Review: Orei DA21X DA converter

Category: Digital

Budget esoterica review magazine
October 2014 issue

Scenario number one / tribute to the poor audiophile

Ok, so you are 30 years old and you live in your parent's basement. You have your heart set on buying a $500 cd player, but you simply can not afford it because your job as a paper delivery boy and part time medical research participant leaves you with very little income and your mom is charging you $200 a month in rent. What to do? No worries, matey, buy yourself a cheap dac converter, throw it on the back of your ancient cd player and put some alligator meat on the barbie. is selling the Orei DA21X dac converter for $25.99. I have been using it for over a year without any reliability problems whatsoever. It is made out of a very durable metal casing and has a select switch for using either coaxial or optical functions. The Orei converter boasts ultra low jitter and high fidelity design. I will be reviewing it with an old dinosaur dvd player, the Denon DVD-1000.

The Orei digital converter has an uncanny ability to clean up the sound of your music. It literally strips out the noise and grunge and leaves you with pure unadulterated music. I listened to an excellent cd titled, "pax", by the amazingly talented Andrew Hill and the sound was so clean and fresh that i felt like i just stepped out of the shower.
I also noticed a little better separation. This inexpensive dac made my paradigm titan's sound crisper and tighter than i have ever heard them sound.

Next up, i put the Who , "live at leeds" cd in my player and cued up the song, "magic bus". I noticed increased tightness and accuracy in the bass. The vocals had better clarity and at the end of the song i noticed increased resolution and detail retrieval. I think the Orei dac also makes the sound a little more organic and natural.

I decided to revisit one of my favorite cd's by Coldplay, titled "parachutes". On track number nine i noticed increased vocal nuance, subtlety and emotional expression.
There was more air around the vocals and the sound stage was slightly more open. This song had quite a pure and transparent sound. The highs seemed a little weightier also.
Three minutes and 46 seconds into the song you can hear a man in the background mumbling a word or two.


cleaner sound - strips out the noise and grunge and leaves pure, unadulterated music.
tighter, cleaner and more accurate bass
improved separation
reduced muddiness
more organic
more open sounding with improved room ambiance
improved resolution and detail
increased vocal nuance and articulation
slightly richer sound


solidity and musicality could be better

The Orei DA21x dac converter is an excellent way to upgrade your outdated cd or dvd player without spending a lot of money. I also used it in a computer/tv system connected to an inexpensive t-amp and it worked even better. Highly recommended to the budget audiophile who wants to improve their sound system without spending too much money.

Associated gear
Kenwood KA-9100
Paradigm titan
Denon DVD-1000
Audioquest FLX/Slip 14/2
Ixos interconnects

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Honda6, you're courageous to post a review of a 26 buck D/A converter here on Agon! But, let me back you up in your assessment. The Orei does work! I have a vacation house that I visit for only 2 months per year. My "system" is a collection of ancient components that are still working pretty well. I play CDs through a Toshiba SD2715 DVD player, which was a very sophisticated player a million years ago when I bought it. Well, knowing that D/A conversion has evolved over the last decade, I decided to drop in this converter between the player and my receiver. To my surprise, the audio signal was improved significantly. Much cleaner sound - with audible distortion reduced below my ability to hear it, much richer sound at similar volume levels and good imaging. So, you're right: If someone is using a very old CD player or DVD player, this thing is likely to enhance the sound, especially if their amplification and speakers are reasonably good. Thanks for your suggestion - this works