Wecome to ReviewitBaby, DAC is short form Digital to Analog Converter. This device is for those music lovers who are tired of mediocre mp3 sound. A DAC is perfect for getting a better quality of sound while listening. It is evident that music can be heard from a PC without the help of a DAC but the reason for using this device is the superior sound and music quality.
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In this article we will list out the top 7 Best USB Dac under 200$ 2016 which are reasonable for all consumers out there. Moreover, this article will help you to choose the best USB DAC as you will be having all pros and cons of each DAC listed below;
Top 7 Best USB DAC under 200$
Take a look at the best USB DAC amp reviews under $200, which are given below. here are the 7 best usb DAC headphone amp, some of them are even portable.
So here we go;
Audio engine is a company which is renowned for producing great quality DAC at cheaper prices. The design of this DAC is appreciable and up to the mark if not the absolute best. Audio Engine has definitely included some great features into their DAC to make excellent choice for users.
Talking about its design, it is made of a metal case with a rubber plate on front and back. There is a 3.5 mm headphone jack on front of the case along with a power button and a volume button.
On the back, there is a USB port along with an RCA output. The sound quality of this brand is known to be the best in its kind.
The Audio Engine DAC works with both Windows and Mac OS. It has an in built amplifier to enhance the sound through the use of headphones which produces high quality sound for you.
However, it does not let you play headphones along with another output simultaneously with Audio engine DAC. When you connect your speaker and headphones at the same time, you will only be able to hear sounds through your headphones; and not by speakers.
One cool feature you will find is that the power button lights up making it easy to find even in darkness.
Let me list all the main features to give you a clear idea about it;
- It produces great quality sound
- Built-in Amplifier
- It has a USB Port along with RCA output
- It works with both Windows and Mac operating system
- Lightening power button
- 3.5 mm headphone jack at front
Creative Sound Blaster 5 brand is another famous DAC which promises great sound quality. Sound Blaster E5 is multipurpose device which has never disappointed their customers.
It is a solid looking device with matte finish and rubber base, which makes it stick to your table and holds its position where you place it, but it also has an angular stand which let you place it nice manner and use all its features.
Now lets talk about the Sound which Creative Sound Blaster 5 offers, it is jitter-free sound 2. The Signal to noise ratio is 120 dB which is considered pretty good. Some may claim that the bass sound is not that prominent in the sound and the treble somehow steals the show. This model also has an in built headphone amplifier with an easy to use switch which let it work with high impedance or low impedance headphones without output interruptions.
It has great options of connectivity including; Line-in, Mic-in, Optical-in, a Line-out / Optical-out, and USB 2.0 in. These connection options make it comply with almost all devices present around.
One downside you will notice is that both the ports despite being 3.5 mm, are not the flexible if you want to use them as headphones. Next to the switches there is an SBX button which can be used for SBX Pro Studio software. This will allow you to use this software as well for making adjustments to audio according to your requirements.
Another feature is its internal battery which provides 8 hours with portable listening. It can be also paired with Bluetooth and NFC which let you stream high quality like aptX, AAC, and SBC using your phone and then you will have mobile wireless DAC.
It also has a built-in microphone which can be improved using SBX software. So if you are music lover along with gaming, watching movies then E5 is good choice for you and you must get it for yourself as it got everything you are looking for. So I can conclude that Creative Sound Blaster E5 is combo.
- A great design with matte finish and rubber base along with adjustable stand
- Excellent Sound quality with 24bit/192kHz output, but only 24/96 if you are using it through USB
- Signal to noise ratio is 120 dB
- Built-in headphone amplifier
- Line-in, Mic-in, Optical-in, a Line-out / Optical-out, and USB 2.0 connectivity options
- Built-in Microphone
JDS Labs 02+0DAC is the third one on our list may not be the most popular brand out there; but its sound quality speaks for itself. JDS Labs is not the original creator of this model – ODAC, which stands for Objective Digital Analog Converter, this design was created by another independent creator, NwAvGuy.
It has 24 bit/ 96 KHz of audio output. It is a very light weight DAC and it connects using micro USB port. It has only one port for headphones. The main attractive points about this model are that it is small and portable.
It doesn’t take up much space. You don’t have to worry about whether it will support your operating system, because it will work for almost all devices like Windows, Mac and even Linux. ODAC is easily recognizable by PCs and Laptops of all kinds. It is suggested that you also view the user options in case you find what you need there.
The JDS Labs has 24-bit resolution and a sample rate of 96 kHz. Since it has high sample rate which justifies that its sound quality is going to be far better than any other DAC out there along with balanced sound spectrum. The sound which JDS brings is transparent and produces tighter bass maintaining low frequency bleeding between midrange and low-end sound.
The most amazing thing about JDS is its transparency which comes through O2’s low output impedance of 0.54 ohms, which helps headphones to produce powerful sounds without influencing quality of sound. It offers <0.005% total harmonic distortion which helps to produce clean sound.
However, these all features are best if you have good quality audio files and worst for low quality audio files. In spite of this it is best and work best for listener and strongly recommended which is why we have included this in our list.
- It has 24 bit/ 96 KHz of audio output
- It is very light-weight and can be carried from one place to another
- Compatible with all type of computers including; Windows, Mac, and Linux
- It has 24-bit resolution and a sample rate of 96 kHz
- It produces transparent sound and strong bass without ruining the sound
- It gives you balanced sound spectrum
Audio quest Dragonfly v1.2 is one of the most compact DAC that you will find with such good sound quality. It has also outdone the original Dragonfly, performing even better. It is a choice for those looking for a great DAC within a decent price range. It has a cool and likeable design with amazing dynamics and crystal clear sound production. It doesn’t look very different from the original model but is much cheaper than the previous one.
It can play 24-bit/96kHz files, but high-res 24-bit/192kHz files will have to be downsampled by the computer to 24/96. The logo light up in different color actually indicates the type of file being played like; green is 44.1kHz, blue is 48kHz, amber is 88.2kHz and magenta is 96kHz.
Even the sound quality has greatly improved because of the shortening of the signal path between the DAC chip and the analogue output. The model is compatible with Windows and Mac. The design has a smooth finish to it and moderately heavy without overdoing it. The sound detail with this product is recommendable.
If you are looking for a great option which will perform just as it promises and last you long, then this device is for you. I have seen that many of the users like some handy DAC’s and Audio quest Dragonfly v1.2 is one of th best choice for those who are looking for handy, light-weight, quality sound producer and portable DAC.
- It is light-weight and portable DAC in market
- Produces quality sound and gives awesome experience to listeners
- It plays 24-bit/96kHz files, but high-res 24-bit/192kHz files will have to be downsampled by the computer to 24/96
- Logo Colors lightening describes the type of file played which is described as; green is 44.1kHz, blue is 48kHz, amber is 88.2kHz and magenta is 96kHz
- It works with Windows and Mac both systems
Schiity Audio Modi 2 brand is known for its great eminence in creating devices which provide excellent sounds which is definitely worth the price you pay for it. The DAC chip used in this device is the same chip used in audio engine D1 which is a DAC from a different brand. Even though the chip might be the same but the sound quality is completely different and may be little better.
It allows you to combine headphone listening with hi-fi listening. It adds a lot of audio functionality to your device. Talking about its design, brushed aluminum case gives it awesome looks and on front plate with a small selector button and LED display, which helps you to recognize that which button is selected. On back, you have different connection type like; USB 2.0, optical TOSlink SPDIF, or coaxial SPDIF inputs, all of which are paired with a lone RCA output.
It produces excellent sound up to 24bit/192kHz output. It has high sample rate which helps to produce smoother sound. It is equipped with a THD of <0.002%, and a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 104dB, musical intricacies shine with minimal interference. The high are more clear and the mids and lows blends but not much, but overall it produces great sound quality.
It has awesome sound staging quality and it brings out each instrument in mix. It produces natural sound and does not sound harsh or warmth at all.
The bass sound of this model is slightly lacking and if you like a bass heavy sound type, you might be slightly disappointed. On the plus side, the treble and clarity is quite clear and distinct. The bass can be compared to Dragonfly and Audio engine in terms of class. One disadvantage of this model is that there is no featuring of headphones or even a basic volume control button which can get pretty annoying. But to compensate for this they have provided a nicely functioning preamp.
It has definitely awesome features comparative to other DAC’s and I strongly recommend you to go for it and as it is a complete audio package for you.
- It produces high quality and excellent sound
- Combined headphone and hi-fi listening
- Great quality design which makes it look appealing
- Produces sound up to 24bit/192kHz output
- Equipped with THD of <0.002%, and a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 104dB
- Different connectivity options like; USB 2.0, optical TOSlink SPDIF, or coaxial SPDIF inputs, all of which are paired with a lone RCA output
Optoma NUFORCE UDAC-3 is fairly simple to use and set up DAC in our list. The online reviews rave about its sound quality as well as the fact that it falls under the price bracket of $200 makes it a affordable device to consider. It has buttons to control volume which is a nice feature because it is more convenient to change the volume from the device itself.
It comes up with both headphone output and RCA phono sockets for connecting to a hi-fi system. It has strong solid box design which makes it look beautiful and strong at the same time. It has logo stamped on top of the device. It also gives you a USB device port to connect it with your computer. Along with USB socket, it has also stereo phono sockets and a digital coaxial output. On front of the device it has 3.5mm headphone jack socket, a status LED and a quiet visible volume knob.
There might be some issues when trying the music range of the music or audio but this is a minor hiccup which will not make much difference to your playing quality. The bass sound is nice and prominent one without any fixes and it should enhance your listening experience. The quality of the sound itself is remarkable good and you find a nice clarity in sound without any unnecessary distortions. The option of colors is available too. The weight of the device can be troublesome because it can easily be shifted from its place due to light weight.
- Strong metal design which looks appealing
- It has headphone output and RCA phono sockets for connecting to a hi-fi system
- It has different connectivity options including; USB socket, it has also stereo phono sockets and a digital coaxial output
- 3.5 headphone jack socket
- It produces good quality sound which makes it recommended
Mass Fidelity Relay is simple and functional and provides great value for its money. It is light in weight, has a nice looking design, and can be set up within a few seconds. There is just one RCA output which needs to be plugged in. The input is handled by a small Bluetooth antenna towards the back. Since there is the option of Bluetooth pairing, it makes our work quick and easy. It is supported by Android and iOS systems.
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The pairing is very easy along with extra feature of pairing with multiple devices. The relay can decode SBC, A2DP, and AAC. It provides best sound over aptX which provides best sound for android users. Their relay performs at 24bit/48kHz. It has an ideal sample rate of 44.1 kHz.
According to our testing, the Relay sound seems better with hi-fi speaker than digital audio sources which are connected by wires. It has 112dB signal-to-noise ratio and only 0.0001% THD (total harmonic distortion), it will never let you listen distortion or noise while listening your music.
However some users noticed that iPhone 6s only supports lower quality formats and it works better with Android. Compared to just the sound of the laptop or PC, you will notice a remarkable difference in the sound quality. There is obvious improvement in clarity with much better amplification. The Relay proves time and again that the sound is accurate as well as detailed. Do checkout Mass Fildelity relay review here.
So I can easily say that Mass Fildpelity Relay is one of the best wireless DAC in our list. I would definitely recommend you to give it a try and check its quality by yourself. Since it provides you high quality audio even without using any wires (wireless). As wireless DAC can be used any where rather than sitting on a table and keep stick to your chair since you are connected with DAC. So you must give it a try.
- Professional and Appealing design
- Wireless DAC
- Multiple Pairing
- Relay performs at 24bit/48kHz
- It has sample rate of 44.1 kHz
- It has 112dB signal-to-noise ratio and only 0.0001% THD (Total harmonic distortion)
This article should provide you with some guidance if you want to choose the most appropriate product which will suit your needs. Keep visiting Reviewitbaby.com for more – I hope you’ve found the best USB DAC which suits you under $200.