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The Element

Amps + DACs

This product has been discontinued. You might be interested in Element II.

Element II


  • Covered by our 2-year transferable warranty

Simplified Desktop Audio

We designed The Element to simplify your desktop audio experience. Element's powerful headphone amp, ultra clean USB DAC, and graceful switch are all housed in a precision machined chassis with a comfortable knob. Enjoy seamless transitions between your powered speakers and headphones.

The JDS Labs Element's impressive power output and sound quality make it an ideal choice for anyone who invested in a pair of high-end full-size headphones.

CNET Element Review, September 2015

I've got to admit to feeling naked: JDS must know how obsessed I am about knobs. And design elegance. There are three buttons on Element: an attenuator, a mains nipple, and THE KNOB. Sorry for shouting, but damn, just look at it. It's practically a turn table.

Headfonia Element Review, September 2016

JDS Labs' The Element amp/digital-to-audio converter enriches your sound without requiring audiophile expertise.

GQ Element Review, November 2016


Smart Logic

Microprocessor controlled relays completely eliminate turn on/off pops and thumps produced by lesser amps.

Ultra High Power

With 30V rails and peak output in excess of 1.5W, The Element drives all headphones on the market to extraordinary levels, from balanced armatures to planar magnetics.

Reference Grade Sound

The Element exceeds TPD criteria, outmatching our baseline for audible perfection. A wide DAC dynamic range maintains low noise and minimizes hiss.

Low Output Impedance

The Element's extremely low output impedance ensures transparent frequency response for all headphone loads.

Dual Gain

Low gain of 1.0x is well suited to driving efficient IEMs, while High gain easily powers demanding full size sets.

Auto Line Output

Automatic DAC Line-Output allows you to toggle between headphones and powered speakers at the push of a button.



  • Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz +/- 0.1dB
  • THD+N 1kHz, 150 Ω 0.0009%
  • IMD CCIF 19/20kHz 150 Ω 0.0004%
  • IMD SMPTE 150 Ω 0.0005%
  • Noise, A-Weighted -108 dBu
  • Crosstalk @ 150 Ω -67 dB
  • Output Impedance 0.1 Ω
  • Channel Balance +/- 0.56 dB
  • Max Continuous Output, 600Ω 140 mW (9.4VRMS)
  • Max Continuous Output, 150Ω 505 mW
  • Max Continuous Output, 32Ω 1.1 W
  • Peak Output Power, 32Ω 1.5W

DAC Performance

  • Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz +/- 0.15dB
  • THD+N 100 Hz -0.15 dBFS 0.0023%
  • THD+N 20 Hz -0.15 dBFS 0.0016%
  • THD+N 10 kHz -0.15 dBFS 0.0019%
  • IMD CCIF 19/20 kHz -6.03 dBFS 0.0011%
  • IMD SMPTE -6.03 dBFS 0.0012%
  • Noise A-Weighted dBu 24/96 -102 dBu
  • Dynamic Range (A-Weighted) >112 dB
  • Linearity Error -90 dBFS 24/96 -0.02 dB
  • Crosstalk -10 dBFS 100K RCA -100 dB
  • USB Jitter Components 11025Hz -113 dB
  • PCB Stackup 4 Layers
  • Maximum DAC Line-Output, 100K 2.10 VRMS


  • Case Dimensions 5.8 x 5.8 x 1.6 in
  • Weight 18 oz

Data Support

  • Interface USB, Audio Class 1
  • Native OS Support Windows XP/7/8/10, OS X, Linux
  • Audio Formats 16/44, 16/48, 16/88.2, 16/96, 24/44, 24/48, 24/96


  • Headphone Output 6.35mm (1/4")
  • Analog Input RCA
  • DAC Line-Output RCA
  • Digital Input USB - Type B

Packaged Items

  • The Element, Amplifier+DAC (v1.53b)
  • 16VAC Power Adapter
  • 3ft USB Type A to Type B Cable


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