Despite its small size and and funky ball-shaped buttons that give it a playful look, the made-in-Britain Chord Mojo is a beast. For outputs, it has a standard 1/8″ (3.5mm) jack and RCA L/R phono outs – useful if you’re planning to directly hook it up to your powered bookshelf speakers or receiver. The resulting sound is magical. Although, the real magic happens inside the casing. Send us a tip using our anonymous form. © Copyright 2020 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. The headphone amplifier uses a low-noise Texas Instruments OPA926 chip, while low-pass filtering is handled by a TI OPA1662. The device is also equipped with a full range of balanced and unbalanced connectors, which makes it extremely versatile. It's good. It will decode PCM audio data up to 384 kHz/32 bits, as well as 11.2 MHz DSD256, with a signal-to-noise ratio up to 115 dB. It can play music files up to 768kHz/32-bits in USB mode and 192kHz/32-bits if you use any of its other inputs without downsampling. The headphone amp is also lacks power, and can only drive cans or headsets with an impedance of 150 Ω or below. There’s only one 3.5mm headphone output which keeps things dead simple. A set of LEDs on the side will light up to indicate which one is active. Cambridge Audio outfitted the DacMagic Plus with a wide array of I/O (inputs/outputs). It also has a top of the line AKM Velvet Sound AKM AK4499 DAC chip, next-level inputs/outputs like HDMI, Balanced XLR, or Bluetooth 5.0 w/LDAC, so you can connect just about any device under the sun. Sample Rate Support: 24bit/192kHz | MQA: No | Dimensions: 10.6 x 9.8 x 3.5 inches. Type: Budget | Headphone Amp: No | Chip: AK4490 | Inputs: Coaxial SPDIF, Optical SPDIF, Micro USB | Outputs: RCA phono | Max. I personally use a Schiit DAC and headphone amplifier, and I’ll never go back to listening to music through my computer’s headphone jack. Like all of Chord’s DACs, the Mojo features a Field Gate Programmable Array (FPGA) chip that is programmed in-house to perform filtering, decoding and volume control. Costing more than the Sound BlasterX G6, the Sennheiser GSX 1000 has a few unique tricks of its own. Here are some key features of this device: It will provide you with HD Audio PCM sampling frequency up to 384kHz. Cambridge Audio says its DAC upsamples (bumps up the resolution of compressed files) to present audio files in the best way possible using a custom technology called ATF2. Cambridge Audio also offer a separate USB port for the BT100 Bluetooth receiver (sold separately) for wireless streaming from Bluetooth devices. Sure, the jump in sound quality from the Schiit Modi 3 or Topping D30 won’t justify the additional cost for some, but this one is beautifully built and input switching is a highly overlooked feature. Besides the 6.3mm jack and L/R RCA outputs, there’s also an XLR3 balanced output which is a bonus for those with professional setups. Best Overall DAC 1. The ZTE Axon 7 has a 32 bit DAC from AKM which, from what I have read, is a direct competitor to the ESS and their sabre DAC found in the LG v10, and G5 audio module. Sample Rate Support: 32-bit/384kHz | MQA: No | Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.9 x 2.8 inches. Each chip processes the digital input differently and the output will be slightly different, resulting in different sound qualities. This component is required to turn any digital audio file into sounds you can hear. The sound is also next-level, with an extraordinarily black background, amazingly refined high-end, and … This little piece of hardware provides it with such power that it will forever change the way you perceive in-game sounds and music. Indeed, it combines two THX AAA-788 amplifier chips and two AKM AK4493 digital-to-analog conversion chips, as well as Dirac Sensaround II technology, which delivers accurate, rich, and deep playback with a beautiful sound stage. Three LEDs on the front will show you which input is currently selected, and a button next to them lets you switch between them manually. I was wondering if you guys know of any standalone DACs that use AKM (Asahi Kasei Microsystems) DAC chips. These are the best ones to get. It can play audio files up to 192kHz/24-Bits without compression, and has a pair of Wolfsun 24-bit chips under the hood. Wondering what the reference DAVE DAC must sound like, I pushed that out of my head as this Qutest was sounding amazingly expressive, ethereal and while it did not have the largest soundstage (though this changed dramatically when I inserted some high end SWISSCABLES speaker and RCA’s…best cables I Have ever heard in my 34 years of HiFi, review soon). is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If you want a well-made (in America!) I was looking for an inexpensive DAC to extend the life of a Sony X303ES CD Player and the Schiit Modi 3, with its AKM 4490 DAC chip and DC-coupled output, was exactly what I was looking for. This is all acceptable until we start hooking these things up to audiophile speakers or headphones. We mean that literally because the Q5S has a 3,700mAh (milliamp) battery, so it can run without being connected to an external power source. Apr 25, 2018 #3. stunta said: Sabre DACs are supposed to sound "edgy" for instance. Audio ICs, Audio D/A Converter, Audio A/D Converter, Audio CODEC, Sample Rate Converter, Digital Audio Interface, Audio&Voice Processor, Radio Tuner, Products, Asahi Kasei Micorodevices, AKM The Modi 3’s aluminum box is slick but unremarkable in design. Ahmed98 Novice Member. In most cases, the DAC is built into the device you’re using to listen to music (TV, laptop, phone, or tablet), but this version is not optimized for the best … Audiophiles love Chord because they do everything in-house. The AKM AK4493 is akm's new flagship 32-bit stereo Premium DAC. The built-in headphone amplifier has most standalone headphone amps beat, making it the perfect driver for super high-end cans like the HIFIMAN HE6se. Sound is simply fantastic. Sample Rate Support: 32bit/768kHz, DSD512 | MQA: No | Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 6 inches. The Bryston uses a discrete Class A output stage, and the … Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) is an audio codec using lossy compression intended for hi-fi digital audio streamed over the internet. AKM for a long time was the favorite on the high-end and ultra high-end modded players. Freshman Member; 139 posts; Share; Posted June 30, 2017. Yes, the fragmented information we’re getting indicates that AKM will be out of the high-end DAC and SPDIF receiver chip business for a long time (some say 1 year, don’t take this as gospel.) It doesn’t really matter what input you pick. Comparable to the Chord Mojo in both price and spec, the iFi xDSD is another brilliant sounding portable high resolution audio DAC and headphone amp. Schiit releases new components when they’re ready, and you can swap out the USB port of this DAC down the road if you’d like. The ESS chip is a native I out chip, which also can be used as a … Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVC/Tubestage, AMP Module with built in HPF 100Hz 24dB/octave, DAC 2.0), Harbeth P3ESR, Rythmik F8 The soundstage isn’t as big and open as that of the Chord Mojo or Schiit Modi 3, but then again it’s less expensive. What you should consider is the implementation, and how you you are going to do it. Go. Here is a detailed review of five of the best DAC amp combo on the market that money can buy. Although the 32-bit ESS 9016 DAC chip is intentionally limited to 24-bit/96kHz resolution in order to make sure everything is plug ‘n’ play without the need for additional drivers, audio is detailed, warm and balanced. It has a great soundstage with detailed imaging; mids are smooth and the bottom end is well-rounded. 5. It would be good to see you start a thread for a change, instead of just commenting on everyone else's all … It’s definitely designed to be part of a more complicated audio setup. Released in 2018, iFi have given the xDSD aptX/AAC bluetooth which the previous iDSD lineup didn’t feature. I was wondering if you guys know of any standalone DACs that use AKM (Asahi Kasei Microsystems) DAC chips. Sleek and portable, the E10K DAC and amplifier features a PCM102 chip that can handle files up to 24-bit/96 kHz audio resolution. This DAC will sound great out of the box, but there’s also a Bass button to add more low-end frequencies if necessary. Bluetooth can’t handle lossless audio transmission, so you can forget about CD quality audio. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right DAC for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list. The chip can decode a wide range of formats, including native support for Tidal’s MQA codec. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates. Portability is the Dragonfly Black’s greatest asset, but it’s also its biggest downside. With their ADI-2 DAC, Germany's RME cements their place as the best DAC-maker on the planet. Cambridge Audios’ DacMagic Plus is a high-end desktop DAC with a modern, minimalist look. Headphone users will need to hook it up with one – and if you don’t have one already, Schiit recommend the Magni 3 which is designed to stack with the Modi 3. The 9018/9028 DACs have warm bass and treble timbre issues while those based around newer AKM chips like AK4490 have veil/compression in the midbass punch and low treble. Sample Rate Support: 32bit/768kHz, DSD512 | MQA: Yes | Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 1 inches. The AK4499EQ current-output DAC is AKM’s latest VELVET SOUND VERITA product, following on from the previous flagship device, the AK4497EQ. There’s a standard 3.5mm headphone jack on the other end, so you don’t have to fuss with any additional hardware. 00. These devices integrate cutting-edge features ideal for the Hi-Fi and high-resolution audio markets. This is the only DAC in our guide that allows you to stream music through it wirelessly to your audio system or headphones without an optional accessory. The xDSD has a 2,200mAh battery that can delivery around 8 hours of continuous use. But as we all know, our ears can’t process a bunch of 0 and 1 bits as sound. During my wait, I got the E30 which is an AKM DAC that sells for $130. But the reality is barely anyone has access to music files with such high sample rates and bit depth. A big part of that can be put down to its cheap Conexact CX20745 DAC which is often placed in cheap sound cards and tablets. While sound lacks the dynamic power and there is a slight edge in the treble frequencies compared to the more expensive DACs we’ve covered , the average listener will be blown away by its sonic punch and excellent sound separation. For such a cheap DAC and amplifier combo, the K3 has a couple of nice features. In UAC 1.0 mode, the K3 is a plug and play, 96k/24-bit DAC without the need for additional drivers. The Bifrost 2 is 12-inches long and weighs 7 pounds, which makes it the biggest and heaviest DAC we recommend by a wide margin. RME ADI-2 DAC ($1,099) Headphone Amplifier: Yes DAC Chip: AKM AK4490EQ MQA Playback: No Max Sampling Rate: 32-bit/768kHz. Using one between your source (a phone, computer, etc.) Audioengine are well-known for their excellent powered desktop speakers and their desktop DAC does not disappoint. Aug 1, 2017 at 8:22 PM #2 Where to turn on the Super Hifi option? Kiss 2020 Goodbye: How to Live Stream Kiss’ New Year’s Eve Concert from Home, ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 3: Third Time Is No Charm for ‘Karate Kid’ Reunion Franchise, Revisiting the Horror Show That Was 1978’s ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’, These Are the 36 End of Year Sales Worth Shopping. AKM’s VERITA audio devices target high-end and boutique audio equipment. People buying their first DAC often look at the max bit depth and sampling rate and assume the higher the better. They don’t decode digital audio with high precision, suffer from electronic interference and output a noisy signal. Imperfections are easily picked up. restorer-john Major Contributor. Current-output DAC Achieves Best-in-Class Performance. At 6.69-inches long and .44 pounds the Q5S can fit easily in the front pocket of a backpack or laptop bag. Our job is to introduce and guide you through some of the Top dac and headphone amp currently available in the market. The build quality is top-notch. This is the kind of DAC you want sitting right bang in the middle of your sound system. Japanese silicon heart At the heart of the Transporter ticks the so-called 'Miracle DAC' AK4396 by Asahi Kasei Microsystems Semiconductor. Indistinguishable from a thumb drive, this DAC from AudioQuest is incredibly compact. However, when we disable DSP and use the GSX 1000 as a simple DAC for stereo listening, it falls short of the cheaper Sound BlasterX G6. ESS DAC "Sabre" 32bit: ES9012 - 133dB Burr-Brown/TI DAC 32bit: PCM1795 - 123dB AKM DAC 32bit first generation: AK4397 - 120dB AKM DAC 24bit last generation: AK4396 - 120dB AKM DAC 32bit second generation: AK4399 - 123dB and finally an older 24bit DAC by Burr-Brown/TI: FiiO is a Chinese brand that is quickly becoming the bestselling DAC manufacturer out there. Noise is non-existent. The streaming service Tidal provides MQA audio to subscribers of its Masters plan. If you find yourself traveling often, or want a discrete DAC to use at work (like I do), the Dragonfly Black is your best choice. No! Aug 1, 2017 at 9:06 PM #3 It is using the AK dac without genuine drivers. There’s no 1/8″/3.5mm jack since this does not feature a built-in headphone amp. The Topping A30 headphone amplifier is designed to be the perfect partner, but you can pair it with anything. There is no doubt that they are the most iconic DAC manufacturer, often noted for their superb sound and quirky designs which culminate in their flagship DAC, the 5-figure Chord DAVE. DACs have the advantage of being isolated from your computer’s components which are a source of interference. Secondly, there is a bass boost which is far superior to that of the E10K and good enough to not just be a simple gimmick. Sign up for our newsletter. An all-aluminum construction and the reinforced ports are built to last. Conclusively, Schiit Fulla 3 is one of the best DAC and Amp combos for gaming and if you want to improve your gaming performance, perhaps this … When we first compared the Burr-Brown DAC we were using to the ES9016 we implemented in the QB-9, the Burr-Brown hands down beat the ESS DAC straight out of the box, so to speak. To create audible sound that reaches our ears, we need to convert the digital file back into analog sound waves. Get it as soon as Mon, Jan 4. Sound is very detailed and rather neutral without any significant coloring. Cambridge Audio Azur DacMagic Plus – best overall. AKM for a long time was the favorite on the high-end and ultra high-end modded players. Enabling these led to some listening fatigue for myself but I can see them enhancing the auditory experience in some circumstances. That clears up what exactly a DAC does and why it’s worth upgrading. If you listen to music on your phone or computer, and don’t use a standalone DAC, you’re getting a degraded experience. It is not going to sound great the way it is being forced to work. With enough power to run 600 ohm cans, it’s a perfect fit for gamers who own an expensive pair of cans and like listening to music as much as playing games. While the Chord Mojo has a slightly superior DAC chip and better instrument separation, making it bluetooth compatible is only possible if you purchase the Chord Poly accessory. This is easily one of my favorite Home DACs. Best Compact Camera Phones; Top Smartphones with 24-bit or 32-bit DAC. If you ask anyone about the best sounding DACs for around $100, two models invariably come up: the Schiit Modi 3 and Topping D30. Overall the xDSD is a great value for a portable bluetooth DAC. It can’t quite match the Chord Mojo’s sound quality on most fronts. Sample Rate Support: 24bit/96kHz | MQA: No | Dimensions: 5.6 x 5.5 x 2.8 inches. While slightly less feature-rich than the Mytek Brooklyn, I’d rate the sound quality about on par with the Mytek Brooklyn but I need some exhaustive comparisons before I can elevate the ADI Pro 2 to my personal reference class. It’s not hard to see why it’soften pitted against the Schiit Modi 3. It can play 192kHz/24-bit music files without compression using a custom-made Unision™ USB chip that has a microprocessor dedicated to make sure the digital audio signal sounds clean (free of distortion, compression, or distortion). If you’re using headphones, you’ll need a headphone amp. Recommended Posts. The M300MKII has the best components along with a flagship grade AKM DAC. They haven’t just resolved them, the Modi 3 is now the best sounding standalone DAC for the price. Schiit Audio has made a name for itself by creating custom, high-end audio components that allow it to control exactly how its audio gear sounds. The DacMagic Plus’s mix of I/O make it a good fit for a wide range of applications. There’s not a lot going on at the front other than a switch to select your input source and the laser-engraved logo. Akm 4493 DAC detailed sound. Overall this is a terrific budget option and definitely worth considering over the Schiit Modi 3 or Topping D30 which would require buying a separate amplifier. Add two regulators for 5V to supply the upsampler chip CS8420 - one for digital - pin 23, one for analog - pin 6 . So we don’t really care about our DAC being able to theoretically ‘handle’ these uncompressed audio files. Hopefully my review of the best DACs right now will help you narrow down your search. Note that like the Modi 3, this is a straightforward DAC meaning you’ll need an amplifier – be it a headphones amplifier or a stereo amplifier for speakers. And it’s difficult to argue with that statement. It supports PCM inputs up to 768kHz and a direct stream digital (DSD) input of 2.8/5.6/112 (Maximum) MHz, the industry's highest level. The built-in headphone amp’s output power and <1 Ohm output impedance might not be as impressive as that of the Chord Mojo but nevertheless it has no issue powering low-efficiency cans. " AKM seem to me to be the leader of the "non R2R" dac chip sound" Doesn't mean I like DS or "keen on it" as you say. It walks all over the Macbook Pro’s built in DAC and has superior detail retrieval, a more open soundstage and plenty more finesse. That’s why some of the best sounding D/A converters like the Chord Hugo 2 are tiny. Joined Mar 1, 2018 Messages 5,509 Likes 12,705 Location Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. In terms of inputs, the Audioengine D1 features a USB Type-B port (which is also where it draws power from) and TOSLINK optical port. So what’s the problem? Notably, the Chord Poly which snaps onto the side of the Mojo and transforms it into a very capable wireless music player. Answered Best DAC under $150 for AudioEngine A5+ Thread starter Ahmed98; Start date Jul 13, 2019; Tags amplifier audioengine dac flac hi-fi hires music stereo amp; 1; 2; 3; Next. Apr 25, 2018 #3. of storage, with a killer DAC included that has all the best numbers: “768KHz/32bit dual-mono DAC designed around the AKM AK4497 chipset, with support for “native” DSD at up to 8x.” By the way, it’s also a full-function preamp that can be hooked up to your favorite amp by either RCA or XLR. R. RUNNERX New member. In any case, please leave feedback and suggestions by posting a comment below! Overall, it’s a fantastic DAC for those after a compact and fuss-free setup. Chord Electronics claim that the Mojo is the ultimate portable DAC. Although possible to pair it with your phone, this is definitely better suited to replacing your computer’s internal soundcard. An all-aluminum construction and the reinforced ports are built to last. There’s also a S/PDIF coaxial/optical input, though it will limit things to 192kHz/24bit. No, DAC chips are inherently small and manufacturers don’t have to compromise the circuitry in order to fit them into a small chassis. The Bifrost 2 is its latest DAC, and continues this effort. Thank Alex for that. If drivers … It’s worth noting that the built-in headphone amplifier on the K3 is only designed for use with cans with an impedance of up to 150 Ω. The Topping D30 is yet another plain old DAC that boasts excellent spec for the price. Almost all of the DACs we’ve chosen have an integrated a headphone amp, so you can plug your cans directly into them. Best DAC 2020: best headphone DAC and portable DAC for your phone and laptop Get the best DAC to grab a massive improvement to your laptop and mobile audio By Duncan Bell • 2020-11-30T17:19:38Z. In many cases you may not immediately hear a difference, but once your ears are used to hearing music through a DAC you’ll be surprised at how much worse music sounds without one. A solid, budget DAC/headphone amp from a respected brand, Type: Budget | Headphone Amp: Yes | Chip: AK4396 | Inputs: Optical, USB Type-B | Outputs: RCA phono | Max. Exceptional musicality. Type: High-end Home | Headphone Amp: No | Chip: Xilinx Artix 7 | Inputs: BNC coaxial, USB Type-B | Outputs: RCA phono | Max. Many of the chips do seem to have a specific timbre across designs. Inputs and Outputs: Our DAC picks all have USB ports on them, so they can be connected to your computer (or in some cases smartphone). This DAC can also play DSD (Direct Stream Digital) files, the highest quality digital audio format available right now. LG is a known mobile brand for Android users and audiophiles because of the high bit rate audio features on their flagship G Series like the LG G3, LG G4, and LG G5–all with 24-bit DAC. Getting a good DAC will make your library of digital music (streamed or local) sound a lot clearer. Consider this: Your phone and computer both have built-in speakers, but it’s still worth connecting them to an external pair to hear your music better. The tubes you use (along with your headphones and music) will impact the exact sound of a Bifrost 2 and Valhalla 2 pairing, but using the stock set should produce excellent sounding results. Just stick it in your computer’s USB port or your phone (using a relevant USB adaptor) and plug your headphones into the other end. The K3 is its successor, and it’s another bargain for what it is. This 7.1 Virtual Surround Algorithm was developed with gamers in mind and is designed to enhance spatial audio in games. Type: Budget | Headphone Amp: Yes | Chip: AK4452 | Inputs: USB Type-C | Outputs: 3.5mm, 2.5mm, Coaxial and optical (for relay only) | Max. There’s no support for Bluetooth audio streaming, but Schiit does include a remote (made out of milled aluminium), which allows you to change its inputs and adjust your volume wirelessly. Low-distortion technology achieves industry’s best performance of -116dB THD+N DAC with 128dB S/N characteristic. It has a pair of coaxial inputs, two optical audio inputs, an optical output, one coaxial output, a set of balanced audio (XLR) outputs, RCA outputs, and headphone jack. Jul 13, 2019 #1 Current options are the FiiO K3, FiiO Q1 MK 2 and the SMSL M6. The DAC (or Digital to Analog Converter) is a tool used to convert the digital audio signal into an analog one, so we can hear it in a proper format. The Q5S can be connected to a computer (PC or Mac) or Phone (iOS and Android) via USB, but it also features an optical audio input, line (AUX) in and outputs, Bluetooth, and a headphone jack. TL-DR: Only stock build uses the best DAC (AKM 4491). Many audiophiles associate them with junk. You get the point. Fully balanced professional unit featuring the beloved AKM DAC chips with premium components, full DSD support and headphone amplifier. The device uses AKM AK4490 DAC, which is a well-known DAC and provides crystal-clear audio. First up is the UAC 1.0/UAC 2.0 switch. The resulting sound is warm and rich with punch bass. In my experience (listening over several months using different equipment and audio files), the biggest change was bass sounding tighter (easier to hear without feeling smoothed over), and better-sounding vocals. Its frame is made out of aluminum, which adds heft, but makes it feel a lot sturdier. It’s designed to sound better than the audio on other streaming services like Spotify (which uses 320kbps OGG VORBIS at its ‘very high’ quality setting). Year in Review: So, How Was Your 2020, Dierks Bentley? Honestly, I don't think I can hear the diff between software and hardware MQA unfold. Type: Portable | Headphone Amp: Yes | Chip: Burr-Brown DSD1793 | Inputs: USB | Outputs: 3.5mm headphone | Max. The analogue stage of the DAC that follows is just as, if not more important, than the chip itself. USB and IIS (HDMI) inputs support up to PCM32bit / 768 kHz and DSD512 Native. It’s perhaps surprising that a DAC this small is not recommended for use with iPhone or Android devices, and rather designed to be for used with your desktop or laptop. Let’s find out. In addition, OSRD (Over Sampling Ratio Doubler) technology greatly reduces out of band noise. This device has a top of the line AKM Velvet Sound AKM AK4499 DAC chip, which will keep the sound just perfect. Leave that to your headphones/speakers and you can always resort to the EQ if you desire. But you don’t listen to a product’s specifications, you listen to music. Musical Fidelity: V90-DAC Digital To Analog Converter - Black (DAC) 4.5 out of 5 stars 31. 2. Great DSP let down by a very mediocre DAC chip, Type: Gaming | Headphone Amp: Yes | Chip: Conexant CX20745 | Inputs: mini-USB, microphone | Outputs: 3.5mm, 3.5mm speaker | Max. While this list of the best DACs doesn’t include studio or ultra high-end DACs that cost thousands of dollars, the build quality of the Marantz HD-DAC1 has many of those beat. A DAC uses chips specifically designed for one task without the contraints tech companies have when designing their headsets. When you run your headphones through the DragonFly Red DAC, you begin to wonder why other DACs are so big in the first place. FREE Shipping. However, today’s sound cards feature much better DACs than they did before and are better shielded from electrical noise. They are also separate from your computer and can be used with other sound sources like your iPhone or laptop. Creative: Check Price. It had lower output, higher noise and jitter and inferior linearity when compared to the Topping D30 (below). It’s a truly great sounding delta-sigma DAC. There are only the standard pair of left/right RCA jacks for output. Monolith 124459 – best overall. Roughly the size of two decks of playing cards, the Audioengine D1, though compact, is not designed to be portable. 'I have simple tastes, I am always satisfied with the best.' Looking at it this way, the xDSD is hard to beat. It’s worth mentioning that AudioQuest also offer the DragonFly Black and DragonFly Cobalt, but the Red definitely hits the sweet price/performance spot. If you are planning to buy dac and headphone amp but confused which one is the best dac and headphone amp then you are in the right place. I know that PS1 uses it, & I like it a lot, and found out that SlimDevices Transporter uses AKM 4397 DAC. However, the Topping D30 can natively decode DSD, unlike the Modi 3, giving it a fairly obvious advantage to those who plan to playback DSD. I know that PS1 uses it, & I like it a lot, and found out that SlimDevices Transporter uses AKM 4397 DAC.