8 best digital-to-analog converters

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Music lovers acquire a lot of audio equipment. They are not can do only speakers and headphones at their disposal Other devices working with sound will surely turn out to be. IN in particular, there is a certain demand in online stores digital to analog converters. Such devices serve for competent conversion of digital sound to analog – believe me not all equipment solves this problem perfectly. DAC can be both compact and stationary – we’ll tell you about both others.

Rating of the best digital-to-analog converters

Nomination a place Name of product price
The best compact digital-to-analog converters 1 M-Audio Super DAC 17 150 rub.
2 Arcam miniBlink 11 990 rub.
3 FiiO DO3K Taishan 2 320 rub.
4 ORIENT DAC0202N 1 213 rub.
The best stationary digital-to-analog converters 1 Audio Note UK DAC 5 Fifth Element 10 000 000 rub.
2 Boulder 2120 dac 7 390 000 rub.
3 Audiolab M-DAC 35 150 rub.
4 Atoll DAC 100SE 28 800 rub.

The best compact digital-to-analog converters

M-Audio Super DAC

Rating: 4.9

M-Audio Super DAC

This representative of our rating works one way, as and many other DACs. That is, he knows how to turn a “number” into analog signal needed for headphones or speakers. Entry “analog” is possible, but only end-to-end – the signal is not digitized will be. This feature is useful when connected to a smartphone. large speakers – in this case, the DAC will play the role of preamplifier.

M-Audio Super DAC has a very compact size. On the Its top panel has a mechanical adjuster. Often it will be used to select the sampling rate – maximum, by the way, is supported by 192 kHz, than they can not all portable digital-to-analog boast converters.

The signal to noise ratio here is 117 dB. At least least, this figure is stated in the technical specifications. As The processor uses the C-Media CM6631A chip. It should be noted that it supports ASIO drivers.

Despite the tiny size, the device received not only standard 3.5mm, but also full-sized audio jack. At this allows the simultaneous connection of speakers and headphones – with using the aforementioned switch is not difficult to turn off signal in columns. It should be noted that the main power is derived it is on the 6.3 mm connector – in connected by “mini-jack” acoustics sound will be more quiet. Note, The 3.5mm input is duplicated here. This means that for simultaneous connection of speakers and headphones with a “mini-jack” is not adapter search required.

On the rear panel of the device are RCA line outputs. Yet there was a place for digital outputs – optical and coaxial. In a word, hardly any buyer connector. There is also a socket for connecting the unit nutrition.

An RCA-RCA cable is supplied with the converter. Suitable for most existing speakers. If you want to use digital audio output – you need your own cable.

We can safely say that the company M-Audio turned out excellent DAC with headphone amplifier. is he relatively inexpensive, especially compared to stationary models. Well, support for ASIO drivers indicates that This model will be used even by professionals who earn writing electronic music.

Advantages

  • Dimensions are 9x9x3 cm;
  • Supports 192 kHz frequency;
  • Based on a quality DAC chip;
  • There are two 3.5 mm and one 6.3 mm connector;
  • Headphone jacks have a built-in amplifier;
  • There is support for ASIO drivers.

disadvantages

  • Some features are still missing.

Rating: 4.8

Arcam miniBlink

Another digital-to-analog converter in our ranking, belonging to the portable form factor. This device has dimensions 6x3x7.5 cm. In a word, it turned out to be very tiny. The manufacturer endowed it with a rounded shape. On the one hand, it is made him very pretty. On the other hand, the converter cannot stable – accidentally drop it on the floor will not amount labor.

Unlike the model discussed above, Arcam miniBlink can considered a wireless digital-to-analog converter. He gets Sound signal exclusively via Bluetooth. So pass on sound through the cable will not work – for this here there are simply no matching connectors. If your TV is not has a Bluetooth module, it’s better to choose some other external DAC. However, in the direction of this model most often look owners of smartphones. For good reason, it is portable!

I am glad that the device is supplemented with support for the aptX digital codec. If the sound source understands it, then the music will be transmitted without any serious loss. Sound quality in this case will depend on the headphones or speakers, the signal for which It is output through the usual 3.5 mm audio jack. However, still do not count on the ideal result. Integrated chip PCM5105 is not the limit. But most buyers quite satisfied with the characteristics of this chip. Harmonious distortions here do not exceed 0.002%, and the signal-to-noise ratio is approximately 106 dB.

With such a DAC, you will definitely stop listening to MP3 tracks. At using high-quality acoustics, you will immediately notice the “jambs” this format. Yes, lossless files take up more memory space, but they will allow squeezing out of a digital-to-analog converter maximum. This, of course, subject to the availability of a smartphone with support aptX (without this codec, sound will in any case be transmitted to strongly compressed).

Of course, not everyone has the capabilities of this device. About the lack of the function of receiving a signal through the wire, we have already said. Other the limitation is only one audio output – connect both speakers and headphones will not work. Finally here completely missing any setting, which is also somewhat afflicts. But then the sampling rate is brought up to 384 kHz! Other A distinctive feature of the DAC is its low cost – hardly for 11 thousand rubles you will find a more functional converter (if talk about products from famous companies).

Advantages

  • High sampling rate;
  • Low harmonic distortion
  • Sound reception via Bluetooth is possible (there is aptX support);
  • Miniature sizes;
  • Accepts power via USB;
  • Not a very high cost.

disadvantages

  • Glossy plastic successfully collects dust;
  • Only one audio output, and only analog;
  • There is no possibility of receiving sound through the wire;
  • There are no settings.

FiiO DO3K Taishan

Rating: 4.7

FiiO DO3K Taishan

One of the most affordable digital-to-analog converters in our rating. For this crumb, they ask only 2-3 thousand rubles. Itself by yourself, expect from such a small and cheap device impressive performance is not worth it. This is evidenced by at least frequency sampling, which is limited to the standard 192 kHz here. Also some people will be saddened by the lack of a Bluetooth module. It means, that wireless connection is impossible – this device is not at all Designed for use in conjunction with a smartphone.

In fact, the converter is a modest black a box on the opposite ends of which there are certain connectors. The device does not support any settings, so the top the panel is a haven only for the logo and two LEDs.

So, what kind of connectors does FiiO DO3K Taishan have? Here a pleasant surprise awaits you. Despite the low cost, the device received both coaxial and optical inputs. That is, the user will receive both now popular digital audio inputs! To accept analog sound device cannot – corresponding connector there is no. This is what prevents the use of FiiO DO3K Taishan paired with a smartphone, player and some other similar gadget.

As for the exits, they, of course, are exclusively analogue. To connect the speakers will be used RCA connectors, while the wire from the headphones can be inserted into familiar 3.5 mm jack.

Interestingly, one digital-to-analog control there is still a converter. And it’s not about the power button! At the bottom devices you can detect a tiny switch – with it you will make it clear which particular input should be processed now – coaxial or optical.

You can power the converter using any network adapter. Its connection is via a USB interface, therefore, it is unlikely that you will have any problems. In a word, a device turned out to be as simplified as possible in every sense. But he sound gives not the most saturated. The average user will not show any claims to it, but the music lover will want more.

Advantages

  • Simple use;
  • Minimum price tag;
  • Both digital audio inputs are present;
  • There is not only a 3.5 mm “mini-jack”, but also RCA connectors
  • Power is supplied via a mini-USB interface.

disadvantages

  • No analog audio inputs or digital audio outputs;
  • Low sampling rate
  • Sound quality does not suit the music lover;
  • There are no settings.

ORIENT DAC0202N

Rating: 4.6

ORIENT DAC0202N

This digital-to-analog converter can also be called extremely compact. Small box fits easily in pocket, and in a woman’s bag or backpack, the product can even get lost. In Russian stores for such a miniature device asking for only 1300 rubles. It is clear that for such money you are unlikely expect to get a wide-featured device. On absence hints at the minimum number of connectors. However, reading our rating, you might notice that some digital-to-analog converters can have fewer sockets. But there is no Bluetooth support, so without digital inputs could not do.

This box receives a sound signal through the optical and coaxial connectors. Next to them is a work indicator transducer. It will light red if you powered up the device. Unfortunately, there is no USB socket on the case. Instead It uses a round connector, to which the unit is connected nutrition. However, this does not seem to be a big problem.

Well, what about the audio outputs? Device without any problems Converts a digital signal to analog. It is used sampling rate of 192 kHz. For sound output apply exclusively RCA connectors. Most often it is through such jacks connect speakers. And even if this is not your case, find a suitable cable is not difficult. But with the connection Headphones may be difficult. You will need either corresponding wire or adapter. However, it should be noted that most often digital-to-analog converters are needed to connect columns. For example, in favor of ORIENT DAC0202N make their choice owners of PlayStation 4 and low-cost speakers. As known, budget acoustics receives a signal only via RCA connectors, then how the game console outputs it via the optical output – exactly therefore, a converter cannot be dispensed with in this case. Buy expensive model does not make much sense – inexpensive speakers simply do not reveal the potential of the top DAC.

And what else can this baby please? Unfortunately more nothing. She does not offer any settings, working strictly on Algorithm conceived by the manufacturer. Signal to noise ratio is 120 dB, which can not be called an ideal result. However all this does not prevent the device from performing the role discussed above. That is why the device does not have negative reviews.

Advantages

  • Very small sizes;
  • Stably converts a “digit” into a “counterpart”;
  • There are both optical and coaxial connectors;
  • Very simple use;
  • Extremely low price tag.

disadvantages

  • Great signal to noise ratio;
  • There are no settings;
  • Someone might not have enough 3.5mm audio output.

The best stationary digital-to-analog converters

Audio Note UK DAC 5 Fifth Element

Rating: 4.9

Audio Note UK DAC 5 Fifth Element

Unique item. And not only because of its name, in which the famous film from Luc Besson is mentioned. It is a professional a product that will suit even concert organizers to everyone famous rock and pop artists. But the most striking is not even DAC characteristics, and its cost. We did not check, but hardly we have ever considered such an expensive product. IN Russian online stores for this “box” asking 10 million rubles! What will you get for a device priced in a nice apartment in Moscow?

Inside this device is an Analog Devices chip AD1865N. Also under the housing is used lamp equipment. It is she who provides the very warm tube sound. Wherein the manufacturer got rid of the main drawback of preexisting tube amplifiers – the availability of components will be persist for many years. You can disable this or that lamp only probably dropping this device from a great height. However, even in this case it will not be difficult to carry out a replacement by ordering a lamp from a British manufacturer.

The high cost of this device is also associated with the internal wiring made on silver wires. It provides complete absence of sound loss. Also inside the DAC you can find expensive Black Gate WKz, NX and N capacitors. note the presence of carbon film resistors Audio Note. In a word full mince is waiting for you here! Although an unprepared person, opening case, think that there is too much volume free space. Indeed, all components can It would be placed in a smaller device. But in this case they could negatively influence each other, and the device would stop look expensive.

It’s easy to guess that such a product did without any amateur connectors. 3.5mm jack? What are you speaking about? Here not even a full-sized 6.3mm jack. Instead of him Silver XLR connectors are used. And that’s right, since for connecting professional acoustics used in organizing concerts, such nests are used. Still here RCA output, but if its buyer uses it, it’s only for checking the device for operability. As for the entrance, here The familiar S / PDIF is built in.

It remains to add that this digital-to-analog converter It has dimensions of 560x260x540 mm. Weight is 20 kg. Find on sale You can device not only with silver, but also with a black body. However, the second option is less common.

Advantages

  • Tube accessories;
  • All the most necessary connectors are present;
  • The most pure and high-quality sound;
  • A large number of adjustments are available;
  • Connectors and wiring are silver.

disadvantages

  • Heavy weight;
  • Astronomical price tag.

Boulder 2120 dac

Rating: 4.8

Boulder 2120 DAC

Another representative of our rating, which is unlikely to I can afford most readers. However, many visitors to our it’s still interesting to find out what the device has to offer worth € 44,500. If you think about it, then for the money you can buy approximately 40 top-end smartphones with maximum capacity memory. By the way, this DAC can really be compared with modern phones, because there is also a full LCD display Yes, this is a digital-to-analog converter with a screen, yes also with a 12.3-inch! It serves to select musical compositions. and work with settings. However, asking for a lot of money is not for display.

The device can receive absolutely any digital audio signals. The maximum declared support for a 32-bit signal with a frequency Sampling 284 kHz. Do I need to say that something like this realized only at concerts and other significant events? Also, such a device is useful in the studio, where sound recording. Implemented support here and DSD128.

Boulder is known to some professionals for its power amplifiers. She had proven long enough that her experts know a lot about audio. Boulder 2120 DAC – it’s more one example of how a reference transformer can be made signal as high quality. The manufacturer even made a block power supply in a separate case so that it does not affect the incoming or outgoing signal! There is also a built-in preamplifier. By the way, although it is called precisely so, in some cases, you can do without a power amplifier in as a separate device.

In this case, the signal will be transmitted to the left and right channels independently. This also excludes the possibility of at least some influence on each other. All this allows you to get physically perceived sound, which should be at the concert stage.

Well, what about the connectors? Here is everything that only may be required. The device can receive a digital signal. in almost any modern way. There’s even an HDMI interface present, which usually only receivers can boast! The display is useful when connecting a USB flash drive, when it happens reading data from this medium. Maybe here and streaming play videos from popular online services like YouTube or Netflix – use the above to get the picture HDMI interface In a word, the manufacturer thought over absolutely everything! Not he forgot about the convenient remote control.

In a word, this is a smart device, which some professionals are talking about. it remains only to dream. And yes, this is a professional technique, therefore, all analog connectors here belong to the XLR type! No “jacks” or “mini-jacks” for you!

Advantages

  • Four bodies isolated from each other;
  • It is possible to receive a digital signal in completely different connectors
  • Built-in high-quality pre-amplifier;
  • There is a large LCD display;
  • A huge number of digital formats are supported audio;
  • It is possible to control by IP and complete remote control;
  • Implemented support for 384 kHz and 32-bit sound;
  • At the output, you can achieve perfect sound.

disadvantages

  • Astronomical value.

Audiolab M-DAC

Rating: 4.7

Audiolab M-DAC

Of course, stationary digital-to-analog converters are not necessarily studio monsters. Our rating also included A relatively simple model, like the Audiolab M-DAC. Its value, not exceeding 40 thousand rubles, allows you to get hold of the device ordinary music lover who does not write music on professionally based and non-organizing concerts. Wherein this model is unlikely to suit him.

There is also a display here, but not the one that can display schedule. Only all possible settings are displayed on this screen. which are very few. The device does not support superfrequency, it is limited to the usual 192 kHz. As The chips used here are the ESS ES9018. Not ideal, but for such money cannot be expected to be any more professional solutions.

Unlike many other digital-to-analog converters, it’s great to have a headphone connection. Manufacturer brought the corresponding socket to the front panel, so the process does not takes any time. There is also a pen settings and five buttons, one of which is responsible for turning on devices.

Please note the headphone jack is 6.3 mm! If you use a simple headset, then adapter may be required! Its purchase does not cause much labor.

As for the connectors for acoustics and digital reception, then all of them are located on the rear panel. If you look at her, then it immediately becomes clear that the Audiolab M-DAC can be used in as a receiver. But only if you have all the devices issue digital sound, after all, the ability to receive an analog signal there is no. It is noteworthy that two optical inputs are duplicated here are the same number of coaxial connectors.

There are even more exits here! To begin with, here There are coaxial and optical outputs. Absolutely it is unclear whether they are useful to the user. However, suddenly the buyer will ever have great acoustics, perfect digital signal processing? Also present here XLR connectors designed to output analog sound to the left and right column. There are balanced outputs. In a word, hardly the buyer may need some more nests.

Audiolab M-DAC can be easily connected to a computer – for this Uses the same USB connector as on printers and MFPs. At using a computer, you can not only test the device, but also manage it. However, it’s much easier to use the regulator and buttons on the front panel, or a complete remote control.

What can you complain about? To signal to noise ratio amounting to 122 dB? It seems that for equipment of this class this normal value. Harmonic coefficient also does not bother – it is 0,0008%. But the lack of RCA connectors scares someone. But this suggests that we are already not amateur converter. The lack of a regular USB port may also confuse for a flash drive. This means that without connecting an external source Sounds still can not do.

Advantages

  • Low harmonic distortion
  • Quick headphone connection
  • Built-in two coaxial and optical inputs;
  • It is possible to output a digital signal;
  • There are linear and balanced outputs;
  • It is possible to control the remote control and using a computer.

disadvantages

  • Someone would not hurt the ability to connect a flash drive;
  • The price tag may seem overpriced;
  • There is no possibility of sound output via RCA connectors.

Atoll DAC 100SE

Rating: 4.6

Atoll DAC 100SE

Rounding out our rating is a digital-to-analog converter from French manufacturer. Unlike considered a little earlier models, it only supports 24-bit sound. Frequency sampling cannot exceed 192 kHz, which is very predictable. Another simplification is the absence of at least some LCD display. That is why the number of controls is reduced to to a minimum. But they did not disappear at all – on the front panel you can detect not only the power key, but also three more buttons. Also there are light indicators indicating the presence of connections to one or another connector.

This model can traditionally work in preamp mode. In this case, you need a coaxial or optical output – both are on the back. But much more often such a device used to convert digital sound to analog signal – in this case, the speakers are connected to the RCA jacks. Unfortunately, there are no other options. And if only XLR sockets will be remembered professional (this DAC is clearly not for him), then the headphone jack definitely would not hurt.

Well, what about the inputs? You can easily guess their amount by counting the number of LEDs on the front panel. Yes, the manufacturer has built in three optical and coaxial inputs. Yet on the back you can see the USB interface, but it serves to PC connection. By the way, the DAC also has an infrared receiver, which recognizes the signals from the remote control.

Here, perhaps, is all that can be said about this model. AtollDAC 100SE – this is not something out of the ordinary. It’s simple stationary digital-to-analog converter type. As a chip they use TI / Burr-Brown PCM1796.

Advantages

  • Not very high cost;
  • A large number of coaxial and optical inputs;
  • Can be used as a preamplifier;
  • Simple use.

disadvantages

  • No XLR connectors;
  • Connecting headphones without tricks will not work;
  • LEDs can strain someone.

Conclusion

Now you know which digital-to-analog converters are the best. Connect them to a variety of devices. For example, some people use the DAC in conjunction with an LCD TV. It is known that TVs that do not belong to the top price segment, convert the sound into “analog” is not the best way. Exactly therefore, some users prefer to output the sound to the speakers through an external DAC. Well, portable converters help enjoy music played on a smartphone.


Attention! This rating is subjective, is not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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