A DAC is an essential piece of kit if you want to enjoy digitised music that sounds like the real thing.
Connecting your iPod direct to an amplifier results in poor quality audio reproduction. Have you noticed how ‘flat’ the sound is when you’re playing your favourite band through your hi-fi? Do you hear a background hiss (technically a ‘noise floor problem’) during the quieter pieces in the music?
The internal digital to analogue circuits in an iPod (and other portable digital music players) have been miniaturised for a small size and the convenience of your pocket. When you’re on the move using earphones, then the effect is hardly noticeable, but when you’re playing this music through bolder loudspeakers, the resulting output is limited to the performance of the reduced components. It could be different – better clarity; enriched sound; and a much closer experience to being at the gig itself.
This is where an External DAC comes in – these bits of kit are solely dedicated to doing one thing only, taking a digital signal and converting it to analogue with absolute accuracy. Perceptible accuracy. Accuracy that I can assure you, with total certainty, is worth the investment.
An external DAC has much better quality components in the digital circuits, reducing errors in the conversion to analogue. Miniaturisation no longer an issue, dedicated DACs focus on using the best components for the job.
Just to be clear: you don’t need an external DAC. But if you’re an ardent music fan that demands the highest quality audio reproduction from digital sources, then you really should have one.
[Product featured: Parasound ZDac]