS Ring DACTM fitted, as used in the flagship dCS Vivaldi digital playback system.
  • Digital inputs support UPnP, asynchronous USB and Apple Airplay sources, plus AES and S/PDIF digital audio streams.
  • Headphone amplifier with balanced and unbalanced outputs, suitable for high and low impedance headphones.
  • Streaming services supported include TIDAL, Qobuz, Spotify Connect, Deezer and Internet Radio.
  • Accepts encrypted SACD data from dCS Transports via Dual AES inputs.
  • Multi-stage DXD oversampling design with switchable DSD upsampling; user-selectable PCM and DSD filters.
  • Auto clocking system improves ease of use and minimises jitter.
  • Multi-stage power regulation and twin mains transformers to isolate the DAC section from the headphone amplifier.
  • Firmware-upgradeable for future functionality and performance upgrades.


  • type

    Upsampling Network DAC with Headphone Amplifier

  • colour

    Silver or Black

  • dimensions

    444mm / 17.5” x 430mm / 17.0” x 115mm / 4.6“. Allow extra depth for cable connectors.

  • weight

    16.7kg / 36.8lbs

  • converter type

    dCS proprietary Ring DAC™ topology.

  • digital inputs

    Network interface on an RJ45 connector – acts as a UPnP™ renderer in Asynchronous mode, streaming digital music from a NAS or local computer over a standard Ethernet network, decoding all major lossless formats including FLAC, WAV & AIFF at up to 24 bit 384kS/s native sample rate, plus DSD/64 & DSD/128 in DFF/DSF format. Other formats include WMA, ALAC, MP3, AAC & OGG. Some formats are limited to lower sample rates. Supports Apple AirPlay at 44.1 or 48kS/s. Network Loop Out connector on a second RJ45 connector. USB 2.0 interface on a B-type connector operating in Asynchronous mode, will accept up to 24 bit PCM at up to 384kS/s plus DSD/64 & DSD/128 in DoP format. Operates in Class 1 or 2 mode. USB-on-the-go interface on type A connector operating in Asynchronous mode, streams digital music from a flash drive at up to 24 bit 384kS/s plus DSD/64. 2x AES/EBU on 3-pin female XLR connectors. Each will accept PCM at up to 24 bit 192kS/s or DSD/128 in DoP format. Used as a Dual AES pair, it will accept PCM at up to 384kS/s, DSD/64 & DSD/128 in DoP format or dCS-encrypted DSD. 2x SPDIF on 1x RCA Phono and 1x BNC connectors. Each will accept PCM at up to 24 bit 192kS/s or DSD/64 in DoP format. 1x SPDIF optical on a Toslink connector will accept PCM at up to 24 bit 96kS/s

  • analogue outputs

    Output levels: 0.2, 0.6, 2V or 6V rms for full-scale input, set in the menu. Balanced outputs: 1 stereo pair on 2x 3-pin XLR male connectors. These outputs are electronically balanced and floating. Output impedance is 3Ω, maximum load is 600Ω (10k-100kΩ is recommended). Unbalanced outputs: 1 stereo pair on 2x RCA phono connectors. Output impedance is 52Ω, maximum load is 600Ω (10k-100kΩ is recommended).

  • headphone outputs

    1 stereo balanced pair on 1x 4-way male XLR connector. 1 stereo unbalanced pair on 1x 6.35mm (1/4”) 3-pole jack. Full-scale output levels are 1.4W rms into 33Ω, 0.15W rms into 300Ω. Output levels are 0, -10, -20, -30dB, set in the menu. Minimum headphone impedance is 33Ω.

  • Wordclock I/Oworldclock io

    2x Word Clock Inputs on 2x BNC connectors, accept standard word clock at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 or 192kHz. The data rate can be the same as the clock rate or an exact multiple of the clock rate. Sensitive to TTL levels. Word Clock Output on 1x BNC connector. In Master mode, a TTL-compatible word clock appears on this output.

  • MQA

    Full decoding and rendering of MQA data from the Network and USB2 inputs. Final rendering of unfolded MQA data only from the other inputs.

  • residual noise

    24-bit data: Better than –113dB0, 20Hz - 20kHz unweighted. (6V output setting)

  • l r crosstalk

    Better than -115dB0, 20Hz – 20kHz

  • spurious responses

    Better than -105dB0, 20Hz – 20kHz

  • filters

    PCM mode: up to 6 filters give different trade-offs between the Nyquist image rejection and the phase response. DSD mode: 4 filters progressively reduce out-of-audio band noise level.

  • conversions

    DXD as standard or optional DSD upsampling

  • software updates

    Download and update functionality available via Mosaic App

  • local control

    dCS Mosaic app for unit configuration and playback. RS232 interface (controlled by a 3rd party automation system). dCS Universal IR remote control is available as an optional extra.

  • power supply

    Factory set to either 100, 115/120, 220 or 230/240V AC 50/60Hz.

  • power consumption

    30 Watts typical / 50 Watts maximum.


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    Yellowbox – dCS Bartok Review

    Thank you to Yellowbox for their great review of the dCS Bartók.

    “When technology leads (finally) to emotion…”


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    SoundStage! Hi-Fi – dCS Bartók Review

    Thank you to SoundStage! Hi-Fi for recommending the dCS Bartok as a Reference Component.

    “arguably the best homegrown software I’ve used in the last couple years.”

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    Headfonics – dCS Bartók Review

    Thank you to Headfonics for their review of the Bartók DAC/Headphone amp.

    “The performance of the Bartók is nothing short of breathtaking. It is probably the most natural-sounding and detailed amp/DAC combo I have reviewed to date.”

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    What HiFi? – dCS Bartók review

    Thank you to What HiFi? for their review of the Bartók,

    “Transparency is the word we keep coming back to. The Bartók produces a deeply analytical sound, one that’s brimming with detail and presented in an unvarnished way. If the source material is poor, you’ll know all about it because there’s no embellishment going on here.”

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    Sound Stage Ultra – Bartok Review

    Thank you to Sound Stage Ultra for their review on the Bartok!

    “I couldn’t, and can’t now, hear this recording any other way. The Bartók spoiled me on every front.”


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    Audiophile FR – dCS Bartok Review

    Thank you to our distributor PPL Audio for sharing this great Bartok review from Audiophile FR!

    “This “high-flying” network converter-player is a product that goes very far on all audible parameters.”

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    StereoNET – dCS Bartok DAC Review

    Thank you to StereoNet for their review on the dCS Bartok DAC,

    “One of the most important high end streaming DACs of this generation gets an in-depth StereoNET review.”

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    Darko.Audio – Bartok DAC Headphone Amplifer Review

    By John Darko


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    Hifi & Musik dCS Bartók Headphone DAC amp review

    Thank you to P.L Audio for sharing this review with us and being kind enough to translate the toplines!

    “In a class of its own!”

    +    Flexible all in one solution
    Very good sound
    High performance Headphone Amplifier

    –    Except the price ? No!

    “Sure it is a substantial investment but you will get not only a
    D/A converter with extreme performance and a Headphone
    Amplifier with extraordinary sound. No, you will not have to
    spend money on a Pre-amp, because you will need something
    very good to match the dramatic transparent sound of the Bartok
    directly connected to the Power amplifier! None of the Pre-Amps we
    had at our disposal could match the Bartok directly connected to
    our Burmester 956 MkII. Bartok must be heard – with or without

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    Headfonics – Bartók Headphone DAC Amp Review

    Thank you to Headfonics for their review of the Bartók DAC Headphone Amp

    “With something like the Susvara the Bartók sounds almost tonally transparent instead focusing on giving me huge levels of resolution and a superb black background that just draws you right into whatever you are listening to.”
    Marcus, Editor Headfonics

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    TONEAudio – The dCS Bartók DAC – A Substantial helping of Excellence

    Thank you to TONEAudio for their review of the Bartók DAC

    “As I’ve said before, the dCS DACs have always deliver supreme musicality, and I have hung my hat on their products, using them as a reference tool for over a decade. However, what I love about dCS is the way they serve the music and not the other way around. This is a player than I can listen to for 12-16 hours a day (and have on many occasions) with zero fatigue.” Jeff Dorgay, TONEAudio

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    AudiophileStyle Bartók DAC with Headphone Amplifier Review

    Thank you to AudiophileStyle for their review on the Bartók DAC Headphone amp.

    “It had that elusive ability to pull you in and connect to the music in a deeply emotional way.” Rajiv Arora

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    Thank you to HiFiPlus for their great review on the Bartók DAC

    “Both the flow, tempo, and lack of digital emphasis are really satisfying, especially if you are someone who likes to immerse themselves in the whole atmosphere and performance.” Chris Thomas

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    part-time audiophile – Bartók Headphone DAC Amp Review

    Thank you to part-time audiophile for their review on the Bartók Headphone DAC Amp.

    “This is the beauty of dCS build quality: every input tried was dead neutral and musical. Fully transparent sound across the board. Music as clear as I have heard. Everything I threw it as a source of ones and zeros was handled with aplomb.”

    Lee Scoggins

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    Hi Fi+ dCS Bartok Network DAC

    Review by Chris Thomas



  • Mosaic 1.1.1 Release Notes

  • dCS Expanse White Paper

  • Mosaic 1.0.2 Release Notes

  • User Manual – Bartok DAC V02

    Main software v1.0x, network 501 and dCS Mosaic Control app v1.0.x.

  • Menu Guide – Bartok DAC with Headphone Output V01

    Main software v1.0x.

  • User Manual – Bartok DAC with Headphone Output V02

    Main software v1.0x, network 501 and dCS Mosaic Control app v1.0.x

  • Mosaic 1.0.1 Release Notes

  • Menu Guide – Bartok DAC v1.0x

  • Windows USB Class 2 Driver 2018

    Compatible with Windows 10 / 8.1 / 7.

  • Bartók DAC with Headphone Amplifier – Product Datasheet



    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014

      StereoNET – Product of the Year Awards 2020 – Best DAC

      Dec 2020

    • The Absolute Sound – Editor’s Choice 2014


      Nov 2019