If you ever wanted to get better sound from your headphones, laptop, or PC, a DAC is an easy way to do it. But choosing the best DAC depends on what you want to use it for. It can get tricky which is why we spent a lot of time researching a variety of different products. We put together these DAC reviews to help you find the best one for you. First, let’s look at some of the important features.
USB Connection: A USB connection is essential. Why? Because you connect your DAC to the music or sound source using a USB cable. This is where the input comes from. It’s also how some of our picks are powered.
PCM Files: Technically, PCM means “pulse-code modulation.” This is the way that audio is stored on PCs, laptops, CDs, and a bunch of other stuff. Your DAC should be able to convert them in order to be widely versatile.
Pieces: Some of the products we chose include only the DAC itself. Others include a USB cable and/or power cable. DACs are generally pretty simple pieces of equipment so you won’t find a lot of extras with these.
Size: The smaller your DAC is, the more portable it will be. They’re all pretty compact but there are some differences. A few are actually small enough to fit in your pocket while others will fit nicely on your desktop.
Weight: Most of these are pretty lightweight. Even the heaviest ones only weigh slightly more than a pound. Some of them are so lightweight, you won’t even realize they’re in your pocket if you carry them around.
Warranty: As always, warranties matter. Make sure you know what is covered under your warranty and for how long. You should also look into what isn’t covered, just in case. That way, you won’t have any surprises in case something goes wrong.
Now that we covered the important features in our DAC buying guide, let’s get into our reviews. You’ll find a range of items here, from the best budget USB DAC to the right one to tuck into your pocket when you’re on the go. In a hurry? Check out our top and budget picks first. They’re easy to find right at the top of our list. Stick around if you can, all of these products are pretty awesome. Alright, let’s go!