5 Best DAC under $100 for Audiophiles (2021 Reviews)

Again coming to something for music lovers, the 5 best DAC for Audiophiles. So, are you one of those who wants an organized playlist from their computer to the apps like Windows Media player and iTunes to the music or stereo system, and looking for a good DAC, under a budget of $100? Well, let us make your research time short and bring you some of the best in the market under this price range. 

Do you exactly know, what is a DAC? Well! DAC is an abbreviation used for Digital to Analog Converter. As it’s already implying now, it’s a device that is used to transform the digital signals in your computer to analog sounds that we can hear further from our ears.

Now, we’re clear and have a rough idea that DACs are basically used to convert digital signals to analog signals. Do you think of how this device actually works? Let me tell you, DAC converts the signal of digital audio from the computer and sends them to stereo and speakers in the form of analog signals.

Here’s an alternate too. You must hear about the soundcards available on your computers. The sound cards can also do this same, i.e. to transform the digital signals to analog but everybody is aiming for better quality and superior results, for that DAC is the one to go with.

The entire gadgets market is flooded with many DACs in different price ranges, from hundreds to thousands of dollars. And, yes, when there are many options to choose among, so is the confusion too.

Again coming to something for music lovers, the 5 best DAC for Audiophiles. So, are you one of those who wants an organized playlist from their computer to the apps like Windows Media player and iTunes to the music or stereo system, and looking for a good DAC, under a budget of $100? Well, let us make your research time short and bring you some of the best in the market under this price range. 

Do you exactly know, what is a DAC? Well! DAC is an abbreviation used for Digital to Analog Converter. As it’s already implying now, it’s a device that is used to transform the digital signals in your computer to analog sounds that we can hear further from our ears.

Now, we’re clear and have a rough idea that DACs are basically used to convert digital signals to analog signals. Do you think of how this device actually works? Let me tell you, DAC converts the signal of digital audio from the computer and sends them to stereo and speakers in the form of analog signals.

Here’s an alternate too. You must hear about the soundcards available on your computers. The sound cards can also do this same, i.e. to transform the digital signals to analog but everybody is aiming for better quality and superior results, for that DAC is the one to go with.

The entire gadgets market is flooded with many DACs in different price ranges, from hundreds to thousands of dollars. And, yes, when there are many options to choose among, so is the confusion too.

5 Best DAC Under $100

When it comes on purchasing a DAC, literally $100 is the minimal amount that you can invest. Also, this is something that won’t  affect your pocket at all. Yes, surely you cannot get that high-end DACs in this budget price but as I always use to say, it requires good googling skills and research to get the best out of the lot even with the price constraint.

But I assure you, you’ll get the best in this range too. Our team has invested their precious time in making this list and then we come up with these 5 best picks. Here, we’ll get you the DACs for computers as well as headphones so that as per your preference, you can opt to go with any.

Using the DACs can really turn your listening experience to next-level. All these products are not here on the ranking basis as we have brought up the best possible in this price range. Also, the products are with the 3-star and 4-star ratings. All the important factors are taken into proper consideration while preparing the list.

Let’s just dive in and get to know the list  of the best 5  DACs under $100. Either you can say we have brought you the best DACs under this budget as reviewed in 2021.

  1. AudioQuest DragonFly Black v1.5
  2. Neoteck Headphone Amplifier
  3. SMSL M100
  4. HIDIZS Portable Amplifier
  5. FiiO A3

1.AudioQuest DragonFly Black v1.5

AudioQuest is honestly one of the best DACs falling in this range. Also, the brand is quite popular in the world of electronics and getting this in budget is really like anything. Not only Black but also you can get Red and Cobalt colors too.

AudioQuest DragonFly v1.5 is available on Amazon at a price value of $99.95 with preamp in it. The brand is known for offering high-end quality, extreme portability, and audio quality.

Although this DragonFly is sitting on extremely last in this budget but to be very honest, getting AudioQuest thing in budget is something to be grabbed up without thinking twice.

There’s no doubt the portability, the pricing, the performance, the sound quality, and the efficiency that this DragonFly is offering you is the best in its own. Its simple design is its strength actually. There are people who likes everything to be simple and sorted and this is the one for those who prefers  simplicity over anything else.

You can also opt to go with red color or either with Cobalt too but this Black one is actually different from the two of them. The AudioQuest DragonFly Black works more efficiently and effectively in terms of performance as compared to the other too.

The AudioQuest DragonFly has no buttons or switches. Overall, the DAC has a metal casing but the USB port is gold-plated. Also, it comes with the 3.5mm headphone jack. To see the sampling rate of the DAC, the AudioQuest DragonFly features an LED indicator.

Not only this but also for extra protection and security, the AudioQuest DragonFly v1.5 has the protective sleeve that actually enhances portability too. Along with the package you’ll also get a USB extender cable. So, yes this helps you when working with laptop.

It has been observed that it performs the best when connected with the iPhone. So, the sound quality and the overall output performance is simply amazing with iPhone. But that doesn’t mean it can perform the best only with the iPhone but also it performs pretty good with other devices too.

Pros-

  • The LED indicator for displaying the sampling rate
  • The USB extender cable
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Efficient and Effective performance
  • No efforts required, just plug-in and play

Cons-

  • lacks voice control

2.Neoteck Headphone Amplifier

Neoteck headphone amplifier is available on Amazon at a price value of $28.99 in Black and Silver color. This is one of the cheapest DACs in this list of the best 5 DACs reviewed in 2021.

If your budget is extremely low then this is the best option to go with. This is the most buying product as its price attracts the consumers the most. And, just to let you know that its price is low but that doesn’t affect its quality. In terms of quality and performance, the Neoteck headphone amplifier is the best.

In terms of looks, the DAC is actually pretty good. Another tempting feature of the Neoteck headphone amplifier is that you can even use the DAC and enjoy some music while charging it.

Coming on to its strength, there also it’s no less and is considered as one of the most powerful devices and even performs really well with powerful headphones.

Pros-

  • Ensures high portability
  • Build quality is pretty nice
  • Doesn’t  take much time to get charged up
  • Noise Cancellation

Cons-

  • It comes with a 3.5mm cable that is entirely a mess

3.SMSL M100

SMSL M100 is available on Amazon at a price value of $93.99 and the DAC has 2 color options- Black and Blue. There are 3 kind of connectivity- RCA, Wired, and Aux.

SMSL M100 weighs only 0.3 kilograms and hence is quite easy to carry. The DAC is entirely made up of Aluminum. The build quality of SMSL M100 is an exception and is actually lit. In terms of design, the product is no less in that too. The one in the black color is next level be it about its performance, reliability, efficiency, or effectiveness.

Herein, the DAC offers you the display where you can the related information including the sample rate, the file name, and the quantity. The audio output is extremely high quality. Also, there is a good balance between sound and high frequency.

SMSL M100 is easy to carry anytime, anywhere cause of its small size and dimension. Along with multiple ports, surprisingly, SMSL M100 also features the coaxial port.

Pros-

  • Soundstage is good
  • Sound quality is pretty amazing
  • Clean and crisp instrument sounds
  • Easy to carry anywhere
  • Includes coaxial ports
  • Durable

Cons-

  • Doesn’t have the power adapter

4.TOPPING D10

TOPPING D10 is available on Amazon at a price value of $89.99. There is only one color option and that is black. There are no compatibility issues with this device. It is compatible with almost all of the devices.

Just like other DACs listed above, TOPPING D10 also comes with the display to show the related information like the type of file is currently in play, the quantity, the name of the file, etc. The factor that distinguishes this DAC from others is its replaceable op-amps socket.

Since TOPPING D10 comes with the replaceable op-amp socket so if you want to change the signature of the sound, all you need is just to change the  op-amp socket with the one you want to.

If you’re actually looking up for something that is absolutely compatible with your phone then this is the one. It has a mind-blowing clarity with your phone with a good linearity and flat frequency response.

Pros-

  • Amazing build quality
  • Flat frequency response
  • Replaceable op-amp socket
  • Supports DSD256/32-bit
  • High durability
  • Comes with the display to show the related information
  • Auto On/Off

Cons-

  • Soundstage is not that wide
  • You will popping and cracking in sound sometimes

5.FiiO A3

FiiO A3 is another best DAC under $100. Honestly, this is actually the best in looks. Its sleek design is its most appealing feature. The brand ensures you high portability. This is so sleek that it can fit even in the small places.

While testing all these devices, we observed this is the one with the best build quality. Another reason behind its attractiveness is the aluminum-alloy casing. In this price range, getting such a good DAC is like anything and to be honest it looks even more expensive than it actually is.

There are many DACs with no buttons or controls over the casing but as it’s said, exceptions are always there so here’s it! FiiO A3 comes with volume control dial, gain adjustment switch, bass control, and boost function too.

Coming on to the connectivity thing, FiiO A3 has a USB jack along with a pair of 3.5mm audio jack. Battery life of the DAC is commendable and in just one full charge it gives you a playtime of 15 hours.

Pros-

  • Decent build quality
  • Sound output is remarkable
  • Works amazing even with the powerful headphones

Cons-

  • Battery life is outstanding but takes much time to get charged

Summing Up

So here is the list of the 5 Best USB DAC under $100 in 2021, which will not only lessen your research time for a perfect DAC, but you will also consider buying them. Just remember that you will not get everything, on every device, so you need to take a step back in your preferences. 

There are many other options available from the manufacturers mentioned before, you can check them too. But giving a surety of performance, appearance, and reliability these are the best ones in the market under the budget of $100.

 

Leave a Comment