dual mono headphone amplifier with AK4490 DACs


Another great novelty from Focal, which has just unveiled Stellia, its new reference closed-back audiophile headphones! This time, it is a headphone amplifier with integrated DAC that is presented to us under the name Focal Arche. And our favorite Frenchies didn’t do things by halves…

Focal Arche, the DAC / headphone amplifier combo made in France

To design the electronics of the Focal Arche, the manufacturer from Saint-Etienne turned to engineers from the firm Micromega. It must be said that the reputation of the latter in terms of digital processing and amplification is well established… We thus benefit from a dual mono design from A to Z, with an Asahi Kasei AK4490 converter for each channel. Note that these DACs are equipped with dedicated power supplies, and that they are able to convert PCM streams up to 32 Bits / 384 kHz, and DSD up to 11.2 MHz. Note that these high samplings are only supported by the USB type B port, the Optical and Coaxial digital inputs being logically limited to 24 Bits / 192 kHz.

One headphone amp to rule them all

The Focal Arche can also brag about carrying two Class A amplification modes (voltage or hybrid) to refine the sound according to the characteristics of your headphones or your listening habits. Compatible with all audiophile headphones with an impedance of less than 600 Ohms, the Focal Arche delivers the considerable power of 2x1W at 32 Ohms. It also includes a series of presets specially established to exploit the full potential of Focal headphones. Finally, the connection is extremely complete, with the digital inputs mentioned above, and XLR, RCA, Jack and XLR-4 outputs.

To find out more about the Focal Arche DAC / headphone amplifier, find our complete product sheet! Also note that it will be marketed in April 2019, for a price of 2500€. As always, you can listen to it in combination with the best audiophile headphones of the moment!


Technical characteristics of the Focal Arche

Type : DAC with headphone amplifier
Max power : 2 x 1 W @ 1 kHz under 32 Ohms
Frequency response : 10Hz to 100kHz
THD : < 0.001%
Signal-to-noise ratio : >116dB @ 32Ω (Class A)
Food : 85 to 265 Vac / 47 – 63 Hz
Audio inputs :
– unbalanced RCA
– Coaxial S/PDIF
– Optical TosLink
Audio outputs :
– balanced XLR 3 points
– unbalanced RCA
Headphone outputs :
– balanced XLR 4 points
– unbalanced Jack 6.35mm
Firmware update : via USB port (USB-A)
Dimensions (WxHxD) : 297 x 200 x 321mm
Weight : 4.65kg

Photo gallery Focal Arch

To consult on the same subject:
Focal Stella, the new reference closed headphones!
Which headphones to choose for watching television?
Grado shows its fangs with 3 new headphones.


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