Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC Review: Ups Your Audio Game Without Breaking the Bank

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The Lowdown

Because I have some high-quality wired headphones, having an accessory that lets me use them is appreciated. Add in the fact that the Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC significantly improves upon the audio, especially with computers and mobile devices in which audio wasn’t a top priority, and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to pick one of these up.

Overall
5

Pros

  • Small
  • Inexpensive
  • Includes USB-C to AUB-A adapter for legacy purposes
  • Made to last

Cons

  • Nothing
Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC Review: Ups Your Audio Game Without Breaking the Bank Listen to this article

When Apple removed the 3.5mm headphone jack from their mobile devices, we saw explosive growth in the wireless headphone market. Sadly, it was also another step toward prioritizing convenience over audio quality. As we have seen, some wireless headphones deliver exceptional sound but, there are times when you want the BEST sound. That’s where the Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC comes in.

Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC

The Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC is a small adapter weighing just 4.4 grams. On one end, there is an input for a 3.5mm audio jack. On the other end, there is USB-C that plugs into the audio source. This source can be an Android device, a Windows computer, or even a computer running macOS. However, the company warns,

iOS devices aren’t well supported; we’ve confirmed that a 4th gen iPad, running iOS 14.3 works, but most iOS devices would require use of the Apple Camera adapter, and even then, your success is not guaranteed.

 

Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC

That may be the case, but I am writing this while the Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC is plugged into my iPad Pro. Not only is the Rhodium working without issue, but the sound is far superior to anything I have heard using wireless headphones, and it completely demolishes the audio from the iPad’s speakers.

If you want to improve the quality of your Windows or MacOS computer’s headphone output, or microphone input, Rhodium is just the ticket.

Inside the box, you get the Rhodium and a USB-C to USB-A adapter. The adapter means you can use the Rhodium with computers that don’t have a USB-C port or, as in my case, only USB-A ports are currently free on my Mac.

Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC

Periodic Audio describes the $49 Rhodium this way:

Rhodium is a mobile HiFi Swiss Army Knife, and the best value High Resolution Audio DAC/Preamp/Amp In The World.

Obviously, the Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC is designed to work with Windows and Mac computers. It is also designed to let you use wired headphones with Android devices and some iOS devices that no longer have a 3.5mm headphone jack but do have a USB-C port. Once plugged in, Rhodium provides “a 32bit/384kHz DAC & High-Power Amplifier output stage for your wired headphones.”

The short cable between the 3.5mm input and the USB-C jack is made from a proprietary high-strand OFC wire with a polyethylene woven jacket. The result is an audio accessory that is incredibly light; it weighs less than a nickel, yet it’s strong enough to endure years of use.

In addition, the Rhodium has:

Specially selected audio-grade caps of C0G tolerance in all audio pathways, high-speed, high-stability X7Rs for all power supply bypasses results 10 dB lower noise and 1/2 the distortion of any competing product on the market anywhere near Rhodium’s price point.

Molded aluminum shells round out the design elements that combine to make this an investment worth considering.

For those of you who appreciate specifications, here’s a breakdown of thePeriodic Audio Rhodium DAC’s audio performance.

Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC

I love the convenience of wireless headphones, and I appreciate the improved audio many are now able to deliver. There are, however, times when a wired pair of headphones are preferable to wireless. Because I have some high-quality wired headphones, having an accessory that lets me use them is appreciated. Add in the fact that the Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC significantly improves upon the audio, especially with computers and mobile devices in which audio wasn’t a top priority, and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to pick one of these up. The audio experience I’ve had while writing this review is enough for me to recommend this inexpensive accessory without reservation.

The Periodic Audio Rhodium DAC sells for $49; it is available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Small; Inexpensive; Includes USB-C to AUB-A adapter for legacy purposes; Made to last

What Needs Improvement: Nothing

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.