People these days are obsessed with music and the stress-relief it brings. With the rise of technology, there is a variety of ways on how we can listen to music. Before music applications were developed, we listen to music in MP3 and FLAC digital formats. It should be first converted from digital to analog format to play on your computer or gadgets. We called this device as digital to analog converters.
Audioengine D1 – Best DACs or Digital to Analog Converters – Image from Amazon
What are DACs and how does it work?
Aside from the fact that it converts the digital format from digital to analog, it also improves the output quality and audio fidelity. To help you out in choosing the suitable DAC for you, we have reviewed the best DACs or digital to analog converters.
Our 3 Top Picks
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FiiO E10K USB DAC
Brand - FiiO
Color - Titanium
Headphones Jack - USB
Item Weight 0.4 pounds
Drop High Definition DAC
Brand - DROP
Color - Black
Item Weight 3.4 pounds
FX AUDIO High-Resolution Mobile DAC
Brand - FX AUDIO
Color - Silvery
Item Weight 0.25 Kilograms
List of the Best DACs
Buying Guide to Get the Best Digital to Analog Converter
In buying the best digital to analog converter, you have to be wise in scrutinizing the quality, functionality, and accessibility of the device. We don’t want to waste bucks on something that we cannot maximize the utilization, right? Is it worth the price that you will be paying? Does it offer beyond what you need in a digital to analog converter?
1. FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier
A USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier with an internal DAC chip PCM102 which can manage files up to 24-bit per 96 kHz. It is built with a low-pass filter promoting a low noise floor. You would be able to connect it to your laptop and or computer since it can be connected via USB connection which recharges your converter too.
Conclusion: The compact design of this product by FiiO is very elite. The composition is very durable since its shell is brushed with aluminum and chassis. It offers you a variety of connection depending on where you want to play some music. It features a bass boost which is a really big help especially if you listen to music on a daily basis and you are kind of obsessed with the quality of sound. We also have a list of the best VHS to DVD converters that you might like to check.
2. Audioengine D1 24-bit Digital to Analog Converter
Compare to other digital to analog converters, a compact digital to analog converter is what Audioengine offers. You can stream as much as 24-bit/96 kHz with low jitter. You can plug it in your MAC or computer depending on your preference. It does not just function as a converter but as a headphone amplifier too.
Conclusion: The good thing about Audioengine D1 DAC is that it is very simple to set up. It does not require any applications, networks, or receivers. You get to a stream with an extended range of music offering high-quality full stereo sound.
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3. xDSD Bluetooth DAC and Headphone Amp with MQA by iFi Audio
You do not have to worry about high-quality streaming. xDSD promotes quality Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to stream to your favorite music applications and gadget of your preference. The good thing about this is that it works on a variety of headphones from old models up to new ones. You can use it for up to 10 long hours with enhanced quality audio.
Conclusion: This is one of the best DAC and headphone amplifiers to buy. Apart from the fact that it enhances the quality of the vocals and instruments, you get to listen and create a live stage atmosphere. The design is very compact and sexy that you can bring it anywhere.
4. FiiO Q1 Mark II Native DSD DAC and Amplifier for iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Computer
A DAC and Amplifier suitable for Apple products garnering Apple certification but with proper accessories can work on smartphones as well. It has built-in DSD chips that help you listen to a variety of songs in different formats. As you plug it in, the device will be able to identify the input type making the setup much easier.
Conclusion: For people who are conscious of the devices they use, this is the perfect match. It is Hi-Res Certified proving the quality of FiiO’s DAC in addition to the Q1 Mark it received. Its sleek design is so on point that you can bring it anywhere and just plug it into your Apple device.
5. ONKYO Portable Headphone Amplifier DAC equipped with Black DAC HA200(B)
A product by ONKYO promoting high-resolution digital to analog conversion together with ONKYO amplification that will equip you in personalizing your sounds. You would be given free access to ONKYO HD Player giving you the power to customize your stereo.
Conclusion: What we love about this the most is the fact that it works for both Android and Apple products. It comes with a high-precision clock to alleviate the digital noise or jitters you get to enjoy both listening to loud and soft music. On an average, its battery life can last up to 11 hours.
6. FX AUDIO High-Resolution Mobile DAC
You will get the best file conversion considering that this is Hyperstream DAC. It supports a variety of file formats giving you a wide range of music to stream to. It is capable of supporting both Android and Apple products. FX AUDIO is USB-powered and does not require an external power supply.
Conclusion: We love the fact that this product by FX AUDIO supports a variety of file formats. Its compatibility too is impressive that you do not need a specific brand of gadget for you to use it. You get to experience high-resolution and studio quality streaming at home or outside.
7. TEAC NT-503 Dual Monaural USB DAC / Network Player
A network player promoting versatility. It features a dual monaural DAC giving you stereo-quality music. You can connect it to both Android and Apple powered gadgets leaving you no worries about its compatibility. It delivers high-quality music with whatever music streaming application that you are using.
Conclusion: This DAC or network player is a bit bulky in size so it is suitable to be used within the vicinity of your home or just indoors. What we like about it is the fact that it supports music subscriptions and applications. Not just that, it built with enhanced-current buffer amplifiers for a more controlled circuit. You get to use it for a long period of time to maximize its utilization.
8. Drop High Definition DAC/Headphone Amplifier
A headphone amplifier and digital to analog converter recognized for its impressive stereo-quality sound because it is powered with the latest feedback amplification technologies of Marantz. With the use of Drop, you would get to enjoy the added intensity to your usual day or night of music streaming. It is highly connectable to your speakers or power amplifiers for a more satisfying streaming experience.
Conclusion: Compatibility with other devices will never be a problem with Marantz. It works well on Android and Apple devices. You can also plug it into your computer. For a variety of connections, it is designed with an analog output too. The features it possesses gives you an experience of maximized performance and studio-like music streaming. It is built with a jitter remover so that if the music is too loud or too light, you would still get the best quality sound.
9. CHORD Electronics Mojo, Ultimate DAC or Headphone Amplifier
A digital to analog converter enhanced by technology to provide stereo-quality sounds. Do not underestimate its size because its compact design can work for multiple purposes. It works well on a variety of headphones whether if it’s an old or a new unit. This is the most portable unit offered by Chord. Its compact design is manufactured with the finest components. It is best paired with your tablet, smartphones, consoles, computer, and any other gadgets available. In addition to this, it allows audio out if you will be connecting it via optical, coax, or USB.
Conclusion: This product by a chord is more than just its size, what we love the most about it is its multi-compatibility feature which does not limit the digital to analog converter to be used on limited gadgets. You would be able to stream with your favorite music applications as well as your most-often used gadget.
10. FiiO Headphone Audio DAC Magic XS Portable USB DAC Amplifier
Enhance your music streaming experience with Cambridge Audio DAC. It works its magic through processing sound producing the highest quality possible. It works on both computers and MAC. All you need to do is plug it in for a more detailed audio resolution. This product by FiiO improves its power ten times than regular laptop sound card. What you would love about it is its portability. It is light in weight and is very compact that you can bring it anywhere.
Conclusion: With the established quality FiiO E10K is promoting over the years, we are impressed with Audio DAC Magic. It definitely upgrades your usual stream of music or movie being able to hear every detail in crystal clear sounds. Its size is small but it is very compact and ready to be brought anywhere. For more detailed resolution audio, try to experience it by plugging it to your device.
Final Conclusion for the Best DACs or Digital to Analog Converters
To be able to find the best digital to analog converters on the market, you have to identify the devices where you will be using, how often will you be streaming to music, what are your considerations when it comes to the design, and other questions that you have to determine the answers first? The best digital to analog converter to have is the one that will not just serve its purpose but as well as attend to your needs. There are a lot of DACs in the market but only a few can pass your standards.