Best USB Dac for 350$ or less
Nov 7, 2009 at 5:33 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

pearljam5000

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Posts
909
Likes
20
Is Pico still king or are there other options in the price range?was looking also at the V-DAC but can't decide.
only interested in SQ and not connectivity etc...
any suggestions,comparisons are welcome...
 
Nov 7, 2009 at 10:10 PM Post #4 of 14

menchi

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Posts
35
Likes
15
Guess it depends on what is 'best:'

USB DACs with the 'popular' WM8740 chip:
-Pico USB DAC (Upsampling, Wolfson WM8740)
-LittleDot DAC_I (Wolfson WM8740)
-iBasso D4 (Dual WM8740)
-Used DacMagic (Upsampling, Dual WM8740)

USB DACs with favorable impressions:
-Keces 151 MkII (Burr-Brown PCM2702)
-VALAB NOS DAC (8x TDA1543)
-MF V-DAC (Upsampling, DSD1792)
-E-MU 0404 USB (AK4396)
-Audio-GD Compass

Async USB:
-Musiland Monitor US 01

Curious about the NuForce Icon HDP too...
 
Nov 8, 2009 at 4:22 AM Post #6 of 14
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Posts
17,279
Likes
10,636
Location
Fukuoka, Japan
pearljam5000: What is the DAC to be used for/with?

menchi: The DA chip, if anything, has the least effect on the sound quality of a DAC, in general. I believe the whole Wolfson DAC thing came from various people who stated that when Apple went from using Wolfson DACs to Cirrus Logic DAs in the 6th gen iPod that they went from a superior to an inferior sound. The WM8740 actually has relatively poor performance measurements compared to a great many other DA chips.
 
Nov 8, 2009 at 5:28 AM Post #7 of 14

pearljam5000

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Posts
909
Likes
20
@currawong
i don't know which headphones/amp yet,but i just want a good source without the need to upgrade for years and just to be happy with it without feeling i am missing a whole lot.
what's weird to me is that once the Pico came out it was considered a giant killer that sounded as good as many 1000$ DAC's,and this doesn't seem to be the case anymore lol.

btw thanks for all the suggestions,but i would like to avoid any chinese DAC's because i read there are many problems with them and i am assuming they will not last for many years hehe.
 
Nov 8, 2009 at 8:49 AM Post #8 of 14
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Posts
17,279
Likes
10,636
Location
Fukuoka, Japan
Do you have a budget? I wouldn't single out a single country as producing good or bad products, by the way but possibly focus on the reputation of the individual companies.
 
Nov 8, 2009 at 1:22 PM Post #9 of 14

pearljam5000

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Posts
909
Likes
20
Hello,thanks for your help.
my budget is 350$ USD or less
humm i have nothing against China,or Chinese people of course
biggrin.gif

it's just that i'll feel more secure to buy from a big company and not some small company from China,i'd like to keep my mind open but at the same time i have read alot of posts of people with defective chinese DAC's that are having alot of problems so i'm a bit worried,but i guess it's just a matter of luck too...
anyways i guess this means i'm going to have to choose between V-DAC, Pico and Dacmagic...
Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Do you have a budget? I wouldn't single out a single country as producing good or bad products, by the way but possibly focus on the reputation of the individual companies.


 
Nov 19, 2009 at 11:04 PM Post #10 of 14

tav

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 5, 2008
Posts
19
Likes
0
I purchased the IBASSO D4 a few weeks ago and have been very impressed with the sound quality and flexibility of the product. Sounds great with Sennheiser 600's on the headphone output. I've also used the fixed output to feed my big rig stereo with very good results.

Highly recommended and the customer service from IBASSO has been outstanding. As for long term durability, IBASSO provides a typical 1 year warranty. The fit and finish and overall feel of the IBASSO is excellent.

It fits in just fine with my vintage Classe amp/preamp and FOCAL Audio BE1007 speakers.
 
Nov 19, 2009 at 11:11 PM Post #11 of 14

AmanGeorge

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Posts
2,343
Likes
14
I'm like my HRT Music Streamer+ a lot - I use it every day, it's very tonally rich and smooth. Its size and the fact that it doesn't need to plug into anything but a computer also makes it extremely convenient if you need to move it around.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top