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Topic: USB-C DAC's (Read 853 times) previous topic - next topic
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With the launch "Hi-Res" support on more and more streaming services, I was wondering about the performance of many of these in-line USB-C DACs which would typically used on a mobile device to theroetically achive that level of decoding - whether due to lack of in-built dac/headphone jack or just due to limited  resolution on the inbuild dac/headphone jack (16bit/48kHz for example).

The best chipset of this nature which I can find is the ALC 4050 which supports up to 32bit/384kHz playback, the Apple one with a Cirus logic chip supposedly does 24bit/48kHz, and then there are a variety in between which support 24bit/192kHz full or can switch between 16bit/192kHz or 24bit/96kHz.

Has anyone taken the time to measure and analyise the analogue output of any of these ? I'm curious how the perform where the content is mastered at 24bit/192kHz FLAC/ALAC for example vs the same content sampled or mastered at 24bit/48kHz or 16bit/44.1kHz. - Be interesting to playback a 24bit song on a 16bit DAC and see if there is any significant difference in the analogue waveform compared to on a 24bit in-line DAC limited by USB power and potential processing capability for errors etc... in addition play the same song(s) back but from 16bit mastered/source and compare again.

Double blind listening tests might be interesting as well! I have ordered an ALC4050, if anyone can suggest ways in which i can compare this against other ones (without too much hardware involved) I'd happily take some time to do those tests for the wider benefit of the community :) I haven't been on here for a while so my test mechanisms might be a bit out of date.

P.S. I don't want to start a subjective debate as to the necsesity of such hi-res content on mobile devices, and I'm particuarly not that interested in upsampling.  I want to keep this thread as scientific and factual as possible!

I will make one controversial prediction though - I suspect the analogue output of these is just as good as most dedicated DACs at the same bit depths and sample rates.

Audio Engineer from the UK