Parasound has begun dealer shipments of what it claims is the world’s first four-zone DAC and crossover, the ZoneMaster 4 DAX.
The ZoneMaster 4 DAX is designed to free the custom installer from the four biggest limitations of the Sonos Connect: sound quality, connectivity constraints, rack space, and profitability. It is a single-chassis DAC with integrated crossovers, mono outputs, subwoofer connectivity, and 12V DC trigger outputs. The 4 DAX enables custom installers to upgrade their clients’ high-resolution digital sound quality and increase speaker flexibility when creating multi-zone systems without the cost and complexity of additional preamps or house audio controllers.
The 4 DAX complements streaming devices that have digital volume controls, such as the Sonos Connect, Bluesound Node, Google Chromecast Audio, and Apple Airport Express. Most importantly, it provides a more profitable pathway for whole-house audio systems based around these streaming audio devices.
The ZoneMaster 4 DAX is designed to achieve superior DAC performance by using four premium 192kHz/24-bit ESS DACs when using an optical or coaxial connection. In addition to the ESS DAC, each zone has premium analog crossovers with level controls and outputs for full-range stereo, high-pass stereo, full-range mono, high-pass mono, and an 80Hz low-pass mono subwoofer output. Each zone also has an audio-triggered 12V output to activate additional equipment such as amplifiers and cooling equipment. Parasound's own 2-, 4-, 6- and 12-channel ZoneMaster amplifiers have independent trigger inputs for each zone, making them a perfect companion to the 4 DAX.
The Parasound ZoneMaster 4 DAX is also designed to dramatically reduce the rack space and clutter that would have accompanied four separate DACs, four crossovers, plus power supplies and cables, thus reducing the time and cost of installation. While the Sonos Connect traditionally competes in the retail market place, Parasound's 4 DAX creates a profitable value-added alternative for the custom installation industry.
The Parasound ZoneMaster 4 DAX is now available with a suggested retail price of $995.