What are the types of DAC?
Digital to analog audio converter completely transfigures the sound from any digital source, optical drives (CD / DVD / Blu-ray), iPhone and computers in mind. This device is in the form of a compact housing flanked by several digital inputs (S / PDIF and asynchronous USB) and an analog stereo output. In practice, it replaces the source to decode digital music, which it knows how to extract and convert according to the rules of the art.
The principle of the DAC is to sum the analog signals (current or voltage). The summation is performed with coefficients equal to zero or one, depending on the value of the corresponding code bit. The output of the DAC can take the form of current, voltage, or charge. Converters with current output are mainly used in precision and high-frequency circuits.
The DAC USB (asynchronous)
With the dematerialization of music, the computer has become a first-class playback device, with its high storage capacity and its user-friendly graphical interface. However, most of our computers are 95% equipped with poor quality sound cards and even budget DAC will be better. And this may be an incentive to choose such a device among the best DACs under 200 reviews, for example. Hence the advantage of using an external audio DAC, to extract digital music via a USB port, whether in MP3, AAC, WAV, FLAC format or whether it is a stream streamed from Spotify or Deezer for example.
Network audio DAC: wired or wireless
As an alternative to the optical, coaxial or USB wired link, the transmission of digital data via a local Ethernet or WiFi network is offered by some Audio DACs. Most often, these are network audio players equipped with digital inputs and perfectly playing the role of DAC. These devices are more imposing and can be controlled by an application for a smartphone or tablet. Several transmission standards exist Apple AirPlay, DLNA or Kleer, all of which are lossless (lossless), therefore perfectly respectful of the original file. The audio stream is streamed from the source (smartphone, computer, NAS, etc.) to the network Audio DAC which performs the conversion to analog.
As its name suggests, the function of digital transport is to extract digital data from a source (computer, reader). It resynchronizes the internal clock of the source to regulate the data flow and thus avoid the formation of the jitter. Equipped with digital audio outputs, digital transport is intended to be used in cascade with a high-end DAC, to which it provides a very clean signal, via a digital S / PDIF output (optical, coaxial, BNC or AES / EBU).