• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Bargain DAC Suggestions?

Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Messages
13
Likes
3
I've tested it with my Galaxy S5 using HibyMusic, seems the hiss is still there.

I suppose despite this, it is still an admirable little device. Even with the hiss, I can clearly see why the Andromeda is highly regarded, supplants UERM as the best IEM I've ever tested.

I might get the iFi Ear Buddy or iEMatch further down the road if I ever decide to invest more into these sensitive multi-BA IEMs.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
3
Likes
0
hmm I was looking to buy a new dac, and first every web was saying "DF RED!!!" then I saw that maybe red is overpriced, and went to read that a sabaj D3 would offer much more for less price.

Any other alternative that should I consider? Around 200 max price, It's going to be used with 2 powered speakers, iem sennheiser ie8 and maybe an hd600, but I don't mind having one single jack like the dragonfly, what I look for is just the best sound for a desktop under that price.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
49
Likes
6
Amir I'm surprised you still want to hear recommendations :)

You could try a Neoteck dac (there is a variant that purportedly decodes audio up to 192Khz), though I saw you already planned to test prozor's cheap dac. The thing with Neoteck is that its amplifier seems to have some pretty decent specs and an audio engineer who reviewed it said that it used some pretty high quality components (from texas instruments I believe). I could double check.

Given that their amp seems pretty decent (though it strangely lacks a gain switch), I have more confidence in the quality of their dac than Prozor's dac or linkfor's dac. Definitely wouldn't recommend Linkfor. They copy-pasted neoteck's headphone amplifier description to be used with their own amp, and when I ordered said amp all I got was lithium batteries (though shipping fulfillment was by amazon so wasn't necessarily Linkfor's fault). Neoteck is also quite good in terms of providing quality customer service, judging by amazon reviews and the many comments on amazon indicating they have decently long warranties for their products and will usually replace models reported to be defective.

I'd have to double check but I can't recall Neoteck providing SNR or THD +N measurements for its dacs, which is discouraging/disappointing.
 
Last edited:

Veri

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
651
Likes
471
Interesting, D20, another Loxjie product...this time also sold by the Sabaj store. You are quick, google has not even found it yet.
Yeah the store mailed me about the item :D for once I'm not annoyed by 'spam'.
 

Veri

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
651
Likes
471
At that price point, they are talking about twin-chipped AK4497 DAC's over in Taobao though.

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?sp...c6oPmN&id=564639502276&ns=1&abbucket=7#detail

Or if you prefer a portable DAC amp for about half the price:

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?sp...c6oPmN&id=561362493221&ns=1&abbucket=7#detail
OK but do we have any real idea about who is behind the manufacturing of products such as these? I know there's many interesting boards out there like these, but personally don't have a lot of trust in the assembly or the weird no-name capacitors used at times.
 

maxxevv

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
317
Likes
131
Its the same question with Loxjie products right ?

In any case, YinLuMei are an OEM factory that branched into their own make and brand not to long ago as far as I know. As for the other one, I'm not sure if the board is a custom one. My ES9038Pro DAC from them was a unique custom board that I have not found on any other generically boxed ES9038PRO DAC yet. But their stuff seems well received from the buyer feedback. (Pinch of salt of course as its never completely transparent on such stuff. )
 

Veri

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
651
Likes
471
Its the same question with Loxjie products right ?
Yep, ofcourse. The case looks much less diy and much more commercial though imo. plus they are an umbrella under SMSL (for what it's worth).
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
49
Likes
6
What about Creative's X G6? The specs on Creative's website say its dac has a dynamic range of 130 db, and a THD+N of 0.0002%. It also has a built-in headphone amplifier that can apparently drive anything from 16 ohm earbuds to 600 ohm over ear headphones, though Creative doesn't seem to list any specs for its amp. They do say that the amp uses "Xamp technology," which apparently means it amplifies audio channels individually/separately as opposed to amplifying both simultaneously. Not sure how I feel about that, I feel like that could degrade sound quality. Creative's x G5 doesn't use the Xamp tech and its dac seems to be only slightly worse than that of the X G6.

Clearly it's intended primarily for gamers. but perhaps it is a good choice for audiophiles as well. (Creative certainly thinks it is) You could try the x G5 or e5 instead if you wished.

What's that you say? You're broke and cannot currently afford any of the products I suggested? Just tell Creative to lend you one, asserting that if it's as good as Creative's specs say it is you'll drool all over it and give it a glowing review, which Creative can later reference in an attempt to win over the world's many audio-obsessed, science-loving rational skeptics.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
3
Likes
0
So you don't need it to be tiny like DF and Sabaj are?
Not at all, it just happened that I saw everywhere that those were the "best" in their price range, but I wouldn't mind at all another big brick totally non-portable dac if it sounds better for the price.
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
15,369
Likes
9,358
Location
Seattle Area
Not at all, it just happened that I saw everywhere that those were the "best" in their price range, but I wouldn't mind at all another big brick totally non-portable dac if it sounds better for the price.
Then pick up a Topping DX3 Pro. People have been buying it from asia for $180 or so but should be in Amazon US soon too assuming you are in states. It has proper line out for your speakers, nice display, very good performance, lots of power to drive headphones, etc.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
3
Likes
0
Then pick up a Topping DX3 Pro. People have been buying it from asia for $180 or so but should be in Amazon US soon too assuming you are in states. It has proper line out for your speakers, nice display, very good performance, lots of power to drive headphones, etc.
Thanks!

Id take a look at the reviews, It's even being sold on my local amazon at the same price it have on aliexpress, so could be a winner.
 

helloworld

Active Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
157
Likes
84
well loxjie d20 is actually smsl’product which means trustful while this guy’s product, I bet he only uses oscilloscope to do the measurements.
At that price point, they are talking about twin-chipped AK4497 DAC's over in Taobao though.

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?sp...c6oPmN&id=564639502276&ns=1&abbucket=7#detail

Or if you prefer a portable DAC amp for about half the price:

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?sp...c6oPmN&id=561362493221&ns=1&abbucket=7#detail
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
73
Likes
103
I think this is the first "cheap" product I've seen that uses an AKM4497 Pro chip for its DAC :D
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KMPKTDV/
There suddenly appeared a 15% coupon code for these so $225 - W8PRGS7S - They are apparently Sabaj/SMSL products though the remote is not the standard remote of the brands. The board looks a lot like the Sabaj D4 board, except they add Bluetooth to everything.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
Top Bottom