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Decent DAC around $100 or less?

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  1. TeaLyPeeLy
    Most DACs are like really expensive, but I don't really care if I'm not getting 100% quality. 90% is good enough for me, so is there a cheap DAC I can get? Honestly, the cheaper the better because I'm just putting together a temporary setup then eventually I'll get a super high end one.
     
  2. Brined Guardian
    The Schiit Modi is a nice DAC. I started out with the Modi/Magni stack, it lasted me a long time before I upgraded.

    What headphones are you using?
     
  3. baskingshark
    I use the Khadas tone board and it retails at 99 USD usually. Cheaper during sales (there's a big sale on aliexpress coming on 11/11!).
    It does open up the dynamics and soundstage and details for my music.

    You can check out this link for some head to head comparisons for DACs: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ad-distortion-comparison-graph-for-dacs.4814/
    Khadas tone board ranks quite high here, and I can't complain much for the pricing.

    The only thing is the Khadas tone board comes usually as a naked board (which doesn't pick up any electronic interferance despite being used next to my desktop). But I paid about 13 bucks to get a acrylic case made for it, to look asthetically better.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
    PointyFox likes this.
  4. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Budget?
    Hifimediy, $30-$70.
    https://hifimediy.com/DACs/ready-made-dacs?sort=p.price&order=ASC
     
  5. TeaLyPeeLy
    HD600s. I'm planning on also getting the Atom Amp.
     
  6. starence
    I'd go with the Modi 3, great sound for the price, plus it has 3 inputs so it works with a variety of sources.
     
  7. carlman14
    I have a Topping D30 for my office setup. It's been a great dac for me. Has multiple inputs and can do DSD if that's your thing. $120 new, but can be found for $90 - $100 used.
     
  8. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Topping DX3 Pro and Xduoo XD-05 are both DAC/amp
    Everything in one little unit.
     
  9. PaganDL
    Hi @TeaLyPeeLy,

    I suggest Lexicon Alpha.

    Hope you have a great day !
     
  10. TeaLyPeeLy
    If I have a Behringer UMC22 audio interface, will that be good enough until I can afford a really good DAC (assuming I connect using RCA cables from the outputs on the back and NOT use the direct monitors)?
     
  11. PointyFox
    I also recommend the Khadas Tone Board. Its measurements beat most other DACs, including everything made by Schiit I believe. If you paired that with the Atom, you'd never need to upgrade.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
    baskingshark likes this.
  12. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Behringer UMC22 audio interface, one of it's features is that it's is a "cheap DAC".
     
  13. TeaLyPeeLy
    How much worse is it than like a $100 DAC.
     
  14. TeaLyPeeLy
    Looks like I might be getting this. Thanks!
     
  15. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Because it's an Audio Interface, it might have a more neutral (boring) type sound.
    As an Audio Interface is more about analyzing the sound, then audio enjoyment.
    Where as a higher priced DAC might offer a more lively and more full spectrum sound.

    Just get the HD600 and Atom for now.
    I would assume cables with a 1/4" TS to RCA connects would connect the UMC22 to the Atom.
    Like the Hosa CPR-201 cables
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CPR201--hosa-cpr201-1-meter

    I do not see you having to decide right away on what your willing to budget for a DAC.
     
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