Top 10 Portable Dacs
for December 2021

Recommendations are independently chosen by MOOZ’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

1
9.7
SCORE
Lotoo PAW S1 Portable USB DAC-Amp

Lotoo PAW S1 Portable USB DAC-Amp

by Lotoo
What We like

Lotoo provides a high/low gain control in the PAW S1 primarily with a safer listening experience in mind. Also, this feature helps to accommodate a wider range of headphones and IEMs.

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Product Features

  • It is rare to find a dongle-sized DAC like the PAW S1 that supports not only multiple OS but also both Android and iOS.
  • High-Performance and High DAC Chip Utilization ; Standalone Headphone Amp
  • The 4.4 Balanced & 3.5 Single-Ended Dual Outputs ; [email protected] (per channel) is what makes the S1 a great companion even for over-the-ear headphones as well as IEMs.
  • The studio quality EQ/ATE, unique to the Lotoo PAW Lineup, is also available on the PAW S1.

The 4.4 balanced & 3.5 single-ended dual outputs ; [email protected] (per channel) is what makes the s1 a great companion even for over-the-ear headphones as well as iems. It is rare to find a dongle-sized dac like the paw s1 that supports not only multiple os but also both android and ios. The studio quality eq/ate, unique to the Lotoo paw lineup, is also available on the paw s1. High-performance and high dac chip utilization ; standalone headphone amp

2
9.5
SCORE
NextDrive Spectra Portable USB DAC - The World’s Smallest 32-bit DAC Headphone Amp for Truly Mastering Your Sound On-The-Go (Spectra X USB C)

NextDrive Spectra Portable USB DAC

The World’s Smallest 32-bit DAC Headphone Amp for Truly Mastering Your Sound On-The-Go (Spectra X USB C)

by NextDrive Inc.
What We like

ULTRA PORTABLE - No batteries and slim design lets you connect to your smartphone or tablet and take it anywhere (adapter may be required, sold separately)

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Product Features

  • HI RES AUDIO - Supports PCM audio files up to 32 bits / 384 kHz and DSD up to Quad-rate 11.2 MHz
  • PREMIUM QUALITY DAC - Enjoy matchless portable Hi-Fi sound from ESS Technology's SABRE 9018Q2C
  • NOT Compatible with iPhone or iPad; Plug-and-play connection with Windows, Mac, Linux and Android (Android may require USB OTG adapter, sold separately.)
  • RAVE REVIEWS - Professional reviews around the web praise its price, size, soundstage and great sound across bass, mids and treble

Rave reviews - professional reviews around the web praise its price, size, soundstage and great sound across bass, mids and treble Premium quality dac - enjoy matchless portable hi-fi sound from ess technology's sabre 9018q2c Hi res audio - supports pcm audio files up to 32 bits / 384 khz and dsd up to quad-rate 11.2 mhz Not compatible with iphone or ipad; plug-and-play connection with windows, mac, linux and android (android may require usb otg adapter, sold separately.)

3
9.3
SCORE
iFi Audio Hip-dac Portable DAC Headphone Amplifier for Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android Phones Bundle with Blucoil USB Wall Adapter, and 3-FT USB 2.0 Type-A Extension Cable

iFi Audio Hip-dac Portable DAC Headphone Amplifier for Windows

Mac, iPhone, and Android Phones Bundle with Blucoil USB Wall Adapter, and 3-FT USB 2.0 Type-A Extension Cable

by Abbingdon Music Research
What We like

OFFERS EFFICIENT BATTERY LIFE - You can listen to high-quality sounds for up to 12 hours thanks to iFi hip-dac's 2200mAh battery.

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Product Features

  • INCLUDES - iFi Audio hip-dac Portable DAC Headphone Amplifier; USB-A Male to Female Cable; OTG USB-C Cable for Android; USB Charging Cable; 4 Silicone Pads. Blucoil USB Wall Adapter 5V 1000mA (Model No. KA25-0501000US). Blucoil 3-Foot USB 2.0 Male to Female Extension Cable.
  • IMPROVES THE SOUND QUALITY FROM YOUR PHONE OR PC - The iFi hip-dac supports hi-res PCM and DXD of up to 384kHz, DSD256, and MQA. It replaces your smart device's inferior DAC.
  • OFFERS A MORE ACCURATE AUDIO REPRODUCTION - PowerMatch allows you to adjust the input sensitivity to match your headphone's impedance. Plus, the XBass analog circuit corrects and adds back the missing headphone/speaker bass response.
  • DELIVERS CLEARER MUSIC - The balanced, analog audio circuits reduce noise, crosstalk, and signal interference. hip-dac's S-Balanced circuit provides maximum performance for single-ended and balanced headphones.

Offers a more accurate audio reproduction - powermatch allows you to adjust the input sensitivity to match your headphone's impedance. plus, the xbass analog circuit corrects and adds back the missing headphone/speaker bass response. Delivers clearer music - the balanced, analog audio circuits reduce noise, crosstalk, and signal interference. hip-dac's s-balanced circuit provides maximum performance for single-ended and balanced headphones. Improves the sound quality from your phone or pc - the ifi hip-dac supports hi-res pcm and dxd of up to 384khz, dsd256, and mqa. it replaces your smart device's inferior dac. Includes - ifi audio hip-dac portable dac headphone amplifier; usb-a male to female cable; otg usb-c cable for android; usb charging cable; 4 silicone pads. blucoil usb wall adapter 5v 1000ma (model no. ka25-0501000us). blucoil 3-foot usb 2.0 male to female extension cable.

4
9.2
SCORE
iFi Hip-dac Portable DAC Headphone Amp Balanced for Android/iPhone

iFi Hip-dac Portable DAC Headphone Amp Balanced for Android/iPhone

by Abbingdon Music Research
What We like

PORTABLE DESIGN - Your music will never stop with up to 6 hrs of battery life and a slim, lightweight design perfect for carrying in your pocket wherever life takes you

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Product Features

  • EASY CONNECTIVITY Connects directly to your smartphone with the USB Input, and works with balanced 4.4mm or S-Bal 3.5mm headphone plugs for ultimate convenience and versatility
  • HIGH RESOLUTION AUDIO - From Spotify to Tidal MQA to MP3 and beyond, play any high res audio format with native digital to analog conversion so you can listen to any song the way the original recording was intended
  • HIGH TECH Power Match and XBass offer adjustable analog enhancements to customize your listening experience without compromising the digital conversion
  • POWERFUL AMPLIFIER - Suited to your style, listen to in ear monitors or drive over the ear headphones with 400 mW max power output from the on-board amplifier

Powerful amplifier - suited to your style, listen to in ear monitors or drive over the ear headphones with 400 mw max power output from the on-board amplifier High resolution audio - from spotify to tidal mqa to mp3 and beyond, play any high res audio format with native digital to analog conversion so you can listen to any song the way the original recording was intended Easy connectivity connects directly to your smartphone with the usb input, and works with balanced 4.4mm or s-bal 3.5mm headphone plugs for ultimate convenience and versatility High tech power match and xbass offer adjustable analog enhancements to customize your listening experience without compromising the digital conversion

5
8.7
SCORE
Linsoul XDuoo Link 2 HiFi Portable DAC for Cellphone with DSD256 Decoding, Strong Bass Boost Switch (Black)

Linsoul XDuoo Link 2 HiFi Portable DAC for Cellphone with DSD256 Decoding

Strong Bass Boost Switch (Black)

by XDuoo
What We like

Compact and Lightweight Device. The Link2 body adopts aluminum alloy CNC machining shell with a weight of only 21g. It is as big as U disk which is small and portable and the best companion for office, commuting and travel. Also, the special material and design will stay cool even after hours of use

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Product Features

  • Strong Bass Boost Switch. Lin2 outstands with its unique bass boost switch on the side. The Hardware Bass Gain makes the bass stronger and the bass switch makes the sound stage more magnificent. The pure hardware adjustment rather than EQ digital algorithm avoids software algorithm distortion. With a simple device, you can enjoy the large sound stage and hear the difference
  • 150mW Output Power, Easy to Drive. Compared with Link, Link 2 has been upgraded in many ways, one of which is the output power. While link can only achive [email protected], Link2 can reach [email protected] One Link2 equals the power of 5 Links. Moreover, the [email protected] out put is easy to drive with your headphones. Its more powerful and convenient than before.
  • DSD256 Decoding for More Details. Link2 built-in high-performance ESS9118EC decoder chip supports up to PCM 32bit/384kHz and DSD256 decoding while mobile phones can only decode 16bit/48kHz. The measured distortion of the whole machine is only 0.0018% which will restore more details for you
  • Low Noise and Clean Sound. The new shielding design reduces noise pollution caused buy various signal interference noises. The S/N of DAC chip is 120dB, and the S/N of machine is 110dB. It will present a purer sound to you and no more noise disturbance in you concentration

150mw output power, easy to drive. compared with link, link 2 has been upgraded in many ways, one of which is the output power. while link can only achive [email protected], link2 can reach [email protected] one link2 equals the power of 5 links. moreover, the [email protected] out put is easy to drive with your headphones. its more powerful and convenient than before. Low noise and clean sound. the new shielding design reduces noise pollution caused buy various signal interference noises. the s/n of dac chip is 120db, and the s/n of machine is 110db. it will present a purer sound to you and no more noise disturbance in you concentration Strong bass boost switch. lin2 outstands with its unique bass boost switch on the side. the hardware bass gain makes the bass stronger and the bass switch makes the sound stage more magnificent. the pure hardware adjustment rather than eq digital algorithm avoids software algorithm distortion. with a simple device, you can enjoy the large sound stage and hear the difference Dsd256 decoding for more details. link2 built-in high-performance ess9118ec decoder chip supports up to pcm 32bit/384khz and dsd256 decoding while mobile phones can only decode 16bit/48khz. the measured distortion of the whole machine is only 0.0018% which will restore more details for you

6
8.5
SCORE
Nuprime Hi-mDAC Ultra-Compact, Low Power Consumption, Versatile and Portable USB DAC (PCM 384kHz & DSD256 decoding) & Headphone Amp

Nuprime Hi-mDAC Ultra-Compact

Low Power Consumption, Versatile and Portable USB DAC (PCM 384kHz & DSD256 decoding) & Headphone Amp

by Nuprime Audio, Inc.
What We like

Works with Android (4.1 & above with OTG), iOS (with camera adapter USB cable), Windows 7/8/10, & Mac. Windows device driver download is required; other devices do not need a driver.

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Product Features

  • Discrete USB audio receiver and D/A converter. Asynchronous transfer mode for doubled jitter-reduction at data input and over-sampling filter stages
  • Optical output (shared with 3.5mm headphone out) capable of S/PDIF and DoP stream
  • High-performance headphone amplifier with 3.5mm stereo output.
  • 32-bit/384kHz PCM and native DSD 256 decoding; SNR > 100db; THD+N 0.005%; FR 20-20kHz +/- 0.5dB

32-bit/384khz pcm and native dsd 256 decoding; snr > 100db; thd+n 0.005%; fr 20-20khz +/- 0.5db High-performance headphone amplifier with 3.5mm stereo output. Optical output (shared with 3.5mm headphone out) capable of s/pdif and dop stream Discrete usb audio receiver and d/a converter. asynchronous transfer mode for doubled jitter-reduction at data input and over-sampling filter stages

7
8.5
SCORE
Headphone Amplifier DAC Portable Amp - HiFi Audio USB Earphone Amp Decoder ES9028Q2M XMOS XU208, Support 16-600Ω Earphone 32bit/192KHz DSD256 with Bass Boost and Gain Switch for Phone Laptops PC MP3

AIMPIRE Headphone Amplifier DAC Portable Amp

HiFi Audio USB Earphone Amp Decoder ES9028Q2M XMOS XU208, Support 16-600Ω Earphone 32bit/192KHz DSD256 with Bass Boost and Gain Switch for Phone Laptops PC MP3

by AIMPIRE
What We like

Connect to active speakers D10 provide not only DSD and higher specification PCM compatibility but also a better sound quality than your computers built-in sound card or a regular DAC.

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Product Features

  • [ESS9028Q2M and XMOS XU208] Using US ESS Technology high-end ESS9028pro decoding chips and advanced XMOS XU208, high sampling rate formats, perfectly compatible with all iPhone, Android phone and PC.
  • Replaceable OP D10 has OP amp socket, DIY lovers can change the OP amp to meet different needs.
  • DSD256 and PCM384 Compatible with 16-32bit/44.1-383kHz and DSD64-DSD256 (native).
  • Automatic power on/Off/ format and sampling rate indicator although the USB port support Power after PC has shutdown, D10 still will synchronously power on/Off with PC. Indicate the audio format (PCM or DSD) and sampling rate of the playing music.

[ess9028q2m and xmos xu208] using us ess technology high-end ess9028pro decoding chips and advanced xmos xu208, high sampling rate formats, perfectly compatible with all iphone, android phone and pc. Dsd256 and pcm384 compatible with 16-32bit/44.1-383khz and dsd64-dsd256 (native). Automatic power on/off/ format and sampling rate indicator although the usb port support power after pc has shutdown, d10 still will synchronously power on/off with pc. indicate the audio format (pcm or dsd) and sampling rate of the playing music. Replaceable op d10 has op amp socket, diy lovers can change the op amp to meet different needs.

8
7.7
SCORE
Audiolab M-DAC Nano Portable Wireless DAC and Headphone Amplifier

Audio Lab Audiolab M-DAC Nano Portable Wireless DAC and Headphone Amplifier

by Audio Lab
What We like

Universally suited to in-ear or over-ear headphones of various impedance levels, the M-DAC nano, the M-DAC uses sophisticated digital filtering with upscaling to give an impressive sonic boost to whatever you're listening to.

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Product Features

  • Renowned for making industry leading and award-winning DACs, Audiolab proudly presents the M-DAC nano. Combining hi-resolution digital playback with portable convenience, this is the latest addition to the M-DAC family and is the smallest yet.
  • Mobile wireless DAC and headphone amp. The M-DAC nano is a multi-function portable headphone amplifier and DAC combination. Designed to enhance your portable music playback experience, the M-DAC nano transforms your digital music signal to a level of high-fidelity, wirelessly and on-the-go.
  • Model M-DAC nano Wireless Connectivity Bluetooth V4.2 Output Power 30mW per channel @320 (1 Vrms output) 7.SmW per channel @3000 (1 .SVrms output) Audio Codec aptX / aptX LL / AAC / SBC Matching Impedance 80 to 3000 Dimension 44 x 44 x 14mm Weight 28g

Renowned for making industry leading and award-winning dacs, audiolab proudly presents the m-dac nano. combining hi-resolution digital playback with portable convenience, this is the latest addition to the m-dac family and is the smallest yet. Model m-dac nano wireless connectivity bluetooth v4.2 output power 30mw per channel @320 (1 vrms output) 7.smw per channel @3000 (1 .svrms output) audio codec aptx / aptx ll / aac / sbc matching impedance 80 to 3000 dimension 44 x 44 x 14mm weight 28g Mobile wireless dac and headphone amp. the m-dac nano is a multi-function portable headphone amplifier and dac combination. designed to enhance your portable music playback experience, the m-dac nano transforms your digital music signal to a level of high-fidelity, wirelessly and on-the-go.

9
7.7
SCORE
NextDrive Spectra Portable USB DAC - The World’s Smallest 32-bit DAC Headphone Amp for Truly Mastering Your Sound On-The-Go (Spectra USB Type-C)

NextDrive Spectra Portable USB DAC

The World’s Smallest 32-bit DAC Headphone Amp for Truly Mastering Your Sound On-The-Go (Spectra USB Type-C)

by NextDrive Inc.
What We like

ULTRA PORTABLE - No batteries and slim design lets you connect to your smartphone or tablet and take it anywhere (adapter may be required, sold separately)

more infoarrow_drop_down

Product Features

  • HI RES AUDIO - Supports PCM audio files up to 32 bits / 384 kHz and DSD up to Quad-rate 11.2 MHz
  • RAVE REVIEWS - Professional reviews around the web praise its price, size, soundstage and great sound across bass, mids and treble
  • NOT Compatible with iPhone or iPad; Plug-and-play connection with Windows, Mac, Linux and Android (Android may require USB OTG adapter, sold separately.)
  • PREMIUM QUALITY DAC - Enjoy matchless portable Hi-Fi sound from ESS Technology's SABRE 9018Q2C

Premium quality dac - enjoy matchless portable hi-fi sound from ess technology's sabre 9018q2c Hi res audio - supports pcm audio files up to 32 bits / 384 khz and dsd up to quad-rate 11.2 mhz Rave reviews - professional reviews around the web praise its price, size, soundstage and great sound across bass, mids and treble Not compatible with iphone or ipad; plug-and-play connection with windows, mac, linux and android (android may require usb otg adapter, sold separately.)

10
7.7
SCORE
Ikko Zerda ITM03 Portable Headphone Amplifier 3.5mm Audio Type-c DAC Cable Adapter, Flagship DAC chip CS43198 ,Support Fiber Optic Digital Output,Full System Compatibility (Type-c)

Ikko Zerda ITM03 Portable Headphone Amplifier 3.5mm Audio Type-c DAC Cable Adapter

Flagship DAC chip CS43198, Support Fiber Optic Digital Output, Full System Compatibility (Type-c)

by ikko Audio
What We like

Easy to use: Built-in adaptive drive, no need to manually install the driver, the connection can be used directly, with 16-600 Impedance adaptive, 3.5mm Audio & 3.5mm fiber optic signal output two-in-one interface design, easy to adapt to smartphone to professional audio equipment.

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Product Features

  • High quality performance: Cirrus Logic CS43198 flagship DAC chip, low power and high performance, support up to 32 bits / 384KHz (optical digital output bit rate is 32 bits / 192KHz) and up to 128x native DSD PCM decoding capabilities. THD+N is well below 0.0015%, providing unparalleled high-fidelity sound quality, restoring the truest and cleanest sound quality and enjoying the true sound quality
  • Parameter details:DAC:Cirrus Logic CS43198,PCM:32Bit/384kHz,Fiber Optic Output:32Bit/192kHzDSD:128, THD+N0.0015%FR20Hz-40kHzImpedance Adaptive:16-600
  • High quality build: Full Shielded design, highly sophisticated production process, Monster OCC Silver-Plated silicone fully wrapped cable, aluminum alloy sandblasted oxidized shell,Weighs only 12 grams
  • Full system compatibility: (Type-c) compatible with Android/Windows/MacOSX System Smartphone Laptop (Lightning) Compatible with iphone/ipad/ipodApple MFI certification

High quality performance: cirrus logic cs43198 flagship dac chip, low power and high performance, support up to 32 bits / 384khz (optical digital output bit rate is 32 bits / 192khz) and up to 128x native dsd pcm decoding capabilities. thd+n is well below 0.0015%, providing unparalleled high-fidelity sound quality, restoring the truest and cleanest sound quality and enjoying the true sound quality Parameter details:dac:cirrus logic cs43198,pcm:32bit/384khz,fiber optic output:32bit/192khzdsd:128, thd+n0.0015%fr20hz-40khzimpedance adaptive:16-600 High quality build: full shielded design, highly sophisticated production process, monster occ silver-plated silicone fully wrapped cable, aluminum alloy sandblasted oxidized shell,weighs only 12 grams Full system compatibility: (type-c) compatible with android/windows/macosx system smartphone laptop (lightning) compatible with iphone/ipad/ipodapple mfi certification

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