10 Best Dac Under 500 Consumer Reports 2020 [Reviews & Buying Guide]
Many people are not familiar with what DAC can be used for as it is built in most devices such as laptops, TV, CD players so they have no plan to buy one. Actually, there are many reasons to invest in a good DAC especially to improve the quality of the sound. So if you want to experience the best audio performance it is a must to get one DAC.
In case you are still in doubt of which one to choose or which one might work the best for you, we will present you with a list of standalone DAC under 500 USD that we selected based on real consumer guides. These Dacs are guaranteed to offer you an exceptional audio experience.
Best Dac Under 500 – [Reviews & Buying Guide]
1. FiiO Dac & Amplifier
This DAC chip is the product of FiiO store. It has the ability to hold files up to 96 kHz or 24 bit while at the same time helps to refine the audio quality by using its linear filter that can minimize the delay and offer such quiet internal operation without phase shifts when you change the tracks. It was designed with the circuit for bass boost to operate in the lowest noise in all kinds of situations. There is a broad range of connection that you can use with this DAC which means there is no limit of destination where you can transmit your audio to. Those connections are front and rear panel, headphone jack, line output including the coaxial output.
For USB connectivity, you can pair this DAC with your laptop using the micro USB which is super convenience and efficient. The construction of the DAC is very sleek with smooth aluminum coating including chassis to ensure durability of the DAC. Most importantly it is small and portable for your travelling purposes.
2. Creative Dac Sound Card
Check out this sound blaster from Creative store. Enjoy the premium quality of audio with this DAC of 130 DB high resolution with 32-bit 384kHz capacity that can help to minimize any distortion to enhance the quality of the audio stream ensuring the top level of fidelity and detail. Besides using it to improve the audio of your video, you can also pair it with your gaming devices such as BOX ONE, NINTENDO SWITCH or PS4 to maximize the excitement of the motherboard including the controller audio. On top of that, you also have the option to customize the audio realism making a surround sound virtualization, bass boosting, making the cue more accurate.
With this DAC, you will experience the most authentic audio fidelity with an unaltered model. The audio output is very realistic and able to transform 8W in-ear monitors into 600 W headphones audio quality. Whether you are watching a movie or playing video games, you will be impressed by this 7.1 surround sound DAC.
3. Avantree Dac Under 500
Avantree presents you with a high performing DAC that has a surprisingly outstanding converting quality. From now on you can convert your digital into analog audio with ease by simply connecting your devices with the DAC that has a wide compatibility and connectivity. At one press on the button, you will be able to switch the optical or coaxial input and the power control is in your hand. Additionally, there are a variety of digital sources that you can bridge with your sound system such as Satellite receivers, HDTVs, DVD players, AV Amplifier, Apple TV, home theater system and many more.
The design offers convenience for volume control with a built-in knob where you can manually adjust the volume of your audio whether it is RCA or AUX. Even better, it can guarantee to provide noise-free transmission while applicable for a wide range of input 192kHz/ 24bit, 96kHz, 48kHz, 44.1kHz, 32kHz. With this product, you are backed by a 2 years warranty.
4. EPOS Audio Amplifier
Enjoy an excellent audio quality with this Sennheiser GSX 1000 which is a gaming DAC amplifier from EPOS. The engine can offer 7.1 surround sound with an exceptionally detailed, timely awareness, and audio cues making it the most reliable DAC for gaming purposes. The design features an easy-to-operate setting where on the LED panel there are options that you can choose by simply tapping the panel to switch from one mode to another and change the volume easily. Additionally, it has the ability to save totally 4 customized sounds in the engine.
With the EQ setting, you are allowed to take control of the audio by using the DAC chip including the EQ presets that was built to ensure that you will stay on top of your game while enjoying the stable frequencies of the audio. Even better, there is a sidetone where you can adjust the volume of your voice in the headset.
5. Audioengine Dac Under 500
Here is a premium quality DAC from Audioengine. It can offer a jaw-dropping audio quality that you have never experienced before as the product features high-performing headphone amps that allow perfect streaming of 24/96 HD audio whether you are connecting to your laptop or portable DAC. Be noted that it will require USB for optical input but do not worry as the package will offer you other accessories such as USB cable, headphone, D1 24-bit DAC including a microfiber bag for storage.
For compatibility, this DAC can work very smoothly with a broad range of devices such as windows, mac, or any TOSLINK connection from DVD or CD players. With this DAC, the way you listen to music will be magically transformed. On top of that, you can have a peace of mind with this purchase as the brand offers up to 3 years warranty.
6 S.M.S.L Dac Under 500
High resolution audio is not possible without this DAC from S.M.S.L store. ES9038Q2M DAC was invented using the latest and most innovative ESS technology equipping it with 32-bit HyperStream II which makes it stand out from the other previous models. With that, the DoP function and the quality of the audio was dramatically improved. This 2nd generation of xCore 200 can handle up to 32bit/768kHz while DSD up to DSD512. You do not have to worry about the disturbing noise as it was designed to offer a very silent jitter as an audio clock.
All the input ports attached to this engine can be used with coaxial and optical ports which are supported by 24bit/176.4kHz SPDIF. The DAC comes with 9 color setting types of sound allowing you to alter the level of distortion to make them sound different.
7. IFI Portable Dac
Check out this portable DAC from IFI. The design of this DAC is very simple and lightweight which is very portable allowing you to bring it with you anywhere so you will be able to enjoy the high resolution of audio wherever you go. Moreover, the battery life can last up to 6 hours so you can listen to your music continuously without the need to recharge all day. Additionally, it comes with the amplifier that has a very powerful performance at the maximum of 400 MW from on-board.
You can connect the DAC and operate very easily whether to your smartphone or laptop as the DAC comes with a USB port that works with a wide range of devices including the headphone plug with the size of 4.4mm or S-Bal 3.5mm. Moreover, you can customize the audio based on your preference using the high-tech Xbass feature.
8. Fosi Audio Dac Under 500
Here is the latest model of DAC from Fosi Audio. This one comes with dual output for connecting to headphones with the upgraded fiber base that was built to redefine the quality of the audio. There is no complicated operation or software needed to get it started as this is a plug-and-play kind of DAC that offers the convenience of use to the users. All you need is a smartphone or laptop and headphones and you are good to go. The available input modes are optical coaxial S/PDIF and USB input where you can choose accordingly. Attached to the DAC, there is a knob that allows you to adjust the volume very easily.
For more specification, this DAC works with any 16-250Ohm headphones with chips TPA6120, OPA2134. It operates in the lowest noise possible as it streams with low jitter of 24bit/192Hkz HD.
9. Syba Store DAC Stereo
If you are looking for a DAC that can lower the noise do not forget to check out this one from Syba. It can offer a fuller sound quality as compared to the standard audio of CD sound, this DAC can perform better and can be measured as 24bit/96KHZ allowing the user to experience a superb audio quality. Most importantly, it comes with a built-in amplifier where there are two outputs allowing you to enjoy a frequency of 96 kHz and 24-bit.
The company is highly confident with their products, so they will offer you a refund providing that you are not satisfied with the product purchased. If you have any trouble with connecting to your devices, you can read the instruction manual given inside the package or contact the customer service.
10. Topping Dac Under 500
Let us walk you through this best-selling DAC from Topping. This black DSD512 HiFi XMOS XU208 Decoder has many built-in ports that can support a variety of pairing and devices whether it is USB, Optical or Coaxial. The sound that it produces is detail and cavernous which is more realistic compared to other products. This DAC is applicable with DSD512 and PCM 32 bit/768kHz and supported by 5V power outlet so you can use it almost anywhere.
If you tend to forget to turn off your devices, do not worry as this DAC comes with an auto-off and on feature where it will shut itself off after a continuous use.
After reading the above recommended products and the buying guide we hope it helps you in narrowing down your options and choose the one that works best for your purpose.