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Recommendations for an affordable USB DAC? (PC only please)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,


I have recently switched from a Mac to a PC.  Unfortunately that means I can no longer use my Apogee Duet :-(


Affordable for me right now would be sub $200.  I am looking at both new and used...  Doesn't make a difference to me.


Thanks in advance for all of the help.

post #2 of 16

If you don't need a headphone amp, too, check out the ODAC.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks I don't need an amp.  I have one...  I can't use the Duet anymore so the DAC is the only missing link.  I will check out the ODAC.  Thanks again!


Any other suggestions?

post #4 of 16

ODAC is worth looking into. A few good alternatives are Audinst HUD-mx1, HRT Music Streamer II and Fiio E17 (DAC-Amp unit, but you can run it solely for the DAC).

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Great.  Thanks, I will look into all of those as well.

post #6 of 16

Try looking into iBasso D7, it's a USB only DAC with RCA outputs.


I have an iBasso D12, which has more features for more money, but I would think the two units should sound very similar, they use the same DAC,   a Wolfson WM8740.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Ok, thanks.  I have an ATL MKIII tube amp so I believe I need the RCA outputs.  I don't have it right here with me at the moment...

post #8 of 16

BTW, the iBasso D12 sounds better than my FiiO E17.

I would suspect that the D7 sounds similar to the D12, so should sound better than the E17 as well.


It seems the difference between the D12 and the D7 is that the D12 is some type of dual DAC implementation.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Good to know.  I am definitely going to do some more reading on the D7 then...  Thank you very much.

post #10 of 16

If you watch movies on your computer, get a used Asus Xonar DX ($70, PCI-E))  or D1 ($62, PCI) sound card, comes with Dolby Headphone surround sound.

And comes with the CS4398 DAC chip.

You can plug the MKIII headphone amplifier straight into the Xonar

post #11 of 16

Rack0, what are your listening habits? Music, games, movies?

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,


Thanks for all of the replies.  Right now I am on a laptop, but I hope to be moving to a desktop soon.  If / when I do I will definitely check out the Xonar...


Roller, I do all of the above (music, games, movies)...  In terms of music, I listen to almost exclusively trance.


Thanks again guys.  This thread has been extremely helpful.

post #13 of 16

In the event you move to a desktop, I strongly recommend you to get a Creative X-Fi Titanium HD, it has a very good DAC that outperforms DACs costing far more, has high quality components and has full gaming audio support, something Asus cards only partially support, and USB DACs don't support at all. And don't think of it as a gaming card, but rather an audiophile card that happens to have full gaming audio support. Basically, it's the best consumer soundcard you can get with that feature set, highly recommended above all alternatives.

Edited by Roller - 10/24/12 at 9:19pm
post #14 of 16
post #15 of 16

At the price of $149.45, The HRT Music Streamer II is a great asynchronous USB Digital-to-Analogue Converter that supports 24-bit/96 kHz resolution.



Edited by Destroysall - 10/24/12 at 10:16pm
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