DAC diminishing returns

Looking for some experienced input on the diminishing return as you go up the the DAC ladder. I mostly stream music and occasionally listen to CDs.  Currently, I’m using a Schiit Bifrost Multibit DAC.  It’s connected to my Naim Nait 5Si and that drives Zu Omen ii speakers. In my limited experience, I have not heard any substantial differences when changing DACs.  I’m considering a Denafrips Pontus DAC.  Does the significantly higher cost justify what might be a marginal increase in sound quality?  Is buying a more expensive DAC for better sound just splitting hairs, and making you feel better about your system?  Are different DACs just different coloration of the sound?

I don’t want to be duped into buying something I don’t really need. Thanks.


Thanks again for the “sound “ advice.  You have provided me with options that I haven’t considered.  Chord is one name that was not mentioned.  Their reviews are consistently favorable. Seems many use Chord as a reference.  Thoughts and experience with Chord would be appreciated.

Also, upgrading my RP 3 hat will happen if I jump to a better DAC.


+1 @hilde45 couldn’t have said it better. Buy what sounds the best (to you) in your system.

I really think the Benchmark DAC2 is the steal. Yes, there's a DAC3 but even they feel that's getting into diminishing returns.  They really know what they're doing, have impeccable credentials in the recording industry, and you can have what many recording studios use in your home for a pittance with a used DAC2.  It's just a little black box filled with superb engineering so it has to swim upstream againgst the audiophile ethos of magic and jewelry, but it does its job superbly.

Full disclosure, I had their DAC1 and DAC2 and thought the DAC2 was better.  Then got the upgrade itch and got Terminator1, then Terminator2, but I have nothing but admiration and respect for Benchmark.  Sometimes I'll swap in the DAC2 and it always sounds good.


electroslacker,  your Benchmark suggestion is well received.  I have read good reviews and some use it as a benchmark.  They have been out there for a long time and are still well regarded.

If you can’t hear a difference then save your money. I can tell you that there are many dacs that would be an huge upgrade for you but they will cost more, and the better 1’s will require you to upgrade your system to get the best out of the dac. If you are happy keep what you got