AudioQuest – DragonFly Red USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier
- 32-Bit SABRE DAC
- 2.1v Output Drives Almost Any Headphones
- Works With Apple and Android devices when paired with a simple adapter
However, you might be surprised when you take a look at some products like AudioQuest’s DragonFly series. If you are a hifi and gaming enthusiast, chances are you are familiar with AudioQuest and its great digital to analog converter. DragonFly is as small as any standard USB key, but it offers qualities that you wouldn’t expect from devices so small and practical that they could fit in your average wallet. Sure, it comes at a higher price, but we’d say it’s worth it as the Best DAC for Gaming in 2023.
Now the first thing that makes this DAC so impressive is the ability to play anything that comes from high resolution MP3 files. This means that you can easily improve your sound card with this DAC and also increase the definition of the sound. However, to pair this DAC with Android or Apple devices, you will get a simple adapter. This adapter will give you the possibility to connect to your device and improve the sound quality of the sound. On top of that, it is one of the perfect DAC devices when it comes to versatility. That is, you will be able to improve the transparency, immediacy, sound quality, and even the richness of the sound you are listening to with your audio settings first.
Want something that does a good job for your gaming PC, but that you can also take with you to use with your smartphone on the go? The DragonFly Black (1.2 volts), for around $ 100, and the higher quality DragonFly Red (2.1 volts) for around $ 200 are a great option. Some of them come with a compatible cable for you to connect to your smartphone. If you’re using an Apple device, look for a package that includes a Lightning to USB 3 adapter, and if you’re using Android, look for one that converts to Mini USB or USB C, or buy it separately.
The main idea here was to have a compact and simple “plug and play” dac and amp for Windows, Android, iOS and Mac devices. If you want to pair it with a phone, both iOS and Android, you will need additional adapters, but you can make it work. But its general intention is not only for the game, but also for other experiences. However, it is optimized to work with headphones, although you can also use it with speakers thanks to its simple 3.5mm connection. Audio quality is excellent for this price, hitting up to 24-bit and 92 kHz. It may not be as much as some would expect, but you will get a very compact and great-sounding DAC, especially useful for those who prefer gaming laptops, but as we mentioned above, it is not. It’s not exactly the cheapest part of the market these days, so it’s mostly for high-end users.
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier
- Easy to Operate Design: The refined E10K-TC is tiny enough to carry with you wherever you go but is also...
- Impeccable XMOS Decoding: The E10K-TC comes with the flagship XMOS XUF208 for better USB decoding....
- Quality Chips to Delight your Ears: The DAC is the PCM5102, with improvements to the flatness and delays...
The FiiO E10K is simple, portable, and the perfect choice if you’ve never bought a DAC before. At around $ 75, it’s a small enough investment to get a quality product without worrying about not needing or enjoying a DAC. It is no bigger than a deck of cards, but it does carry a good weight. The E10K can power headphones up to 250 ohms, which means that it will work with almost most gaming headsets except very high-end ones. Where the naysayers can speak is that the DAC can only handle a 24-bit / 96kHz PCM. For around $ 75, this is an incredible value. However, for some audiophiles, this may be too low. If 96 kHz is too low a sample rate for you, you’ll probably have to spend more on a high-end DAC.
The best DAC under $ 100 is the FiiO E10K USB DAC. Now you can really take advantage of it as it is equipped with a low noise floor. Namely, this unit is designed with a low pass filter in combination with a selectable bass boost circuit. This means that this DAC is sure to provide incredible sound quality and enhance your overall audio setup. Anyway, the reason this DAC is not in the “expensive” price category is because it is not compatible with all devices. Simply put, you can use this DAC with Windows OS and it also has an option for USB connection. However, the value of this DAC increases in terms of the overall design. The design of this DAC allows it to be used anywhere, anytime.
Additional features on the Fiio E10K include gain and bass switches if you need an extra unit or shaky bass. Small form factor brushed aluminum body leaves a small footprint on your desk; since it is the size of a matchbox. The rear of the Fiio also offers coaxial or line-out options, beyond the standard 3.5mm headphone jack on the front. Looking for a powerful amp and DAC in an attractive device? The FiiO E10K is USB powered to deliver exceptional audio quality and low noise. It comes with several connection options for your favorite headphones or digital audio destination. Plus, the brushed aluminum design is durable and super stylish.
Sound BlasterX G6 Hi-Res 130dB 32bit/384kHz Gaming DAC
- UPGRADE YOUR GAMES ON PS4, XBOX ONE, NINTENDO SWITCH, AND PC | Get immediate increased enjoyment over...
- INDUSTRY-LEADING AUDIO PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY Enjoy full audio customization and enhanced audio realism...
- 7.1 VIRTUAL SURROUND SOUND AND DOLBY DIGITAL Enjoy the latest in immersion technology with Dolby Digital...
Game lovers may already know a thing or two about digital entertainment company Creative. With an inventory of some very thoughtful products designed specifically for gaming, it’s a no-brainer to find something like a DAC. For this list, we take a look at its incredible Sound BlasterX G6, which has attracted a lot of attention from gamers in recent years. It only takes a glance to realize that this is a premium product for those looking for the best gaming experience.
This is an external AMP DAC and has similar functionality to the AE-5 card. For features, you get virtual 7.1 surround sound, Dolby Digital decoding, a Sound Blaster studio, a discrete headphone amplifier, and a mic-in jack. As we mentioned before, having a microphone jack really separates a standard DAC from a gaming DAC. Also, hi-fi audio is standard here with working 600-ohm headphones. Finally, it has a DNR of 130 dB, 32-bit / 384 kHz sampling, and a multi-bit modulator with mismatch modeling technology.
Simply put, appearance and design complement the performance and features of this beautiful piece. First of all, we should point out that the Sound BlasterX G6 is for standard gaming consoles and PCs. As for consoles, it supports connectivity with PlayStation 4, X-Box One and Nintendo Switch. We also have top-notch audio processing technology that supports 7.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital. This also makes it a very viable option for those looking to enhance other forms of entertainment, including movies or any other multimedia experience.
It comes with an incredible 32-bit bit rate and a sample rate of up to 384 kHz. You can’t find this particular workout, even with some professional sound cards these days. But it is more than a DAC. In this, we can also find the so-called “Scout Mode” that can help you improve your gaming experience with in-game audio signals. It also comes with a discrete headphone amp and a bi-amp, which means it processes the low and high frequencies separately, resulting in a full sound. To be completely honest, you can’t go wrong with the Sound BlasterX G6, as it offers an unrivaled experience, even compared to some more expensive DACs these days.
Chord Mojo Black DAC/Headphone Amplifier
- Authentic Chord Mojo that is entirely designed and manufactured in Great Britain. All Mojo devices come...
- Mojo, the ultimate DAC/Headphone Amplifier for your smartphone, iPhone or Android. Simply connect Mojo to...
- Inside Mojo is a massively powerful headphone amplifier that will deliver crystal clear audio whether you...
If you need something that goes beyond 24-bit / 96kHz PCM, your best bet is to jump into the Mojo. The Mojo plays audio up to 32-bit / 768kHz, which should satisfy even the most discerning audio connoisseur. Simply put, the Mojo will satisfy all of your audio needs while gaming. The Mojo is also capable of bypassing headphones and being connected to speakers, which is perfect for desktop gamers. The main downside to this model is that it costs over $ 500 – not much of a purchase to make if you are trying a DAC for the first time. If you’re ready to upgrade, make it the Mojo. The Mojo, unlike the FiiO, runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, so if you forget to charge your devices, you should keep that in mind. Fortunately, it can charge to full capacity in 4 hours and then give you around 10 hours of functionality.
Chord Electronics is one of the world’s most respected brands of hi-fi and multimedia entertainment products. Gamers of all ages and skill levels are generally familiar with some of their products, most notably the Mojo DAC, which comes with surprisingly great qualities and features you won’t find on any other similar device. However, at the same time, this comes with a pretty steep price tag, so it won’t be exactly for everyone’s tastes. Nonetheless, this one is an example of the ultimate DAC for the ultimate gaming experience. This compact and portable device comes with a somewhat unusual design and a host of cool features.
First of all, it can work not only with PC, but also with Mac, iPhone and Android phones. Whatever you do, just plug in your headphones and you’ll have pristine crystal-clear sound. Plus, it’s also designed to work with computer speakers and even professional studio monitors. This comes with stunning 32-bit audio quality and a mind-blowing 768 kHz sample rate. However, one downside is that you will need expensive headphones or speakers to use its full potential. Mojo DAC connected to other devices using its micro USB connection and can be charged via its special separate micro USB port.
While we’re at it, the device can also run on its built-in battery and can deliver up to 10 hours of performance when disconnected. Mojo also comes with an optical Toslink, although it does offer users 24-bit sound quality and 192kHz audio resolution. However, there is even a 3.5mm coaxial connector which has the same full audio resolution you would get with its USB connection.