Concero-HP-Audio DAC
Concero-HP-Audio DAC frontConcero-HP-Audio DAC pluggedConcero-HP-Audio DAC



CONCERO HP is the Headphone driver version of CONCERO. It supports DSD64 and DSD128, Sample rates up to 352.8kS/s and 24bits. Over 100dB (0.001%) THD+Noise performance into headphones above 300 Ohms (over 90dB performance into 32 Ohm headphones). S/PDIF and USB Audio 2.0 data sources.

CONCERO HP Uses the ES9018-2M – the latest chip from ESS Technology.

Product Description

CONCERO HP is three things in one: first, it is the Resonessence upgradable FPGA DSP core with all the proven filters and algorithms of the CONCERO family; second, it uses the 32bit ES9018-2M Sabre DAC in both PCM and DSD modes to provide high quality audio; and finally it provides a state-of-the-art headphone driver capability.

The CONCERO HP delivers digital music directly from your computer USB or audio S/PDIF source to your chosen headphones with exceptionally low distortion (< 0.001%) and high dynamic range (> 112dB).

Similarly to all the CONCERO family, the CONCERO HP enumerates on the PC as a USB Audio 2.0 device (by use of our freely provided Thesycon USB Audio 2.0 driver), and natively on the Mac. But in addition, CONCERO HP also enumerates as a Human Interface Device  (HID) which allows its volume control to drive the volume level in the music player directly. (Learn more about the volume control)

When internal up-sampling is being used (taking your 44.1kS/s or 48kS/s to 176.4kS/s and 192kS/s) pressing the center of the volume control knob cycles through the Resonessence up-sampling filters for you to optimize your listening experience.

( These last two features mean that no remote control is necessary with the CONCERO HP, but if you prefer to use a remote control, CONCERO HP responds to the Apple IR Remote just like the other CONCERO family members.  )

( A configuration utility on both PC and MAC is provided to configure the CONCERO HP to use S/PDIF as either an input or as an output to enable S/PDIF bridge mode. This configuration utility is provided so that the CONCERO HP requires no remote control to access all the features. You can change the configuration as often as you like, the configuration you chose is stored in the CONCERO’s non-volatile memory chip. )

Important note: the volume level that you set on the CONCERO HP is stored in your music application. Both the PC and MAC have the feature that the last setting of the volume is restored when you use your CONCERO HP for a second or subsequent time. However, the very first time that you use the CONCERO HP, both Window’s and the MAC OS will initially set the volume to 0dB – ie to the maximum level. Take care therefore when first using the CONCERO HP that you have the headphones unplugged and set the volume to a lower level before listening. This initial volume level of 0dB may also apply if you use a different USB port for your CONCERO HP. Our engineers suggest that certain software music players may store a different volume level for each USB port.

CONCERO HP is designed to be the only audio device you need to take your library of digital music in whatever format you choose, to your high quality headphones. Laptop, CONCERO HP and quality headphones together make an outstanding audiophile system.

  • Plug CONCERO into an active USB port and CONCERO enumerates as an audio output device. Now you can use CONCERO with your favorite music player on the MAC or PC, and experience a new level of audio clarity. CONCERO will optionally up-sample your digital 44.1kS/s and 48kS/s provided over the USB, into both an analog output from its internal ESS Sabre DAC’s into your existing audio pre-amplifier inputs or to your headphones. CONCERO (not the HP version) is also capable of generating a 24 bit ultra low jitter SPDIF stream output. If you prefer to provide your own data at higher than 48kS/s, all CONCERO models will render it bit-perfect into the DAC (and SPDIF stream if not HP) while providing exceptional jitter removal.
  • Plug CONCERO into a power-only USB port (of the type used to charge cell phones or similar), and finding no active host, CONCERO will configure to accept SPDIF input. Once again offering to up-sample 44.1kS/s and 48kS/s into high quality 176.4kS/s or 192kS/s, or render it bit-perfect and jitter reduced into to the internal Sabre DAC for your pre-amplifier inputs or headphones.
CONCERO models respond to the Apple IR Remote for you to conveniently control the USB host track selection and play/pause, and on-the-fly select the ideal internal filter to suite your taste. No glitch or artifact is generated during filter switching, allowing you to audit the filters and choose the optimum. Pressing the volume control knob on the HP model also cycles through the filter selections. *The CONCERO HD and CONCERO HP do indeed use the 32bit ESS9018-2M Sabre DAC but the data you send to our DACs is at most a 24bit word. What then is the reason to mention that the DAC is 32 bits? It is important, and it sounds better when the DAC is 32 bits, because of the signal processing the DAC must do can end up loosing information (ie making a very low level of noise) if the internal bus width cannot accommodate a dynamic range higher than the dynamic range of the input data word. The latest software for CONCERO enables 384kS/s mode! If you purchased a CONCERO at any time you can now upgrade your unit to 384kS/s. Check out the Software Updates for CONCERO page. We now provide both a PC and a MAC version of the CONCERO updater. Please note that the 384kS/s is the new highest rate that the CONCERO can take from your USB source (352.8kS/s is the highest rate CONCERO HP and CONCERO HD can take), the internal filters still up-sample by a factor of four to the 176.4kS/s or 192kS/s rates.
CONCERO Mode Selection CONCERO is powered over USB.
  • If CONCERO detects an active host on the USB connection then it enumerates  (that is, informs the host that it is an audio device and requests that the driver be connected) and enters ‘USB DAC’ mode. CONCERO and CONCERO HD enable the ‘USB to SPDIF Bridge’ concurrently.Normally, powered by an active host, CONCERO will output audio to both SPDIF out and Analog out at the same time. We expect that most of our customers will use one or other of the outputs. However, if you choose to use both outputs (perhaps directing Audio output to your headphone driver, and SPDIF output to your power amplifier) we provide a means to enable one or the other via the Apple IR Remote. (See below).The display LED will remain red until data begins to stream from the USB host, at which point the LED turns blue.SPDIF input mode may be selected while plugged into an active USB port by pressing the “up button” two times.
  • If CONCERO does not detect an active host (that is, if it finds that it is plugged into a power-only USB) then CONCERO enters ‘SPDIF Dac’ mode.
CONCERO and the Apple IR Remote CONCERO responds to the Apple IR Remote (without the need to ‘pair’ with it).
  • Pressing the menu button cycles through the filter settings: Initially no filter is applied: the CONCERO processes data bit-perfect. Whatever data is received is sent to the DAC and/or SPDIF unmodified. In this mode the display LED will be blue while music is playing.* On the first menu press CONCERO engages the IIR up-sampling filter.* On the second menu press CONCERO engages the Apodizing up-sampling filter.Note that both filters up-convert 44.1kS/s and 48kS/s data to 4x rate. (ie to 176.4kS/s or 192kS/s). Data received at higher than 48kS/s is not filtered: it is processes bit-perfect. When either filter is active, the display LED will be magenta while music is playing. Learn more about Resonessence custom filters.
IN USB DAC and USB SPDIF Bridge mode:
  • Pressing the pause/play button pauses and plays by sending commands to the music player application.
  • Pressing left/right scrolls in the application playlist.
  • Pressing the UP/Down button enables or disables the Analog output and SPDIF output.* Initially both outputs are active. * Pressing the up button shuts off the SPDIF output. * Pressing the up button again selects SPDIF as input. * Pressing the down button shuts off the Analog output.The LED flashes briefly to indicate that the action has been taken. Upon reaching the top (SPDIF input selected) or bottom (SPDIF output only) the LED no longer flashes, indicating that you have reached the setting.
CONCERO HP Configuration Tool
  • Resonessence will provide a configuration tool on both MS WIndows and MAC OS to allow a non-volatile setting of the CONCERO HP for S/PDIF mode. Specifically, the user will be able to configure the S/PDIF port as an output that replicates the data received on the USB port (except for DSD128 mode), or operates as an input for the DAC.
All Modes Low Jitter Oscillators for Reference clocks. (No PLL’s) Custom Async USB 2.0 up to 24bit 384kS/s (download Windows USB Audio 2.0 Driver) Selectable ‘bit-perfect’ mode of operation, jitter removed, but identical data Two selectable up-sampling filters: Minimum Phase IIR, and Apodizing High Quality Film Caps for Audio Section 3 Dedicated regulators for Audio Section (2 in DAC chip, 1 on-board) USB DAC mode To use these two USB host modes, connect the USB of CONCERO to the USB Host (use a High Speed USB port, not a Full Speed USB port). Connect your analog input pre-amplifier to the analog output ports on CONCERO HD, – or – connect your SPDIF input pre-amplfier to the SPDIF output on CONCERO HD. On CONCERO HP connect the Headphone to the output socket, (ensure the volume level on your player application is not too high!) HD and HP Models: DSD64 and DSD128 using DoP protocol version 1.1 Apple Remote IR sensor for USB HID Control. (Play/Pause, Prev/Next track) Data Lock indication with Blue LED illumination SPDIF DAC mode Please note: External USB based Charger is needed for power supply. To use this mode, connect the USB of CONCERO to a power-only USB port. (Such as are commonly used to charge cell phones). Because CONCERO will not find an active USB Host on such a connection, it will switch to SPDIF DAC mode. Connect your SPIDIF output from your digital music source to the SPDIF port on CONCERO, connect your analog input pre-amplifier to the analog output ports on CONCERO. Connect the headphones to the CONCERO HP. Any SPDIF data received will then be output to the analog outputs. SPDIF Input with up to 24bit 192kS/s support Galvanic Isolated SPDIF Input USB port is now the power supply, can use high end USB cable and “power-only” cable. Specifications
DSD64/DSD128 Yes Yes
Bit Width 24 24 Bits at Input*
Sample rate (max) 352.8 352.8 kS/s
Output Level 2 3.5 (at 0dB) VRMS
Output Impedance 75 2.2 Ohms
THD+Noise <0.001, 100 <0.001, 100 %,dB
Dynamic Range >112 dB A-Weighted
Hum and Noise <3.4 uV A-Weighted
Power 32 ohms 270, 91 mW, THD+N dB
Power 60 ohms 206, 94 mW, THD+N dB
Power 300 ohms 45, 102 mW, THD+N dB
Power 600 ohms 22.75, 102 mW, THD+N dB
CONCERO HD can switch to S/PDIF input while in USB mode: (Two up-presses on remote. See the user guide page 9  for details) USB to S/PDIF Bridge Connect to a USB Host as described in USB DAC mode (above). Please note that the CONCERO HP can be configured to output S/PDIF or accept S/PDIF as an input by a configuration tool on the PC or MAC. (This feature is provided so that the CONCERO HP does not need to use any remote control device.) Low jitter SPDIF output Galvanic Isolated SPDIF output CONCERO HD passes DoP DSD64 packets to the S/PDIF output. * Internally, the Sabre DAC chip uses at least a 32 bit data path (more in certain places). Our products accept 24 bits at the input via, USB, S/D Card S/PDIF etc.
Downloading and Installing Both of our CONCERO products (CONCERO HD and CONCERO HP) are upgradeable via a USB connection to a computer. We offer upgrade utilities for both the Windows platform (XP, Vista, 7 and 8) and Mac OS X. Please follow the instructions below to download the appropriate updater (the updater differs for each model of CONCERO).

Step 1: Install pre-requisites

The CONCERO updater requires the .NET framework. The .NET framework is installed by default on all modern Windows installations. However, on Mac OS X platforms you will need to load the Mono framework. The mono framework can be installed from here: Mono Framework.

Step 2: Download Installer

Please download the software that corresponds with your operating system: step2

Step 3: Unpackage Updater

Unzip the updater to a location of your choice. step3

Step 4: Perform Update

Run the CONCERO updater program while the CONCERO is plugged in via USB. The CONCERO updater requires the use of a USB 2.0 or USB 1.0 port to work properly. Once the updater has found your device you may follow the on-screen directions. Note: The updater computer will require an internet connection to retrieve the most up-to-date firmware for your device. step4

Step 5: Enjoy!

Enjoy the newly upgraded firmware on your CONCERO audio device! If you run into any issues while performing an upgrade, please try closing the updater, unplugging the CONCERO and then trying again.

Returning the CONCERO for Repair under Warranty

If you find any problems, faults or unexpected performance in the CONCERO unit in the first year of operation, it may well be covered by our warranty policy. The first step in returning a unit to Resonessence is to contact your local dealer, or directly by phone to us at our Canadian headquarters (778) 477-5536. We are in the North America Pacific Coast time zone and the country code for international calls is (1). You may also email to [email protected]. Please be prepared to provide the unit serial number when requesting support and be sure to include it in any Email. Resonessence is pleased to provide a one year warranty under the terms described below, but reserves the right to determine whether the warranty applies in each specific case. We will attempt to determine if the warranty is applicable in the initial contact you make with us or our dealers, but it may be necessary to return the unit for inspection to make the determination. All returned items require a Return Materials Authorization (RMA) number which you will receive from us along with the shipping address to which the unit should be returned. Please mark the shipping box with the RMA clearly visible on the outside. We can only accept units for return or repair with the RMA attached. By shipping a unit to us you agree to the terms and conditions of our repair and return policy, outlined below. LIMITED WARRANTY Subject to the conditions set forth below, for one year after the original purchase date of the unit (unless otherwise specified), Resonessence will repair, or if necessary replace, the unit at no additional cost, in the event of a defect in materials or workmanship of the hardware elements of the unit. This warranty is extended only to an original purchaser of the unit from an authorized reseller or directly from Resonessence. We do not provide a warranty of any kind if the unit has been purchased from an unrecognized or unauthorized reseller. We may request proof of purchase prior to providing any warranty service. We may, at our discretion, not extend the warranty to units used as rental units by a third party business if not approved by Resonessence or our authorized dealers. This warranty only covers failures due to defects in materials or workmanship in the hardware elements of the system. Damages incurred in shipping, or due to accident, inappropriate use of the unit or power surges of any kind are not covered. Alterations to the unit undertaken by unauthorized individuals or organizations are not covered. Damage incurred during attempted reverse engineering, design data extraction or attempted internal measurements of any kind are specifically excluded from any warranty. Installation of any unapproved software, or external algorithms of any kind designed to expose or debug the operation of the unit, or to circumvent or otherwise interfere with the unit’s unique identity code, causing damage or thereby erasing the unit’s operating system or similar, are not covered by any warranty. THIS LIMITED WARRANTY GIVES YOU SPECIFIC LEGAL RIGHTS. YOU MAY HAVE OTHERS WHICH VARY FROM STATE/JURISDICTION TO STATE/JURISDICTION. REPAIRS MADE UNDER WARRANTY Resonessence will be responsible for all parts and labour necessary to fix defects in materials or workmanship of the hardware elements of the unit. NON-WARRANTY REPAIRS ETC. Resonessence will charge for a minimum two hours of work at the prevailing hourly rate, plus all shipping costs, for any unit returned that does not qualify for the warranty service, or is returned for upgrade, technical audit or software re-initialization. Upon receipt of the unit, we will inform you of the estimated cost of the work and await your approval to proceed. Note that in all cases, even if you do not agree to the additional work, you will be responsible for the minimum two hours and shipping costs. Parts and labour costs incurred to complete non-warranty work, even in the case where they exceed our estimate, will be your responsibility. REPLACED, REPAIRED OR UPGRADED PARTS Any parts repaired or replaced either under warranty or as a paid service, are themselves warranted against defects in materials or workmanship for one year after the service date. Parts not replaced or repaired remain on the initial warranty schedule. SHIPPING If a unit covered by warranty needs servicing during the first 30 days after the original purchase date, Resonessence will cover the cost of shipping the unit back, as well as the return shipping to you. After this initial 30 day period, and for one year after the original purchase date, Resonessence will only cover the cost of shipping the unit back to you, and you are responsible for the cost of shipping the unit to Resonessence. You are responsible for all shipping costs both to and from Resonessence for non-warranty work. You are responsible for paying all taxes, import duties, or similar fees imposed by foreign countries or other jurisdictions. LIMITS AND EXCLUSIONS RESONESSENCE DOES NOT, BY VIRTUE OF THIS DOCUMENT, OR BY ANY COURSE OF PERFORMANCE, COURSE OF DEALING, OR USAGE OF TRADE, MAKE ANY OTHER WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE OR NONINFRINGEMENT, AND ALL SUCH WARRANTIES ARE HEREBY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. RESONESSENCE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY IMPLIED INDEMNITIES. RESONESSENCE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL OR EXEMPLARY LOSSES OR DAMAGES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES TO RECORDINGS, DATA STORAGE DEVICES, TAPES, DISKS, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF BUSINESS PROFITS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, LOSS OF BUSINESS INFORMATION, LOSS OF GOODWILL, COVER, OR OTHER PECUNIARY LOSS, ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THE USE OF ANY PRODUCT, OR ARISING FROM BREACH OF WARRANTY OR CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY, EVEN IF RESONESSENCE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH LOSSES OR DAMAGES. ANY DAMAGES THAT RESONESSENCE IS REQUIRED TO PAY FOR ANY PURPOSE WHATSOEVER SHALL NOT EXCEED THE ORIGINAL COST PAID TO RESONESSENCE FOR THE APPLICABLE UNIT. BECAUSE SOME STATES/JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, THE FOREGOING LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.