• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Choosing a right DAC for a newbie

Sami555

New Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2022
Messages
4
Likes
0
Hi, I'm new in this forum and I'm also new in the digital audio world. Can someone please help me to choose a suitable dac for me?
I am currently using the Rotel a11 mkii (also have a Marantz pm5005) and Polk R200. I need a dac to listen music from my laptop and from my CD player. My whole focus is on the sound quality rather than the connectivity and other features like Bluetooth, mqa, etc. I don't need an amp or headphone connection, just need a dac with very good sound quality, with usb and optical input. From my primary research I came up with these dacs - Topping e50, Loxjie A30, Topping dx3 pro+ and Topping E30 ii. Can you please advise which one will be the best for my listening purpose, i.e. best sound quality? Note that price is definitely an issue - my budget is around 200 to 250 usd.
Thank you in advance.
 
Last edited:

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
7,167
Likes
11,425
I don't need an amp or headphone connection, just need a dac with very good sound quality, with usb and optical input. From my primary research I came up with these dacs - Topping e50, Loxjie A30, Topping dx3 pro+ and Topping E30 ii.
The Loxjie A30 doesn't make sense in this context. It has Bluetooth input, a DAC, EQ, subwoofer out, a headphone Amp and speaker Amp all in one box. It's about as far away from a simple USB+Toslink DAC as can be.
The DX3Pro+ also has Bluetooth input and a built in headphone Amp.

I'd shortlist the E30II, Schiit Modi+, Sanskrit 10th MKIII, JDS Atom DAC+, or SMSL C100 for a simple DAC.
If there's a chance you might upgrade to an Amp with balanced XLR inputs in the future, then:
Topping E50, SMSL D-6, SMSL DO100, Schiit Modius E
 

A Cute Earring

Active Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2022
Messages
112
Likes
349
Location
USA
The Loxjie A30 doesn't make sense in this context. It has Bluetooth input, a DAC, EQ, subwoofer out, a headphone Amp…
If there's a chance you might upgrade to an Amp with balanced XLR inputs in the future, then:
Topping E50, SMSL D-6, SMSL DO100, Schiit Modius E
Exactly why I bought the Modius E. I’m very happy with it. I don’t even know it’s there.
 

DVDdoug

Major Contributor
Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
2,829
Likes
3,696
The DAC built-into your CD player is probably fine (probably better than human hearing).

The DAC built-into your soundcard is probably fine too. If there's an issue it would be noise. If you're not getting background noise I wouldn't worry about anything else. Noise from a soundcard is usually a high-pitch whine which comes from the switching power supply and maybe from all the other high-speed switching happening inside the computer.
 
OP
S

Sami555

New Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2022
Messages
4
Likes
0
The Loxjie A30 doesn't make sense in this context. It has Bluetooth input, a DAC, EQ, subwoofer out, a headphone Amp and speaker Amp all in one box. It's about as far away from a simple USB+Toslink DAC as can be.
The DX3Pro+ also has Bluetooth input and a built in headphone Amp.

I'd shortlist the E30II, Schiit Modi+, Sanskrit 10th MKIII, JDS Atom DAC+, or SMSL C100 for a simple DAC.
If there's a chance you might upgrade to an Amp with balanced XLR inputs in the future, then:
Topping E50, SMSL D-6, SMSL DO100, Schiit Modius E
Thank you for your suggestions. I'll be ordering both E30ii and E50 and find out which one matches better in my system.
 
OP
S

Sami555

New Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2022
Messages
4
Likes
0
The DAC built-into your CD player is probably fine (probably better than human hearing).

The DAC built-into your soundcard is probably fine too. If there's an issue it would be noise. If you're not getting background noise I wouldn't worry about anything else. Noise from a soundcard is usually a high-pitch whine which comes from the switching power supply and maybe from all the other high-speed switching happening inside the computer.
Thanks for the advice - I'll connect my laptop directly using aux and see if the noice level manageable.
 
OP
S

Sami555

New Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2022
Messages
4
Likes
0
Okay, I've received my smsl DO100 and have been using it for the past week. Excellent sound quality, really pleased. However, when I play big files (say 50mb) using usb, it stops in the middle. When I turn it off and on using the remote, the rest of the file plays fine. I'm not sure if my dac setting is wrong or the unit is malfunctioning. Any idea? As well, on the dac display, it shows 48 - is it the sample rate?
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
7,167
Likes
11,425
@Sami555 48 on the display is the sample rate of the USB audio stream (48kHz).
As for your problem, I'd try another USB cable, another USB port, another PC, another music player. I recommend foobar2000 with the Wasapi plugin (set output to Wasapi Push : SMSL C100).

By trying different combinations, you can single out the source of your troubles.
 
Top Bottom