Best DAC under 100 euros 2018
Mar 4, 2018 at 11:11 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25

n0cturn2l

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Wassupp guys!
Since im a noob in the audio department I really need some advice from the pros.
So I have purchased my first IEM's the RHA T10 for 120 euros on amazon.
I was really happy with the build quality and when I plugged it into my Oneplus 3T i was amazed with the sound of it while listening to ''Wiitchblades'' by Lil Peep (RIP).
But the real reason why I bought this equipement was to listening to music from my desktop, so I started to listen from my PC and I immediatly notticed that the sound was not so great, so when I put some heavy metal like Architets I almost started to cry on how muddy the sound was compared to my smartphone.
I started to search and I went trhough hours online and this forum to search a good dac under 100 euros.
I have came upon 2 final conclusions the AudioQuest Firefly Black 100 euros and the Schiit Fulla 2 125 euros.
I know there is the Fiio 10K and the SMSL M3 but one is inferior to others and the latter is quit big for my desk, and people report that the sound is much more to the bass side and since my IEMs are for the bass side too it would be overkill in my opinion.
I dont need features on a DAC just need to produce better audio quality!
I know there are the internal sound cards but still they are inside the PC and will produce some unpleasant noice.
Sorry for the long text :)
 
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Mar 4, 2018 at 11:58 AM Post #2 of 25

PurpleAngel

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FiiO Q1 MK II USB-DAC/amp.
 
Mar 4, 2018 at 12:05 PM Post #3 of 25

n0cturn2l

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Mar 4, 2018 at 12:20 PM Post #4 of 25

PurpleAngel

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Mar 4, 2018 at 3:38 PM Post #6 of 25

wfmsiekierka

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[QUOTE = "n0cturn2l, post: 14082678, członek: 492316"] Dzięki, będę czekać na więcej opinii [/ QUOTE]
Prześlij znajomym, 1) Sabaj da3, cena 100 $ 2) sabaj da2, 70 $ lub SMSL Idea 85 $, obydwa to samo, a więc warto kupić da2.
Sabaj da3 ma w środku 2 DAC
 
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Mar 9, 2018 at 8:12 AM Post #10 of 25

surfgeorge

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Seems like you already made your decision but maybe my experiences are useful for someone else who has a similar question.

I bought the FIIO Q1 MKII inteding to pair it with my iPhone for improved sound.
But I had issues with the Lightning cable losing connection, and the sound quality from iPad + FIIO was audibly better to what I could get from iPhone SE + FIIO, so it missed my target to have a portable high quality package.
I sent it back and started looking for a DAP instead.

After 2 weeks of research I went for the Cayin N3, which, at 120 Euros is the same price as the FIIO Q1 MKII.
For my situation it really is the better and more versatile solution, because:
* Sound quality is at least equal (i believe better), and can be tweaked with filters and EQ
* I can stick a 256GB micro SD card into it with all my music in high quality/lossless
* It's a small, standalone unit, no need for rubber bands and finicky connecting cables
* I can remotely control the Cayin with the HiBy App from the iPhone --> great touch screen operation in a tiny, cheap package
* can use the Cayin as USB DAC
* can use the Cayin as digital source for my Stereo's DAC with iPhone remote function

Advantages of the FIIO:
* Analog volume dial
* balanced output
 
Mar 9, 2018 at 1:16 PM Post #11 of 25

n0cturn2l

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Seems like you already made your decision but maybe my experiences are useful for someone else who has a similar question.

I bought the FIIO Q1 MKII inteding to pair it with my iPhone for improved sound.
But I had issues with the Lightning cable losing connection, and the sound quality from iPad + FIIO was audibly better to what I could get from iPhone SE + FIIO, so it missed my target to have a portable high quality package.
I sent it back and started looking for a DAP instead.

After 2 weeks of research I went for the Cayin N3, which, at 120 Euros is the same price as the FIIO Q1 MKII.
For my situation it really is the better and more versatile solution, because:
* Sound quality is at least equal (i believe better), and can be tweaked with filters and EQ
* I can stick a 256GB micro SD card into it with all my music in high quality/lossless
* It's a small, standalone unit, no need for rubber bands and finicky connecting cables
* I can remotely control the Cayin with the HiBy App from the iPhone --> great touch screen operation in a tiny, cheap package
* can use the Cayin as USB DAC
* can use the Cayin as digital source for my Stereo's DAC with iPhone remote function

Advantages of the FIIO:
* Analog volume dial
* balanced output
Hey there!
So I ended up getting the AQ dragonfly black 1.5.
Although the sound gets really louder than without it (because it's a dac, pre-amp and amp) I dont really notice major difference on the quallity!!.
I was using the RHA T10 IEM's and it might be because they require rreally low power to drive so a external dac is kinda useless.
I'm going to return the RHA's to amazon and I already bought the Phillips Fidelio X2 for 160 euros and I will see if i notice major diference with and without the dragonfly, if it stays the same as the RHA as sound quality I might return the dragonfly too.
I will post once I get the fidelio's.
 
Mar 9, 2018 at 2:22 PM Post #13 of 25

surfgeorge

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What kind of difference do you notice?
One thing is that the differences which some describe as huge are not, or hardly recognised by others.
The other thing is, you may need to burn in the DAC/AMP. some people say that‘s nonsense, I firmly believe that it can make a significant difference.
Also, you could say your ears get used to the sound and start realizing the differences, bottomline, give it some days and as many hours of burn in as possible before making your decision.

The DAC should make a difference independent from the power requirements of your HF or IEM.

Last question is, what file quality are you using?
(I realized I was using low quality files for my first tests of the FIIO Q1 MKII, now I am ripping my CDs in Lossless files)

Give it a try and report back! Cheers!
 
Mar 9, 2018 at 3:22 PM Post #14 of 25

n0cturn2l

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To be honest I only noticed the volume can get so much louder than without the dragonfly, I mean I was at windows 12 volume and it was alreaddy real, really high!
I believe that headphones might need that burn time but not dacs since they have no moving parts, it makes no sense, atleast for me.
And I can't afford to keep the dac for much longer and loose the return time I have with amazon, so I will test the dragonfly with the Filio X2 and report back next week.
 
Mar 10, 2018 at 4:51 AM Post #15 of 25

surfgeorge

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I checked briefly about the RHA T10 and based on the price range and review I saw they should be revealing enough to hear differences in sound quality, independent from their power demands.
Regarding burn-in, it seems very logical from and engineering point of view that at least capacitors change with use, for other components, let alone cables the case is much harder to argue.
An interesting episode though was when I and a friend were building up our stereo systems, he talked to his DIY HIFI shop of choice about cables. My friend, who has a masters in electronics told the guy he can‘t imagine how conductor materials can make a difference. The Hifi shop guy just said, „lets not discuss, I will send you some pure silber cables for trying out“
Those cables are now connecting my amp to the speakers, and my friend got himself the same cable in a different length.
Yes, there was a clear difference, and he, with all his deep knowledge about electronics could also not explain it.

I would still recommend to let the Dragonfly play overnight, you have nothing to lose.
Hope you‘ll hear a difference, and find a good solution for your needs!

Looking forward to your experiences!
 

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