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Recommended USB DACs and USB Audio Interfaces

USB DACs and USB Audio Interfaces for Audio PCs

Both within the context of HiFi / high-end audio as well as for recording studios there is now a wide range of high quality DACs available. As long as you reduce the requirements for a USB audio interface to those that are really essential (high quality conversion of the USB signal up to 192 kHz / 24 bit or more, very good analogue output stage, a high quality converter chip, such as ESS Sabre, Burr Brown, XMOS, Wolfson or the like, and maybe playback of DSD / DXD audio files), you can get a very cheap high-end DAC with a top sound.

When choosing the right device, let your ears decide and not the technical specifications: You don’t need an asynchronous mode. Adaptive converters provide great sound-neutral results for little money. Up-sampling can be expensive as well, and is worth it only when consistently implemented. Since HD audio files with more than 192 kHz / 24 bit are still quite rare and the improvement in sound negligible, a 24/96 converter will do just fine

Below you can find a selection of devices for high-end and studio technology, all of which can be easily purchased at Amazon.

You can buy the matching Hifi Music Server here.

USB-DAC Top Four


  • Definitely one of the best DACs
  • USB supports
    32 Bit/384kHz for PCM as well as
    24 Bit/352.8kHz DXD and
    1Bit/2.8224MHz or 5.6448MHz DSD
  • Input: Coaxial, USB, AES/EBU
  • Output: Chinch and XLR (recommended)

NuForce DAC-80

  • Reduced to reproduce absolte analytic audio
  • USB and S/PIDF
  • Asynchronous USB without Upsampling
  • Supports USB up to 24bit/192 kHz

iFi nano iDSD

  • iFi is the small part of AMR and offers excellent equipment, quality and sound
  • Asynchronous USB up to 32Bit/384kHz for PCM files
  • DSD up to 6.2MHz; DXD up to 384kHz
  • Onboard lithium-polymer battery and headphone output for mobile use


  • Build with finest highend audio parts: Nichicon, Vishay, Philips, Wolfson and more
  • Chinch output only
  • USB (asynchronous) up to 384kHz / bis 32 Bit

DACs for native DSD Playback

Aune S16

  • XMOS Chip for USB
  • 32 Bit / 384 Khz DSD/DXD
  • AKM Decoder Chip
  • superb sound via XLR-outputs

Teac UD-501-B, Dual Monaural D/A Converter

  • Audiophile Classic
  • DSD-Dateien in 2,8 and 5,6 MHz
  • Burr-Brown and MUSE inside
  • includes symetric XLR outputs

More recommended USB Audio Interfaces

Korg DS-DAC-100

  • Realtime DSD conversion
  • CS4398 Chip from Cirrus Logic
  • Nativ DSD-Playback (2,8224 MHz or 5,6448 MHz)
  • PCM in 24 Bit / 192 kHz
  • XLR Output

Arcam rDac

  • "Very British "Sound
  • Uses the 8741 Wolfson
  • Excellent for beginners
  • Easy to use

M-Audio Super DAC

  • Typical Recording Studio Equipment
  • USB up to 24bit/192kHz
  • Chip: Wolfson DAC/ADC
  • Can be used as monitor-controller
  • A good external power-supply is highly recommended

Micromega MyDAC

  • Pleasant and relaxed Micromega sound
  • Asynchronous USB Input
  • PCM up to 24Bit/192kHz
  • Only Chinch-Outputs


  • Professional studio equipemnt
  • 32bit Upsampling with AKM 32bit DAC AK4390
  • Powerd via USB input
  • USB only up to 24/96

Cambridge Audio Azur DacMagic 100

  • Good value for money
  • Shows up sample-rate
  • Native USB up to 24 Bit/192
  • Wolfson WM8742 24-Bit-Digital-Analog-Converter


  • Small but powerful
  • Plays PCM-Audio-Files with 32 Bit / 384 kHz
  • XMOS's USB receiver chip
  • Sabre Reference 32bit ES9018 DAC Chip

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