Do you have need for a USB DAC?

USB endowed DACs appeared all over CES last week. Do you have need for one?

Do you have need for a USB DAC?
Yes, and I already have one
37% (172 votes)
Yes, and I'm thinking of buying one
32% (146 votes)
No, not right now
12% (53 votes)
No, don't want one.
15% (67 votes)
Not sure
5% (21 votes)
Total votes: 459

Wes K's picture

If it is better than the built-in optical out that my MacBook Pro has, then why not?

John in NJ's picture

They're just expensive pet rocks that will be replaced by another shameless marketing idea to fleece the unsupecting out of their money—like expensive cables.

Matt's picture

Was using a Corda Move headphone amp with a USB DAC.

HS's picture

USB would be more convenient for PC audio, but I'm interested only if it handles high-res audio! The large number of 16/44 units are a joke.

Jim Mueller's picture

I own an AudioNote Dac 2.1 Signature Tube DAC (kit) and a Stello DA 100. Never going back—my server is loaded with 40,000 WAV files and plays through McIntosh amps after the AudioNote.

Nikhil's picture

Yes, I desperately need a good, reasonably priced USB DAC. It is the easiest way to allow playback of music through my laptop, which does not have any other digital outputs for music.

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.  View, CA's picture

No, I do not have a need for one. If I heard one and really, really liked it, I might want one. I try to not confuse "need" and "want" with one another.

Dave M.'s picture

I'm going to assemble a computer-based system. How do I integrate a good DAC with the Boxee Box?

Anonimouse's picture

I have the PS Audio DAC (which is very good, but throw away the supplied power lead and fit it with something decent) although I didn't buy it specifically for the USB input. There are quite a few very good USB-S/PDIF converters around, which means that you are not limited in your choice of DAC if you want to connect your computer.

Cihangir Güzey's picture

I guess this year we will all be struggling to find a suitable one (pricewise, of course) for ourselves. Huge amount of snake oil will flow through the USB-DAC lines this year.

Max's picture

USB is the standard now. Linn should get over themselves and include it in their DS. I already have a Sneaky DS and this is my only pet peeve with it!

Daniel's picture

Oh yes! It has turned my laptop into a genuinely viable source component for my system. My listening habits were changed overnight.

Enzo.'s picture

Oh yeah! The whole computer based hi-fi thingie is simply fabbo. I'm currently using pro audio stuff via FireWire. If you guys could do some equipment reviews of the USB/Firewire interfaces like Weiss/Apogee/RME/Primsound with jitter results, that would be the best.

Woody Battle's picture

I really want a good music server. However, I absolutely do not want a computer in my living room (listening room). So, my first choice would be a solution that does not involve a USB DAC.

Nathan's picture

I already have a USB DAC, but I only ever use the conventional digital inputs.

Eli Levi's picture

I'm considering a FireWire DAC as a better alternative.

Claudius's picture

I own an Ayre QB-9 and it gives me sound much better than some megabuck CD players I've heard before.

Olav Sunde's picture

The current "StreamLength" development by Gordon Rankin moves USB into the top league of connecting digital devices. When his multichannel version is finished, it should be a candidate for a new standard in high-end, replacing S/PDIF and AES/EBU.

J M's picture

V-DAC is not actually that good.

Jason H's picture

I hate dealing with CDs, or any physical media for that matter. I have lossless rips of all of my albums and desperately need to do away with the horrendous DAC built into my PC. The Benchmark DAC1 HDR looks pretty tantalizing—and nothing at CES looks that much more interesting.

Antonio G.'s picture

I'm using the Linn Akurate DS (network connection) to stream my digital music (FLAC) from my server.

emiser's picture

Currently, I run my system direct through my Musical Fidelity A1's USB DAC. Convenient, even if the sound is not as refined my PS Audio Dig Link III (which is currently on the fritz).

Doug Bowker's picture

I have the Wadia iDock, which sort of already is, since the "out" of an iPod is pretty much a modified USB, but then it goes to my DAC via digital cable. So, I guess I don't need one and sort of already have one?'s picture

HAL was right, the mission was in jeopardy. Trust your computer.

Mark's picture

I use a Logitech Transporter to get the bits out of my computer.

Marc's picture

I would rather see more consumer/audiophile FireWire DACs.

Matt's picture

The Peachtree Decco is awesome. Would upgrade to Nova, if the wife would allow.

Nodaker's picture

I said no, don't want one because I already have one for work. For home, I use a Squeezebox with a coaxial cable, so I don't need one there. Hope they keep offering alternative connections to USB. I run Ethernet to Squeezebox then coaxial to DAC.

Jimmy's picture

However, I would like to see a DAC that can be installed in a PC or laptop—that would be cool.

Tom's picture

Currently running Toslink from my Mac Mini to a Denon AVR and I think I can do better. I have all my music imported as AIFF.