New to audio. Is there a good DAC that can produce layers of sound?

One of the Youtube audio reviews I watch as a beginner in audio system is Darko

He says during the Chord Qutest review that this DAC can produce layers of sound which is great

I kinda understand what he says because from my very first audio setup, which I returned due to awful sound of music this week, I could still feel some layers, maybe 2, from Post Malone’s song Deja Vu. Only, there were 2 clear layer, from 16bit 44.1 kHz signals from Sonos Amp, one very far back near the speaker and one right next to my ear. I thought it was amazing though. The speaker was SVS ultra bookshelf.

Now those are all returned to the seller, and I am looking for something more clear, musical, and awesome. So, the Qutest is one of the DACs I want to try.

But, if there is any DAC you, as a more experience audiophiles, would like to recommend to me for having great sound effect, could you please list some names? with brief description of the sound?

The price range I am looking for is about $1.5K or less. I prefer less. Used items included.

I am on a journey to setup an enjoyable sound system for myself and would like to see what others like.


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Nothing like a great soundstaging system. There’s far more on recordings than most people are able to play back with their system. I find looking at the system as a tool and not at brand names or even cost is the way to get there.

My first piece of advice is research the Low Mass Low Cost products on the market that are outperforming the overbuilt products. 2nd hanging out with listeners who are using Low Mass and tuning will save serious listeners tons of expensive grief.

Here’s an example

For the last few years I have been recommending a certain CDP. At first we laughed because they only cost some maybe 30 bucks new when in production. It took high end audio listeners by complete surprise if not out right disbelief. Now these players have a cult following replacing many big dollar front ends. Just this last year I’ve see people switch from ARC, Edge, Bricasti and other "reference" digital systems to this one, blowing away the soundstaging performance of the overbuilt units.

For anyone new I recommend not falling into the money trap only to regret all the money and time spent. There’s a clear path to getting a great soundstage.

michael green 

"It's ALL in the recording! You can't make a silk purse out of a ... "

This is off course a big part of the picture but still not all of it. Most of todays dac`s (and amps) sounds too "clean" or dry. This gives an impressive stereo-focus and a focus on "details" (= transient-starts) that might impress near-field listeners while the reverberation, the room-echoes and instrument-sound that makes 3D/stereo suffers. 

So you`re asking a good question  talkskiwon. And the smartest thing you can do is to ask experienced audiophiles. But be careful with who you listen too, it is too easy to be an expert on the internet.

What you are searching for is a dac who not only makes sound but plays music, with full bodied rythm and 3D, room or air intact.  One that will make you play the whole record instead of just listen to one song. 

A good start here is to buy the professional dac Behringer DEQ2496. Beside beeing a surpricingly good dac it can do a lot of stuff, like adjustable dynamic expansion, digital equalizer & room correction iuf you need so.
It has only balanced xlr audio out, so if you do not have a free xlr in, buy this:

A rather cheap dac this but good sounding. And you can then use it as a referance if you`re curious at other hifi-dacs later on, to compare. 

Thanks everyone. I see where you guys are coming from and I do respect all opinions. The sound I want? I do not even know what I am looking for. So far, what I know is that Sonos Amp suck really bad, and SVS ultra bookshelf as a speaker is great but kinda strong in high pitch, so I am now looking for a smooth sounding speaker. My next trial is going to be Gold 100 5G from Monitor Audio. DAC-wise I have absolute zero clue, so your opinions really help.
I will definitely take a hard look on the Behringer DEQ2496 for sure. Thanks unfairlane.