Updated January 31, 2019 by Christopher Thomas

The 10 Best DSD Enabled DACs

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

We spent 27 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Direct Stream Digital is an audio format developed to provide listeners with the most accurate reproduction possible. There are quite a few digital-to-analog converters available today designed to take advantage of this high-fidelity transmission method, which an increasing number of albums and performances now employ. Here are some of the best DSD-enabled DACs that money can buy. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dsd enabled dac on Amazon.

10. Resonessence Labs Concero HD

9. SMSL SU-8

8. Arcam IRDAC II

7. NuForce Optoma

6. Auralic Altair

5. SMSL M7


3. Benchmark HGC

2. Chord Qutest

1. Mytek Brooklyn

Editor's Notes

January 31, 2019:

DSD is an insanely interesting (well, we think, anyway) format that's actually been in development since as early as the 1960s, though it's only been in mainstream production for about 20 years. It's another collaboration between Sony and Philips, and just like S/PDIF, it's a cornerstone to some of the best listening experiences available. One note is that while some of these fantastic selections boast up to DSD512 support, it's actually nearly impossible to find such content yet. But in case you want to future-proof against upcoming advancements in recording thoroughness, that's the top-of-the-line standard. And, because we always like a good, factual debunking, don't believe the myth of "burn-in" when it comes to solid-state electronics like a DAC; anyone who claims to hear such a difference after so many hours is either changing their own expectations, or actually witnessing the degradation of their product due to over-use. The Mytek and Chord both receive rave reviews from experienced audiophiles, and are almost guaranteed to satisfy even the most demanding listeners. The Benchmark is a similarly top-of-the-line option, and features easy-to-read monitoring lights and controls on the front panel, making it quite straightforward to use. The portable IFI module is one of the most lauded for use with headphones, and does a great job powering some of the most expensive, dynamically driven cans. Auralic makes a high-end device that's pretty well mastered the art of wirelessly streaming lossless recordings throughout a building. SMSL, on the other hand, makes a number of great DACs that cost far less than the competition, and only the most sensitive ears will even be able to hear the difference. THe NuForce is even more affordable, in fact, though the most discerning users may want to opt for a more powerful choice. And if your budget is neither huge nor tiny, the Arcam and Resonessence are both worthy of consideration.

Christopher Thomas
Last updated on January 31, 2019 by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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