Which DAC



Running Majaro with XFCE on an Asus Tuf Z270 motherboard. M Audo speakers. Considering moving away from the Realtec/Intel onboard sound solution to a better quality DAC like this
curious about anyone else who is using a DAC and what your experience has been. I would like to be able to keep the onboard sound enabled in the BIOS to use it for internet telephony but use the Modi 2 for music without having to jump through a lot of hoops. It should be doable with PAVU but never having tried it I am not at all sure. Also curious if on this particular model, will Manjaro recognize it correctly?


Schiit Modi DAC USB error -32 & usb -71

From their FAQ for Modi 2

Linux. Most Linux distros that support UAC2 natively will be plug and play with our DACs. Please note that we cannot provide detailed technical support for Linux.

I am interested in the Fulla 2

Sample Rates and Bit Depths: 16/44.1 to 24/96 supported without drivers on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android (UAC 1 device)

I don’t think the Bios matters for audio

Audio settings will be done with Pulseaudio, for which Pavucontrol is a frontend, and Alsa

Set pulseaudio default output to your onboard soundcard (like already is)

and use an audio player which support configurable Alsa output, setting the DAC as output

Some info can be found on opensource.com by Chris Hermansen for examble

but note that Guayadeque player is broken now


I have this - hotaudio DAC destroyer - but wish i had spent the extra for the next model up with volume control (bitperfect DAC). It doesn’t have the good looks like most other DACs, but the sound is awesome

I go to Pulseaudio Mixer Configuration tab and turn the DAC off.
Then I use deadbeef for playback on ALSA with exclusive use of the DAC.
All other audio for voip, browser etc stays in Pulseaudio.


For Quality within Linux, and excellent driver support ?!:

Envy24 dac chips, are still one of the best, if you can still find them.
Failing that, then a Sabre dac chipset, but you’ll pay for that dearly, no matter what.

imho, ALL the rest are just Creative Labs/Soundblaster-based tom-n-jerry proprietary/semi-closed (Microsoft-puppet) dac chips, with every one of them being a hit-n-miss, and horribly poor driver/API support, within Linux


There are some other suggestions in this thread: https://forum.manjaro.org/t/need-a-budget-sound-card-any-advice/29155


I use a $75 dac with a pair of $15 headphones, is that bad?

Audiophiles: What are your settings for DAC usage?

Yes. Get some Superlux HD669. I upgraded from the well-known ~£15 Monoprice headphones which were already a vast improvement over my previous set, but now I can’t stand them. So dull and muddy and narrow… horrible.

Nothing wrong with that DAC - I have the same one - though in some ways I prefer the audio out of the £30 eBay DAC I linked to in the above thread.


You can’t be that bad - you at least have proper headphones, not an overpriced fashion accessory.

In theory, cheaper headphones may not be giving you best quality, but these could be one of the exceptional bargains like the Monoprice.

You have headphone amp so won’t have to limit future upgrade to exclude high impedance cans

Driving them from Linux and DAC probably still makes them sound excellent

Superlux look really good, but lot of others look like same designs rebranded - samson,presonus etc. I am looking more at ISK headphones because they look like better fit for bigger ears


The Fulla 2 is also interesting for me from a price standpoint because I was considering the Modi 2 and the Magni 3 to be able to control both the speakers and headphones.

Lots of stuff here to look at. Thanks to all of you for the suggestions and great information.