Sometimes, it feels as if audio tech is booming exponentially faster than ever before. A simple smartphone is more advanced than anything NASA could have even dreamed of when shooting their first shuttles up in space only a few decades ago. It would be a funny thing to travel back forty years and trying to explain to a NASA scientist about the near-unlimited power of ones and zeros. And in this article, we’ll explain the best way to harness these ones and zeros in order to help a regular music lover drastically improve the quality of their audio playback. You do it by upgrading the device’s DAC (Digital to Analog Converter), which takes the digital signal and turns it into sound you can actually hear.
You may not even consider it, but most of us make use of at least one digital-to-analogue converter (more handily known as a DAC) every single day.
Built into the likes of computers, tablets and smartphones, the DAC is the fundamental key to unlocking the convenience of digital music – it converts the countless reams of digital information into an analogue signal intelligible to the human ear.
Any device that acts as a source of digital sound – be it a CD or Blu-ray player, digital TV box, games console, headphone or portable music player – will need a DAC to convert its audio to an analogue signal before it is output.
Traditional amplifiers(amp) don’t handle digital information, speakers certainly don’t play digital information and our ears cannot interpret digital information – they all need an analogue waveform. Without a DAC, your digital music collection is nothing but a sizeable collection of “0s and 1s” (more on that shortly) that makes sense only within the digital domain. In short, DACs play a large part in making digital music worthwhile.
The biggest problem is the DAC circuits used in many devices are just not efficient enough to do justice to the original recording, so a DAC upgrade can be the simplest way to improve your digital music and really get the most from your system. Whatever your set-up.