Published On: October 9, 2013

Digital to Analog Converter (DAC)

Published On: October 9, 2013

Digital to Analog Converter (DAC)

A digital to analog converter does exactly what it sounds like. The device takes a digital audio signal and converts it to and analog one. There are many different kinds of digital to analog converters to choose from

DAC.gifA digital to analog converter takes the zeros and ones from a source like a compact disc or DVD and converts them into analog. DACs can be standalone audiophile components or found inside components like AV receivers, AV preamps and even some of the new USB stereo preamps.

Though it may seem like all digital audio is the same, a high-end DAC can make all digital files sound more lifelike, "smoothing" out the audio.

The most popular DACs these days are USB DACs that take a digital signal from your computer (via USB obviously, but sometimes wirelessly or over Ethernet) and convert the audio to analog for your receiver.

HomeTheaterReview.com's DAC reviews include:

Wadia 151 PowerDAC Amp/DAC
Audio Research DAC8
Micromega Airstream WM-10 Wireless DAC
Benchmark DAC 1 HDR
Cary Audio Xciter DAC

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