• 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 many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

DAC Recommendation - USB input, RCA outputs, EQ, & perhaps bass management

dave999z

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2023
Messages
69
Likes
27
Hello -

I currently play music by connecting my iPhone via USB to my 2ch stereo receiver (Outlaw RR2160), which has a USB input and built in DAC. I do this rather than using a streamer or Airplay because this physical connection is the only way to send hi-res lossless out of Apple Music on my iPhone. (As an aside, please don't tell me that is not a valid objective, or I'll never hear the lossless part, much less the hi-res part. This is how I want to listen.) Unfortunately, other than stock EQ curves like "dance", "hip hop" etc., the iPhone has no EQ functions. Nor does my receiver have any digital processing capability (EQ, time correction, bass management). I want to have the ability to do manual room correction based on REW measurements. So I would appreciate recommendations for a relatively simple 2ch DAC that has USB in and unbalanced RCA outputs, and that at least has a parametric EQ that I can use to manually correct for room nodes and nulls. I would like to not spend a fortune, but I do want a really high quality conversion and processing. The closest thing I've come across to what I'm looking for so far is the MiniDSP 2x4 HD, though the DAC performance seems to have not measured well here. Any similar recommendations with better performance/specs, perhaps that have come out more recently? Other things I've looked at that don't quite get there are the S.M.S.L. D-6S (would be perfect, but no onboard EQ processing), or the WiiM Pro Plus (no USB input).

To add another less pressing request... I am going to be adding a subwoofer to my setup shortly. My receiver actually has analog bass management (rare on a 2ch receiver), so that's great. But I wouldn't mind also considering a DAC that has more than 2 output channels and offers bass management to split off and send the low frequencies only to the subwoofer. Just thought this is something I should consider while I'm going down this road of a standalone DAC.

Thanks in advance for any help!
dave
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
8,446
Likes
13,646
EQ:
-Qudelix 5K ($110)
-WiiM Pro Plus ($220)
-Topping D50 III ($230)

EQ+Bass Management:
-miniDSP 2x4 HD ($225)
-WiiM Amp ($300)

You can connect your iPhone to the WiiM via Toslink to keep Hi-Res support.

Qudelix is supposedly working on an adapter cable and firmware update for the 5K and T71, that'll enable a digital crossover and bass management.
 
OP
D

dave999z

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2023
Messages
69
Likes
27
EQ:
-Qudelix 5K ($110)
-WiiM Pro Plus ($220)
-Topping D50 III ($230)

EQ+Bass Management:
-miniDSP 2x4 HD ($225)
-WiiM Amp ($300)

You can connect your iPhone to the WiiM via Toslink to keep Hi-Res support.

Qudelix is supposedly working on an adapter cable and firmware update for the 5K and T71, that'll enable a digital crossover and bass management.
Very helpful. Thank you!
 
OP
D

dave999z

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2023
Messages
69
Likes
27
I realized that it would also be helpful to be able to connect a second source (my TV) to the DAC, so that I can have room correction not only when listening to music but also when watching movies. It's too bad the Topping D50 III only does parametric EQ for the USB input, but not the optical input. In that sense, the miniDSP 2x4 HD would be a better fit for my setup, just wish it measured better (the DSP seems to introduce some noise). The miniDSP Flex or Flex HD would work, but is pricey and a bit overkill for my purpose (don't really plan to use Dirac). I also wish all of these units had an IR in jack, though I can work around that.
 
Last edited:

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
8,446
Likes
13,646
In that sense, the miniDSP 2x4 HD would be a better fit for my setup, just wish it measured better (the DSP seems to introduce some noise).
Understandable, just know that whatever noise or distortion there is on the 2x4 HD, is unlikely to be audible.
 

voodooless

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
10,554
Likes
18,636
Location
Netherlands
If you want better measurements, consider the MiniDSP Flex.
 
Top Bottom