Is low cost DAC worth it?

Been learning a lot from you fine folks... thanks!

I am driving Boston Acoustic Lynnfield 975 speakers with a Willsenton R8 amp (recent purchase to try it out) and streaming over wifi through Apple Airport Express. It sounds pretty good but I find myself wondering if adding a low cost DAC would improve the sound any?

Maybe something like the Cambridge DacMagic 100 or 200M?

My hearing is not that great anymore, so I don’t think it makes sense to jump on a DAC costing thousands, but I understand the Airport Express is a decent DAC, so not sure if a low cost one would make any difference?



Can’t go far wrong with the musical fidelity v90 dac. Stereophile high class B, low class A component. I’ve had mine for Years and I love it.

I have a Bluesound NODE streamer and a Denafrips Are II DAC.

Given your budget, I would suggest that a used NODE (which has a built-in DAC) would give you the most bang for the buck.  Especially if your hearing or system isn't top-notch, you'll find the NODE's DAC quite satisfactory, and you can continue to stream via wi-fi--the NODE is really designed to work well that way, and it does when you give it a strong wi-fi signal.  The smartphone app for the NODE can also tell you the wi-fi signal strength it is receiving, so you can know whether it is strong enough to stream high-resolution files or just CD-quality files.  And I can hear that hi-res files sound better than CD on the NODE, even using its DAC.

$500 DAC - nope.  Better off spending $500 and upgrading your CDP instead.

A good budget DAC should be a step up from the one in the Airport Express.  Topping, SMSL, and Schiit all have well measuring and nice sounding DACs in you budget.

Another vote for Schiit stuff. Apparently some of you have reading difficulties (or maybe English isn't your primary language) because he was clear about his budget. SSDD.