“The game changer”

I think it could be the sixth biggest game-changer in cartridges in three decades. The other five? its older siblings.

                                                                                                                                                    HiFi News 2019, Ken Kessler


Product photo


Product catalog

DS-E1 catalog
DS Audio catalog2021 (all products 6.4M)

DS-E1 review

DS-E1 Hi Fi News review by Ken Kessler

“The game changer”
“I think it could be the sixth biggest game-changer in cartridges in three decades. The other five? its older siblings.”

“Never – except maybe with the DS-W1 – have I heard such a three-dimensional sound image when listening to two-channel systems”

“He is stunned that such an inexpensive system can play so well. It even overshadows its own, sometimes much more expensive, cartridge pickups”
“The DS Audio DS-E1 is so convincing in every respect that not only he but also another acquaintance bought this cartridge through their respective dealers”

DS Audio’s most valuable optical analog cartridge

“The DS-E1 has an extremely clean music background, which can make the layering of music more open, medium and high The gorgeous colors and the wide sound field are all DS-E1 charms. Moreover, this price is not just a phono, but even a dedicated amp.”
“We buy it without thinking over because the sound is so brilliant and the price is so kindly !”

Review: DS Audio E1 Optical Cartridge System, Part 2

“Here’s where this cartridge system beats the competition I’ve heard:

None of the competition has that “open reel” quality of sound
None have a dead quiet background
None have the absence of haze you have grown accustomed to
None disassociate surface noise from the music better

I have not had a better listening experience with any other cartridge. It does everything you need a cartridge to do to get you closer to the music. When the “film” you have been listening through for all of these years is removed, you get the closest thing I have heard to an open reel.
At $2,750.00 for the cartridge AND the DS Audio Phono Stage/Equalizer, I simply cannot think of anything that is close. It is my new Audio Waypoint and a game-changer for me personally.”

DS-E1 review by Tone audio

“It would be easy to call the DS Audio E1 optical cartridge and equalizer a benchmark at the $3k price point. I think that it’s easily a benchmark at twice, maybe even three times that price.”









“if you value sonic purity, supple textures, commanding bass reach, and impressive dynamic scaling, the DS-E1 will almost certainly tickle your fancy. Its transient fidelity, almost unparalleled quietude, and superb retrieval of low-level musical detail won me over. As I shared with Garth Leerer in a recent email, I am keeping the DS-E1 as my new reference. It represents shockingly good value in a world where five-figure cartridges no longer shock, and it sounds great.” Enjoy the Music review is here.


DS-E1 review by Taiwan magazine(Chinese language)

“DS Audio’s latest optical cartridge/phono-stage combo, the DS-E1, while priced at the low end in the lineup, achieves a performance level well beyond expectation. It retains most of the key sonic signatures of the top-end model with just slightly lower resolution and dynamic punch. In terms of background noise level, transient speed, and tonal accuracy, the DS-E1 is obviously ahead of conventional transducers at the similar or much higher price bracket. The clean, accurate and harmonic-rich reproduction of well-recorded piano music will quickly dispel any doubt the DS-E1 being one of the best buys in the analog-gear market today. Strongly recommended.”

DS-E1 playing video


DS-E1 instruction manual

DS-E1 instruction manual

Product comparison chart

product specifications comparison sheet

Troubleshooting if the cartridge does not light


Download DS-E1 logos, photos, catalogs, etc.(Dropbox link)