Sony PHA-3 High Resolution USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

Model #PHA3

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Packaging Info

Package Weight 1.65 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 7.1 x 5.0 x 3.3"

Operating EnvironmentCompliant OS: Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7, Windows Vista Mac OS X (v10.6.8 or later) CPU: Intel Core 2 Processor 1.6 GHz or better Memory: 1 GB or better USB port (USB 2.0 high speed)

Impedance 8 to 600 Ω
Maximum Input 2 V RMS (audio in)
Maximum Output Balanced connection: Approximately 320 mW + 320 mW (32 Ω at 1% distortion)
Normal Connection: Approximately 100 mW + 100 mW (32 Ω at 1% distortion)
Audio Output Jack 3-pole mini jack (balanced L/R)
Stereo mini jack (normal)
Resolution PCM:
When Connecting a Computer: Maximum 384 kHz/32 bit
When Connecting iPhone/iPad/iPod: Maximum 48 kHz/24 bit
When Connecting Optical Link: Maximum 192 kHz/24 bit
DSD: 2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz
Power Source 5 VDC when using the AC adaptor
Power Consumption 13.5 W
Dimensions (W x H x D) Without Projecting Parts: 3.150 x 1.142 x 5.532 (80.00 x 29.00 x 140.50 mm)
Weight Approximately 8.15 oz (231 g)
Audio Input Jack Computer/WALKMAN/Xperia connecting port
iPhone/iPad/iPod connecting port
Optical input connecting port (OPT IN port)
Stereo mini jack
Frequency Range 10 to 100,000 Hz (audio in input) with 0.01 or less distortion at 1,000 Hz
Expert Reviews
What hi fi.32817832
5 May 2015

The PHA-3AC is a fine performer. It has a pleasing blend of strengths, which make listening to all types of music a pleasure. If you’re in the market give this one a listen.

  • +

    Precise, articulate presentation, Good level of insight, File compatibility, iPhone and Xperia compatibility, Compact size

  • -

    Doesn’t offer the true portability battery operation should, Lacks the quality feel expected at this price, Class leaders offer more transparency and spaciousness

User Reviews
14 April 2017

I expected this unit to be awesome and it didn't let me down. It's expensive but I am discovering sounds and effects that I have never heard before. I have about 350 songs downloaded from Itunes at 256k.

  • +

    Clarity, volume, rich full sound.

  • -

    Price, but well worth it to me.

4 January 2017

Bought this to pair with my MDR-Z7's. A match made in heaven in terms of sound quality. The version of this product I got was the one with the rechargeable battery thankfully.

14 January 2016

The Sony PHA-3 DAC is fantastic. Makes my music sound great! You need not be an audiophile to appreciate what a DAC can do for your listening experience.A DAC's primary purpose is to bring more sonic realism to your music and serve as a better driver for your headphones/earbuds.

  • +

    Very well built, Precise volume control. Gold plated headphone inputs. Options to connect any portable player, DVD/CD player or any type headphone. Battery operated for portability. Processing for AIFF, FLAC, DSD MP3, AAC files and more.

  • -

    Expensive. No Apple connection cable. No case. This isn't really a con but the weight and bulk of the PHA-3 when attached to a player suggests you won't be throwing them in your pocket for a jog down the street. Portability in this case means room to room or backpack to office desk.

16 December 2015

Truly excellent sound. Really involving with a fantastic sound stage. It gives you a real sense of space and detail allowing you to rediscover your music collection. As the unit is not able to work off battery power the only downside is always having to be near a socket.

12 November 2015

Bought the Japanese version of the PHA3 to strap onto the NWZ-ZX3, space shuttle style. Although there was some inprovements over the NWZ-ZX2, mainly in the bass and sounding less digital, I don't feel that anyone thinking of buying the PHA3/NWZ-ZX2 combination is getting the best value for money...

23 June 2015

Adds detail, has many useful I inputs.

9 March 2015

I have the Japanese version - simply stunning. Has the re-chargeable battery which others state not available on the UK version. Battery lasts about 5 hours connected digitally to the xperia/walkman/pc usb audio connection to the PHA-3 thus using it's superior DAC.

27 February 2015

I have my Walkman ZX2 hooked up to it and use my Sony MDR-Z7 with balanced cables. With my Z7 headphones you need the gain set to high and I keep the DSEE HX switched on. Everything is more alive and the balanced cable really makes a difference. More separated and clear.

24 February 2015

Just a word of caution here. Assuming this is the UK version note the word portable is somewhat disingenuous. Unlike the superior non European model this does not have a rechargeable battery. So by portable do not assume you can use it on the go with your DAP.

Product Highlights
  • 384 kHz 32-bit PCM Files From Computer
  • 48 kHz 24-bit PCM From Apple Device
  • 192 kHz 24-bit PCM Files From Optical
  • 2.8 and 5.6 MHz DSD Support
  • 10 to 100,000 Hz Frequency Response
  • 8 to 600Ω Impedance
  • Stereo Mini and Balanced Connections
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Mac and Windows Compatible
  • Includes Charging and Digital Cables
In The Box
  • Sony PHA-3 High Resolution USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier
  • Digital Cable For WALKMAN
  • Digital Cable For Xperia
  • 2 x Micro-USB Cables
  • Audio Cable (stereo mini)
  • 2 x USB AC Adaptors
  • 4 x Silicone Belts
  • Warranty 1-Year Warranty
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