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Portable DAC and low latency

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 



I've been searching forums all over, but this question still remains unanswered for me.


Is it possible to get low latency at all with small cheapish portable USB DAC/headphone amps? I mean, low enough for composing and mixing music? If I understand right, the DAC-s are generally more intended for audiophile listening than producing. But I need a mobile solution for production, something I could pair with my MIDI keyboard etc. I don't want to spend much, but I want decent quality (as we all). Meaning, looking for something under €100/$130.


I went to a local HiFi store and listened to the gorgeous-looking small Fiio E10 and the E07K. They sounded nice and crisp plug-n-play, but unfortunately were unusable with Reason or Pro Tools, because of latency issues (unstable with ASIO4ALL, way too high latency with official ASIO drivers). Is there a way to overcome this problem or should I look into other DACs?


The gear I work with is Thinkpad X220 (Windows 7), ATH-M50 headphones, Propellerhead Reason 5 and Pro Tools 10. Plus other stuff that is not relevant at the moment.




Edited by tumehall - 5/14/13 at 5:13pm
post #2 of 4

Hey have you anything interesting concerning latency and DAC. I kind of interested.

post #3 of 4

You don't necessarily need low latency for 'composing and mixing music'.


You only need a low latency product if you are playing or singing along to a backing track direct from the computer.


That said. Rather than looking at consumer level devices sold for playback only you should be looking for an audio interface specifically designed to interface between DAW software and your hardware.  It will come with it's own drivers so no need for ASIO4ALL.


In which case your budget is a little on the low side. Especially as Pro Tools alone costs ~$700. Sometimes manufacturers give away crippled versions of pro software as a loss leader with their hardware so you should look for appropriate deals.


Take a look at this example. ~$200.




Also look at models from MOTU, Native instruments, Roland and Steinberg among many others. The choice is huge.



post #4 of 4

Everything said above is good advice, this is a great community site http://homerecording.com/bbs/ you can get help with almost anything there

Edited by Tablix - 6/6/14 at 7:04am
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