Stereophile

Okto Research dac8 Stereo

For his review of the Pink Faun 2.16x music server in the December 2020 issue, Kal Rubinson needed to use a Linux-compatible multichannel D/A processor. A little Googling uncovered the 8-channel dac8 PRO from Okto Research in the Czech Republic, so Kal borrowed one from the manufacturer. He found it to be a great-sounding DAC with an intriguing feature set. He purchased the sample.

I have no interest in multichannel reproduction, but when Kal shared with me his very positive experience with the dac8 PRO—and then I found out that a two-channel version, the dac8 Stereo, would soon be available—I lobbied Editor-in-Chief Jim Austin for a review of the two-channel version, the Okto dac8 Stereo.

Traditionally, Stereophile has mandated that a company have US-based representation for a full review. For the dac8, all sales, support, and service are provided by Okto in Prague; there is, however, a 30-day at-home evaluation period. Given the DAC Stereo’s affordable price—€1203 (equivalent to $1423 at the time of writing) including a Raspberry Pi 4–based streaming module (€89 when bought separately) and an Apple remote control (€25)—Jim enthusiastically agreed.

This is how a superb component can transform an already excellent twochannel stereo system into a virtual reality machine.

The Okto dac8 Stereo

The front panel of this slim black box features a central rotary knob flanked by two white-on-black OLED displays. On the right is a ¼" headphone jack. The crowded rear panel offers two pairs of balanced-output XLR jacks and a plethora of inputs: one AES/EBU (XLR); four S/PDIF (two coaxial RCA, two TosLink optical); USB Type B; two USB Type A; and Ethernet (RJ45). When the dac8 Stereo is ordered with the streaming module, a supplied Wi-Fi–capable jumper connects one of the USB Type A ports to one

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