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Recommendation: DAC to connect active speakers to TV

studioguy

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Dear colleagues,

Since my search for a dedicated recommendations thread was unsuccessful, I'm hoping here is a good place. If I missed something, please excuse me.

I am using a pair of active Neumann KH120 speakers with my TV and for now I have them connected with a random DAC from Amazon. I'm using the optical output from the TV since it does not have any analog ones. This works quite well, although I can not change the volume on the TV remote anymore. Hence why I am searching for a replacement that also supportd HDMI arc, since from what I've gathered this is the only way to do what I want, which is to hear my TV AND control it. I would also like to keep bluetooth functionality if possible.

Google pointed me to a review of the Acrylic BP50, which seems to do just what I want but according to a review from here noise and audio performance is subpar.

Can someone recommend a DAC with support for HDMI ARC and bluetooth to me that does not cost as much as a new TV? Since my speakers are active and I use my phone, TV or PC for playback I really only need something to connect my TV to my speakers.

Thank you for your time!

studioguy
 

staticV3

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Hi @studioguy! Welcome to ASR.

HDMI ARC input does not automatically mean that volume control via the TV remote will work.

For that you need HDMI ARC and HDMI-CEC support.

SMSL has two good DACs with ARC in and XLR out: DO100 Pro and DO200 Pro.

However, you'd have to confirm with customers (or SMSL Support) that volume control via CEC is also supported.

Here's a thread on these where you could ask:

SMSL also has a cheap DAC with confirmed CEC support, but performance is poor and it only has RCA out:

All of them have Bluetooth.
 

Chrisnew

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Used the matrix with my buchardt with great results. It's one of the few dac with xlr and hdmi arc. Those were my criteria as well when upgrading
 
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studioguy

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Hi, thanks for the replies!

@staticV3: Thanks for the info, HDMI-CEC is exactly what I need then. The SMSL DO100 Pro looks good but is a little bit pricey considering the only difference it would bring to my setup right now would be volume control. PS100 is in the right area price wise, the question is: how bad does it perform.

@Chrisnew: Thanks for your input aswell. The matrix streamer looks sick but I'm not willing to put that amount of money into a converter these days.

@ChenHui: I don't understand why it is such a niche thing considering nearly everyone has a smart TV nowadays and most of them come without analog outputs. I guess everyone buys crappy soundbars or crazy expensive receivers. Since I already have good speakers I only need the connection part. The DL100 looks interesting, I'm curious what the price will be. I don't think a good converter has to cost that much nowadays, when a two-channel consumer grade audio interface for recording music is less than 100€.
 

JeremyFife

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staticV3

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Thanks for the info, HDMI-CEC is exactly what I need then. The SMSL DO100 Pro looks good but is a little bit pricey considering the only difference it would bring to my setup right now would be volume control. PS100 is in the right area price wise, the question is: how bad does it perform.
I've linked to some measurements of the PS100 in post #2.
 
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studioguy

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I've linked to some measurements of the PS100 in post #2.
Yes I looked through the thread. I'm more familiar with headphone and speaker measurements so I don't have too much to compare with. Currently I'm using a no-name product and it sounds fine so I can't really decide if it's actually as bad as people describe it or similar to what I'm using now. Second issue, I just checked and it seems like nobody is shipping the PS100 to me :-(
 

popej

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Can't you set variable output level on TV? Should be possible, if TV outputs PCM over optical. Not the best solution, but usable.
 

staticV3

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Can't you set variable output level on TV? Should be possible, if TV outputs PCM over optical. Not the best solution, but usable.
Many TVs (including mine) lock volume to 100% when audio output is set to Toslink.
 

staticV3

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Austria/Europe
There are two European retailers (Audiophonics, SoundImports), and a bunch of Chinese retailers (Linsoul, AliExpress, Aoshida, HiFiGO), all of which will ship the PS100 to you.
 
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studioguy

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There are two European retailers (Audiophonics, SoundImports), and a bunch of Chinese retailers (Linsoul, AliExpress, Aoshida, HiFiGO), all of which will ship the PS100 to you.
Amazing, thank you! Ordered from Audiophonics. Hopefully it will deliver!
 

SMSL-Mandy

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can consider the new DL100 discount code: mandycode
 

KaeliKoo

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can consider the new DL100 discount code: mandycode
Two complete unit failures in Amazon reviews of DL100 - 1 at 4 months & 1 at 2 weeks. Hmmm....
 

Zek

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Two complete unit failures in Amazon reviews of DL100 - 1 at 4 months & 1 at 2 weeks. Hmmm....
Are you sure of the validity of those writings - it seems to me that DL100 was not on the market 4 months ago. :oops:
 

Zek

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Feb is 4 months ago...
According to this post, the DL100 appeared in early June.
 

KaeliKoo

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My mistake, it was DL200 with those failures - my mea culpa. Also a bit relieved as I like the specs on the Dl100 :) thanks!
 
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