DAC suggestions

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Markwinstanley, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Markwinstanley macrumors newbie

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    May 7, 2014
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    San Diego
    #1
    I am not tech geek so need your help. Planning to buy dac. Is there any dac that compatible with pc and phone. So i can use it on pc as well in phone also. Can dac also useful for 2.1 ch speaker system.
     
  2. ChrisA, Jul 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014

    ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #2
    You are using the wrong term. I think what you might be looking for is a "USB Audio Interface" A "DAC is a chip that you would find inside of an audio interface. (Not to be a terminology nazi but Google finds stuff better if you use a more precise term.)

    What speakers do you need to drive? Are they powered or passive? In most setups the conversion from two channel stereo to 2.1 is done by the electronics in the powered speakers or in an A/V receiver. Not in the audio interface.

    Why is it you don't want to use the audio output jack that is built into the Mac? There are good reasons but which of those reasons drives you to wanting an external interface? How you answer might say which product is best. Do you have a budget?


    There are a few audio interfaces that work with both a phone and Mac. Focusrite makes one and the price looks good for what you get. The company has a top tier reputation and you can generally believe their published specs. But I've not used this


     
  3. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

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    #3
    Personally, I would get the Airfoil Speakers app for the computer. This will allow you to stream from the iPhone to the computer and play it back using the same DAC you use for the computer.

    Personally, unless I needed more than one input, I would get a Dragonfly USB DAC and feed the audio from it to your receiver/preamp. As ChrisA mentioned, the bass management is usually handled by the receiver (assuming you have one).
     
  4. Markwinstanley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Actually I'm asking for portable dac and amp in single device powered by battery and the cheapest one.
     
  5. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

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    Dec 11, 2010
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    Memphis
    #5
    I use a CCK, t3hub with dragonfly usb DAC. It isn't powered, but it tricks the iPhone 4s into thinking it is being powered. Not sure it will work with iPhone 5.

    [​IMG]

    I now have a USB extender so I can keep the dragonfly and t3 hub in a bag or on a table while manipulating the iPhone. It also works with computers, which is why I initially bought it:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously, you can plug it into an amp, I just don't find the need to.
     
  6. sholzer macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2013
    #6
    Fiio e07k or e17. Portable, decent power for most headphones, built in DAC, and affordable
     
  7. bwhli macrumors 6502a

    bwhli

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    Boston, MA
    #7
    NuForce iDo is compatible with iOS devices and sounds great! If you have more budget, the ODAC is very transparent and probably my favorite at the moment.
     
  8. PFKMan23 macrumors regular

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    Jan 12, 2012
    #8
    I'd also go with a FiiO option. That said. I've been using a Headamp Picoamp/dac for years as a daily driver and have had little reason to replace it.
     
  9. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2012
    #9
    Get the Chord Hugo. I'm buying one myself too :)
     
  10. cdcastillo, Aug 18, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014

    cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

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    #10
    As sholzer and PFKman said before: FiiO is the way to go for what you need. I have the exact same setup, and use an E7 with my Sennheiser HD598 at home. I use them either with the USB output cable on my mac or with the lightning-30Pin-audio cable on my iPad or iPhone (to bypass their respective DACs and use the E7's instead). Here they are, the white cable comes from the lightning-30 Pin adapter

    On the go I have an E6 (the size of a little matchbox) that I use with a pair of Klipsch S4II, but this you can not use as a DAC for the Mac.
     

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  11. Markwinstanley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    San Diego
    #11
    Which is cheaper option. I have not try any amp and dac like things before. Will prefer cheaper one and budget is also tight. Looking for least bad at cheap price. Any suggestions?
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #12
    The cheapest option is not to buy anything you don't need. The built-in audio output works fine. Connect that directly to an audio amplifier. (You can get a decent one for about $100. Then connect that to the best passive speakers you can afford. The speakers are what maters put almost ALL of you budget into the speakers, skimp on the rest if you have to save money.

    Buying an external USB audio interface (some people mistakenly call this a "DAC") will not get you noticeable improvement in sound quality. Well at least if you are budget limited. With an unlimited budget YES it can because you will have already modified you listening room for proper geometry and acoustic treatments and bought top line speakers and amplifier. Only then spend of some external USB audio interface. But for playback of commercial recorders, even then I doubt you'd notice. The Mac's built-in audio is pretty good, so if on a tight budget that is the LAST thing you'd want to upgrade. Speakers and room modification are #1.
     
  13. Markwinstanley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 7, 2014
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    San Diego
    #13
    I am looking for portable small like credit card size dac amp(whatever you called but i need improved sound quality) which can be use with my Audio Technica earphone connected to my mobile. Compatibility with pc and external speakers are optional not necessary.
     
  14. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

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    #14
    If you want cheap and the DAC is optional, get the E6 (around 30 USD). But if you want the DAC, Then definitively get the E7 (80 to 90 USD)
     
  15. Markwinstanley thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 7, 2014
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    San Diego
    #15
    Thanks for suggest me. That's what i am looking for an entry level amp.
     

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