The headphone amp section of the new ERCO is said to be largely based on the Ferrum OOR headphone amplifier, and work completely balanced. In addition, the device houses a DAC, which is based on the ESS Sabre ES9028PRO chip, and has the primary aim of delivering high transparency. The ERCO also offers a gain adjustment setting, which – in addition to volume and input selection – can be controlled via a knob on the front. Next to it sits an LED to indicate the MQA status.
On the front of the device, you'll find a balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn as well as a 6.35mm headphone jack; in terms of digital inputs, ERCO offers USB-C, S/PDIF optical (up to 24-bit/192 kHz), and coaxial (up to 24-bit/96 kHz). The digital inputs and the MQA decoder all work with the special "ARM" processor, which has been completely reprogrammed to optimize audio quality. The headphone amplifier can also be fed with analog signals, for which a pair of RCA inputs is found on the back. Likewise, the DAC can also be used exclusively, for which a pair of RCA and a pair of balanced XLR output jacks are provided.
According to Ferrum, the ERCO is supposed to work perfectly together with the Hypsos power supply, as well as elicit the best possible performance from the PSU. For this purpose, the "Ferrum Power Link" (FPL) connector can be used used to connect the two devices. The DAC also has a normal power cable for use without Hypsos, as well as a trigger jack.
Ferrum states the German price for the new ERCO DAC/headphone amp at around €2400.