A newly released iteration of the DAC-X6, this DAC/amp from FX Audio shines in the sub-$100 category. It uses the highly regarded CS4398 and CS8416 in its DAC chipset, along with the OPA2134 opamp, and supports files up to 16 bit/192 kHz and 24 bit/96 kHz. Compact and adaptable, it’s ideal as a desktop unit for sending a signal out to PC speakers, or for use as a powerful headphone amp. On the back panel, you’ll find inputs for USB, optical, and coaxial, plus an RCA signal output. On the front, there’s a stepped attenuator for super-smooth control over your music’s volume.
- DAC: CS4398 + CS8416
- Opamp: OPA2134
- Headphone amp: TPA6120 + OP275
- 16 bit: Support 44.1 – 192 kHz
- 24 bit: Support 44.1 – 96 kHz
- Standard input interface: PC USB/coaxial, fiber optic (with toggle switch)
- Standard output interface: 6.35 mm headphone output baseline, standard RCA connectors
- Line level output: RMS 2V
- Recommended headphone impedance: 32 – 600 ohm
- Output power: 90 mW / 600 ohm, 180 mW / 300 ohm, 450 mW / 100 ohm, 610 mW / 62 ohm, 910 mW / 32 ohm, 1,000 mW / 16 ohm
- Signal-to-noise ratio: ≥ 105 dB
- Adapter voltage: 100 – 240 ACV
- Machine power / adapter output voltage: DC 12 V 1A above
- Dimensions: 3.9 x 5.7 x 1.4 in (9.8 x 14.6 x 3.5 cm)
- Power cable
- 5 ft (1.5 m) USB cable
The DAC X-6 is an amazing little DAC at the $60-70 price point. It’s chassis is made from brushed aluminum and feels sturdy. The Volume knob has a click and feels solid.
The power on and input toggle switches are also metal and a 1/4″ headphone out which is great as they are far more robust than 3.5mm ports.
At the rear it features the 3 inputs Optical, USB and Coaxial which can be changed with the switch on the front. It then has RCA out.
There is a little feature only a few seem to know about and that is there are two jumper switches on the pcb, when these are set to the position closest to the headphone jack they enable a high gain mode which helps with high impedance headphones. I am not sure what the db level is but it certainly does make a difference, I could almost crank it to full when in low gain and in high gain I usually leave it at 1:00 o’clock with my Beyerdynamic DT 770’s Pro 80 Ohm’s any more and it is too loud.
It’s also worth mentioning the DAC-X6 is more powerful than many DAC’s which go for $200+ as it has a dedicated 12v adapter and not relying on USB to power it.
Is it the best DAC money can buy, no but it certainly is the best DAC under $100 and definitely the best starter DAC for those wanting to step into the realm of audio and also for those who just want better sound from their computer.