Today we are going to review the best DACs to improve the sound quality of your mobile phone. Mobile phones have been improving in terms of performance but the sound quality of most models isn’t even close to Bluetooth speakers. This is why you might need a DAC.
External DACs cab connect to our mobile phone and raise the sound level to levels that our smartphone can never reach.
What is a DAC?
DAC, as you may have guessed, is a set of acronyms. They respond to the full name of digital to analog converter.
Whenever you hear something from a device, whether it’s music or voice, there’s a DAC working to convert the digital signal into waves. It converts the digital signal into sound pulses and they’re critical for that to happen. A good DAC will make a big difference when listening to music.
It will depend on it to process specific frequencies such as DSD formats, 24-bit files, and 96 or 192KHz, for example. DACs in mobile phones are usually simple except in specific cases, hence to play high-definition music we may need some external help.
Quality headphones appreciate quality sound. And if you need to squeeze the most out of the lossless version of Apple Music, Tidal, or Spotify, you’ll want to get one if your headphones don’t support it.
Best DACs to improve the sound quality of your smartphone
We are going to recommend a few external DACs.
Prozor offers here a DAC capable of providing high impedance sound (from 16 to 150 ohms) to headphones or external speakers that support it. It is compatible with audio in DSC/PCD format and also improves the gain by up to 8.8 decibels if necessary. Thanks to its 1,500 mAh battery we will have an autonomy of about 8 hours. Prozor offers several portable external DACs but we recommend this one because it has a mini-jack connector for headphones. Don’t worry, it comes with adapters for USB type-C outputs.
Another great external DAC that we can find at a good price is the A1 from Fiio. Here the impedance is reduced as it is able to offer a range of 16 to 100 ohms but, in exchange, we gain more autonomy. The Fiio A1 is capable of operating for 13 hours at a time and also has a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Another advantage is that it is really light, only 20 grams, and comes with a clip to attach it to clothing.
iFi Nano iDSD Black Label DAC
Here we come to the highest quality that we are going to recommend here, and also the most expensive of all. We are talking about an external DAC capable of reproducing 256Hz DSD and 384Hz DXD and PCD sound. We have 3.5 mm headphone input but we can also introduce digital audio into it through a USB port so a MicroUSB to USB adapter directly from a phone without a jack will further improve the sound. And autonomy? The brand promises 10 hours of uninterrupted sound.
This model is less expensive than the iDSD Black Label. In this case, we bring you the Hip-DAC, lighter, with more battery (12 hours) and also with input for both normal headphones and USB. By the way, it has an additional 4.4 mm headphone jack. Here it repeats the DSD 256 and DXD and PCM 384kHz sound. Undoubtedly, another great option.