Introduction to DAC Reviews

External DACS (digital-to-analog converters) first came into vogue a number of years ago as a way to enhance the playback quality of the humble CD player. The rationale being that if you separated the components that converted all those “ones and zeros” into music, lavished some additional resources and attention to its design, you could tangibly improve the ultimate sound quality of your digital source player.

Today the “digital source” has broadened to include home computers, laptops, cell phones, networked digital media players, and more. Also storage space on modern devices, being as plentiful as it is, no longer limits us to lossy music file formats like MP3. Bit-perfect digital music reproduction can be had virtually anywhere and, to achieve that end, there are a plethora of modern DACs available. Most DACS are still strictly two-channel affairs but there are a few multi-channel units on the market geared for home theater use as well. They truly do come in all manner of sizes and price points, with interfaces like SPDIF, Toslink, AES, USB and even HDMI that suit most conceivable applications. Some DACs even have room and speaker correction capabilities as well as volume controls, so they can act as preamplifiers too.

Through listening and measurements, our reviews can help you sort through the best of what’s available in DACs and, hopefully, guide you to a choice that will fit your needs and be musically satisfying.

DACs

Wyred 4 Sound DAC-1v2 Digital-to-Analog Converter Review

The Wyred 4 Sound DAC-1v2 is the evolution of the company’s immensely popular DAC-1 series. The new version has several updates and improvements, which indicates enhanced capabilities and performance. Preliminary evaluation suggests that this is indeed a very competent DAC. The review should provide the readers with detailed descriptions on what they should expect from this DAC.

Prism Sound Callia DAC Review

The Prism Sound Callia brings professional engineering to HiFi in a big way. The Callia has a solid set of features, bulletproof build quality and exceptional sound.

Bryston BDA-3 DAC

Bryston BDA-3 DAC Review

Bryston tempts our sonic sensibilities with a DAC that not only possesses enviable decoding performance but also has every conceivable connection type, including four HDMI inputs!

Auralic

AURALiC ALTAIR Wireless Streaming DAC Review

The AURALiC ALTAIR is a beautiful-looking digital audio product that combines a high-end DAC with wireless streaming solution. To achieve the highest quality of digital sound reproduction, ALTAIR is equipped with the Femto Master Clock, full linear power supply, and four built-in filter modes for sound customization.