When Will the DAC Singularity Be Reached?

A humorous title, but wondering if those more in the know have an opinion on either: i) examples today where inexpensive DACs (say under $2500) are comparable or superior to expensive (say over $10K) DACs or ii) can we anticipate that within a relatively few number of years that inexpensive DACs will basically achieve the sound quality of today's expensive DACs? Thanks. 



"A well engineered DAC that sells for $100 is going to sound great and possibly better than any other DAC costing more (including thousands of dollars more) in a blind test."

Sorry but that is a very sill comment worthy of an ASR minion. To be clear, no one is arguing that the more you spend, the better the Dac, (or any other equipment) is. However your blanket statement is way off beam. The Dacs I have heard that sound the best, in blind tests, despite what minion leader thinks, are expensive. There are some excellent lower priced Dacs as well, but to argue that a Dac built to cost like a cheap poorly put together Topping can sound better than a top end Dac is delusional.

iiWi Reviews….he does an outstanding job at raising these types of questions with current offerings. He’s basically defending the qualities of unique designs with a different approach to the output stage - Lampizator and the use of tubes in the output stage to be exact. I really believe that - when you’re really using your ears - different designs approaches can render limitless possibilities. Circuit design creativity will always bring about change, but also tends to be expensive when offering something more special:





IHave been into audio a long time and digital sinc3 the mid 80s the technology is finally here but like with any electronics or Loudspeakers parts quality and technologies cost monies.  In my opinion in the $5-7k range is the start of reference quality. I have heard many the T+A 200 dac is the best I have heard at $7k can compete or beat anything at 2x this . I know have 4 others that bought one in our multi state audio get together I am next still have a few $ grand to go
 with digital quality cables, linear power supply to the router,much better Ethernet switch with linear power supply,  all these things count if you want excellent musicality ,being a dedicated Audiophile cost $$ if you truly want your audio to sound at its best , remove all weak links in the chain . 


On the average a $2,500 DAC in 2023 will never sound as good as a $10,000 DAC in 2023. However, a $2,500 DAC in 2025 may very well sound as good as a 2023 $10,000 DAC. The technology marches on quickly for DACs IMO, and the end result is: where along the development timeline is good enough to be happy.

I currently have a Denafrips Pontus II R2R ladder DAC, that I absolutely love and is a stunning DAC for $1,800. Is it good enough to be my forever DAC? No, eventually I will upgrade this DAC and move it to a second system as I improve other components.

I think the better question here would be this🤒.

Does a $10,000 DAC sound 100x better than a $1,000 DAC? I think we are approaching a time where the lower cost DAC’s are closing the gap. Yes they will never be on par at 100% and it’s nice for a person to have the option to achieve a very good sounding DAC for a reasonable price. This hobby will always have the ones who can and will pay double the price for a 20% to 5% increase in sound. Nothing wrong with that and more power to them. In the end it’s all about enjoying the music!