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DAC recommation help for office (overwhelmed by choices)

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I’ve had an office setup for a couple of years now since I’ve been working from home. I have a much more elaborate setup in a media room but have shrugged this off as good enough for a while but it’s time to improve.

Currently I have a pair of Kanto YU6 speakers hooked up to the aux out of my monitor and I suspect the DAC in that is likely not good at all.

There seem to be a number of contenders in the $150ish range like the Topping E30 II, SMSL Sanskrit, Schmitt etc. they YouTube reviews all seem filled with nonsense. Would love a bit of guidance on what to really consider. Thanks

0E625B93-316C-4115-99E9-409C28C60A38.jpeg
 

staticV3

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Depending on how the Yu6 handles analog inputs (digitized or fully analog chain), you may be best off connecting the speakers to your PC directly via Toslink, and therefore using the Yu6's internal DAC, instead of connecting them via an external DAC.

If your PC does not have a Toslink output, then you can add one using a Hifime S2 Digi, Hifime UT23, or SMSL PO100 Pro.
 
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Depending on how the Yu6 handles analog inputs (digitized or fully analog chain), you may be best off connecting the speakers to your PC directly via Toslink, and therefore using the Yu6's internal DAC, instead of connecting them via an external DAC.

If your PC does not have a Toslink output, then you can add one using a Hifime S2 Digi, Hifime UT23, or SMSL PO100 Pro.
This is a fair suggestion and not something I’d thought about. It doesn’t have to slink but I’ll look at some of those options you listed
 

kemmler3D

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To @staticV3 's point you don't actually need a DAC because the speakers will accept digital input.

The scenario where you want a DAC is where the TOSLINK input on the YU6 has terrible distortion and the analog input doesn't... no idea if that's the case, most likely TOSLINK will do you fine.

If you really want a DAC, I think the JDS option @Doodski mentioned is good, any of the options that are well-reviewed on this site would also be fine, the choice mainly depends on what inputs / outputs and knobs you want.

If you're looking to minimize fuss, I would second the motion to just do TOSLINK and keep it simple.
 
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To @staticV3 's point you don't actually need a DAC because the speakers will accept digital input.

The scenario where you want a DAC is where the TOSLINK input on the YU6 has terrible distortion and the analog input doesn't... no idea if that's the case, most likely TOSLINK will do you fine.

If you really want a DAC, I think the JDS option @Doodski mentioned is good, any of the options that are well-reviewed on this site would also be fine, the choice mainly depends on what inputs / outputs and knobs you want.

If you're looking to minimize fuss, I would second the motion to just do TOSLINK and keep it simple.
The only reason I hadn’t considered rod link is that my laptop doesn’t have it and dudnt realize it was a fairly easy add
 

Chrispy

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Is there something particularly lacking in the current conversion?
 

Doodski

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How’d you decide on the atom vs so many other options?
I can set the options in the mixer etc. I don't need a LED readout etc. The DAC+ front panel round ring illuminates in a powder blue color. It's very easy on the eyes. It fits with the Schiit headphone amp perfectly too so that was a bonus.
 
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Is there something particularly lacking in the current conversion?
I’ve been trying to find any info on what dell uses for a DAC in my monitor and can’t find anything. It’s possible I’m overthinking it and it might be fine, but just seems like not a priority part in a monitor. The six out of my laptop has tons of interference and is unusable
 

Chrispy

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I’ve been trying to find any info on what dell uses for a DAC in my monitor and can’t find anything. It’s possible I’m overthinking it and it might be fine, but just seems like not a priority part in a monitor. The six out of my laptop has tons of interference and is unusable
I meant does it make unusual/unacceptable noises using it? Or is there no particular audible issue to deal with?

ps that the monitor output has no particular issue is somewhat interesting, how is laptop connected to monitor?
 
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OP
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Is there something particularly lacking in the current conversion?
I’ve been trying to find any info on what dell uses for a DAC in my monitor and can’t find anything. It’s possible I’m overthinking it and it might be fine, but just seems like not a priority part in a monitor. The six out of my laptop has tons of interference and is ub
I meant does it make unusual/unacceptable noises using it? Or is there no particular audible issue to deal with?
the one in the monitor does not make any audible issues. Is your thought that if it’s not making any bad sounds it’s fine?

The laptop is connected to monitor via usb c
 

Chrispy

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I’ve been trying to find any info on what dell uses for a DAC in my monitor and can’t find anything. It’s possible I’m overthinking it and it might be fine, but just seems like not a priority part in a monitor. The six out of my laptop has tons of interference and is ub

the one in the monitor does not make any audible issues. Is your thought that if it’s not making any bad sounds it’s fine?

The laptop is connected to monitor via usb c
Generally, yes, if no audible issues then there's not a particular need for better spec, altho that can of course be nice and perhaps desired....but necessary? I'd rather spend money on more important things like content and speakers than basic electronics.
 

staticV3

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@myusernamechosen here's Kanto's response regarding the YU6's analog inputs:
Screenshot_20230418-190757_Gmail.png

So should the internal DAC be inadequate for some reason, then you can actually bypass it using the analog inputs (not the case on some other active speakers).
 
OP
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There's a helluvalot more to gain from new speakers than from a new DAC, that's for sure.
Yeah I'm always screaming this to people and weirdly not taking my own advice this time. I think the one thing that was throwing me off was the mystery of the DAC in my monitor and wondering if that was causing any kind of issues. It really doesn't help that my main system has 40 times more money into it than my office setup and is in an acoustically treated room, so my ears are spoiled.
 
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