A question on 'DAC'.
Sep 9, 2015 at 1:27 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4


New Head-Fier
Sep 3, 2015
I have the Fiio X3, and believe it is the 1st generation offering - seeing as I have owned it for a pretty good while. I bought this device because of the very high praises of it, when I was researching for another MP3 player (replacement for my Sansa Fuze, which had gave out on me). I have been immensely satisfied with my X3, but I have never explored the DAC arena. In fact, I don't even know what it does. Is it something which requires external gear, by which to take advantage of? Or is it something which would enhance my listening pleasure, even more, via headphones?

I'm sure this will seem like a stupid question, to some, but - hey, if you don't know, you don't know :).
Sep 9, 2015 at 4:14 PM Post #2 of 4
A DAC is a Digital to Analog converter. All audio you can hear is analog, all music files are digital. To be able to listen to the music, your device must have a DAC. Your X3, phone, computer, iPod, etc. all have DACs in them. Since the DAC is the first component in the analog audio chain, you could say that a good DAC is crucial to good sound. If you want to improve the sound from a device, using an external DAC of higher quality than the built in DAC could be one way to do it.
DAC technology is advanced enough that most DACs you will find in your devices will be fairly good already. If they used a really cheap DAC you could probably benefit from upgrading with an external one. Fiio products are marketed for hi-fi and audiophile listeners so they should have a good DAC in them already, and you said that you are immensely satisfied with your X3, so a DAC upgrade may not make much sense for you.
Sep 9, 2015 at 4:17 PM Post #3 of 4
Well explained by MindMirror. .. 
For example, if you want to use your X3 as DAC, connect it to the computer and change the setting in X3 to use it as DAC. This will bypass the internal sound card of your computer. Now connect your headphone to the X3's audio jack and you can listen to the music played by your computer (through X3). The advantage would be the improved SQ if X3's DAC is better than your PC.

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