What is DAC and Why Do I Need it?

DAC stands for Digital-to-Analog Converter; it is an electrical system that converts a digital signal into an analog signal. DACs are commonly used in music players, televisions, and mobile phones. In music players, DACs function is to convert digital data streams into analog audio signals, while in mobile phones or television it converts digital video data into analog video signals which connect the screen drivers to display monochrome or color images. DACs used by these applications are of two opposite resolution/frequency trade-offs. The DAC used in music players is a low-frequency, high-resolution type while the video DAC is a high-frequency, low-to medium-resolution type.

Why do you need a DAC?

The question that arises is why would you need an external DAC if all devices have built-in DACs, but except in the hi-fi industry, no manufacturer actually pays much attention in accurately converting the signal. Built-in DAC provided in the laptop or phones are usually cheap and small and don’t provide a beautiful, accurate reproduction of the original audio. this is one of the reasons why you need a separate DAC.

Another reason to buy an External DAC is that your source is introducing noise or incapable of outputting sound at the bitrate of your files. And sometimes you can hear a hissing sound in the background which is an indication that your DAC is not good enough or having a problem, and you need to buy an external DAC.

How Does DAC work?

If we go back fifty years, there was no need for DACs to produce an analog signal. Microphones inside a recording studio captured and stored sound as analog signals. But as time passed, recording engineers started converting analog signals into digital audio signals. And if you want to listen to it, you’ll need to convert it back to an analog signal. According to How2pc, that’s the reason why DACs are necessary in all products and all the products come with Built-in DACs.

Here’s how the process works:

When the artist is recording a track, Microphones pick up the sounds of voices and instruments as analog audio signals but the recording equipment already has analog-to-digital converters to transform the analog signals to digital signals for storage. During the playback process, DAC converts the stored digital file to analog audio and the amplifier sends the music through your headphones or stereo speakers.

Is buying an External DAC right choice?

If achieving a great sound is your ultimate objective then an External DAC will definitely help you achieve it all you need to do is find a DAC according to your need, plug it in and enjoy!