STAX SRM-D10 Portable Electrostatic Driver and DAC.

Another STAX review, this time it’s a new portable DAC and energiser. Let’s see what I think of this one.

Disclaimer:
This review is sponsored by STAX.
Thank you to Audrey & Kay, who have been very kind and shipped me this DAC/Energiser.
The SRM-D10 retails for $945 and can be found here:
https://staxheadphones.com/collections/amplifiers/products/driver-unit-for-ear-speaker
I will note here that although this is a sponsored review for STAX, I have been honest and unbiased in my opinion.

Review equipment:
STAX SRM-D10.
STAX SR-L300.
STAX SR-003 MKII.
Astell & Kern AK70.
iBasso DX80.
iPad Pro.
iPhone XS Max.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.
Audioengine B1.
Musician Audio Pegasus.

Music:
Various Hi-Res files on the AK70 & DX80.
Qobuz Studio Premier on other devices.

What’s in the box:
STAX SRM-D10.
Wall Charger.
Stereo jack to jack cable.
Micro USB cables.
Documentation.

STAX provide an abundance of accessories in the box, enabling different connection choices.
All accessories are neatly organised into separate boxes which are clearly labeled and sat snuggly in protective foam.

Spec & features:

Features:

  • Compact electrostatic headphone amp/DAC
  • Battery-powered, rechargeable Li-ion built-in battery pack
  • High-resoluton Digital-to-Analog converter, supports up to DSD128
  • User selectable line-in and USB DAC 
  • All-aluminum chassis

 Specifications:

  • 5-pin PRO bias Stax earspeaker output
  • Micro USB digital input,
  • 3.5mm analog input
  • Supply voltage: DC 14V (charger included)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 40KHz (+0dB,-3dB)
  • Rated input level: 230mV (100V output)
  • Harmonic distortion: <0.025% / 1KHz-10KHz
  • Input impedance: 10 KΩ (analog input)
  • Maximum output voltage: 200Vr.m.s / 100Hz-10KHz
  • Power consumption: 6.4W (USB input) 5W (analog input)
  • Recommended operating temperature: 0-35°C, <90% RH (No condensation)
  • Dimensions: 75(W) X 32(H) X 141(D) mm
  • Net weight: 450g

Build & finish:
The team at STAX have designed and built a magnificent portable electrostatic device.
Build and finish are of the finest quality & the D10 has been very well thought out.
The volume knob and switches are robust and have a lovely feel to them.
The D10 looks stunning in an understated manner. Subtle with clean lines and curves.
Rear IO is laid out well and easy to understand.
Connection possibilities are unlimited, and STAX including all the cables needed gets you off to a running start.
Battery power is pretty reasonable with the D10 lasting a few hours more in “line-in” mode. I found that in DAC mode I got around 4 hours with Line in mode giving me about 5.
This DAC/Energiser will look great on your desktop, on your side table or wherever else you feel enclined to use it!

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Sound:
The STAX SRM-D10 is quite the power house.
I currently have the L300 ear speakers and 003 MKII “in-ears” and it’s able to drive either effortlessly with stacks ( pun intended ) of headroom.
From memory I believe that the D10 could probably drive the 009s without breaking a sweat.
Hopefully I may get more higher end ear speakers in at some point to see how they fare.
Soundstage is wide open with a generous helping of depth.
Separation is superb, to the point of being clinicaly precise.
The low end is sumptuous and has plenty of punch.
Mids are neutral, yet clear and organic.
Lending a beautifully natural, airy clarity to the experience.
Highs are crisp and perfectly presented, being neither too bright, or rolled off too soon.
I found the L300’s performed better than the 003 MKII’s in Line out mode, however this was not as evident when using the D10 with it’s Hi-Res DAC selected.
Obviously, it’s going to sound at its very best when in DAC mode playing Hi-Res files, however, even with my Audioengine B1 feeding the line in with Qobuz playing over one of my smart devices, the sound quality was phenominal.

Final thoughts:
Don’t let the price tag fool you.
For $945 you’re getting an extremely well made portable electrostatic DAC and energiser with astonishing audio quality, oodles of power, flexibility and damn great looks to round it all off.
Would I recommend it to anyone?
I enjoyed it that much both as a portable device and as a fully fledged desktop device, that I bought one for myself and the 003 MKII’s to go with it!
But more on them in their own review which is coming very soon.
So yes, I absolutely recommend the STAX SRM-D10, whether you’re new to electrostats or an enthusiast.

Thanks:
A massive thank you to my readers! And also my ongoing thanks to STAX for their constant support and sponsorship.

Please remember to like, share, subscribe…..

Many thanks, and have a wonderful easter.
Stay safe.
Paul.

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