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USB DAC < 150$

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Recently I have decided to be efficient so I converted all my CDs to FLAC files.
I didn't know the way to a decent audio quality would be so difficult compering to what I knew before (basically a CD player and Rotel Amp).

I tried few methods to play music such as Streamer, ipod, laptop but none of them were satisfied.
It's not that I'm some kind of selfish audiophile, I love listening to music but I will not compromise on something less than CD quality.

So I decided to build an Audio LapTop. As a first step I have parched an HP UltraBook and now I'm looking for advice/tips for a decent USB DAC
with budget of less than 150$.

 

My equipment:

 

Speakers - Polk Audio Monitor 50

 

Amp. – Rotel RA-02

 

Computer Hp Envy 14" Ultrabook 4-1043Cl Ci5 1.7/6Gb/500 GB/WINDOWS 7

 

Any advice would be appreciated. 

post #2 of 11
The ODAC is probably the best option if you are looking purely for a USB DAC and not something with an integrated headphone output or other inputs:

http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=46

The RCA model is slightly over budget at $159
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey,

…Yes exactly, that's what I'm looking for.
I have no 
interest in any kind of headphones Amps.
Do you have any alternative to the ODAC?
As a principle I like to compare between at least two products before I'm buying anything.

Thanks a lot for this post.

post #4 of 11

Check also Schiit Modi.

post #5 of 11
I agree with the others. I have the ODAC. But if I didn't need the small size and portability of the ODAC, I would have gone with the Modi.

Then save up for new speakers. The M50s are decent entry level budget speakers, but you can certainly easily improve the SQ quality by upgrading them.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I agree with the others. I have the ODAC. But if I didn't need the small size and portability of the ODAC, I would have gone with the Modi.
Is there any particular reason for that? The ODAC has had extensive testing done to verify its performance, and it's using one of the highest rated Sabre DAC chips. In their FAQ, Schiit say the reason they didn't use one was cost.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your tips. You were very helpful. 
 
Finally desided to go for the Modi.
I'm sure ODAC will do the job but it seems like Modi is a bit better to my needs and its even cheaper :-)
I will publish a mini review once I will get the device.
 
About the M50 speakers, well... 
These speakers are not connected to my main stereo.
The M50 located in my bedroom and I love the sound.
post #8 of 11

ODAC might be a wise choice under that price tag.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioSound View Post

Is there any particular reason for that? The ODAC has had extensive testing done to verify its performance, and it's using one of the highest rated Sabre DAC chips. In their FAQ, Schiit say the reason they didn't use one was cost.

I read a few comparisons of people that have heard both. They seem like they would be fairly comparable in SQ.
post #10 of 11

modi for $99 is a really good alternative

post #11 of 11

How much does sound quality vary among DACs? I'm currently using a FiiO E7 as a DAC only and I'm wondering if an upgrade to a Modi or ODAC would be an improvement. The E7 tends to have jitter issues. Would any of these help? What do you get moving up to the $400 range DACs?

 

If it matters, all of my music is 16bit. I don't intend to get into 24bit or higher encoded files.

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