What is a DAC? Why is it useful? There are many questions and we’re going to answer them all. A DAC means Digital to Analog converter which improves the quality of music we here. We all wants to hear best quality music without spending much. That is something which is definitely possible, using a DAC you can enhance the quality of music which sooth your ears.
A DAC is basically a device which can be connected to your computer or laptop and your headphones to improve the music quality. Connecting it is not necessary, yes, you can hear music without it but having it connected can change the quality of music forever.
But the most prominent question is that how to choose the best DAC. A DAC which is good in quality and also fit in your budget. You don’t have to worry at all today I’ve brought a list featuring best DACs available out there.
1. Cambridge Audio Azur 851D –
The DAC is sleek and stylish in design and comes with a LED screen. All the controls are clearly visible at the front with a stylish, bright and big volume knob for sound controlling. As far the sample rates are concerned it supports USB Audio1.0 16-24 bit, 32-96kHz, USB Audio 2.0 16-24 bit, 32-192kHz. It also has an amplifier, 1/4mm jack, and XLR output. Thus, you can understand that the sound quality is out of the world. As the features and specifications are great, it is also very expensive. I somehow feel that the DAC is bit overpriced. Still, if you have a good budget for your DAC, then it should be your first choice.
2. NuForce uDAC3 Mobile USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier –
This DAC is a 2 in 1 kind of package because you’re getting a DAC with an amp. For its super low price, I say that the sound quality and looks are fantastic. Especially the design it is great. If we go to the features than you can see that in front there is a 3.55mm headphone jack with a volume knob, a power LED and on the back you will find an RCA output, USB input and coaxial output.
It supports almost every file formats with 24 bits/ 96 kHz DAC and the impedance range is from 16- 300 Ohms. It supports both Windows and Mac. Another great thing about the DAC that it is very compatible and can be carried easily anywhere.
3. Creative Sound Blaster E5 –
The DAC is called all in one package with multiple features. As the design is concerned, you can see a matte finish at the front and a rubberized base. A signal ratio of 120dB and support of 24-bit/192kHz can make your music a lot more better than the original. It doesn’t have a volume knob like other DACs but buttons to increase and decrease the volume, a 3.55mm audio jack and on the back, you can see a USB host, optical in, optical out and a micro USB port.
External power cable can charge it or connecting it with your Windows or Mac. Although it’s a choice a great choice if you want to buy this DAC.
4. Micca Origen+ –
Micca Origen+ is a DAC with a very simple design and not many complexities. It has aluminum foil at the top of it and a huge volume knob (A huge volume knob). At the front, you can see 2 jacks ( 3.55mm and 6.3mm respectively ). Other than that you will so see some toggle switches used for switching modes and another one to set range of 1dB to 10dB.
In the back, you can see a power input, Micro-USB port and SPDIF pin code. At the top other than the volume knob, you will find indicator lights to indicates you about the audio signal. Overall, it deserves a shot.
5. JDSLabs ODAC –
JDSLabs ODAC is different from others because it’s not a DAC. It’s called an ODAC and this thing is better in terms of sound quality compared to many DACs which expensive. The output is 24bit 96000 Hz. The ODAC supports both in Windows in and Mac. The device is also portable. You won’t face many problem in putting it in your pocket and roaming around. It doesn’t contain loads of features like other in the list but, for the price, it’s been offered its a great buy.
6. CHORD Electronics Mojo –
Apart from cool looks the DAC also has cool features. On the right side of the DAC, you can see several ports which are an Optical 1/8” mini-jack, a mini USB port, and SPDIF port. Their maximum sampling rate is 32-bit/768kHz. A built-in amp, dual outs and quick charging are other major features which completely stands out. It supports both Windows and Mac.
Another feature which I found very interesting was the LED lights which indicated the audio resolution. The DAC charges quickly, it hardly takes 4 hours to completely charge, thanks to newly developed Li-Po technology.
7. AudioQuest DragonFly Red –
A USB drive like looking DAC which is portable enough that you can carry it in your pocket easily. The specifications are impressive. You will see at the back side there’s an input which is a 3.55mm mini jack out, that’s the only input in the whole device. All the sound modulations are software controlled. You can like that feature either you hate it, that completely depends on you. A sample rate to 24-bit/96kHz makes it a bang for the buck.
Thus, was the list of 7 USB DACs which I thought were the best for anyone out here.
Final Words –
Finally, I have to say that all the 7 DACs which are mentioned above in the list deserves a buy. But before buying anyone you should be more concerned about your usage and compatibility. Overall, the DACs has one thing in common that they will improve your music quality by a significant margin.
Thus, was my thoughts and views on best USB DACs. If you have any questions and suggestions related to the article, then kindly comment in the comment section.