I've been scouring the web but have gotten so many conflicting suggestions with regard to the "budget dac" query. I think my context might help with an answer if y'all might could throw out some suggestions!
So, I've got a t430 Thinkpad with Windows on it and the auxiliary port produces noise when plugging in phones, and a noticeable hum when un-muted. I'm guessing it's a current issue. I've tried two cheap (~$10) usb dacs, one Sabrient one from Amazon and another from China, both having issues with volume control (way too loud with no knobs and the noise remains). I'm using a pair of m50x's so pretty easy to drive (32ohms).
I just tried my friends Behringer 202 and it worked flawlessly it seems in eliminating the noise floor and the current. What do y'all think about this option? I would have liked a very simple and slim usb dac (no amp needed for these headphones) but it looks like for under $50, the 202 might be the best pick for my needs.
Any other suggestions?
Under $50 / DAC, no amp / USB / No noise floor / Slim, portable