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Best DAC under $300 for Audioengine A5+ powered speakers

What's your choice

  • SMSL MU8

    Votes: 3 21.4%
  • Topping D50s

    Votes: 11 78.6%
  • Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mass Fidelity Relay Bluetooth DAC

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    14

BDWoody

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#41
It is a different function. The d50 is a dac and the CCA is a streamer with inbuilt dac. That Dac is good but not perfect. With your speakers you will probably not hear the difference. But if you want you can use the CCA as a digital source (it not only has an analogue output that uses the internal dac but also an optical digital one that bypasses the inbuilt dac.). This may sound marginally better.
I can't tell the difference between the analog outs on the CCA and the dx3 using those audioengine's.
 

zermak

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#42
Unless your motherboard has a ugly audio section (or maybe some very old Realtek chipset but it looks like even the ALC889 is decent at its job) then you will not notice any improvement getting a better spec-ed DAC; I am talking about real benefits on the listening experience.

Anyway if you are interested in the a BT solution and your budget is enough for a D50s then get it. It is a very well made DAC, reading the review here, and you can use it with USB on your PC and use the optical input for other devices (live TV, consoles, CD reader and so on) and connect it to your active speakers with its RCAs.

Anyway if I were in you I would spend the money on a microphone (99 dollars for a Umik-1 if I recall) for some room corrections with REW and EqualizerAPO (or similar). But if you just casual listen to music then forget it and again if you need BT capabilities the D50s is even overkill.
 
OP
L

La!$

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Thread Starter #43
Unless your motherboard has a ugly audio section (or maybe some very old Realtek chipset but it looks like even the ALC889 is decent at its job) then you will not notice any improvement getting a better spec-ed DAC; I am talking about real benefits on the listening experience.

Anyway if you are interested in the a BT solution and your budget is enough for a D50s then get it. It is a very well made DAC, reading the review here, and you can use it with USB on your PC and use the optical input for other devices (live TV, consoles, CD reader and so on) and connect it to your active speakers with its RCAs.

Anyway if I were in you I would spend the money on a microphone (99 dollars for a Umik-1 if I recall) for some room corrections with REW and EqualizerAPO (or similar). But if you just casual listen to music then forget it and again if you need BT capabilities the D50s is even overkill.
Thanks mate! ☺️
 

graz_lag

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#44
My source is my PC and my purpose is to listen to FLAC 24/196, 24/192 etc and DSD music files! Please give your recommendations! I have made a poll as well feel free to vote plus recommend devices that you think are better!

Thanks! ☺️
I have a pair of A5+ from AudioEngine, which I currently feed with an Odroid stack (Odroid-C2 & the Odroid HiFi Shield 2 DAC tone board) via RCA interconnects. I have the following 3 scenarios available in terms of digital flow to the Odroid-C2:

Wi-Fi & LAN to play music stored on the music server by means of the UPnP protocol and Android application
BlueTooth to play music stored on my Android phone

In addition, an USB External SSD can be attached to the Odroid if one wants to store some music locally.

OS: DietPi_v6.14

Very pleased abt. the overall rendering quality and stability.
I could post you some pics on tomorrow if you like.
 

BDWoody

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#45
bought tracks from hdtracks sir.
I have a pair of A5+ from AudioEngine, which I currently feed with an Odroid stack (Odroid-C2 & the Odroid HiFi Shield 2 DAC tone board) via RCA interconnects. I have the following 3 scenarios available in terms of digital flow to the Odroid-C2:

Wi-Fi & LAN to play music stored on the music server by means of the UPnP protocol and Android application
BlueTooth to play music stored on my Android phone

In addition, an USB External SSD can be attached to the Odroid if one wants to store some music locally.

OS: DietPi_v6.14

Very pleased abt. the overall rendering quality and stability.
I could post you some pics on tomorrow if you like.
Nice. Those A5+'s have surprised quite a few who have heard mine. They are good little speakers.
I keep the CCA plugged in and put them wherever I need them. Very versatile.
 

graz_lag

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#46
Nice. Those A5+'s have surprised quite a few who have heard mine. They are good little speakers.
I keep the CCA plugged in and put them wherever I need them. Very versatile.
Indeed, AudioEngine is a small manufacturer but it seems they know their job, the little DAC D1 is also excellent.
I bought my pair in white lacquered finish for $200 in sealed box from a closeout deal.

Before the Odroid stack I had an old laptop feeding them, with Daphile as headless player via the said D1 DAC.

I have noticed you have the Bamboo version, which was my favorite one but I got the closeout too late ... :(
 

q3cpma

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#47

BDWoody

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#48
After reading http://noaudiophile.com/AudioEngine_A2_Plus/ and http://noaudiophile.com/AudioEngine_A2_Plus/, I'm pretty skeptical of those step-up-from-Logitech speaker brands. Especially when the A5+ are $400 a pair while you can get real active monitors like the Yamaha HS5 for the same price. Or just look at the Tannoy Reveal line for very cheap and actually good stuff (with pretty good looks too).
Well, if you pay $400...I'm sure there are lots of choices. I got the original A5's, then added the 5+ and have been quite happy for what I use them for. I think they are going for around $200 these days. I don't confuse them with the LS50'S, but they are different animals.
 
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