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Best Budget Dac for Laptop and Mobile Audio

Wharfedale Diamond 12 Series

sahilng49

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May 4, 2017
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Gurgaon
Hi,

Was looking to get a DAC to be used for audio streaming from PC and mobile devices.
I have Denon 720ae and Dali Z3s.
Which one would the experts here recommend - Dragonfly Red, Dragonfly Black or Schiit Modi/Fulla 2? My budget would be around 15k INR.
Please let me know of any other good DACs in your knowledge.

Thanks and Regards,
Sahil
 

MaSh

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They are all good dacs. What are you looking for? Dragon fly are portable dacs, schiit modi is a USB only dac and fulla 2 is a lot more. So that's three different categories of dacs. Pick what suits your requirement.

MaSh

Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk
 

sahilng49

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They are all good dacs. What are you looking for? Dragon fly are portable dacs, schiit modi is a USB only dac and fulla 2 is a lot more. So that's three different categories of dacs. Pick what suits your requirement.

MaSh

Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk

Thanks for the reply.
What is am looking for is good SQ from my laptop or phone while listening to music. I'll be connecting the DAC to laptop/phone and other side to my amp, which people say DAC could do wonders to the SQ.
But seeing a lot of DACs in the market, I am confused which one to buy.


Thanks,
 

drkrack

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Hyderabad
Hi,

Was looking to get a DAC to be used for audio streaming from PC and mobile devices.
I have Denon 720ae and Dali Z3s.
Which one would the experts here recommend - Dragonfly Red, Dragonfly Black or Schiit Modi/Fulla 2? My budget would be around 15k INR.
Please let me know of any other good DACs in your knowledge.

Thanks and Regards,
Sahil
If you can increase the budget or hand carry from USA Schiit Modi Multibit is a best choice at 20 - 22k.

Otherwise Smsl M8A is a great option below 15k, a LPSU at 5k is recommended to get a still better SQ.
If you are OK with it used DACs there are good options from Arcam and music hall apart from the above options etc.

Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk
 

sahilng49

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May 4, 2017
Messages
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Location
Gurgaon
If you can increase the budget or hand carry from USA Schiit Modi Multibit is a best choice at 20 - 22k.

Otherwise Smsl M8A is a great option below 15k, a LPSU at 5k is recommended to get a still better SQ.
If you are OK with it used DACs there are good options from Arcam and music hall apart from the above options etc.

Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk

I can use the option of carrying it from US.
I can increase my budget, if it is worth it.
Dragonfly is for $99, Schiit Fulla 2 i $99 while Modi Multibit is for $249.
Do you think it would be worth the difference in price?
Also, US appliances works fine in India, with voltage diff etc.?
 

sahilng49

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May 4, 2017
Messages
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Location
Gurgaon
I can use the option of carrying it from US.
I can increase my budget, if it is worth it.
Dragonfly is for $99, Schiit Fulla 2 i $99 while Modi Multibit is for $249.
Do you think it would be worth the difference in price?
Also, US appliances works fine in India, with voltage diff etc.?

Also, even Dragonfly has two variants, Black ($99) and Red ($199).
If anyone can help me to take a decision upon a budget DAC with superior SQ than using AUX wire directly from the Laptop/Phone to Amp, would really appreciate it.

Thanks,
 

MaSh

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Go for schiit fulla 2 as that is in your budget and shortlist. It's a great little dac with very good reviews. There is no end to how good a dac can be. If this is your first one, then fulla 2 should be a great starting point.

MaSh

Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk
 

sahilng49

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May 4, 2017
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Gurgaon
Go for schiit fulla 2 as that is in your budget and shortlist. It's a great little dac with very good reviews. There is no end to how good a dac can be. If this is your first one, then fulla 2 should be a great starting point.

MaSh

Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk

Thanks for your suggestion.
Would that be compatible with Phones as well (using appropriate adapters)?

Thanks,
 

anubisX

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Wonderland
Yep, you can connect your phone and laptop via USB. But how would you connect the Fulla 2 to your amplifier ? If you just want a DAC, why not just get the Modi 2 or Modi 2 Uber ?
 

MaSh

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drkrack

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Location
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I can use the option of carrying it from US.
I can increase my budget, if it is worth it.
Dragonfly is for $99, Schiit Fulla 2 i $99 while Modi Multibit is for $249.
Do you think it would be worth the difference in price?
Also, US appliances works fine in India, with voltage diff etc.?
If you can get from USA, Buy Modi 2 uber or Multibit in that case. Though a bifrost at 399$ would be a better option but it'll increase the budget by a huge margin.

Don't buy schiit fulla if you don't need a headphone amp.
Though I like the sound of Smsl M8A its more on brighter side, I don't know how it'll sound with Z3. Denon being a neutral amp, the combination should be good IMHO.
Alternatively you could consider ifi DAC available in your budget.
For Dragonfly buy their RED version which has the same chip as Smsl M8A, I'd prefer M8 over dragonfly because of more connectivity options it offers.
 
Last edited:

elangoas

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Was looking to get a DAC to be used for audio streaming from PC and mobile devices. I have Denon 720ae and Dali Z3s.

If you are planning to use with both PC & mobile, then a USB DAC is good as it is portable.. Also if you don't need more than 96/24 capability, then something like hifimeDIY DAC / Dragonfly black would suit you..

If you pick an USB DAC with volume control, then you need to fiddle with sources.. (mobile/PC, DAC volume control & amplifier volume control)..

HifimeDIY / Dragonfly DAC have lineout through 3.5mm port, which means volume control can be done at the amplifier end, in your case Denon 720ae..

BTW, what is your mobile? It has to support USB OTG function..The reason i ask is because, most recent models come with USB Type-C port..

If you are planning to pick it from US, then you can actually get 2 hifimeDIY USB DAC in your budget..One for PC & one for mobile..
 

sahilng49

New Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
28
Points
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Location
Gurgaon
If you are planning to use with both PC & mobile, then a USB DAC is good as it is portable.. Also if you don't need more than 96/24 capability, then something like hifimeDIY DAC / Dragonfly black would suit you..

If you pick an USB DAC with volume control, then you need to fiddle with sources.. (mobile/PC, DAC volume control & amplifier volume control)..

HifimeDIY / Dragonfly DAC have lineout through 3.5mm port, which means volume control can be done at the amplifier end, in your case Denon 720ae..

BTW, what is your mobile? It has to support USB OTG function..The reason i ask is because, most recent models come with USB Type-C port..

If you are planning to pick it from US, then you can actually get 2 hifimeDIY USB DAC in your budget..One for PC & one for mobile..


Hi,

Thanks everyone for the wonderful suggestions.
Going through them, I compared different DACs as per my requirements and budget, and I have just ordered a Dragonfly Black DAC from US :)
I am looking to use the DAC with both phone and laptop, and I am using an Iphone 6s, which I checked supports OTG. I would just need to buy a Lighting usb to camera adapter to connect it to phone. Thanks for bringing that up.

Thanks again, fellow audio-enthusiasts!
 

shibashis

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Dragonfly Red is allegedly a much better performer than the black version, the price difference is worth it. If you can return the black then I highly suggest you do so and get the red.
For portability Emotiva Little Ego is also a very nice option and worth considering.
 

amit11

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Jul 7, 2014
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Pune
Hi,

and I am using an Iphone 6s, which I checked supports OTG. I would just need to buy a Lighting usb to camera adapter to connect it to phone.

There are 2 versions of apple usb camera adapter.
The first one is normal.
With 2nd version, you can charge your phone and listen to music aswell at the same time. I had bought this second version. When i had bought recently it was not available anywhere in india...and after many days i could manage to find one.

Sent from Note5
 

Harikrish

New Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
11
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Location
Bangalore
Hi,

Thanks everyone for the wonderful suggestions.
Going through them, I compared different DACs as per my requirements and budget, and I have just ordered a Dragonfly Black DAC from US :)
I am looking to use the DAC with both phone and laptop, and I am using an Iphone 6s, which I checked supports OTG. I would just need to buy a Lighting usb to camera adapter to connect it to phone. Thanks for bringing that up.

Thanks again, fellow audio-enthusiasts!

Hi,

How is the DAC? I am also planning on getting a DAC and I have similar setup as yours. Though smaller, Dali Zensor 1 and a Denon DM 38 . How do you find the sound? I also need it for music from my laptop to go to the Denon and Dali.
Thanks
 

MaSh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2012
Messages
3,775
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
Hi,

How is the DAC? I am also planning on getting a DAC and I have similar setup as yours. Though smaller, Dali Zensor 1 and a Denon DM 38 . How do you find the sound? I also need it for music from my laptop to go to the Denon and Dali.
Thanks
There is an emotiva dac for sale in the for sale section.

MaSh

Sent from my Redmi Note 3 using Tapatalk
 
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