Holo Audio Cyan DAC and Headphone Amplifier



“An excellent DAC and headphone amplifier with numerous options”

SKU HOL-CY Category

Another Holo Audio offering that we particularly like is the Cyan DAC and headphone amplifier.

The Cyan is offered in 2 different model options: PCM or DSD. Both can play DSD and PCM without any issues. The PCM version will convert DSD to PCM while the native DSD version will convert PCM to pure DSD.

The PCM version includes both balanced preamplifier and balanced headphone amplifier. It’s a true balanced discrete resistor ladder dac.

There are three versions available, with only the PCM version having headphone functionality – the other two disable the headphone facility.

Cyan PCM Edition:

The PCM Module (Balanced) has a full function Balanced headphone amplifier that is capable of powering almost any headphone and sensitive IEM. It has high and low gain settings to fine tune the amplifier for whatever pair of headphones you may have. This is a 28bit pure PCM module with digital volume control.

  • R2R DAC offers oversampling and non oversampling modes
  • Converts DSD data to PCM
  • Compact chassis 260 x 281 x 55 mm (WxLxH)
  • Fully balanced headphone circuit capable of powering most headphones
  • Ability to select either low or high impedance for the headphone output
  • Includes high quality aluminium remote control – functions include – Mute, Volume, low & high gain for Output, Input Selection, Display Brightness, OS/NOS mode.

For those who choose the PCM module version you will be able to enjoy the balanced headphone amplifier.

However if you choose the DSD module version the headphone amplifier will be visible but non-functional.

Cyan DSD Dac only edition:

For those who know DSD well, you will know that pure DSD does not allow for volume control. In fact if a DSD DAC claims to have volume control then you will know that it’s first converted to PCM internally to achieve this.

Holo Audio released the pure DSD module version for those looking to have a unique and high performance discrete resistor ladder DAC DSD solution.

Holo have highly optimised the architecture of their resistor network to have an incredible sounding DSD DAC. If the headphone amplifier was enabled it would be at 100% volume and put your ears and headphones at risk. Additionally the DSD version will not contain the components on the motherboard for the head-amp. However there will still be a volume control knob and headphone outputs on the front panel that will not function.

  • Pure DSD ladder DAC only unit (Balanced).
  • Oversampling (OS) and non oversampling (NOS) modes.
  • Converts all PCM data to DSD
  • No headphone amplifier output.
  • No internal amplifier.
  • External knob and headphone out connectors are still visible but have no purpose.
  • This is a DSD DAC only.

Cyan Joy PCM and DSD edition:

For those that want the best of both PCM and DSD.

The ‘Joy’ edition comes equipped with the PCM board with head-amp and additionally the DSD board (firmware to disable head-amp when in use). The firmware on the dac module will automatically disable the onboard headamp to prevent any damage to hearing or headphones.


Cyan PCM:

  • NOS mode
    • PCM – no sample rate conversion
    • DSD – converts DSD to PCM
  • Oversampling mode
    • PCM – Oversampled to 352.8K or 384K PCM
    • DSD – converts DSD to PCM

Cyan DSD:

  • NOS mode
    • PCM – converts PCM to DSD
    • DSD – no sample rate conversion
  • Oversampling mode
    • PCM – Oversampled to DSD 256
    • DSD – converts PCM to DSD


Cyan PCM – £1175.00

Cyan DSD – £999.00

Cyan Joy – £1425.00